Video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA) has been award a Guinness World Record award for 2020, but their accomplishment is not one to be proud of.
Guinness has recognized EA for having the most downvoted post in the history of Reddit for their notorious defense of the excessive loot boxes in the 2017 release, “Star Wars: Battlefront II.” The ill-considered rationale became a lightning rod for disgruntled fans, who converged to give the post 667,821 downvotes, the most in the history of the site.
The record was, understandably, awarded with little to no fanfare. Reddit user u/-amsha- spotted and shared the ignominious honor while reading through the latest edition of the Guinness Book of World Records.
“An official post by videogames publisher Electronic Arts,” the section about the record reads. “Responding to players’ complaints about having to unlock characters such as Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in ‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ (2017) through ‘loot boxes,’ has 683,000 downvotes.”
The controversy that led to this comment was a flashpoint in an ongoing debate surrounding loot boxes in video games, a mechanic that allows players to purchase items or in-game progression with real money. The items or achievements that these boxes unlock often require inordinate amounts of work to unlock without spending real money, incentivizing players to make the purchases, often known as “micro-transactions.”
“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes,” the comment from u/EACommunityTeam began. “
As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay. We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets. Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.”
Since the controversy erupted, according to PC Gamer, EA and developer Dice have listened to complaints and began rolling back the amount of work required to progress in the game and unlock certain items and characters without parting with real money.