Star Wars Battlefront 2 prompts state of Hawaii to address EA’s predatory practices

Star Wars Battlefront 2 prompts state of Hawaii to address EA’s predatory practices

The loot box debate rages on and it’s been taken up by the state of Hawaii which held a press conference addressing Star Wars Battlefront 2 today.

Democrat representative Chris Lee took to the podium specifically singling out Star Wars Battlefront 2 which he described as an “online casino specifically designed to lure kids into spending money.” He brilliantly added, “It’s a trap!”

Lee said they needed to “protect kids who are underage, not psychologically or emotionally mature enough to be able to gamble which is why gambling is prohibited under 21.” He mentioned that they would look at legislation to prohibit the sale of these games to anyone who is underage as well as “prohibiting different kinds of mechanisms in those games”.

Lee was also joined by State Representative Sean Quinlan. Quinlan said that Star Wars Battlefront 2 has the most popular IP in the world attached to it and it’s marketed squarely as children.  He added, “we shouldn’t allow Star Wars to encourage your kids to gamble.”

A mother, minister, and gamer chipped in with their thoughts on gambling and how it gambling in games is an “equal danger.” The gamer said this latest release from EA is “the tipping point”.

Could this be the first step in putting a stop to loot box gambling? The events of last week’s Star Wars Battlefront 2 release are also being looked at in Europe with Belgium now seeking a ban and this press conference indicates the US could be starting to wake up to the problem.

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  • Paul Younger

    Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

    • Hvd

      what will happen is you will just buy from a shop instead of lootboxes.

      • sampson3121

        nope. we will end up paying more per game.

        • 7770777

          Youre probably right about that. What really bugs me about that though is most people buy digital copies of games now. Digital games have cut the cost of manufacturing discs, packaging, and shipping to almost zero. Yet the cost of games didn’t drop. Publishers don’t mention that elephant in the room. They just hope it will quietly go unnoticed.

          • Paul Younger

            That is true. Ir’s odd how prices never dropped but then again games have bigger budgets now so costs are higher.

            • 7770777

              I think for publishers the biggest cost is probably being able to put the money up on multiple projects with the risk of any game ending up as flop. Studios like Rockstar, CD Projekt Red, Bethesda, Blizzard, Netherrealm, they a have a pedigree as well as properties that core gamers have a deep appreciation for. Bethesda now that they are a publisher they could rotate sequals for Elder Scrolls, Fallout, Diablo, Overwatch, and Doom and never need to worry about production costs. Those games print money. 2K could rotate GTA, Borderlands, Red Dead, as well as their annual basketball game and never have to worry about money. I guess my point is that publishers want gamers to pay for their flops, or the risks they take, is probably better wording.

              • Kuro12

                Its hard to believe that an IP like SW wouldn’t print money.

                Its pure textbook greed, it has nothing to do with games anymore, just pure business.

                Jim Sterling nailed it when he said:

                “From my perspective, the incoming firestorm of retaliation [on the Star
                Wars game] was a given, but this is an industry run predominantly by
                alienated rich old guys who know little and care less about video games”

          • Lumi

            Games became a “pure maximum profit” product rather than a “let’s get even on investment plus a certain percentage of profit model” product. At least for some companies. I’m glad Project Red is still at the forefront on how it should be done.

          • Hvd

            why im going pc.a console mite be as good as a mid range pc but games are so much cheaper.when AAA titles go up to $70 or more pc gaming will be by far cheaper.

        • Hvd

          thats why im going pc.ill wait for steam sales and get AAA titles cheap and pay way less for games if they become $70 or more.

          fyi right now a amd ryzen system is easy to build and im jumping to pc you will save way more money then being on console.

    • Luke Hardiman

      For those who say game prices will go up, it wouldn’t matter if they charges $100. a pop they would still cry for more cash! The fact is development is easier to do now than twenty years ago and more people game now as opposed to thirty years ago. Most of the budget is spent on marketing and in EA’s case they almost always have a HUGE bloated budget. Ninja Theory made Hellblade with a small budget and used gorill techniques to keep the budget cost low and delivered a game that looks better than a lot of AAA titles released this year. Also and here’s the kicker they made a lot of money.

      These loot boxes and microtransactions only exists to fill the pockets of the suits. They look at their game and say “hey we can cut this out, oh and this and this” and so on. I find it ironic that games costs $60. here, and $80. in some countries and now a lot of game sales come from digital and with that there are no productions costs on disks and all that’s involved in physical media but the price is still the same.

      EA makes $600 million a year off just FIA alone and sure there are licenses but with all the properties they have they makes millions! The fact is they have a lot of wastes and there are other ways to do this as mentioned with Ninja Theory. In fact devs like CDPR, Guerilla Games among others create amazing games and don’t have loot boxes tied to armor, weapons or the like and they make a ton of money and they have the support of the gaming community!

      Also this idea of pay to win and saving the player time is just retarded becuse what they are saying is the experience we worked so hard on for years just isn’t that great and you can just skip it! These practices need to stop and when you pay for a full priced game then you should get the full experience. Enough with Gold, Special editions and all that garbage. Also if it’s so expensive to keep servers up then quit making everything multi player or slaping it on every game. Not every game needs multi player!

      Monster Hunter World is ripe for this garbage but microtransactions aren’t gonna be in the game. Amazing a dev and publisher actually want us to play their game! Insanity is doing the same thin time and time again expecting a different result. EA should have this plastered on all of it’s walls!

    • Kuro12

      For anyone interested, Chris Lee’s response on reddit:

      Hopefully this isn’t going to turn into a playground for politicians, really the last thing we need.

    • LordCancer Kain

      it not just kids, adults are also susceptible to these predatory monetization schemes. the worst part is the inordinate amount of time required to advance in these free to play style games. i wish ea’s focus were on making great games, and not monetizing. playing games is supposed to be fun, and after work, i think relaxing. dice has forgotten what was fun about their games along time ago. certain analysts believe we should be paying extraordinary amounts of money for the pleasure and i just have to say no thanks, no to paying more and no to playing more. my time is valuable to me and i will not spend the rest of my life playing games as service in any form.

      • Jay

        Sw bf2 is not a f2p game

        • LordCancer Kain

          ea combined the $60 retail model with the free to play style progression and purchase model essentially, it is obviously not free to play. if you are an ea, dice, star wars apologist, i will block you. otherwise you have a nice day.

    • GrimmyReaper

      I was jacking off while watching this video.
      I was against microtransactions in paid games and still am. I believe that fight is lost but I still resent it and tend to avoid games that have em but

      Seeing this backlash. Seeing THIS much back push on EA, on the lootbox system in games, has me more excited than anything else the industry did in the last couple of years.

    • Joseph Long

      about time …. Look Republicans … Government is there to stop thieves and liars ….
      The gaming industry is full of thieves and liars …..
      They lie in articles on websites sponsored by the developers …
      They lie about “we fixed everything” in talks about their games …
      They lie about costs and pricing, digital game, no cartridge, no disc, no booklet, no shipping, but same price ?
      They post hateful comments to their fans “armchair developers” and then delete and lie saying “misinterpreted”

      They steal from their customers countless ways and keep inventing more …
      Pay to win mechanics – you can’t play the game for an experience you must pay for it …
      Controlling servers – how the game is played, how long it can be played, etc. (no more playing old games)
      Licensing – saying you merely rent the opportunity to play, you don’t own anything for your money !!!

      Indie games and small studios are the future … when EA or Activision buys out a title, just understand they have already killed it ….

      p.s. the industry is extremely sick, don’t go catching anything !!!

    • Col

      Nice one, glad we’re all so happy about governments getting involved in fucking with our games. Taking things away from the people who enjoy them because there are people who overindulge is a shitty thing to do. And that’s if you buy into the idea that “protecting vulnerable people” was the primary motivation in this whole shit-show, which i for one don’t: people have been pissy about lootboxes forever, some dumb fuck got the retarded idea of appealing to the “what about the children” types, and now we’ve got ever-so-trustworthy types like that besuited bandwagon surfer in the video sticking their oars in. Fuck that. You want lootboxes to go away, fine – persuade people not to buy them. Forcing people not to buy them makes you a massive twat.

      • Kuro12

        There needs to be a regulation for this, because all of this predatory system is designed on impulse buying, telling people to stop isn’t going to work.

        Just take this uproar for example, there were 680K people downvoting EA and yet majority of them still bought the game and are now making angry posts on reddit about the state of the game.
        There was a petition against lootboxes as well, which only around 70k signed (last time i checked), so where is the rest of those 600k…thats right, they are playing the game.

        I do agree with you though, this only happened because a bunch of clever people mentioned children gambling and made an uproar…no politician is going to let the chance slip for a speech about protecting children.

        • Joseph Long

          might be easier for the petitions to get more signatures if any of these sites and articles mentioned them ….. gave links ….
          but again it isn’t in the writers interest to mention that information as it is the sponsors writing their checks and the developers giving them access to early content ….

          What is in the interest of the writer to help stop nasty business practices ???

          Our information is cherry picked and offered with a strict view point …..

          The information sources are owned by the very people trying to lie in the first place … HELLO !!!

          • Kuro12

            Perhaps, but it changes nothing, it was right at the front page and people spammed it in all of the posts.

        • Col

          There doesn’t “need to be a regulation for this” – if telling people to stop doesn’t work then your method of persuasion needs refining. If people want to buy lootboxes why the hell should they be prevented from doing so? If you need to regulate anything, regulate how they can pay for the things – maybe make it so they can only be purchased with some means of payment which you can’t own until you’re 18 like, oh, I don’t know, a fucking credit card. That way, if kids are buying these things we can immediately identify the (ir)responsible adult in the situation. Or if it’s adults doing the buying and they have a honest to goodness problem and literally can’t stop buying lootboxes we can refer them for psychological treatment, because that sounds like some kind of compulsive disorder.

          • Kuro12

            This might have worked if it wouldn’t be for these companies pushing for more and more profit at the expense of everything, including people that work on these games.

            Even if fewer people would buy these lootboxes, all they need is a handful of whales who pour in tons of money.
            Their entire focus is shifted on fueling them and the microtransaction’s instead of making good games.

            The state of the games industry, especially AAA games, is laughable, you are getting bare-bone shiny turds that rehash the same things year after year, just looking prettier.

            Though this isn’t just about microtransaction’s but also about making games great again.

          • LordCancer Kain

            The government regulates many destructive things, including alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and prostitution. I think predatory monetization is worse than all of those things. Just remember that predatory developers are the problem and as younger gamers grow up and become elected it is likely they would want to protect there children being exploited. If it is ever put on a ballot where I live I will vote to pass it.