‘We got it wrong’: EA exec apologizes for ‘Star Wars’ loot box fiasco, promises to ‘be better’

When

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When “Star Wars Battlefront 2” launched, it had a loot box system that players found infuriating.
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EA DICE

  • EA executive Patrick Söderlund said EA “got it wrong” with “Star Wars Battlefront 2.”
  • The game launched in late 2017 and was met with anger from fans, who felt that the game’s loot box system took advantage of them.
  • EA has since altered the game’s loot box system, and Söderlund says future EA games will learn from the company’s recent mistakes.

“We got it wrong,” EA chief design officer Patrick Söderlund said in an interview with The Verge this week.

It was a surprisingly candid admission after last year’s “Star Wars Battlefront 2” controversy, which pitted “Star Wars” fans against the sporadically hated/loved EA.

“We can’t afford to make similar mistakes. And we won’t,” Söderlund said.

The “mistakes” he’s referring to are directly tied to “Battlefront 2,” a major “Star Wars” game for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC that infuriated players by locking away major content and encouraging additional spending on so-called “loot boxes” – virtual boxes with randomized virtual items that cost real money.

The game was still a sales success, but did comparatively worse than its predecessor.

Major characters like Luke Skywalker were a main selling point of

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Major characters like Luke Skywalker were a main selling point of “Battlefront 2.” It took hours to unlock many of them — or you could pay.
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EA DICE

“Star Wars Battlefront 2” was the poster boy for controversy surrounding the entire concept of loot boxes. Players were furious that the game let people pay real money for access to enhancements and major characters that would otherwise take dozens of hours to unlock by playing the game.

In short: If you paid more, you likely were better equipped than the competition.

This concept of “pay to win” is especially contentious among video game players – it seemingly undercuts the entire concept of challenge and mastery associated with so many games.

EA subsequently removed the loot-box system from “Star Wars Battlefront 2,” and Söderlund promised in his interview this week that upcoming major games like “Anthem” and this year’s “Battlefield” won’t repeat the same mistakes.