After the massive controversy surrounding loot boxes in Star Wars Battlefront II last fall, their inclusion has become a huge point of contention for many. That being said, when speaking with GamesInudstry.biz at Gamelab Barcelona, EA Sports Vice President Daryl Holt stated that “Our model is sustainable.” when discussing the implementation of loot boxes in EA Sports titles.
While distaste surrounding loot boxes hit a boiling point with Star Wars Battlefront II, forms of loot boxes and microtransactions have been present in EA Sports games for years, mainly in each title’s Ultimate Team mode. During that interview, Daryl Holt claims that EA Sports is still following a “player-first mantra” and that players are “given the choice on how they want to compete.”
He also stated that player skill is still very important in these Ultimate Team matches, and that how loot boxes engage players in EA Sports titles is much different than how they did initially in Star Wars Battlefront II:
“It’s a different play model and that’s the aspect you need to lean into when we talk about player choice as part of our player-first mantra. They’re given the choice on how they want to compete.
I can earn things in FIFA Ultimate Team just by playing the game, at whatever tier I want to play at. I can also beat you if you have a better-rated team because I’m better than you at FIFA. I don’t worry about what my rating is as a team… That aspect of choice and how we engage with EA Sports is a very different aspect with how we look at the controversy that came up around Battlefront.”
This discussion is what caused the EA Sports VP to state that the loot box model is EA Sports titles is sustainable. Fortunately, they are taking feedback into account, and are implementing the disclosure of “pack odds” in their fall sports game lineup:
“Our model is sustainable. It’s certainly changed us — in the way it always does in terms of anything you hear from a player or from the industry — in how we all react and adapt to it.
For example the disclosure of pack odds that’s coming to our EA Sports games, so we can see those things and have an understanding around it, and how we communicate and we deal with live service models and how we test things and implement feedback across all of EA.
But for EA Sports and Ultimate Team, the mode is very popular. It works the way it works and provides the players the choice to play the way they want to play, which i think is valuable as long as we make sure it’s fair and isn’t a detriment to that.”
This fall’s EA Sports lineup includes Madden NFL 19, NBA Live 19, NHL 19, and FIFA 19, which will be releasing on August 10, September 7, September 14, and September 28 respectively. All of these titles can currently be pre-ordered on Amazon.
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