A new change.org petition is quickly picking up speed as it circulates among gamers and fans of the Star Wars franchise. In response to recent controversies over Star Wars: Battlefront II’s loot boxes, some fans are asking that Electronic Arts’ exclusive, multi-year publishing license with Disney be revoked. Loot boxes and the microtransactions that come with them have gained such disdain among fans that the entire practice got shut down for the time being, and the ethics of it as a whole are being questioned on a legislative level, as many see it as gambling.
The petition, which currently sits at a little over 400 signatures away from its 15k goal, claims that EA has “proven to their consumers that they honestly don't care about the gameplay experience,” stating that the company would rather rush out a title in order to “milk as much money out of consumers as possible.”
It goes on to document grievances from the past few years of Star Wars games under EA, saying that 2015’s Star Wars: Battlefront was an “awful gameplay experience” and had a “lack of content”, along with highlighting the recent dissolving of Visceral Games’ Star Wars project and the studio itself. The summary concludes with issues regarding Battlefront II’s loot box system, along with what the petition’s writer sees as bad practices when it comes to the player’s abilities to unlock characters or special items.
For its part, Disney’s part, Lucasfilm’s Douglas Reilly recently spoke about how the company is viewing player and fan reactions in order to take action on things like unbalanced gameplay and price gouging. “I think the challenge, and it’s one that everybody’s facing in this industry—running live services requires tuning and tweaking,” Reilly recently told GamesBeat. “[S]ometimes you don’t get things right the first try, once you put it in the hands of hundreds or thousands or millions of players. You continue to learn how they interact with the things you’ve made, and you run into things you have to adjust along the way. That’s the unfortunate reality of making games with a live service component.” Reilly went on to say that Lucasfilm has weekly meetings with EA to discuss all aspects of development, including the story. “We bring in Lucasfilm’s story team to help us shape and build the stories we’re telling, so they fit in the continuity of all the other things we’re doing with the Star Wars universe.”
Star Wars: Battlefront II is out now for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC.