Image: Kotaku / Battlefront 2
When EA and DICE announced that they were freezing the sale of loot boxes in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 a day before its full release, there was always a caveat: one day, the loot boxes would be back. And in a chat with the Wall Street Journal, EA's chief finance officer has confirmed that day is not far away.
According to the Wall Street Journal's Sarah Needleman, EA's Blake Jorgensen has confirmed that Battlefront 2 will reintroduce microtransactions "in the next few months". In a snippet posted online (as the WSJ is typically paywalled), Jorgensen said DICE and EA would enable the microtransactions "when we think it's ready" but didn't specify if any changes had, or would, be made from what was seen before launch.
— Sarah E. Needleman (@saraheneedleman) January 30, 2018
The controversy around loot boxes, and Battlefront 2's implementation in particular, kicked off a conversation amongst legislators around the world. While many regulators and industry analysts found that loot boxes didn't fall under the definition of gambling, such as New Zealand's Gambling Compliance agency and the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation's Robert Grimmond in Queensland, it still started the conversation.
And according to Jorgensen, that conversation and controversy had an effect on sales. EA forecasted Battlefront 2 to sell a "conservative" 10 million copies for the Christmas quarter, but the Star Wars sequel sold only approximately 7 million copies instead. 28% of those copies, Needleman later confirmed, were sold digitally.