“We’re not somehow trying to bite the hand that feeds us.”
Loot boxes have become extremely controversial via their inclusion in major AAA games these days. And one of the games that has been caught in the midst of this hubbub has been Star Wars Battlefront 2, the upcoming sequel to the 2015 reboot of the hit Star Wars action game franchise.
After initial response to the loot boxes, and how they messed with the game’s balance, was disparaging, DICE has gone back to tweak how they work- and speaking to Trusted Reviews in an interview, Dennis Brännvall, associate design director at DICE, was contrite, noting that the loot boxes were a work in progress, and that DICE was determined to listen to community feedback and tweak them in response.
I think for us, none of this is a personal thing, for us it’s like “ok, we’ll totally do that” [in response to feedback],” Brännvall said. “We’re eager and hungry for feedback, we do not dread it.
“That’s very much the culture at DICE, the player knows best. The player might not always know the best solution to it, because they don’t understand all the technicalities and how all the systems are put together, but the desire is always pure. So it’s only up to us to provide solutions to it that make sense to everyone.”
“In regards to the loot crates, it’s new ground for us, both DICE as a studio but also EA as a company is quite new to this but dating back to the Battlefront 1, the feedback predominantly, outside of the positive stuff was ‘we really want one community, we want maps to be free, we want future content to be free’ and we agreed.”
Confirming that tweaking the system to suit community feedback would be very easy, he added that ICE is determined to not alienate its engaged and passionate fanbase. “We had one system in for a closed alpha which obviously didn’t get the same widespread communication around it because it was closed and then we took another stab at it, another iteration on that for open beta and we got the feedback there and now we have a third one in for launch and I’m sure there’ll be feedback there and we’ll continue doing that. It’s all part of the process of establishing this credibility within the community that we are listening, that we’re frequently updating and that we’re not somehow trying to bite the hand that feeds us, that this is in our best interest for everyone to love the game, love the progression and play for as long as possible.”
The good news, of course, is that DICE is saying all the right things, and to their credit, they have shown a willingness to alter the system based on community feedback. The bad news is that community feedback is largely ‘we don’t want loot crates’- and that is something that DICE is unlikely to address or respond to any time soon.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 launches next week on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.