Not that we side with shareholders, or a profit-driven economy where even the slightest slip in growth is considered failure of the highest order, but it's surprising to see just how wide and far the loot box controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II has been carried. With CNBC reporting
$3 billion in EA stock has been "wiped out".
Based purely on declining sales of Star Wars Battlefront II.
Not that opening an article with "Electronic Arts' shareholders are running for the hills this month and for good reason" is good reporting, but it solidifies the micro-transaction controversy surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II as one of the biggest gaming stories of the year. And something that has been picked up by the mainstream media. For what was supposed to be a return to form for EA and DICE after the lackluster launches of both Mass Effect Andromeda and Need for Speed Payback.
According to the report EA stock is down 8.5 percent following a drop in expected sales for the quarter, with the conclusion being that it's all due to that Star Wars game. Where pay-to-win micro-transactions and an in-game economy offered players the choice between spending extra money to unlock improved abilities or spend thousands of hours grinding. Naturally, the reaction was swift and all encompassing. As per our review, it represented only part of the game's overall problems.
Still, with in-game currency sales currently offline the plan for EA is most likely to wait until the heat dies down before re-starting the process. And for those championing Disney as the reason why change is afoot, bear in mind that the micro-transaction systems implemented in Star Wars battlefront II are all over Disney free-to-play mobile titles. And with Electronic Arts shares still up 39 percent this year, there's a good chance that we haven't seen the end of loot crates.