It seems like just yesterday that Activision was facing a historic number of dislikes on its Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare announcement trailer, while EA was garnering goodwill with its Battlefield 1 trailer. Now, though, EA’s getting a taste of a similarly intense backlash. EA took to Reddit recently to respond to player concern about Star Wars: Battlefront II‘s loot boxes, and the post has apparently received the most downvotes ever–by a huge margin.
Some fans began expressing frustration and anger toward the game when it came to light that you could only gain access to certain heroes through loot boxes. Further, rough calculations estimated that it would take upwards of 40 hours to earn enough in-game currency to purchase the boxes–meaning that you were either in for a long grind, or you could pay real money to get more loot boxes to get in-game currency more quickly.
EA decided to enter the fray on Reddit to explain its reasoning for pricing and reward structure, and it was not received well. “The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes,” EA wrote. “As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.”
The backlash was fierce: as of this writing, the post has a net -577,000 karma score. This score has, of course, snowballed as it’s gained publicity, but it received an incredible number of downvotes even before going viral. According to Motherboard, this makes it the most downvoted post in Reddit history, far exceeding the -24,000 net score that one user received because they actually asked for downvotes.
We broke down the game’s loot box system before launch, and found it to be pretty problematic. Even putting $100 into the game didn’t unlock as much as you’d think, and entire system seems confusing. However, EA did recently implement changes based on player feedback–the cost to unlock some heroes has been reduced by 75 percent.