Love it or hate it Reddit has become ingrained in internet culture. It’s become a place for direct and indirect interaction with fans that share a similar interest. With gamer culture starting to shift on publishers and developers for the smallest perceived slights it can easily turn into the front lines of a strange new culture war. With lootbox controversy dominating AAA game talks its no surprise that micro-transactions and loot gambling find their way to the top of the front page of the internet. Early this week EA’s community team took to commenting on threads about the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront II and Reddit had no sympathy for the poor souls on the other end of the keyboard. The downvotes came rolling in, pounding the post into dust.
At the time of writing this EA’s defense of an unlockable Darth Vader sits at over 300,000 downvotes while somehow simultaneously accruing 20 Reddit gold. A quick look through previous comments made by the company seem to show a similar pattern. Unfortunately, these discussions have dominated what once was a space reserved for bit arguments, and brand fights. Both “lootbox” and “micro-transaction” taking the place of any good four letter word as an expletive in gamer circles. This batch of downvotes for the latest game in the Star Wars franchise is just another piece of kindling for a fire that’s been raging throughout most of 2017.
While some users defend the usage of the boxes and claim the system has no real effect on the game others claim it’s a slippery slope to a costly full priced games as a service model. Battlefront 2 is set to release on November 17th, just in time for Black Friday and the holiday season rush to reach a fever pitch. Will EA change the finished product before it hits store shelves or will they drive through the model as it stands amid consumer backlash? Only time will tell.
If you want to hear more on NerdLifeTX’s stance on Lootboxes (aka gambling) in gaming make sure to check out the Gaming With Scissors podcast.