EA has come under fire many times over the years for various reasons, most of them pertaining to poor game launches or microtransactions. Last year, we saw the biggest backlash yet thanks to the loot box system in Battlefront 2, which ended up turning the heads of politicians and government agencies around the world. EA is hoping to avoid this situation from occurring again, with a new ‘moral compass’ system in place.
During an interview with gamesindustry.biz, EA’s Vice President of Strategic Growth, Matt Bilbey, sat down to have a chat about streaming. Towards the end of the interview, the subject of FIFA Ultimate packs and loot boxes comes up, which led to Bilbey talking about the publisher’s new “development framework”, which aims to make ‘live service’ games “fair and fun”.
Essentially, after the Battlefront 2 controversy, Bilbey and EA’s Chief Designer, Patrick Söderlund, internally redesigned EA’s “game development framework and testing platforms”. This is in an effort to ensure that development teams are “getting the right guidance”, the new system is now known as an “EA moral compass”.
Here is the full quote from Bilbey: “I ran a team internally with Patrick post-Battlefront to actually redesign our game development framework and testing platforms to ensure we’re giving our game teams the right guidance–we’ll call it an EA moral compass–at the beginning of development so that we’re designing our live service early, we’re testing it early, testing it with gamers who are giving us feedback so we ensure those pillars of fairness, value, and fun are true”.
The fact that high-ups at EA recognise the fact that the company needs a self described moral compass to begin with shows a certain level of self-awareness that we don’t often see. With that said, there probably should have been something like that in place from the start. Hopefully by the time Battlefield V and Anthem roll around, we’ll see some of these changes in place.
KitGuru Says: EA tends to go through this cycle every couple of years. Something goes horribly wrong, fixes will take place, EA starts to look favourable again and then we repeat from step one. Do you guys think EA will finally make a change for the better?