March 18, 2012
forbes.com had an interesting article the other day, regarding how EA now is "stuck" with a game they can't monetize as they want to. Here's a summary of some of the points:
- Battlefront got backlash for having a $50 season pass and launching with barebones content.
- In Star Wars Battlefront 2 they changed the system and promised free DLC while using microtransactions and loot-boxes to monetize the game.
- Thanks to the backlash, they have removed microtransactions . . . but they've stated that they're planning on reinstating them.
- If they do bring back microtransactions tied to progression then they will still face backlash.
- If they bring back lootboxes with only cosmetic items they'll still draw ire. They've already enticed responses from multiple governments on the issues of lootboxes.
- That leaves them with really only one path forwards that won't bring back a ton of backlash: Implementing an online store with microtransactions to purchase cosmetic equipment. No randomized lootboxes at all. It's likely that wouldn't sell as well and certainly wouldn't be nearly so profitable.
- At the end of the day they promised free-DLC, so not delivering on that makes them look bad. At the same time the game sold significantly worse than the first game and they won't be making the money they thought they would on microtransactions and lootboxes. Not releasing the promised free DLC would upset those that bought the game. Essentially they've backed themselves into a lose-lose situation.
I hope EA learns something from this! I am all in for capitalism, but this is what happens when you think with your pockets first. No one should have to pay $60, a season pass, AND loot boxes just to get the "full experience." The argument of "we have families to feed" and other nonsense is for the CEO's, Investors, and management, not the actual employees putting in hours to barely make ends meet. Hopefully this is a wake up call to stop trying to find any way possible to squeeze money out of your fanbase.
The one factor I have seen but not many people talked about; children. Something of this magnitude needs to be investigated because it's a T rated game, on top of enticing people to spend more $ for a "chance" to get what they want. There needs to be a line drawn between spending $ towards an experience and just pure greed. After my situation with Fortnite I no longer will spend $ on "chances" because it's the holding out a carrot to later find out you will never get it.
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