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Star Wars Battlefront II Triggers Gambling Definition Concerns

Gamers around the globe were eagerly anticipating the official launch of the new Star Wars Battlefront II action shooter video game and the big day was this Tuesday. There have been some last minute adjustments when it comes to the difficulty level of the game, but probably the biggest surprise in relation to the new game is the fact that the players will have to pay an additional amount of money if they want to unlock the best characters in the action game and other benefits.

This decision has been criticized by many experts in the field and some even went so far as to express their concerns about the gambling tendencies such gaming policy could invoke. Many of the fans of the game were very vocal about the decision of Electronic Arts, the company which develops of the game, and Disney, the owner of the Star Wars franchise. They expressed their opinion that in its essence the virtual rewards system of the shooter game is a form of gambling and as such, it should not be considered appropriate for underage players.

How Loot Crates Could be Considered Form of Gambling

What they are talking about is the loot crate system as well as the in-game economy which is changing the very nature of the gaming experience as we know it. The purchased crates are filled with random but valuable for the player items, and they could be purchased in exchange for microtransactions which happen in the game environment. They involve real world money to be converted into in-game currency, the so-called crystals, and what proves the gamers’ point is the fact that the loot crates are a game of chance.

Because the loot crates provide a random chance of winning prizes and some of them are smaller, whereas others are bigger, the players gamble their money in the hopes of winning items they do not own yet. The concerning images of slot machines were condemned by many. What qualifies a game as a form of gambling is the presence of the three essential elements of chance. Consideration is the amount of money which a player pays in order to participate in the game. Prize is the rewards of the game, in the case of Star Wars Battlefront II, while the chance factor is the random element which affects the winning.

EA’s decision to introduce the in-game purchases and various chance-involving item boxes has started the conversation of the gambling side of those traditionally considered skill games and how far the players are willing to go in order to reach the full experience of the game. It also provokes thoughts of the underage gamers and what could their way of participation be when it comes to spending real money in the game and making potential unauthorized purchases.

A spokesperson for EA came out with a statement that the crate mechanics of the game could not be considered gambling in any way and its opinion was supported by Entertainment Software Rating Board. The self-regulatory organization that applies ratings to games compared the loot crates to collectible card games in which the player could sometimes end up with a stack of cards they already own, but they could also win a much-needed card.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.