Gaming Editor Emma Kent rounds up the EGX Rezzed 2018 session on breaking into games journalism, and asks Eurogamer about diversity problems in the industryWritten by Emma Kent on 24th April 2018
News: Star Wars Battlefront II Avoids Joining the Dark Side
Gaming Editor Jack Cooper discusses EA's update to the Star Wars Battlefront II Loot Box system
After receiving criticism from players of the Open Beta, EA have announced in a recent blog post that they will be changing how progression and Crates (the game’s equivalent of Loot Boxes) work in Star Wars Battlefront II. The previous system used Crates as the only way for players to unlock class gear, weapons and Epic Star Cards (incredibly powerful upgrades). This approach faced heavy opposition from many who believed it made the game ‘pay-to-win’ as the easiest way to get Crates, and subsequently the best items, was by paying for them with micro-transactions.
“With this new system, matches will not just be won by the highest bidder
The new system that EA are implementing into the game reflects a much more traditional progression system with most items, weapons and upgrades requiring the players to play the game and complete milestones and missions to unlock. The Epic Star Cards have also been removed from Crates and, except for those available as pre-order bonuses, will primarily be obtained through crafting - a process that will only be unlocked after a ‘certain Rank’. While it isn’t clear how EA’s changes will impact and affect gameplay and the game’s use of micro-transactions, one thing that is clear is that, with this new system, matches will not just be won by the highest bidder.
With so much controversy currently surrounding loot boxes and micro-transactions, it would be easy to write off EA’s changes to the Star Wars Battlefront II Crate and progression system as a way to reduce player backlash. However, EA frequently uses loot boxes and micro-transactions in their games and the way in which Crates originally worked in Star Wars Battlefront II is no different to how packs currently work in Fifa’s Ultimate Team. Therefore, EA’s decision to change the Star Wars Battlefront II system was because of the response from players of the Open Beta rather than the studio attempting to avoid criticism. The fact that EA have changed their game because of the response from players goes to show the power the gaming community has and is a huge win in the fight against micro-transactions.