Patrick Söderlund, the recently appointed Chief Design Officer at EA, has said in a recent interview with The Verge that EA is listening to the community post-Battlefront II, and is promising to ‘be better’ in future.
Patrick Söderlund spoke candidly in his interview with The Verge, in particular covering the effect that the negative reaction has meant for the company. “I’d be lying to you if I said that what’s happened with Battlefront and what’s happened with everything surrounding loot boxes and these things haven’t had an effect on EA as a company and an effect on us as management” he told The Verge, admitting that the company may need to take a look at itself: “We can shy away from it and pretend like it didn’t happen, or we can act responsibly and realize that we made some mistakes, and try to rectify those mistakes and learn from them.”
Regarding the subject of the loot boxes included in Battlefront II and the way that these affected the game, he had this to say: “We had the intent that was designed for us to have more people play it over a longer period of time, and like a lot of other games on the market, to be able to afford to do that we had an idea of getting returns from that. But at the same time, we got it wrong. And as a result, we had to take very quick and drastic actions to turn everything off, and we’ve since worked and redesigned the progression system. People seem to appreciate what we’ve done, players are coming back, and we’re seeing stronger engagement numbers. People seem to think that for the most part, we got it right. It doesn’t mean we will stop. We’ll continue to improve the game, we’ll continue to push on these things, and we’ll have to be very cautious with what this means for future products.”
For EA as a whole, the reaction has apparently caused some amount of soul-searching and introspection. Söderlund says “We have taken significant steps as a company to review and understand the mechanics around monetization, loot boxes, and other things in our games before they go to market. For games that come next, for Battlefield or for Anthem, [players have] made it very clear that we can’t afford to make similar mistakes. And we won’t.”
The interview itself ends with a promise that EA is listening, and that they intend to use player feedback very carefully in the future. “We have to take action and show people that we’re serious about building the best possible products, that we’re serious about treating the players fair, and we’re here to make the best possible entertainment that we can, and in the cases where we don’t get it right, we just have to listen and learn from it and be better”