Posts Tagged ‘loot crates’

Robocraft to bury loot boxes and return to the tech-trees

Robocraft

It would seem that the merest mention of premium loot crates is enough to raise hackles these days, least considering the recent slew of games either having completely excised them (Battlefront 2) or are in the process of doing so (Middle Earth: Shadow of War). The next game to step up is Freejam’s free-to-play build n’ shooter Robocraft, which is returning to the tech-tree based progression model of its early days, with nary a dice-roll in sight.

Read the rest of this entry »

Loot Crate debate escalates, Hawaiian lawmakers speak

Loot Boxes

Last year’s explosion of negative press regarding loot crates in games (especially regarding their impact on Star Wars: Battlefront 2) is still being heard around the world. Now, the issue has reached the ears of a growing number of lawmakers.

As covered by the Hawaii Tribune Herald, the latest force to get involved is the Hawaiian state government, members of which have proposed two new laws that could have massive repercussions on the industry if they were to become nationwide law.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rainbow Six Siege halts plan to replace standard edition with pricier one

Ubisoft have reversed plans to replace the $40 Standard Edition of Rainbow Six Siege with one that cost $20 more but offered only some virtuacash and a few of the new cosmetic-only loot crates in return. This $60 ‘Advanced Edition’ did not seem a good deal and, with Ubisoft having managed to rebuild and improve Siege to become an actual hit, it seemed daft to make the game less welcoming. Well, having announced the price hike on Thursday, by Friday Ubisoft were convinced that it was a bad idea and changed their minds. The Standard Edition will stay. Read the rest of this entry »

Pink Vader comes to Star Wars Battlefront 2 in mod

You don't know the POWER of the pink side

“You probably don’t want Darth Vader in pink,” said Blake Jorgensen, chief financial officer of Electronic Arts. “No offence to pink but I don’t think that’s right in the canon.”

That was a month ago. Jorgensen was speaking at a technology conference about his company’s latest shooter, Star Wars Battlefront 2, and the furore about loot crates which had engulfed the game upon release. At the time, EA had decided to temporarily disable the unpopular microtransactions, but resisted changing the system outright. For example, they didn’t want to make it so loot boxes contained only cosmetic things like character skins. The reason, said Jorgensen, was that this risked breaking Star Wars canon.

It is 36 days later and you can now download Darth Vader in pink. Read the rest of this entry »

Star Wars Battlefront 2’s microtransactions unlikely to include a pink Darth Vader

When Electronic Arts turned off microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront 2 over that whole stinking loot crate progression system mess, they said they would bring ’em back after a rethink. Well, EA’s chief financial officer said on Tuesday that is still very much the plan. While he isn’t sure how and when microtransactions will return, he seems fairly certain they wouldn’t include cosmetic items which seem goofy or out-of-place in Star Wars – no pink Darth Vader, for starters. Read the rest of this entry »

Belgium commission declares loot boxes are gambling

battlefront-2-loot-crates

Following the Star Wars Battlefront 2 microtransaction debacle, last week the Belgium Gaming Commission launched an investigation into whether loot boxes came under their purview. VTM news (beware of the sloppy Google translation) have now reported on their conclusion, which is a resounding ‘yes’.

Elsewhere in the world, Hawaiian politicians have spoken out, calling for legislation to end the sale of loot boxes to minors. So, will we be seeing greater restrictions on what games companies are allowed to sell any time soon? It’s complicated, but probably not.

Read the rest of this entry »

Need for Speed Payback reduces the need for loot boxes

nfs

As the heated debate over loot boxes and player progression continues, Need for Speed Payback joins Star Wars Battlefront 2 in making changes based on the discussion, largely in regards to how the game doles out currency and experience. Essentially, drivers will earn more for less from events and races, making it easier to upgrade cars and level up.

Read the rest of this entry »

Star Wars Battlefront 2 turns off microtransactions, but don’t get cocky

boom

EA’s fully armed and operational microtransaction station has fallen, for now at least – but in-game payments will return to Star Wars Battlefront 2. The sci-fi FPS has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons over recent days, due to the inclusion of a paid loot crate system that, many felt a) gave people who paid an unfair advantage and b) was arranged in such a way as to unduly coax people into repeatedly paying.

It’s a story that has eclipsed the release of the game itself. And that’s apparently the reason behind EA’s unexpected announcement that they’re turning off SWBF2’s microtransactions.
Read the rest of this entry »

How loot crates and unlocks really work in Star Wars Battlefront 2

battlefront-2-vader-unlock

A long time ago, a man worked out how to merchandise popular entertainment at a hitherto unprecedented level. 40 years later, C-3PO lunchboxes in Woolworths have given way to microtransaction loot crates in EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2. With the game out this week, millions of voices are already crying out in terror about the time and/or costs involved in accessing every character, weapon and rechargeable grenade variant. I’m here to cut through the noise and examine how loot crates, unlocks, payments, and grind work within SWBF2 – and how incorporating this oh-so-2017 goldrush into an online shooter disrupts the experience of playing it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Star Wars Battlefront 2 reworking loot crates

What a time we live in, when Star Wars is crassly monetised. What a world! The idea this dear little mom & pop franchise of movies, comics, cartoons, toys, novels, statues, t-shirts, nappies, waffle irons, Christmas decorations, and tiki mugs could ever be used to wring pennies from pockets… it doesn’t bear thinking about. But EA were trying to do just that with Star Wars Battlefront 2, packing upgrades into virtual loot crates that can — optionally — be bought for real money. Scandalous! So with the game’s launch now mere weeks away, EA have announced changes to make loot crates and progression slightly less gittish. Read the rest of this entry »

UK government responds to loot box questions (vaguely)

Playing the loot

The UK government has responded to two questions posed by a Cambridge MP about loot boxes and gambling laws. It is a very very very very boring answer, and says basically nothing apart from highlighting current regulations about gambling. That’s not much of a surprise, although the speed at which the government has “answered” suggests an awareness that the issue of loot crates is smoldering upon the floor of the industry, like a flaming paper bag with a poo in it. Something might have to be done about it, sure, but nobody wants to volunteer their boot. Read the rest of this entry »

Loot box questions brought up in UK parliament

Spooky loot

“Loot” used to be such a nice word. It brought to mind coffers piled with doubloons. Today it is often followed by the word “crate” and an expression of disgust. After recent controversies over the inclusion of loot boxes in games like Middle-earth: Shadow of War and Star Wars: Battlefront 2, the issue of this psychologically iffy practice has been brought up in the UK parliament in the form of two written questions submitted by a Cambridge MP. In short, they ask the government: what do you plan to do about “in-game gambling”?
Read the rest of this entry »

EA respond to Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crate concerns

star-wars-battlefront-2

The recent Star Wars Battlefront 2 [official site] open beta showed the game itself has come on leaps and bounds since the first one, but the way progression was tied to a loot crate system left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths.

EA have responded to that criticism, and released a statement that clarifies some things about how the system will work when the actual game comes out. Players that pay will still have an advantage over those that don’t – at least in the short term – but the most powerful items will be unlocked independently of loot crates.

Read the rest of this entry »