Over the last couple of weeks as players fought EA and Disney turned on its own in the Star Wars Battlefront II mess, I’ve seen many gamers (and even a few relieved developers) suggest that EA has unwittingly done us all a solid. Not only has the most-hated video game company in the west rocketed the lockbox gambling debate into the mainstream and into the political spotlight, but it’s made it that much harder for other studios to get away with similar monetization antics. Scrutiny is high right now, and we’ve actually seen several online gaming studios large and small denounce the mechanics that got EA in trouble. And all because EA delved too greedily and too deep: If it hadn’t pushed so hard, the whole industry might have skirted by for years more with MMO players’ complaints subsumed beneath the thrum of business as usual.
Did EA do gamers a big favor with its monetization overreach? Or do you really believe that scrutiny and oversight will somehow end worse for gamers than it is right now?