Star Wars Battlefront 2 will implement loot boxes into its gameplay, offering players rewards and upgrades (à la Overwatch) for players in the upcoming Star Wars game. However, the loot system in Battlefront 2 appears to offer more than just cosmetic upgrades, giving players enhanced health or firepower, stoking fears among players that Battlefront 2 will allow for pay-to-win mechanics.
Eurogamer first reported on the first gameplay footage of Star Wars Battlefront 2's loot system. These randomized crates show collectible upgrades (called Star Cards) of varying rarities offering power-ups which directly affect gameplay such as weapons power ups, damage boost, and other abilities like healing. Duplicate cards can be converted into "crafting parts" which can be used to build a particular card, or upgrade an existing card.
As per most games with a loot box system, players can purchase these crates by using in-game currency earned by just playing the game or logging in. However, EA confirmed that players can purchase loot crates using real-world currencies.
"Players will be rewarded in the game through regular play in many different, earnable ways including crates," said an EA representative. "For those that want to accelerate the rewards, they can do so by purchasing crates that contain randomised items and rewards."
Eurogamer notes that this isn't the first EA game to offer a loot system, but unlike the Battlepacks in Battlefield which are mostly cosmetic, Star Wars Battlefront II's loot offers actual gameplay advantages.
Josh Klein's top comment on the YouTube video showcasing Battlefront 2's loot crate system specifically cits pay to win fears that could emerge from the loot system writing, "Hopefully this doesn't mean this game will be pay to win. Cough cough Call of Duty...?" It remains to be seen how EA can balance the game so that the bonuses earned (or won) in the loot crates won't create a stark disadvantage for players who choose to earn crates through in-game means.