The latest major 'Star Wars' game finally dropped its most controversial aspect — but it may be too late
- Nearly six months after launch, "Star Wars Battlefront 2" is finally addressing its controversial "loot box" system.
- After an update scheduled for March 21, virtual prize boxes in "Battlefront 2" will only contain "credits or cosmetic items, such as emotes or victory poses, but nothing that impacts gameplay."
- When it launched in late 2017, "Battlefront 2" became the most egregious example of an ongoing trend where paid video games charged players extra money for so-called "loot boxes."
The latest major "Star Wars" game is gorgeous and fun to play. It's got the Millennium Falcon and Chewbacca and story content that fills in gaps between major "Star Wars" movies. On paper, it's the perfect game for "Star Wars" fans.
Despite this, "Star Wars Battlefront 2" has been largely forgotten after running into major controversy around its launch in late 2017.
It was the latest example of an ongoing trend in gaming — "Battlefront 2" had a paid loot box system that many players found reprehensible.
Here's how it worked: Players were able to buy in-game currency ("crystals") to pay for in-game loot boxes. These boxes contain a random smattering of items for use in the game, from character enhancements to other forms of in-game currency.
What people took issue with were the character enhancements. By putting items in the loot boxes that affected gameplay, the game's developers tipped the scales in favour of people willing to spend more money, known among gaming fans as "pay to win."
On March 21 — nearly six months after launching on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC — "Star Wars Battlefront 2" plans to fundamentally change how its loot boxes work.
Here's the full text straight from EA ("crates" are loot boxes):
"Crates no longer include Star Cards and cannot be purchased. Crates are earned by logging in daily, completing Milestones, and through timed challenges. Inside of these crates, you'll find Credits or cosmetic items, such as emotes or victory poses, but nothing that impacts gameplay."
This isn't the first change EA's made to loot boxes in "Battlefront 2," but it's the most meaningful change — EA is outright scrapping the concept of paying for loot boxes in "Battlefront 2."
Moreover, loot boxes no longer contain items that potentially impact gameplay. At the heart of player complaints about loot boxes isn't just the concept of paying for loot boxes, but the concept of paying for loot boxes that could offer an unfair advantage in-game.
But for fans of the game and the Star Wars franchise, is this move too little, too late? That remains to be seen, but given the time between launch and this fix, things don't look great.
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