EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II and Phoenix Labs’ Dauntless walk back lockbox plans

    
60

Hey, you folks who say complaining about lockboxes never changes anything? You’re demonstrably wrong.

It turns out that EA, which increased its revenues last quarter chiefly thanks to sports games, has now announced plans to rework the lootbox/lockbox system in Star Wars Battlefront II – the game whose controversy pushed the lockbox conversation into the mainstream and even to the ears of national politics. While the company won’t eschew lockboxes entirely, it will essentially make the system less pay-to-win by removing high-end preorder cards and making them craftable instead.

EA isn’t the only company walking back its lockbox/lootbox policy in order to stay on the community’s good side: Phoenix Labs, which is currently building Dauntless, is dumping the model entirely, citing feedback from players and a desire not to be “a company that is known for being able to extract capital, or some other bullshit, out of [players].”

“One of the things that we felt has not been the best of experiences is our loot box-based monetization,” Phoenix Labs’ Chris Cleroux said during a roundtable last week. “We’re going to be moving away from that as our primary monetization to more of a bespoke model like Warframe and Path of Exile, where you’ll be able to choose and pick the things you want to purchase rather than go through the gacha-box method. We feel like it’s a lot more player-first in how it works, and it also reflects a changing interest in the community.”

Keep on complaining. They are listening.

Source: EA, GamasutraPC Gamer. Thanks, Dro and Babagra.pl!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Sorenthaz

“We’re going to be moving away from that as our primary monetization to more of a bespoke model like Warframe…”

And suddenly I’m more interested in Dauntless. Warframe’s model is great in that as a free player you never feel like you NEED to buy platinum outside of getting extra slots for storing warframes/weapons/etc., and those are all pretty dang cheap; however, by using the in-game trading system you can get that plat by selling prime parts and highly desired mods to players who are willing to give up some plat for it. Overall it’s a great system for those who really want to play free, and TBH I don’t even mind the time gating on crafting since there’s always stuff to do while you wait.

More F2Ps honestly need to do what Warframe does, because it works so well to the point where I’ve only bought platinum because I *feel* like doing it (also it’s super hard to turn down getting a truckton of platinum for 75% off when you get super lucky with the daily login…).

Reader
Reselect Name

The people that dont complain about p2w are the people that p2w.

Reader
Noyjitat

Still no company comes close to Perfect World Entertainment as far as lockboxes go. Massive level of greed there.

Reader
Sorenthaz

Epic Games with Fortnite’s PvE lockbox progression is pretty dang borderline ridiculous.

Reader
Bannex

I don’t believe this shit for a second lol.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Mailvaltar

Very good news, if they indeed stand by their word.

Reader
Knox Harrington

Too bad EA won’t walk back what they’ve done to SWTOR

Reader
Arktouros

It’s really quite funny when you read their website what they’re actually doing. Once you get past all the big bold font on “listening to player feedback” they’re just taking an item out of the chests and making players hit a certain level before crafting them. They even fully explain that once you reach that crafting level you can buy crates, break them down, and then use the materials to craft all those same cards. Like…

It’s brilliant business strategy if it was intentional. They presented a horrible system which got everyone to talk and discuss their game, then simply change the system slightly citing player feedback and now they’re getting positive feedback (even though the changed system is arguably equally awful as the original) and people can crow that “See! Our voices do matter!” (they don’t) giving them even more free promotion and discussion time over their game.

Reader
Knox Harrington

That’s what I’ll forever hate about EA. They’re just another corporation to the point that it doesn’t even matter what industry they’re in; they will exploit the psyche of their customers to make more money because that’s all that matters to them. In an ideal world, a video game company would put their product as an art form front and center and let that sell itself and have it be enough instead of crafting these insidiously draconian plots to extract even more money from good-natured players who just want to enjoy the game.

If video games were more consequential in life, I’d rank EA right up there with a company like Pfizer who had no problem lying to the government and the public for over a decade so they could hand out opioids like candy making billions in the process and now nobody is holding them accountable for the opioid epidemic sweeping the nation and making them pay for it. EA has done everything it can to make the video game industry as terrible as it has become and nobody’s holding them responsible for it because they’re too busy geeking out over Star Wars shit to care. At this point, we as a consumer base deserve to be bent over the proverbial barrel.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Darthbawl

Jim Sterling has a vid up about this Dauntless news. He was rather shocked and quite happy. Nice to see some companies doing something about the lockbox epidemic.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

not related to this but i’ve watched two jim sterling videos over the years and hte first one about divison was completely fictitious along a shitty narrative (claiming the game was racist in a manner that made it clear that jim is probably a racist himself) or made me sympathize more with the people he was raging about more than getting me on his side he was so shitty and over the top in the way he presented it.

he seems to be of the nouveau blogger journo that makes money off nerds and nerd things but hates nerds and nerd things. gets tiring being innundated by that shit you know? i wonder what other entertainment mediums and demographics would think if their reporters/writers did the same shit as what happens in nerd stuff.

Reader
Jeffrey Wu

Um, The Division is pretty racist by both limiting your interaction with the world with just your guns and making the rioting group of enemies sound black.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

they sound like average new yorkers. they don;t at all “sound black” which saying that is a pretty racist thing to say in itself.

they are also pretty clearly presented as bad dudes that are causing harm to decent people in the area during the crisis.

that’s what makes his video about it such a joke.

there’s literally no indication whatosever of any of the normal bad guy mobs’ race at all.

and the three bad guy leader characters that have their faces shown, 2 are white men and one is a black woman.

otherwise calling the game racist based on the looter faction is more an indication of the one calling it racist being racist themselves than a statement about the game.

Reader
thirtymil

there’s literally no indication whatosever of any of the normal bad guy mobs’ race at all.

Actually, we know one of the rioters is called Alex, which comes from the Greek name Alexander. So we could extrapolate that some of the rioters are either Greek or of Greek descent.

Alex also appears to be the first guy I shoot every time, so it appears I’m racist against Greeks.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

LOL

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Armsbend

Historical Greeks at least.

Reader
Sorenthaz

The Ubisoft team that handles The Division really hates people named Alex.

Reader
Bannex

You’re either trolling or stupid.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
zeko_rena

I feel like this needs a “/s” am I right in assuming this is sarcasm?
I am scared if it is serious lol

Reader
Sray

I think you probably misunderstood whatever point he was trying to get across. Jim Sterling, for whatever else his many faults are, definitely is not in the racist/sexist/homophobic/anti-nerd camp. In fact based on what you’ve written here, I’d have to say that your impression of him is probably the exact opposite of what he is. I’m definitely not saying “you’re wrong, you need to watch more of his stuff” as his shtick is not for everyone, but he’s most definitely not what your impression seems to be based on what you’ve written here.

deekay_plus
Reader
Patreon Donor
deekay_plus

based on those two videos and otehr statements i’ve seen from him i’d definitely peg him as the usual vlogger/blogger social justice as a shield ot hate on nerds type that inundates nerd related press/blogging/vlogging these days.

if he said stuff like this about sports or non nerd movies he’d be crucified.

Reader
Sray

We’re going to have to agree to disagree.

CapnLan
Reader
CapnLan

Excellent. The more dev teams that look at Warframe’s model the better. I’ve been keeping Dauntless on my radar for some time, but now it’s solidly on my list of games to play. Wallet Status for Dauntless = Open.

Staff
Kickstarter Donor
Chris Neal

…which goes to a point I made during a podcast I was a guest on: “vote with wallet” doesn’t really work nearly as well as “raise considerable, researched, and articulate hell”. If it’s a big enough conversation (and not a string of attacks or insults), it can change things.

Reader
Arktouros

Businesses have always changed to the outrage of it’s player bases. The problem certain individuals seem to be oblivious to is what that change actually ends up being.

When we voted with our wallets against bad MMOs, MMO developers didn’t look deep in themselves, recognize what they did wrong, and decide to make better games worthy of our subscriptions. What they changed was their business model to one that wasn’t affected by subscriptions.

Expressing outrage over lockboxes hasn’t caused EA to look deep and fundamentally change their games to remove lockbox style mechanics and other game design. All outrage has done is get them to haggle over what people are and aren’t willing to go along with. Their message is now essentially we’re moving Star Cards from crates, but you can still buy crates, break the garbage down and then craft as much as many as you want after you reach level X. In essence, they changed nothing.

Companies do this all the time. For example as much as I love BDO, even Pearl Abyss admitted to using a B2P model instead of a F2P model because of the kinds of perception that Korea F2P games have in NA/EU. They certainly never changed their game model, even with a restricted cash shop, it’s just a lighter version that offers less to quell the outrage.

But real, actual change? You’re out of your mind.

Reader
Skoryy

Time to quietly sit back and see how well Dauntless‘s monetization goes.

Meanwhile, I wonder if EA is acting from the goodness of their hearts or they’re just scaling back while taking lessons from Activision.