Now that the end of the year is quickly approaching, video game publisher EA Games is taking a moment to think about the trainwreck that was the Star Wars Battlefront 2 release and look ahead to how it can keep players interested and happy. The release of Battlefront 2 arrived with controversy, especially over how it handled loot boxes in the game. There was so much blowback on Battlefront 2's loot boxes that some countries began to classify loot boxes as illegal gambling, permanently banning them.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 released initially in November 2017. The title immediately garnered criticism with its loot boxes, which were crates of in-game items that players bought with real-world money that gave them advantages in the game. Many players complained that this gave some players, those with bigger pocketbooks, unfair advantages over other players, mainly when it came to the multiplayer element of the title. There was so much negative feedback that it even affected EA's stock prices, driving them down. As a result, EA temporarily suspended microtransactions in the game and only brought them back after it revamped the system.
Battlefront 2 suffered from a PR nightmare, but EA hopes that it can right the wrongs of its past. In a recent blog post on the official Star Wars Battlefront 2 website, EA writes about the past year and what it learned with the release of Battlefront 2. The company reflected on the changes it made to the game's economy, with hopes that the title now offers a more fair system for everyone who plays it.
However, the launch did not go as planned. With the understandable frustration around progression in the game, a decision to change the initial Crate system was made. A large part of the team was put on the task to fix the game’s economy and progression. This new system was implemented in March – one without random progression and where everything is unlockable through gameplay.
We’re happy with how Star Wars Battlefront II has improved over the course of 2018 and we hope you are, too. In our progress, we learned that in order to get content out the door to players at a steadier rate, we had to break out our large seasonal drops into smaller, more frequent updates.
EA also thanked the players that stuck with the game, and wrote about content updates arriving in 2019. These updates include the addition of new characters to the game, including Count Dooku and Anakin Skywalker. Both characters will feature their Clone Wars TV show and movie voice actors, Corey Burton and Matt Lanter respectively. The title will also get more clone trooper appearances, as well as new game modes with capture points and capital ships. EA promises that this is only the beginning and reiterates it remains committed to creating unique experiences to keep players entertained.
The release of Star Wars Battlefront 2, though, remains present in many minds. With the FTC also now investigating the loot box issue, EA managed to create a problem for the industry as a whole. The company also damaged its own reputation, making many players wary of purchasing other games on its roster. If EA has plans to release Battlefront 3 in 2019 to coincide with the premiere of Star Wars: Episode 9, it remains to be seen if fans actually trust the company enough to buy it. And whether such a title can even compete with the recent and more well-received similar Battlefield 5.