In 2017, no game garnered more vitriol than Star Wars Battlefront II. The highly anticipated title from DICE featured gorgeous graphics, the much-requested addition of a single-player story mode, and deeper progression options over its 2015 predecessor. However, the title was so plagued by loot-box mechanics that fans loudly voice their displeasure, EA revamped the system, and it served as a tipping point for several representatives across the United States to begin investigations into potential loot-box legislation. Now, in an interview with The Verge, EA’s chief design officer Patrick Söderlund says the company learned its lesson from the Star Wars Battlefront II fiasco.
In January, EA announced that Star Wars Battlefront II fell short of sales expectations. “I’d be lying to you if I said that what’s happened with Battlefront and what’s happened with everything surrounding loot boxes and these things haven’t had an effect on EA as a company and an effect on us as management,” he told The Verge. “We can shy away from it and pretend like it didn’t happen, or we can act responsibly and realize that we made some mistakes, and try to rectify those mistakes and learn from them.”
EA has the opportunity to show it has changed its ways with Anthem, the next big game from lauded developer BioWare. Similar to EA, BioWare needs a hit after Mass Effect: Andromeda released to tepid reviews and sales early last year. Söderlund vows the company won’t make the same mistake again.
“We have taken significant steps as a company to review and understand the mechanics around monetization, loot boxes, and other things in our games before they go to market,” he said. “For games that come next, for Battlefield or for Anthem, [players have] made it very clear that we can’t afford to make similar mistakes. And we won’t.”
You can read more from Söderlund on the topic at The Verge.
[Source: The Verge]
It’s always good to see a company acknowledge an obvious misstep, even if it’s likely only because the decision in question hurt its bottom line. This is another shining example of fans using the almighty dollar as their ally in making their voices heard. While many probably aren’t ready to believe Söderlund at his word after the egregious problems in Battlefront II, at the end of the day, EA can ill afford to have another massive title – whether that be BioWare’s Anthem or DICE’s next Battlefield game – grab so many headlines for all the wrong reasons. Of course, we won’t know the true extent of EA’s changed ways until those games launch.