EA’s E3 2018 showcase might not have had a whole lot of surprise reveals, but it certainly had a very important message that permeated through the conference. At times, EA said and showed things that seemed to point towards a publisher and developer who has learned a lot of lessons from a very rough 2017, a lot of which is thanks to the controversy surrounding loot boxes and games as services. However, its silence in other portions, specifically when it came to sports games, sent a mixed message.
One of the defining news stories of 2017 revolved around the drama of Star Wars Battlefront 2, specifically its implementation of loot boxes and microtransactions. The road there was a long and strange one, filled with mixed messages and confusing rhetoric that ultimately came to a boil when the world got its hands on the beta in October 2017. And, of course, EA completely removed microtransactions for a period of time just hours before Battlefront 2 officially launched (after a week of negative reviews and feedback from early access for preorder customers).