I'm sure, by now, you all know about the swathe of press (some mainstream) regarding Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot boxes and the way that they impact on both the game's progression system and gameplay.
EA took to Reddit to reassure players of their intent to provide them "with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes." This response is now said to be, by far, the most downvoted Reddit comment of all-time.
DICE, the game's developer, has been left "incredibly saddened" by the developments.
We're even seeing the Dutch and Belgian authorities begin to examine whether or not loot boxes qualify as a form of gambling. This could have repercussions for Dutch gamers as online gambling is currently illegal in the country (there are, however, efforts to enact a regulatory bill next year).
Finally, Wall Street industry analyst Justin Post told investors that the controversies were "a potential risk" to unit sales.
So there is, more or less, the context.
Now, the question: to boycott, or not to boycott?
Personally, I am torn.
I loved the original Battlefront games. I saw promise in the pretty yet problematic reboot. I enjoyed the sequel's beta. I was (and still am) looking forward to this game.
But I believe EA, not for the first time, has crossed a line.
Like many, I've been troubled by what the loot box means and where it will end up. I recall a fellow member of the website commenting that loot boxes were fine and it would be their "hill to die on".
But this is no mere hill; it is a slippery slope.
I mean, what next: <insert your own dramatic, dystopian outcome for maximum effect>?
I mean, that's ridiculous!
not going to extensively lecture anyone on how this may be the "Luke, I am your father" moment of the loot box saga, but I will say this:
We, the consumers (shudders), have used our buying power to elevate or sink video games throughout our lives. Often it is because these games were harshly reviewed by journalists, weren't effectively marketed (shudders again) by publishers or didn't create any noise among us players.
Battlefront 2 is a big game, from a big developer, from a big publisher - and it is creating big noise.
Halo 5's systems irritated, but not on this level - neither in terms of controversy generated or insidiousness.
If there is going to be any dent against the loot box as anything more than a fashion statement for those with spending power, it will surely have to happen as a result of this game.
We all know that financial gain is the end goal of Captain EAhab's pursuits. If they round up enough whales, they will tell their investors that this experiment was a success.
And thus another door is opened; another industry practice is normalised.
So will you help drag EAhab to the bottom of the sea?
Will you be unlocking your 'dark side'?
Or do you believe that action (or inaction) won't have an effect either way?
Right now, I'm b
ououououoycotting the game.