On several occasions, we have mentioned that the controversy loot boxes of Star Wars: Battlefront II was one of the largest in recent years and it is shaping up to be one having an impact on the industry. That is, due to the noise it generated, it seems difficult for another distributor to go for an equal model. In fact, we can already see its consequences within Electronic Arts, since its members want to do everything possible to avoid a similar controversy with Anthem.
Patrick Söderlund, EA executive who recently took on the position of design director, explained to The Verge that the criticism of the Battlefront II progression and monetization system had an impact on his strategies. So, they took the appropriate measures to avoid a similar situation with Anthem, the next Battlefield or other future releases.
“We have taken significant steps as a company to review and understand the mechanics around monetization, loot boxes, and other things in our games before they go to market,” he said. “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. ”
Later, Söderlund named the recent changes to Star Wars: Battlefront II as an example of their willingness to change based on the feedback they received. He also noted that the fans have responded positively to the changes they have implemented.
“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 past 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 concluded.
Recall that shortly after the controversy of Battlefront II, a creative of Electronic Arts revealed that they were discussing whether Anthem should have loot boxes and said everything will depend on the opinion of the fans. Soon after, Michael Pachter, a well-known industry analyst, mentioned that it is very likely that loot boxes in the game will only have cosmetic items and Söderlund’s recent words seem to indicate that this will be the direction they will take.
Anthem will hit PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC sometime in 2019.