While 2017 held a lot of promise for EA, it ultimately didn’t turn out the way both fans and the company likely envisioned. Mass Effect: Andromeda didn’t hit with fans, the company canceled Visceral’s Star Wars project, then shut down the studio, and Star Wars Battlefront 2 became the poster child for loot box and microtransaction controversy. With the shared online game Anthem on the way, EA is making sure to let fans know the company has learned its lesson.
EA’s chief design officer, Patrick Soderlund, recently spoke about the company following the wake of recent controversies. With Anthem, EA’s next major title from BioWare, Soderlund says that the Battlefront 2 situation has forced the company to not only accept what it’s done, but to take a long look at its policies. Part of this has been the implementation of significant steps to review and understand the microtransaction mechanics before going live with them. The company doesn’t plan to make similar mistakes in the future, knowing that actions speak louder than words.
In terms of Battlefront 2, Soderlund revealed that the original idea behind the old progression and microtransaction system was that it was intended more for long term players while also offering EA a way to earn a bit of profit on it in order to support free updates. He goes on to admit that the company got it wrong, but players seem to appreciate what the company has done since as players have been coming back and providing stronger engagement numbers. Still, he knows that the company perception needs to be better.
“We have to take action and show people that we’re serious about building the best possible products, that we’re serious about treating the players fair, and we’re here to make the best possible entertainment that we can. And in the cases where we don’t get it right, we just have to listen and learn from it and be better.”
Needless to say, 2017 was very damaging to EA’s perception, especially for a company that repeatedly finds itself in the running for the Worst Company in America. Fair or not, it has become clear that EA is attempting to change its ways. Star Wars Battlefront 2 has received numerous updates over the past few months, even completely overhauling the progression system and unlocking all heroes. A Way Out has been a surprising hit, and Anthem and this year’s untitled Battlefield game are making sure to not repeat past mistakes.
Anthem is currently scheduled to release in 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Source: The Verge