It looks as though the rebels may have defeated the empire — or at least struck a mighty blow to give the latter pause.
CNBC is reporting that the fallout from EA’s Star Wars Battlefront II and its lockboxes has done serious damage to the company’s bottom line. EA’s stock price dove 8.5% following the uproar over Battlefront’s egregious lockboxes, the resulting decision to (temporarily) remove them from the business model, and weaker than expected sales. This means that $3.1 billion of shareholder value has now vanished. That’s no small potatoes.
Wall Street Analyst Doug Creutz said that this may be the catalyst that sets some serious changes in motion for the video game industry: “We think the time has come for the industry to collectively establish a set of standards for MTX implementation, both to repair damaged player perceptions and avoid the threat of regulation.”
This line of thinking is being echoed at SuperData, which wrote an analysis op-ed in which the author saw the potential for industry or government regulation over this technique. “China’s drop rate model, where governments regulate loot boxes but stop short of a ban, is a likely future scenario. Publishers could voluntarily self-police loot boxes to avoid binding government rules,” the author said.
However, EA might not be fully willing to reform, as players are currently spending more money than ever on additional content and microtransactions past the box price of a game.