Battlefront 2 and the loot box fiasco

So I’m sure most of you have heard by now that Battlefront 2 has a lot of free to play / pay to win stuff going on in its framework and progression system even though it’s a full priced retail game. IGN and Game Informer, who gave the game a 7 and a 6.5 respectively, loved most of what the game was doing graphically and gameplay-wise (even if the story mode is getting largely panned), but had harsh criticism for the progression model used.

I was curious what people thought about it. For a rather biased synopsis of what has people’s feathers ruffled, here are Jim Sterling’s impressions from a month ago:

As well as a synopsis of more recent events:

DICE did an AMA after a prior explanation became Reddit’s most downvoted comment in history at something like 600,000 down votes. I believe the previous high was somewhere around 30,000.

The AMA was not well received, as the developers dodged questions, said “we’re looking at the data” a lot and basically told people that they’re listening, things will be adjusted and gave no specifics, though it’s not hard to imagine why given how quickly they were likely thrown in to the lions den to try and curb some of the PR EA’s been getting.

So I bring this up because I’m wondering a few things (which is also why I didn’t stick this in an existing Battlefront 2 topic):

-Are you planning to get Battlefront 2?

-What do you think of the game’s progression system, are you okay with it?

-Do you think that loot boxes that can be paid for with real money and can give the player stat boosts and in game progression should be considered gambling by the ESRB?

-Do you think that this is all a lot of internet rage over nothing, or do you think the system DICE has put in here (almost assuredly at EA’s behest) is predatory to such an extent as to be a tipping point in the conversation over F2P / P2W models infiltrating full priced retail games? In other words, do you think the anger is justified?


I was with some friends yesterday and I heard them saying something like “I have to play more than 3000 hours to progress in the game” or something like “the game cost overall will be like X number (a high one)”.
I was in my own world thinking “nevermind, I’m not interested in that game”.

But if I was, I would probably lost my interest after hearing that, unless I’m a real fan of the saga.
My passion about current gaming is extinguishing every year, I have no idea why but this news doesn’t help.

Apart from the new Ori game and maybe some indies and sagas I care about (including my beloved KI) there’s nothing so far that gives me hype. If it would you would totally tell


I had planned on at least getting it for Christams but now I dont want it. I would only play the story anyway so I might just rent it fro that reason. I dont like BF online due to its so unfair for a causal player.
BF1 was ■■■■… and I couldnt stand playing on line. 1 shot and Im dead… F that.


Freemium purchases are being streamlined into AAA titles due to their success in app games, but the difference is, app games are free initially where these are not. For Battlefront 2 to allow or almost have mandatory in game purchases is just insane honestly. In order to even play it you need to shell a lot of money. Console, Internet, Playstation Plus and then Finally your game. Minimum 350-400 up front before the in game purchases come up. Where most people already have smart phones or tablets. To start a freemium game, you just download it, done. It uses data you’re already paying for for alternative purposes, it isn’t an exclusive service. Micro transactions in games, should be cosmetic for the most part and not required. Stat altering or pay to win scenarios only doom games from long lives. People want to buy a game, then customize it. Not buy the game, and keep buying the game.


I wasn’t planning on buying it personally especially since the first game felt like a quarter of a complete game though the campaign of BF2 looks interesting. The loot box system they have in place just encourages a bad micro transaction practice. I feel the best way to go about a loot box system would be like Halo 5s Req system in that there wouldn’t be duplicate items and any unlockables would cosmetic.

I honestly think the hate is justified. EA knew what they were doing before hand, it wasn’t until people did the math to figure out how ridiculous the amount of time and/or money is required to actually unlock most if not all the items in the game as well as an unfair boost to those who buy them with real money. Overall I’m glad I dodged a bullet with this one. Also they just announced that they will be removing all paid micro transactions until a later time due to fan backlash.

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Basically sums up my thoughts on this:

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Yeah this seems a bit gross to me. After trying to pull this crap in the first place, they now want potential buyers to take it on faith that micro transactions will return in a way that’s not so punitive at some point? Yeah okay, EA lol.

I might still be okay with that if they put out a press release actually outlining what they were going to change. I’m not asking for “we’re going to reduce X by 18.947% on this exact day,” but stuff like removing that insane credit cap for single day arcade play throughs, making loot crates cosmetics only… Again, I’m not asking for them to have this fixed and ready to go today as the game launches. But without something resembling a road map of sorts, it just feels like another hollow gesture to make it seem like they’re listening and get some good PR as the game drops.

Maybe that’s a bit cynical on my part, but when it comes to EA and specifically this series so far, I think the cynicism is more than warranted.

For my part, I will absolutely buy this game if they remove the arcade cap and completely separate progression from the loot crate system. They also need to adjust the grind, for sure. But if they don’t want to do that stuff, I’ll just skip it. I don’t want to. I hated skipping BF1, but I did because it didn’t have what I wanted in a SW game. If they want to release a game that’s going to try and bleed me dry in order to get stuff and have fun, then I’ll skip this too.

As for my gambling question earlier, I honestly do think it’s a form of gambling. Paying for a crate with an uncertain reward in hopes of getting a desirable result is essentially gambling. The ESRB’s weak excuse of “well you pay for something and you get something” doesn’t hold up (to me) when there are very clear lines for individual players between winning a loot crate bet and losing one. It only gets worse when you’re talking about paying to advance in the game.

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I’m not sure why I’m so outside the norm on this issue. I bought the deluxe $100 version of battlefront II and I’m not seeing anything in it that I would describe as “pay to win.” I haven’t bought any loot boxes (which you can buy with the admittedly anemic money system in the game), and I don’t plan to. And when I get killed by someone (which is often) I’d be hella surprised if it had anything to do with the cards they use. The cards and modifiers in the game are simply not that powerful and you can have success in the game without them. You are competing in teams of 20 people - it’s not like a 1v1 Fighter.

Maybe if you are the guy planning to be number one on the leader boards these things matter to you. But then, wouldn’t you be spending thousands of hours playing the game anyway? There are a few options in the system for this game that I think are way better and more fair than the first game. I’m just not seeing any problem with this.

As a result of all the usual whining, they have taken out the option of buying loot boxes and left the same grind that was there before. I don’t know who that helps, besides people who can’t control their impulse purchases. But whatever - I never plan to spend a single penny on random loot boxes so it makes no difference to me.

C’mon man, players speaking up against a system that they believe is punitive is “whining?” Can’t say I agree with that, Andy. Not by a long shot. Yes, gamers can be whiny at times, no question, but I don’t think that this is one of those times.

Redditors estimated that unlocking everything in the game would require 4,528 hours or $2,100. If you don’t think that’s punitive, that’s fine. EA seems to think those numbers are high based on their own data, so who knows. Of course, they also called playing arcade mode (aka playing the game) a potential “exploit” for the multiplayer in the AMA, which I couldn’t help but bristle at, so it’s almost kinda hard to tell what’s emergency spin and what’s real talk.

Regardless, in addition to those numbers, I mean, if you have no problem with them putting a cap on the amount of credits you can earn from playing arcade mode in a single day, then that’s your opinion and you’re more than entitled to it. As someone that really only wants the game for it’s single player, it still kinda feels off. Same goes for lowering the prices on some of the highest tier items while also lowering the credit reward for beating arcade mode aka one of those solutions that not a solution like temporarily not allowing people to buy their way through the massive grind.

So to me, people that disagree with what EA’s doing here aren’t whining. Well, most of them aren’t. Additionally, some are making death threats which is awful and I don’t support that in the least. But personally, I think they’re pushing a lot of free to play / pay to win mechanics in this game and a lot of reviewers seem to be of that mind as well.

Obviously a lot of people thinking something doesn’t make it a fact, and if you’re having fun with the game, that’s great. I’m personally just glad that a lot of people are speaking up about the issues they have with the game and I’m hoping that EA will listen and properly adjust the game. I’d rather see something like this happen then have a situation where publishers watch fans take it and feel emboldened to keep pushing the mobile market progression system envelope even further in their full priced games. I’m sure we’ll still see that, but some push back is certainly nice.


im not buying it, stayin away from this dumpster fire


Ill rent it to play the story mode and thats it.

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Yes. Yes it is. Please open up a newspaper or a news website and read it for 15 seconds. Then come back here and tell me that a bunch of grown ■■■ men complaining about the unlock structure for a video game isn’t “whining.” And if more people would recognize that it’s whining about trivia - even if the complaints are valid, you would see less psychopaths feeling emboldened to harass and intimidate developers with death threats. In my opinion, the elevation of every minor nuisance and irritation into THE END OF THE WORLD is a lot more likely to cause the fall of western civilization than EA’s micro transactions.

Since you asked for people’s thought about the situation and then felt it necessary to rebut mine, I’d like to go ahead and unpack some of the unstated assumptions and viewpoints that I think are contributing to unnecessary drama.

First, “Redditors” are not experts in anything and I’m tired of seeing them cited as a source. Any ■■■■■■■ can say anything they want on Reddit. But let’s just say they are right. There’s two false assumptions here. The first is that you are expected to unlock everything. I still haven’t unlocked everything at Battlefront 1. I don’t expect to unlock everything at Battlefront 2. So these numbers are meaningless. If people are really so obsessive compulsive that they have to unlock everything in the game then they have bigger problems to deal with in life than this (see “whining” above). The second is that the stuff you are unlocking gives you an unfair advantage in the game. Because the unlockables in Battlefront 2 do affect your power this is worth thinking about. But the highest level grenade powerup you can get (which I have as a preorder bonus) increases damage (or radius I can’t remember) by 30%. Substantial, sure but hardly “holy ■■■■ how could anyone without that grenade possibly compete!” The loot drops are random but if you want or need a particular card for collection you can actually build it. So for people realistically playing their preferred class in their preferred playstyle the idea of getting the benefits of higher level unlocks is a much lower bar.

This made me laugh because it is the heart of the problem. For the record, I think this is a big blunder on EAs part but it’s not an error of greed it’s an error of perspective. To them, Battlefront is a competetive multiplayer experience first and foremost and everything else is just bells and whistles. In addition to making a ■■■■ ton of money, they want to encourage people to play in the multiplayer environment and to KEEP playing in that environment so they pull in their friends, buy the next expansion etc. So if you think of it that way, the ability to grind out all the bonuses in a non-competetive (easier) environment IS an exploit. And they aren’t wrong. It’s a faster easier way to unlock stuff that works around the developers intention of having you devote your life to competetive multiplayer. If that’s not an exploit I don’t know what is. But players have a different viewpoint. They see the single player as a part of the experience and view a cap in their ability to grind stuff out in arcade mode as a channel to force them to buy stuff. They aren’t wrong either. But it’s a difference in perspective.

As an aside, if all you want is to play single player then you aren’t interested in most of these unlocks anyway.

As far as gamers “taking it,” this is part of the “viva la revolucion” rhetoric that gets thrown around in the internet to try to get people upset about things that they aren’t upset about. I bought a game. I opened it up and I’m playing it and it does everything it was supposed to do and is fun to boot. I’m not “taking it,” or “supporting these business practices.” I’m not buying any loot crates remember? Look, I’m not here to sell anyone on Battlefront 2. But if you look at what you get out if the box for $60 in this game compared to lots of other games it’s a LOT. Lots of modes lots of options and plenty of ways to play. If a bunch of nerds want to rage over how hard it is to get Han Solo’s blaster this time around that’s fine. But have a little perspective. My son runs home from school everyday to play this before his homework and doesn’t spend a moment think about the unlocks he doesn’t have. He thinks it’s the greatest thing ever invented. His viewpoint isn’t more valuable than anyone else’s but people need a little perspective.

In addition there is a ton of disjointed misinformation spreading across the internet about the game. It’s a concerted campaign by a small group of people who want faster competetive unlocks to manipulate people who actually don’t give a ■■■■ into an internet rage and pressure EA to give them what they want.

Anyway I’d love to chat about this for another hour but if I don’t get two more project budgets done today I’m going to be working Thanksgiving. Your a thoughtful guy and I will read your response but don’t be surprised or offended if I can’t respond right away.

I don’t agree with that at all. The fact that worse things exist in the world isn’t an excuse to just let everything else slide. I’m not a fan of whataboutism.

Most people with a working brain in their skulls know that this isn’t a life or death issue of maximum importance. However, it’s a game that has some issues and people have every right to be frustrated over those issues. The fact that the world sucks right now doesn’t negate that one bit.

You’re looking at the volume of anger and the worst of it and apparently determining that everyone thinks the sky is falling. I haven’t personally seen anyone calling for a consumer revolt here. People are just ■■■■■■ at some of this stuff and they’re letting their frustration be known publically, which is rather responsible way of communicating dissatisfaction to the developer and publisher.

Do I think it’s okay to harass them or threaten them? Absolutely not.

Yeah I asked what people thought. Obviously I have my own opinion. I’m not trying to disprove yours though. I thought we were just going to have a conversation. When has that ever been a problem for us? I feel like I tried to bend over backwards to validate your opinion and your right to it, but I don’t have to agree with it, do I?

Okay, but completionists might care about those numbers. Also, wouldn’t those numbers, if true, give people an indication that the grind, in general, is just way off regardless of whether they intend to get everything or not?

Well, I wasn’t planning to, but this still seems a bit judgmental. Lotta Star Wars fans out there and a lot of the like the series a lot. I don’t think it’s crazy to assume that some people would like to get as much as they can. But whatever, now I’m just nitpicking.

Yeah, but that’s one grenade. If you’re evenly matched with someone and they’ve been spending hundreds of dollars or even less, is it safe to say that they might have an advantage over you? Are you okay with people being able to purchase such an advantage, even if it’s horribly unbalanced, but just a little?

Like what if KI allowed people to purchase buffs for their characters with real money. Like Glacius is completely invulnerable when he does his puddle punch and his hail does 30% more damage and well, let’s say someone spent $300 because they REALLY like this game and they really like Glacius and you get matched up with that person. Do you think that’s a fair fight, or a good progression system if, say, they were able to get all these buffs in minutes while it might take someone months of grinding to get items like that?

Okay, I can definitely see both perspectives more and I understand the other side better now. I’d still say that it’s a problem in the sense that it still shafts people that prefer single player, so maybe the progression system should be split between the two in a way that allows people to expand in both in a way that doesn’t make the single player so exploitative for the multiplayer side, but maybe they just thought it was easier to put a cap on and that was their solution.

I still think what they wound up doing sucks for at least a portion of fans and I hope they’ll change it so that both sides can play the game the way they want without one side being used to exploit the other, but I definitely see a bit more why they went this route, so thanks! I appreciate it.

Look, I’ve never told anyone else not to buy this game. I’m also not trying to raise a groundswell of anger on a board that EA will almost assuredly never see. I just wanted to have a conversation about what’s happening with this game, what people think about the issues that have been brought up, what people think about F2P stuff in full priced games, etc because I do think it’s a bit bigger then simply buying a game, playing it and enjoying it. I think there are some legit issues here.

That said, I don’t think that buying the game is supporting the business practices. It’s Star Wars, it’s going to sell and most will buy it and not purchase a single crate. But if people that have a problem with some of these business practices, those trying to do as much in the game as possible, feel like they’re being actively steered toward using real money, then they should absolutely speak up, preferably in a constructive, responsible way, and tell the publisher that they feel like the progression system is predatory if that’s what they think is happening.

I don’t see any shame in that, just as I don’t see any shame in people not being bothered by the system and buying it and enjoying it. There’s no “with us or against us” sentiment happening here, at least not as far as I’m concerned.

And you need a little perspective with regards to the fact that some people aren’t like your son. Some people are completionists, some people love Star Wars and want to collect as much as they can and if that makes them nerds or people with problems or people that have no perspective to you, then I think they can live with that because they’ve probably been told stuff like that their whole lives.

Some people are mad about how certain aspects of this game turned out and some are not. Both sides are okay in that as far as I’m concerned. I think that I have some valid opinions here and I think you do too. For the record, I’m not a massive Star Wars fan. I like the movies and I was looking forward to this game, so after reading the reviews and reading a lot of comments and watching some videos and what not, I felt that I had enough information to form a relatively malleable opinion. I think it’s okay that others formed opinions as well and wanted to talk about this and share their opinion and tell EA that some of what they did in this game went too far. But if you disagree with them, or us, or whatever, then that’s fine too.

I’m curious what information you’re referring to. I’ll certainly concede that I didn’t fact check the redditors that reported on those times. But other than that, a vast majority of information I’ve found comes from GameInformer, IGN (specifically the people that reviewed the game) as well as others that have played it.

I haven’t played it and I’m going to hold off on buying it until I see how these systems shake out, but that’s just me.

No problem, man! Good luck on your project budgets. Sorry if I came off a bit terse in any of my responses here. I think that there are some important issues at play involving microtranactions and full priced games and think BF2 is really shining a light on a lot of them, for better or worse, so I think this is a conversation that needs to be had in games and I personally enjoy talking about it, learning more, and what not. I’ll be curious to see where this ultimately ends up.


the EA dev claiming death threats…wasnt an EA dev. he was a poser

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Though that is pretty damn scummy I can almost guarantee you that there are plenty of stupid people who have already sent them death threats.


Yeah, I read about the fake account that was outed, but I’d honestly be surprised if at least some EA and DICE people weren’t getting harassed, abused or threatened online by so-called fans.

I’m just taking a ten minute break here so forgive me for not pulling out quotes and doing the point by point analysis. Your comments are thoughtful and appreciated as always.

  1. It’s still whining. It’s complaining about something trivial with more energy than it deserves. I whine about lots of stuff so it’s not intended to be as insulting as I think you are taking it. But we don’t really need to debate the finer points of the definition of whining.
  2. People are free to complain about whatever they like and give the developers whatever feedback they like. It’s the disproportionate level of hysteria that bugs me. People are campaigning hard against the game as if it was the devil.
  3. It’s misinformation to say the game is pay to win. As pointed out by your redditors it would be insane to spend the kind of money required to get everything - and getting everything isn’t a big competetive advantage. If you know what’s good in the game you are better off building it than going for it at random. It’s not “give us ten bucks for the golden gun.”
  4. My Twitter feed is full of people saying stuff like “so glad I didn’t preorder Battlefront because of the ■■■■ EA pulled. Ruined this game Pay2Win!!” Most of these guys couldn’t describe the loot system in the game if you asked them. They heard it was pay 2 win on some message board and they are just repeating it. It’s all bandwagon. It’s just like the launch of the Xbox - valid complaints snowballing into pitchforks and torches. Meanwhile other games have similar systems and no one gives a ■■■■. Take a look at the microtransaction system in KI shadowlords for example.
  5. For completionists they should be just as pissed about the last game. That thing had grindy ■■■■ galore. If you are a completionists Battlefront 2 is not any worse than lots of other games. I have cumulatively THOUSANDS of hours of Monster Hunter time under my belt and I haven’t unlocked every weapon and armor set in a single one of those games. If you are freaked out about Battlefront 2 don’t go anywhere near MonsterHunter. If you want to come back with “that’s different, MH doesn’t let you pay real money for stuff - you HAVE to grind for it,” then I would suggest that your issue is something other than completionism.
  6. Everyone should be more like my son. He’s awesome.

I think I a lot of this campaigning is driven by weird social ideas in the social media era. The populists on Twitter are going to show evil corporation EA that they aren’t going to take it any more. But what will happen is that the evil executives at EA will move over to Activision and the artists and programmers who put a lot of effort into Battlefront (which looks amazing and plays great imho) will get laid off. Yay. Meanwhile we are all complaining elsewhere that Disney is cancelling Marvel Heroes. But how many of us (including me) played that free 2 play game like crazy and never paid a dime to Gazillion? I feel way Worse about failing to support the developer of that very decent and fun game than I do about buying Battlefront 2.


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Star Wars Battlefront 2 has got to be the most consumer unfriendly game I have ever seen. The core of the game is just random progression with no actual REWARDING in it. This game deserves every bit of bad press it’s getting. EA is not evil, but I’ll be damned if they aren’t the scummiest gaming company out there.

I don’t mean any disrespect when saying any of this, but I have some things I’d like to note.

I dont know what social circles you’ve been looking at, but people have been annoyed by this sort of thing (especially from EA) for quite a long time. EA has been the center of the debate against micro-transactions for nearly a decade now at least. Micropayments (and abundance of planned/DayOne DLC for games that lack a meaty amount of content, but focus has shifted as of late) have been a pretty wide spread grievance since the last console generation.

The furthest back I can remember is The Sims 3, when several of the features included in the base game were locked behind paid DLC. Having a dog in the Sims 3 will cost you an extra $20, for example. That was in 2009.

The same thing happened when they rebooted Dungeon Keeper as a freemium mobile game, taking a classic base building strategy game that people had been wanting a remake of and replacing the strategy with grind and more microtransactions.

Not to mention that EA, Ubisoft, and Activision all were already associated with one of the biggest grievances a lot of gamers have had: the "new installment of this franchise every year with slightly improved graphics and a few new weapons and maps that still play basically identical to the last one franchises like all of the EA Sports titles (or indeed Battlefield).

Plus there were a lot of people I who were already dissatisfied with the first Battlefront reboot. Though most of that was because it had no real single player outside of survival mode.

I think Battlefront 2 is simply the straw that broke the camel’s back. Like how ET for the Atari helped lead to the Great Video Game Crash: it wasn’t necessarily because ET 2600 was a bad game (it was ■■■■■■■ horrendous though). It was a game that got a lot of consumers fed up with the blatant anti-consumer practices at the time of over priced games that lack for content and/or quality

Besides, think about it. It may not necessarily be pay to win to include the microtransactions for unlocks, but you bet your bottom dollar they’ve balanced their game’s leveling to encourage sales. “Gee, sure is a long grind to unlock that thing you want. Why not speed it up?” Lots of games do this, including KI.

TL;DR- EA has been at this for a while. Even if PayUpFront 2 (sorry, couldn’t resist the joke. And I need a way to differentiate it from the old Battlefront 2 in my head) isn’t the most anti-consumer thing in the world, EA’s track record combined with a growing industry trend of loot boxes and such have been causing growing unrest. It’s not so much simply a matter of “I don’t like this game because of microtransactions and loot boxes”, it’s “I don’t want this to become the industry standard to make an already expensive pastime potentially even more egregiously expensive because i dont the industry for my favorite hobby to collapse under its own weight again.”

Hopefully I didn’t get too ranty. Sorry if i did :sweat_smile:

Edit: I have the worst auto correct in the world. ■■■■. I had to fix a lot of really weird errors in that


This isn’t ranty at all. Sometimes I know my messages seem angrier than I intend. Too much love for a good story and strong rhetoric. But to be clear, I am not bent out of shape about this at all. Now that I’m home and in front of a keyboard, I can respond to a couple of things in your post (since apparently I’m the guy who pulled the short straw and has to argue in favor of DLC…)

All true. And I admit I have some baggage here. I think a lot of the grievance for DLC comes from people who know they have lost the battle but can’t admit it. And I think the games that are targets of the most rage are chosen rather unfairly. I really liked the game Evolve. It was flawed in execution, but it was a fantastic concept and I really dig multiplayer and asynchrounous multiplayer games. But Evolve was torpedoed out of the gate by (in my opinion) an unfair ■■■■ storm of complaints because it had… wait for it… a DAY ONE SEASON PASS (dum dum dum!!!). Flash forward two years and every game in existence has a day one season pass. Did the campaign against Evolve do anything to end the “greedy and anti-consumer practice” of day one season passes? Nope. It just killed Evolve. In the meanwhile, the unintended casualty of Evolve is that no one is interested in investing in asynchronous multiplayer games anymore. I’m certain the Evolve fiasco contributed to the demise of Fable Legends in a MS boardroom and I really wanted to play that game.

I think people’s concerted efforts to “fix” things in the industry through angry campaigns always end up doing more collateral damage than actually “fixing” any thing. You may disagree and that’s fine.

A couple of things about that. No one waged a campaign against video games in 1983. People got bored and stopped buying things in an oversaturated market. I remember because I was there. The last game my family bought was a ■■■■■■ broken port of Congo Bongo that never worked right. We didn’t buy another video game for years. We kept playing Pac Man and Donkey Kong and didn’t even realize the NES was a thing until 1987. The novelty wore off and, like Tamogatchi, they just stopped buying junk. I think that’s great. It was completely spontaneous, and it’s the best thing that could have happened to the industry (ultimately). If that’s what was happening with Battlefront 2 that wouldn’t bother me. But that isn’t what’s happening. People are waging a concerted campaign to convince other people not to buy it or play it. In doing that I think they are mischaracterizing the game.

As an aside I hate the phrase “anti-consumer.” I think it sets up a false antagonism between producers and consumers of things. If I go to the store to buy bread I’m not in an antagonistic relationship with my baker. People need to understand that game developers and producers are our partners in having a hobby. Without them we don’t have games. Without our support they don’t have money. It’s a symbiotic relationship. So just like developers should be careful to not take gamers for granted, gamers need to be careful not to take developers and publishers for granted.

This is a great case in point. This has been true for ages and ages, but what are the best selling games every year? Madden and Call of Duty. Every single year. Except when GTA releases and GTA V has been in the top ten sales bracket every year since it released. The point is what people online SAY they hate, clearly the actual population doesn’t care about and just buys. The best selling game on PS4 and Xbox One at launch? CoD. No exclusive came anywhere close to it. People upgraded to current gen systems to play last years game with better graphics. Now you can blame EA and Activision if you want to. But I think they would be absolutely insane not to supply what the customer is willing to pay for. If they didn’t do it, someone else would.

Personally, I choose to NOT BUY THESE GAMES. I actually like Madden Football. But I buy it once every ten years or so. I haven’t purchased an Xbox One version yet. I exercise my purchasing power in the hope that they will make better more varied games. But when 10 million people buy Madden every year I don’t go online and rail at how EA sucks. It’s democracy in action. The people have spoken. They want to rebuy the same Madden every year. What is everyone so angry about? EDIT: Just to show how true this is - how many “retro” games have we all re-purchased? Half of the games on my xbox one are games that I already owned on older systems and I re-bought just to play on the new box. When people do that we don’t say they are insane or supporting unfair or unhealthy business practices. We just figure they like the game. And these are literally the exact same game - without even the proverbial new weapons and modified maps.

I think this is the motivation for a lot of people, and I don’t want to pick on you. It’s very intuitive to feel this way. But I have to tell you, the facts simply don’t support this way of thinking. Gaming has never been better, with a wider install base and this much variety, nor has it ever been this relatively cheap. A SNES cost $250 and games cost roughly the same they do now. You can get an Xbox One S for less than that, plus a huge catalog of discounted games. Even better, we have the kind of independent developer scene that people could only dream about in the 90’s. Go back in time to 1992 and see if you could find an independently developed SNES game. You can get CupHead for $20. It just won GOTY. Ori and the Blind Forest. $20. We aren’t even getting into Steam. There’s more games in the world than anyone could possibly play. And many of them are dirt cheap. Microtransactions are not a way of making games more expensive. They are an attempt to capture more of the dollars that gamers are spending because there is SO MUCH competition in the gaming space. It’s like black Friday sales. The point is not to sell you cheap stuff. It’s to get you to spend your money in my store first - otherwise you will go spend it somewhere else.

I’m sorry this is such a long post. But I feel like people are thinking about these things in the wrong way and it has negative consequences for the hobby. And they are also making themselves miserable when they could simply choose a different perspective and actually enjoy gaming. What grates on me is that what people really want are cheap, AAA games that they get on launch day for unrealistically low prices with huge amounts of content. It’s not realistic. I am happy to buy Battlefront 2 at launch for $100 to get the season pass so that a year from now someone who is more budget conscious can get the same content for $40 (or $20). I’m not happy to pay for loot boxes. SO I DON’T. Do I think this will get rid of loot boxes. No way. But I don’t think killing fun games with internet campaigns is a good answer to this. My plea to everyone upset with EA is go buy a game you like instead. And be happy. And don’t worry about what EA is doing with Battlefront 2. But if what I suspect is really happening is people are just covetous of something they can’t have/afford. Life is filled with things I can’t have or afford. Being angry at other people for having them or producers for not making them cheap enough for me only leads to bad things.