Star Wars: Battlefront 2's Loot Boxes "Are Not Gambling," EA Says
Belgium is investigating the PS4, Xbox One, and PC game over gambling concerns.
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Following the news today that Belgium's gambling authority is investigating Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (and Overwatch) to determine if the game's loot box system constitutes gambling, publisher Electronic Arts has now responded. In a statement to GameSpot, EA says in no uncertain terms, "The crate mechanics of Star Wars: Battlefront II are not gambling."
Here is the statement in full: "Creating a fair and fun game experience is of critical importance to EA. The crate mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront II are not gambling. A player’s ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing crates. Players can also earn crates through playing the game and not spending any money at all. Once obtained, players are always guaranteed to receive content that can be used in game."
Games of chance require a permit from the Gaming Commission in Belgium, and due to the random nature of loot boxes, they could fall into that category. Battlefront II's loot boxes can contain items that actually affect gameplay, while Overwatch's are cosmetic only. It's unclear if this would impact the ruling, however.
Blizzard has yet to release a statement it seems regarding Belgium's investigation. We've reached out to the company but have not heard back as of yet.
EA has faced a flood of criticism over Battlefront II's loot box/microtransaction systems. Just this week, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen said "people need to be patient" as the developer responds to player feedback and makes necessary changes. DICE also held an in-depth Reddit AMA where it answered many questions about the game. [Update: Subsequently, EA announced it will remove all microtransactions from Battlefront II temporarily.]