Star Wars Battlefront II had the makings of an epic comeback following the disappointing response from many fans with its predecessor. Star Wars Battlefront II would provide free DLC as to not separate its playerbase. It would finally include a single-player campaign. It looked like EA wanted to rectify its mistakes with the first game. That all came crashing down, however, when players learned of Battlefront II’s progression system.
After its pay-to-win mechanics became known, Star Wars Battlefront II found itself at the center of a controversy long before the game even launched. These loot boxes and microtransactions caused such a buzz that Disney CEO Bob Iger reportedly had another Disney executive, Jimmy Pitaro, send a letter to EA outlining Iger’s concerns. That’s not even to mention how the outcry reached government officials and how the company’s attempt to defend it became the most downvoted comment in Reddit history. EA ended up pulling the plug on in-game transactions shortly before it launched.
EA has already detailed its plans for Battlefront II’s revamped progression system, this time removing any pay-to-win mechanics. Now, EA’s Patrick Söderlund, who was recently moved to a different position within the company and is now its chief design officer, has spoken up about how this controversy has affected EA in an interview with The Verge.
“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 said. “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.”
Söderlund went on to explain just why EA implemented loot boxes in the first place. “We had the intent that was designed for us to have more people play it over a longer period of time,” Söderlund explained. “And like a lot of other games on the market, to be able to afford to do that we had an idea of getting returns from that. But at the same time, we got it wrong. And as a result, we had to take very quick and drastic actions to turn everything off, and we’ve since worked and redesigned the progression system. People seem to appreciate what we’ve done, players are coming back, and we’re seeing stronger engagement numbers. People seem to think that for the most part, we got it right. It doesn’t mean we will stop. We’ll continue to improve the game, we’ll continue to push on these things, and we’ll have to be very cautious with what this means for future products.”
He also attempted to assuage fears about microtransactions in upcoming EA games as well, stating, “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.”
“We have to take action and show people that we’re serious about building the best possible products, that we’re serious about treating the players fair, and we’re here to make the best possible entertainment that we can,” he said. “And in the cases where we don’t get it right, we just have to listen and learn from it and be better.”
Via: The Verge