Not so long ago AAA Publishing Giant EA Games was in some hot water thanks to their questionable tactics concerning purchasable loot boxes in Star Wars: Battlefront II. The people spoke up and a massive amount of pre-orders for the game were cancelled in light of their RNG antics.
On that day I remember seeing a shining light, a beacon of hope, that perhaps the days of hiding content behind not only a paywall, but a randomly generated paywall, might be over.
From that point on it seemed that publishers and developers thought it a good idea to steer clear of loot boxes in general. And in the recent ramp up to the release of Anthem “No Loot Boxes” seemed to be almost a mantra used by the team in an effort to assure the players that Anthem was not a cash grab.
Yet, in the shadows a team was working. Right under our noses, in secret. Developing what could be seen as EA’s secret weapon. Respawn Entertainment, of Titanfall fame, spent two years developing a game which seems to perfectly encapsulate what is trendy in the gaming world today, except for one crucial aspect. LOOT BOXES!
APEX: Legends released, seemingly out of nowhere in what I must admit, was a brilliant marketing strategy. Virtually zero dollars were spent before the release of APEX resulting in zero minutes wasted responding to inevitable community concerns about EA’s involvement, whether or not this is a Titanfall game, and of course, LOOT BOXES.
The lead on the APEX project openly admitted that trying to market a F2P BR published by EA containing Loot Boxes would have been a rough road to walk.
(If you’d like to read the whole article this is taken from click > here < )
Now, one could say that APEX had likely entered development before the SW:BF2 debacle, but then, one would not be as interesting. . .
I think that in fact, what we are witnessing here is EA’s final attempt to save Loot Boxes in the gaming industry. APEX legends has absolutely EXPLODED since its recent release, garnering over 10 Million players in the first 72 Hours. The fact that APEX is so well polished, has great core mechanics which combine many of the best aspects of other BRs, coupled with the fact that it costs that magic number to play ($0) has seemingly made everyone forget the fact that there are loot boxes in the game.
Other than what seems like a hastily thrown together “Shop” with only a very few select items that can be purchased outright, loot boxes are the only means by which to get cosmetics. Yet I have not really heard anyone mention it, and in fact, have seen several videos of people opening 100+ Apex packs!
Is the game that signals to other big Publishers that Loot Boxes are back on the menu?
Only time will tell.