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Next Battlefield Game Developers Rethinking Loot Box and Microtransaction Strategy Due to Star Wars Battlefront II Controversy

March 3, 2018 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

Kotaku has a report on the recent loot box controversy across the gaming industry and how that might affect future titles, such as the next installment of the Battlefield franchise. Apparently, developers on the next Battlefield and other games are treading lightly on how to handle loot boxes and microtransactions after the negative controversy that swamped the recent release of Star Wars Battelefront II.

According to the report, many developers have taken note of the fury from gamers on the issue of loot boxes. Developers at major studios want to avoid their games being remembered for things such as loot boxes and controversy. An anonymous source who is close to the Battlefield franchise stated, “No one’s gonna do any pay-to-win stuff anymore. We didn’t take any of the loot box controversy lightly.”

Recent reports have indicated that the next Battlefield game will be set during World War II. The last installment int he series was Battlefield 1, released in Fall 2016, was a World War I-themed game. Additionally, a recent report stated that the new game will only feature cosmetic-only loot boxes, similar to Battlefield 1.

The Kotaku report went on to state that two sources at DICE, the studio for the Battlefield series, said that while microtransaction plans have changed in the past for the franchise, those plans will likely change again before the game’s planned release later this fall. That includes sticking to cosmetic-only loot boxes for the game. Another source stated that the report is “making a conclusion about something that is still inconclusive.”

DICE was also the studio that developed the highly infamous Star Wars Battlefront II, which faced a wave of controversy from angry gamers due to its loot box system, which was seen as having a pay-to-win microtransaction system. The wave that followed was a public relations nightmare for EA and DICE. Eventually, DICE was forced to temporarily remove microtransactions from the game.

The controversy was even followed by politicians targeting games such as Battlefront II for their loot box strategy, labeling loot boxes as illegal gambling. However, apparently the controversy of Battlefront II will change the strategy for future game releases. Another source stated to Kotaku, “In the end we’re gamers as well… We understand their hate.”

Whether those changes take place across developers and publishers remains to be seen.