EA says it avoided 'violating the canon of Star Wars' with Battlefront II loot boxes

The situation surrounding EA's loot box controversy in Star Wars Battlefront II has been nothing short of a dumpster fire. The controversy stemmed from the excess time investment required to earn a steady drip-feed of credits used to buy loot crates and heroes – a system that could, of course, be bypassed by simply spending real money on a special currency to buy loot boxes. This ultimately caused enough backlash to cause EA to pull microtransactions from the game altogether at launch.

Theoretically, much of the backlash could have been avoided by sticking with purely cosmetic items in loot boxes, much like games like Overwatch and League of Legends. However, according to an interview with EA chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen (via Polygon), EA specifically avoided cosmetic items so as to not violate the Star Wars canon. Speaking at the Credit Suisse Annual Technology, Media and Telecom Conference, Jorgensen said:

The one thing we're very focused on and they are extremely focused on is not violating the canon of Star Wars. It's an amazing brand that's been built over many, many years, and so if you did a bunch of cosmetic things, you might start to violate the canon, right? Darth Vader in white probably doesn't make sense, versus in black. Not to mention you probably don't want Darth Vader in pink. No offense to pink, but I don't think that's right in the canon.So, there might be things that we can do cosmetically, and we're working with Lucas[film] on that. But coming into it, it wasn't as easy as if we were building a game around our own IP where it didn't really matter. It matters in Star Wars, because Star Wars fans want realism. But Star Wars fans may also want to tailor things — a different colored lightsaber, things like that. So you might see some of that.

As Polygon notes, the decision to avoid cosmetic items due to concerns over Star Wars canon is undercut somewhat by the canon-breaking situations presented by pitting Star Wars characters from different eras against one another in the game's multiplayer. Ultimately, EA likely has to stick with strict guidelines about how to handle characters, passed down from Lucasfilm. And I think we can all agree that having a pink Darth Vader running around, while humorous, could clash with Lucasfilm's view of the character.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl

  • I don't even know what to say to this...
  • Poop emoji
  • Probably, if there ever were a proper use for that, that would be it. Put a male cow in front of it also.
  • 🐘💨
  • It was done to fleece players, nothing more nothing less
  • I'm avoiding this game until it reaches my magic games with gold Canon weekly deals price of $20...see ya then....
  • I may go 30 but nothing more
  • "having a pink Darth Vader running around, while humorous, could clash with Lucasfilm's view of the character." Well... Unless he does some more changes when the 4K versions are released. Which is always a possibility... Lol
  • So EA is doing us all a favor??  This is as tone deaf as Microsoft's lame announcement when they discontinued the Groove music pass.
  • "Star wars fans want realism". I'm not sure how people that fancy fantasy want "realism" of their fantasy.
  • So EA were super worried about Need for Speed cannon and thats why the loot boxes are not cosmetic and are tied to progresion in that game. Sure.......
  • Exactly. SWBF2 is getting all the headlines but the issue is global and not only to that game.
    Payback looked promising at E3 but this loot boxes based progression system just ruined it.
  • That's a flimsy excuse. Battlefield 1 may be developed by DICE, but it was published by EA. And that has skins that sometimes seem a little historically inaccurate. They could have done gun skins, different vehicles, backgrounds, wallpapers, or kill streak sounds/poses. Lots to choose from. They don't make the game look better, but could still be monetized without affecting the game.
  • Are they serious with this crap? I ALMOST gave in and bought this. Infuriating how stupid they think we are.
  • I sort of remember Luke Skywalker crash landing on planet Dagobah to find there a pile of loot boxes. So it does make sense to me.
  • Brilliant!
  • Didn't Yoda say something like "Size of loot box, matters not!"?
  • so they thought it worthwhile to wait nearly a month to drop this information (coicidentally, when people are starting to do chritsmas shopping).   they're just pumping out PR excuses why their "hands were tied" with this crappy P2W progression system to get some last change launch sales..