You have undoubtedly seen by now across social media the response to EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot boxes. If you haven’t, concerns over the pricing structure and that hero content will be earned via loot boxes rather than unlocked with the games once purchased has caused outrage among gamers.
EA took to the forums to address some of these concerns via the Star Wars Battlefront Reddit, which has led to the post becoming the most downvoted post in Reddit history. As the concerns arose, many gamers and influencers took to social media to voice their concerns. Game developers also took to Twitter yesterday to talk about the issue.
Randy Pitchford of Gearbox Interactive didn’t just do one tweet but created a thread, unhappy that the terms they used in the Borderlands games were being used to describe a business practice he is against.
/1 I am generally very much against predatory monetization schemes in F2P games for consumable goods and even more so against them in premium games. I tend to oppose such techniques both as an artist and creator and also as a customer and a gamer.
— Randy Pitchford (@DuvalMagic) November 10, 2017
The developer behind The Witness and Braid, Jonathan Blow, also created a thread on the social media platform to talk about how the triple-A space percieves value compared to previous years in the industry.
Developer, writer and video creator, Mark Brown, had a more satirical take on the issue
Gamers in 2024: Look, I'm fine with in-game advertising, DLC, season passes, cosmetic micro-transactions, time-savers, pay-to-win, and loot boxes, but putting a slot machine lever on the side of every Xbox is just one step too far!
— Game Maker's Toolkit (@britishgaming) November 13, 2017
CEO and president of Paradox Interactive, Fredrik Wester, also had a much more sardonic take on the whole issue.
— Fredrik Wester (@TheWesterFront) November 13, 2017
Indie developer Dan Hindes points out that. while microtransactions are an issue, its the design behind them in games that have made the issue more prevalent.
Loot boxes in multiplayer FPS isn't the problem. Rather it's the slow unending march toward extrinsic rewards over intrinsic ones. When you're playing because the next rank/unlock/skin/medal/challenge is almost ticked off the list, rather than because playing the game mode is fun
— Dan Hindes (@dhindes) November 13, 2017
Indie developer and BAFTA winner, Dan Marshall, pointed out that if consumers are unhappy, there are many other avenues for them to enjoy gaming.
Reminder that if you really hate lootboxes/ microtransactions there are plenty of indie games that would genuinely appreciate your cash
— Dan Marshall (@danthat) November 13, 2017
Finally, indie developer and publisher Daniel Kaplan from Coffee Stain also rather bluntly makes the point that the choice is always with the consumer.