EA AND 2K Need to be warned
EA is renowned in the community for introducing microtransactions into their titles ever since the disaster that was Star Wars: Battlefront 2. Receiving a punishing amount of backlash from the community, the title was a failure on the whole; a title with practically content as the ‘campaign’ was a glorified tutorial and the multiplayer was shackled. Players who wanted to play as Jedis were asked to grind their lives or cough up the money instantly. So, while the game had no content at all, they even tried to push a pay-to-win practice for the multiplayer experience. Also, the micro-transactions were introduced in the form of gambling loot boxes too. The player base looking for nostalgia only received receipts and locked content.
EA tried to ‘apologize’ through a Reddit post regarding their loot box practices. This resulted in the Guinness World Record set amount of downvotes on a single post ever for Reddit. Sitting at the glorious number 667,822 downvotes, the notorious tweet is a testament to the retaliation of the gaming community.
No other Reddit post comes close to such an achievement – EA may have turned off all in-game purchases to no effect really; they had offended the gaming community and their newly released game died instantly.
EA SPORTS GAMES
The thing is, EA utilise microtransactions fairly alright in their yearly release of FIFA, in the form of packs and currency to form an Ultimate Team – however, the problem being faced at the moment is the lack of ideas. Each year, they’re putting out a slight iteration upgrade, in which players need to start over their investments in grinding for micro-transactions. That aside, it’s never been immoral – that’s when 2K Games kicks the door down with their atrocious introduction of gambling in this ‘E’ rated game. You’ll learn more about the immorality below.
2K FIDDLING WITH ESRB
2K doesn’t have the cleanest record when it comes publishing games bursting with content, also relying on sport simulators for the most part. Deviations from this trend come in the form of titles such as Evolve, a game with a record-shattering amount of DLC content with multiple season passes – a game which died due to the lack of content. Little did I know about it when I received it as a birthday present, but can easily state that it was one of the first times a publisher so rudely tried to force open the wallets of the community.
Then, comes NBA 2K20 – just another sport simulator right? That is if you can call loot boxes, slot machines, jackpots, roulette, ball drops and glorified gambling a sport. One of my favourite game reviewers, though not my absolute favourite, AngryJoe put it straight when he stated that it’s pure gambling. These ‘micro-transactions’ apply both to the solo and multiplayer components of the title.
While AngryJoe began to rightfully complain about the ESRB rating of the title – being ‘E’ for everyone, I conducted a little research of my own.
The Chairman of ESRB is also the CEO of 2K Gaming. Let that sink in for a second. A title which is glorifying gambling and rated ‘E’ for everyone is published and age-rated by the same person. This, in my opinion, is simply unacceptable. In the coming weeks, I expect somebody to do something – until then, the community needs to retaliate against this rubbish they’ve put out. If it were rated 18 and for free, that’s another story – but to release a full price title with micro-transactions embracing gambling at this age rating is immoral.
Worries are wild for the awaited Borderlands 3, as it’s in the hands of 2K.
Needless to say, these are only a few names in the industry among many others, such as Activision, who are guilty for infusing micro-transactions improperly. In my opinion, moving forward, the community needs to make clearer their stand as one against these game developing decisions while the development of games needs to be supervised by an exceeding group.
Through monitoring and communication can we strive to enjoy great games all the time: that’s all it took for No Man’s Sky. Although it’s not related to micro-transactions, it shows how a title can bounce back.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this short discussion, it may not be the most comprehensive dive in the world, just a general briefing – let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!
Microtransactions aren’t bad – it depends on the role they play and how they’re implemented in the game – and that, is up to nobody else but the developers.