Electronic Arts' (EA) sequel to its "Star Wars" action shooter video game seems to have fallen short of its initial sales target on top of all the controversies surrounding the game, particularly its loot boxes.
According to a tweet from Sarah Needleman of The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), "Star Wars: Battlefront II" was able to ship nine million copies of the game within its launch quarter. The numbers, however, pale in comparison to the output of the game's predecessor that posted 13 million copies during its launch month back in 2015. Moreover, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen also admitted during an earnings call that the game had underperformed.
Interestingly, Jorgensen also confirmed to WSJ that the microtransactions will return to the game "in the next few months," noting that they will pull the trigger when they "think it's ready." It can be recalled that EA removed the in-game microtransactions right before the game's official release because of a controversy surrounding its loot boxes, where players are said to be forced to purchase them using real money.
Earlier this week, Gamespot reported that three lawmakers from Washington State filed a bill seeking to probe on the nature of loot boxes in video games. Senate Bill 6266 in the Washington Legislature was filed by Senators Kevin Ranker, Reuven Carlyle, and Karen Keiser. The bill aims to determine if the loot boxes do constitute gambling or not.
The bill's details said that it is "an act relating to loot boxes and similar types of mechanisms in online games and apps." The bill also calls for studies to be conducted if the loot boxes break any of Washington's gambling laws.
On the flipside, the Gambling Compliance department of New Zealand's Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) said in a statement last December that "loot boxes do not meet the legal definition of gambling."
DIA Licensing Compliance Manager Trish Millward explained that loot boxes cannot be considered gambling in nature because "gamers do not purchase loot boxes seeking to win money or something that can be converted into money," but rather, to improve their gaming experience.