EA sets Guinness World Record for Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box comment

Getting into the Guinness Book of World Records usually represents a moment worth celebrating. However, there are some records that instead point to something to be ashamed of. Such is the case of EA, which has gotten into the 2020 edition of the vaunted book for its comment on its loot box practices in Star Wars: Battlefront 2.

EA and Star Wars: Battlefront 2 aren’t the the 2020 Guinness Book of World Records for the game’s actual loot box practices. Rather, the entry, a photo of which was shared in the Star Wars subreddit, relates to how players reacted to Star Wars: Battlefront 2‘s loot box practices. Specifically, a post by an EA representative on Reddit has the dubious distinction of being the most downvoted comment on the site.

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For anyone looking for numbers, the offending comment received 683,000 downvotes, giving it a total of -667,820 points (around 16,000 or so people actually upvoted the comment). While the number looks impressive, it looks even more impressive when compared to other heavily downvoted posts. Based on a graph made by the folks at the r/dataisbeautiful subreddit, the second most downvoted post only has 24,333 downvotes.

Chart c/o KingErth and r/dataisbeautiful

As for the content of the offending post in question, the EA Community Team account was trying to justify why, based on its beta, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 players had to use the same currently to unlock characters and to open loot boxes.

“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes,” stated an EA community manager in response to a player’s question on the matter. “As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.”

Players who were around at the time probably remember the post and the fallout from it (and EA’s loot box practices in the game). The “pride and accomplishment” line inspired dozens on memes and even showed up in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and most were rather unflattering towards EA. Eventually, the backlash forced EA to remove the loot boxes from the game at launch. Despite this however, Star Wars: Battlefront 2‘s sales missed the targets set by the company, something which it blamed on the loot box controversy.

Prior to all this, many players felt that the game’s microtransaction system favored a “pay to win” mentality during its beta. This happened, despite EA claiming that its loot boxes would be “balanced.” EA did eventually bring microtransactions back into the game in March of 2018. However, this time the only things players could pay for were cosmetic items such as character skins.

The whole incident left a stain on EA’s reputation, marking the company as a greedy one looking to add loot boxes in every game in the eyes of players. This was made worse by the a company representative defending them as “surprise mechanics” that weren’t a form of gambling to the U.K. Parliament’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

That said, EA has made steps to try to fix its reputation. A number of its upcoming games will not be coming with loot boxes, the most notable ones being Need for Spead Heat, and Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. The latter will actually come without any form of microtransactions whatsoever. Being a Star Wars game, this does look like EA extending an olive branch to the fans of the series that it alienated with its record-holding post.