After four months of being in limbo on the issue, publisher EA has finally announced that it will remove paid loot boxes from Star Wars Battlefront II. In an official blog post, the publisher announced it would completely revise the progression system for the multiplayer shooter that caused so much controversy during its release in November.
At launch, the game had a $60 price tag and gated off portions of its content behind an obtuse system of credits and loot crates players could purchase for real world money. Before the game came out, fans were complaining on Reddit and EA tried to calm them down and posted a comment that was the most downvoted in Reddit history.
Developer DICE lowered the amount of credits needed to purchase characters such as Darth Vader and EA froze in-game microtransactions entirely, but the damage was already done and Star Wars Battlefront II's loot box scheme gained so much attention, both lawmakers and the mainstream media took notice.
After the game’s release, Hawaii state legislators pushed to ban kids from buying games with microtransactions and loot boxes. They’ve since introduced four bills in Hawaii’s state house and senate that would ban the sale of loot box games to people under 21, and require publishers to label a game if it contains loot boxes and disclose the odds of winning rewards. Lawmakers in Washington state proposed similar legislation. The Electronic Software Ratings Board—the group give age ratings to video games—is going to start tagging every game that contains in-game purchases, not just loot boxes.
After it kicked up all this controversy, EA went silent and mostly just updated Star Wars Battlefront II for balance. This morning it announced it would overhaul the games progression system on March 21 and kill paid loot boxes entirely. It will still have both loot boxes and microtransactions, but both will be for cosmetic items only. Players will only be able to earn items that change how they play by playing the game.