Anthem, EA’s answer to the Destiny franchise, will likely feature loot boxes. However, industry analyst Michael Pachter says EA will probably ease up on their monetization strategy. Pachter, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, believes EA will avoid the giant miscalculation with Anthem’s loot boxes that they made with Battlefront 2.
It would make sense after the underwhelming sales and massive public backlash concerning Battlefront 2 that EA would take a step back and reevaluate their monetization strategy going forward. I personally prefer a monetization strategy where I pay $60, and I get the full contents of a game, but we live in a brave new world where microtransactions are becoming the norm.
According to Pachter, EA knows it’s under the heaviest scrutiny it has ever experienced, so the publisher will likely look to games that have implemented a loot box and microtransaction system successfully without making the entire gaming community angry at them. This means that in the future we can likely expect EA to tone loot boxes down to containing cosmetics only.
I’m no analyst, but I’m not wholly convinced that EA has learned its lesson. If I had to guess I would say that EA is more likely to use a microtransaction system in Anthem that’s similar to Destiny 2, which pushes the boundaries of player’s patience with its microtransactions and cosmetics without quite causing an uproar loud enough to resonate throughout the gaming community.
According to a response from BioWare in a post on the Anthem subreddit from November, the development team hasn’t decided on their approach to loot boxes. However, if I had to bet we’ll see a first year where they’re cosmetics only. Then, XP boosters and the like will start filtering in, and they’ll slowly be harder/take longer to earn in-game.
I hope Pachter is right and EA has really learned their lesson, but I wouldn’t count on it.