EA has caved, again, over the lockbox situation in SW:BF2. This time by removing the entire cash shop. Non-sheep rejoice, we won! Sheep people, enjoy your improved game despite your complicit sheep actions.
Of course even in their ‘we are trying to do the right thing’ announcement, EA couldn’t help themselves and said the cash shop would be back later, in some form.
The ultra-cynical (read: correct) take on this is that EA wants to grab the money from pre-orders and initial sales again, avoid lower review scores because of the previous garbage cash shop progression system, and will just bring basically the same pay-4-power lootbox cash shop back once the dust has settled and it’s too late for refunds.
The optimistic (read: very likely wrong) view is that after review, the cash shop will come back as a fluff-only shop, and any power progression will remain in-game only, as is the case in ‘good’ cash shop games.
The smart thing to do here is take a ‘wait and see’ approach with the game. Don’t buy it, and if/when the cash shop is back and doesn’t sell power, jump in. The obvious problem is not only did a ton of sheep not cancel pre-orders, but more are likely to get duped by EA here and buy the game thinking it’s not going to revert into garbage once their money is firmly in EA’s pockets.
This entire fiasco has been interesting to watch, especially because it drew a clear line between words and actions for some people. Saying you don’t like lootboxes or pay-4-power games rings very hollow when once a game with your flavor of lightsaber comes up, you dive right in regardless of how many systems you supposedly don’t support it contains, because ‘hey its fun’.
The ultra-extreme but still accurate example of this is saying you are against rape, but then at a party when you spot a ‘fun’ girl, you rape her anyway, because while you are generally against rape, this particular case you choose fun over the values you claim to have. Retaining your SW:BF2 pre-order when it was clear the cash shop was selling power lootboxes was raping gamers that don’t want that junk in our games. At least for now, in this situation, enough people said “Regardless of how fun that girl looks, lets not rape her”. And knowing EA, the ‘eh, rape her’ option is coming back. Don’t support that, even if it means missing out on this particular a fun time.