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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by CRTGAMER Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:33 am

Star Wars Battlefront II has gotten a lot of fire from fans, will be interesting to see how it plays out.

Tom Phillips wrote:http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-11-20-lucasfilm-reacts-to-star-wars-battlefront-2-loot-crate-controversy

Lucasfilm has weighed in with its reaction to the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crate controversy.

A Lucasfilm spokesperson said the production company supported EA's decision to withdraw (for now) the ability to spend money in-game. "Star Wars has always been about the fans," Lucasfilm stated, "and whether it's Battlefront or any other Star Wars experience, they come first. "That's why we support EA's decision to temporarily remove in-game payments to address fan concerns."

Star Wars is, of course, gearing up for the launch of its next big blockbuster episode. The Last Jedi opens in UK cinemas on 14th December, and Battlefront 2 has been designed as part of that big marketing push. The game has a big free update due to hit alongside the film, as well as featuring characters and locales from the story so far. Anything to jeopardize Disney's launch of the potentially billion dollar-making film would surely set execs on edge.

This morning, we learned the number of Battlefront 2 boxed copies sold at launch was down 60 per cent on 2015's Battlefront 1. Some of this difference (optimistically, perhaps as much as 30 per cent) will be made up by the move to digital downloads - but there's simply no way Battlefront 2 will have come close to matching its predecessor's sales, despite being a far bigger package.

Will EA with Disney's backing eventually bring the Loot Crates back? This link offers a better solution:

Robert Purchese wrote:http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-11-17-how-to-fix-star-wars-battlefront-2

As long as you can buy a gameplay advantage it will be wrong. It doesn't work and it won't. Stop farting about, EA, and let DICE rip it out. Don't just lower the senseless unlock fee for heroes like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker - remove it. I genuinely love your Heroes vs. Villains mode, but only having half the roster available because you need credits to unlock the others is ridiculous. This is Star Wars - you picked it! - and playing as those heroes is the fantasy. It's why people spend £50 on your game. Don't abuse our enthusiasm.

Meanwhile, reduce loot crates to cosmetic items. If you have to have them, make their contents superficial and optional. There's a mountain of Star Wars inspiration to draw on! I understand this is complicated by Disney, the strict owner of Star Wars, which needs to approve every detail, but again, you picked Star Wars - if you want to make more money out of us, deal with it.

Why not budget against the £50 we're paying for the game and then, months down the line, start talking about us funding ongoing development with some paid content? And don't waggle free Season Pass content at us - lovely as it is - as justification for your insidious loot crates, because yours isn't a free-to-play game, and even by those standards your system stinks. There's a reason those games dodge pay-to-win associations like the plague.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by Reprise Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:58 am

Yeah, Eurogamer's response was pretty comprehensive and is a good way to resolve the issue.

I still stand by my opinion that the issue is being somewhat overblown though. Controversy and drama sells...

I don't understand why they thought it would be acceptable to replace paid DLC with this loot crate rubbish though? What were EA thinking? Still, the second they announced that DLC in Battlefront 2 would be free and there would be no season pass, I just knew they'd be introducing microtransactions.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by marurun Wed Nov 22, 2017 11:30 am

I have read that one of the higher-ups at Disney was getting VERY unhappy with the bad press over this being linked to Star Wars and contacted EA to tell them to FIX THIS SHIT.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by Gunstar Green Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:20 pm

marurun wrote:I have read that one of the higher-ups at Disney was getting VERY unhappy with the bad press over this being linked to Star Wars and contacted EA to tell them to FIX THIS SHIT.


I was wondering how long before Disney gave them a slap. They're very protective of their IPs and Star Wars is currently their biggest.

Now I'm left wondering if they got similar shit for Star Wars the Old Republic which has also started with a loot box system and had a really bad year with both its story content and game content with a high rate of players unsubscribing to the point where they've had to do major server mergers.

Then all of a sudden they've got extremely popular Star Wars author Timothy Zahn on board as a consultant for a new story about the Chiss. Especially interesting because SWTOR is the only continuing product still taking place in the "Legends" timeline.

That's not relevant to the discussion I just think it's interesting if true that Disney is getting more involved with the way the games are perceived.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by BogusMeatFactory Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:43 pm

Here is the real problem. The Lootboxes you purchase can include star cards for heroes you have not unlocked. The reward is not always applicable to things you currently can access. Spend 5 bucks on some loot boxes to beef up your hero you currently have access to and find out that all of your rewards were for heroes you do not own.

It is a pay to win scenario because the main bulk of star cards to upgrade your main classes are damage reduction, damage increases etc. Well... it's not pay to win currently because they have disabled their microtransactions currently.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by Anayo Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:46 pm

Isn't gambling when you play a game of chance in order to win money? Gamers aren't trying score cash prizes on a roulette wheel or a horse race. They're paying to play a game of chance to obtain virtual items that will help them in an online multiplayer game of skill. At no point in this process can you redeem anything for real-life money.

I feel like gamers want to call loot crates "gambling" just because legislators are old people who don't understand video games or technology and throwing around certain push-button buzzwords are the only way to get through to them. I agree that "pay to win" is reprehensible game design, but it's throwing around terminology that doesn't describe what's actually taking place. By that logic they should outlaw physical booster packs for collectible trading card games.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by isiolia Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:56 pm

Could also be because that's what has served to reign in similar schemes before. Japan made certain gacha game models illegal back in 2012 or so, based on the similarity to gambling.

In that case, it was more the "complete gacha" setups where you'd combine a bunch of already-rare items for an effectively even rarer item. Even then, the model has continued, just with stated chances and not crossing certain lines. I don't disagree that there are other, similar things - CCG packs, or the vending machines/blind boxes that gacha games are named from that aren't really regulated. Though, with physical merchandise, there'd also tend to be other ways to get the item/set if you wanted to. Maybe more expensive than randomly getting it, but possible.

Either way, gambling can refer to more than just money. It's probably just more a matter of what's actually subject to regulation. So, if parallels can be drawn, that'd prompt some consumer protection intervention I guess.

I think it'd be quite preferable to not have things come to that though, since it can result in long-lived laws that make no sense.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by CRTGAMER Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:12 pm

Great comments!

Gambling of getting a bigger return cash does not equate the loot boxes in games. One is not expecting a larger monetary return, but then there is that "gacha" prize gambling tease of the additional charge after the initial purchase of the game. Do both tease with gains to pull additional money from the consumer?

isiolia wrote:I think it'd be quite preferable to not have things come to that though, since it can result in long-lived laws that make no sense.

Interesting take in the link, laws also were proposed for Arcades in certain cities. Reading the article reminds me of the Pachinko Parlors in Japan which have controls similar to the original "cabinets" in that article. That bonus play when a high score achieved, the line of quarters on the glass is it gambling? I think this also became an issue on the ticket voucher games at ChuckECheese; a perceived gambling for kids? :?
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by isiolia Tue Nov 28, 2017 5:41 pm

The little wikipedia article for complete gacha spells out the full Japanese law that hit gacha games as Law for Preventing Unjustifiable Extras or Unexpected Benefit and Misleading Representation. So, perhaps it's less that it's gambling in hopes of getting cash back, but having a similar kind of unlikely return on "investment". It can take an inordinate amount of money spent to get the thing being held up as a goal, which may not be clear from the outset.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by BogusMeatFactory Tue Nov 28, 2017 6:16 pm

I recommend people read here about gambling addiction. Earning money isn't the real impetus for why a person gambles. The zeitgeist of being the first in the gate in a video game is a compelling one. Mix that with the anxiety of competition and having to play more and more to stay ahead of the game and have that advantage. By making purchasable bonuses to keep you ahead of the game can serve two purposes. It can encourage a person to buy because you see another person performing well and you feel you NEED to buy to compete against or to do as well as them. It is that environment of not knowing if another person is using purchased buffs that pushes people to want to buy it. How many times gas a person lost and blamed it on some obtuse reason? Now they have another one that they can control by spending money.

The visual and auditory methods are what we see in most electronic gambling games like slot machines. These encourage and excite a player. People need to realize that even though this isn't directly gambling, it creates the same psychological impact as gambling and can negatively impact people and their lives.
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