EA Will Institute A “Moral Compass” When Designing Future Games

Battlefront 2 Loot Box

It’s fair to say that Electronic Arts had a rough 2017. With the release of Mass Effect: Andromeda being ravaged on the internet in the first quarter of the year to having that bookended with the mass hysteria surrounding Star Wars Battlefront II‘s microtransactions controversy. You can imagine that EA would like to avoid the torrential downpour of negative press this year.

Speaking with GameIndustry.Biz, EA’s executive vice president of growth Matt Bilbey talked about their newly redesigned development environment in an effort to commit to making their games “fair and fun.”

I believe what we’re working through with those specific groups at the moment is an education. Not meant in a patronizing way, but just helping them understand how we design the games and the notion of choice and our commitment to making the games fair and fun. We learned a lot from Star Wars: Battlefront.”

The controversy engulfing Battlefront II’s launch involved everything from major news organizations covering the consumer complaints levied against the game and state governments. Media outlets went so far as to characterize the game as a “Star Wars-themed online casino.” This unfavorable coverage has not been taken lightly by Bilbey and the team is in talks with groups such as the Belgian Gaming Commission, who ruled the loot box method as a form of gambling.

Bilbey called the effort to redesign their game development framework as a sort of “EA moral compass,” stating that they will develop microtransaction elements earlier in development so they can optimize the amount of feedback they’ll receive. This will ensure each live service game that EA publishes will be fair and maximize value for the end user.

What do you think? Will EA’s new initiative to change the way they implement microtransactions turn around negative opinion? Let us know on Twitter and be sure to check in often for cool new stories on Don’t Feed The Gamers!


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