Some savvy players have mathed up that it’d take more than 4500 hours of play or, alternatively, roughly 2100$ to unlock everything there is to unlock. We’re talking about unlocks that give players an advantage over others in a multiplayer shooter. If that’s not P2W (pay to win), I don’t know what is.
This time though we (gamers) aren’t on our own with our concerns. We have seen time and time again that we can rage all we want, as long as we’re still buying their crap the big publishers couldn’t care less. No, this time mainstream media has noticed, and rumours are Disney has noticed too. They sure as hell didn’t wish for a shitstorm like this related to their sacred and expensive Star Wars IP, mere weeks before the release of their next blockbuster movie no less.
Also, a couple countries, such as Belgium and the Netherlands, have begun investigating the issue of lockboxes in games. The question is if they are to be considered online gambling and therefore to be regulated or even banned.
So here’s hoping that we have reached a turning point, and monetisation of our beloved pastime is going to change direction. I’m still not convinced that EA really intends to completely eschew lockboxes in SWBF2 though.
Now, I do fully realize that a box price of 60$ can’t possibly cover production and marketing costs of an AAA game in 2017 anymore. I also realise that there are many who won’t even consider trying out a game if it has any box price to begin with.
Money has to be made, no argument there. But business practices like EA’s aren’t trying to cover costs and earn a little bit of profit. Don’t even try to tell me that. Monetisation schemes like these have the goal of milking as much money from as many people as possible. More more more. This has to stop. Now.
It’s all the more tragic because the games themselves are often pretty cool. I probably would have bought SWBF2 at some point, and chances are that I would have enjoyed it. But we have reached a point where we can’t be okay with this anymore. We just can’t. If we fall for it again and again, we will soon be playing (crappy) arcades again instead of great games. “Insert coin” as the major gameplay mechanic. No thanks.