Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

After the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot box furore hit the headlines late last year, the outcry over the video game industry's use of what some reckon is gambling in video games appeared to die down.

Now, it's picking back up again after US politicians pushed forward with what may result in new legislation that governs the use of loot boxes in video games.

First up, lawmakers in Hawaii have introduced four bills in a bid to regulate the sale of video games that include loot boxes. Two of these bills would block sales of games with loot boxes to those aged under 21. The other two would force publishers to label their games with loot box warnings and reveal the rates of receiving each reward.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Last night was financials night for Electronic Arts and a chance for investors to ask about the sticky situation of suspended microtransactions in Star Wars Battlefront 2.

The most pertinent quote came from a Wall Street Journal report. EA's money man, Blake Jorgensen, told the publication monetisation would be reinstated sometime "in the next few months". "We'll do it when we think it's ready," he reportedly said.

A screenshot of the entire, very short, WSJ article was tweeted by WSJ reporter Sarah E. Needleman. The article itself is available only via the subscription-restricted Dow Jones Newswire.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

The good news is EA DICE has bitten the bullet and is reworking the Star Wars Battlefront 2 progression system, having turned microtransactions off amid a storm of controversy in November. The bad news is we don't know how and we won't know more until March.

"Your feedback has been essential here, and we are preparing significant changes to progression that will address many of the things we've seen players asking for. We'll be sharing more details about these changes in March," EA DICE said in a Star Wars Battlefront 2 update.

"Significant changes" sound promising, and if they're taking this long, perhaps it really is a complete refit. Maybe Star Card abilities will no longer have anything to do with loot boxes. Nevertheless, by the time March rolls around, Star Wars Battlefront 2, already slipping from the public eye, will be four months old - and there's no guarantee the changes will actually be ready. But at least something is being done.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been patched - the game's first update of 2018. The headline features are a new map for Blast mode - on the eye-catching red/salt planet of Crait - and a new Hero ship for Starfighter Assault in the form of Iden Versio's modified TIE fighter.

Battlefront 2's microtransactions are still frozen nearly two months later.

The Blast on Crait map takes place in the mines among machinery and crystals. Iden Versio's TIE fighter, which costs 5000 credits to unlock, comes with the Afterburner, Laser Barrage, Dual Proton Torpedos and Inferno Leader abilities - the latter uncovering all enemies within a radius and increasing the damage they take.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Remember when EA bigshot Blake Jorgensen said you probably wouldn't want a pink Darth Vader in Star Wars Battlefront 2? He was wrong.

Someone wanted pink Darth Vader so much they decided to take matters into their own hands and make the costume themselves.

Do you also remember when Jorgensen said, in the same breath, Darth Vader in white "probably doesn't make sense"? The same modder, Destauchi, disagreed yet again.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Someone, somewhere at Disney is still updating the 2005 version of Star Wars: Battlefront 2 - the one defunct developer Pandemic made over a decade ago before it was shut down.

Online multiplayer suddenly returned to the aging shooter back in October, just prior to the arrival DICE's shiny new Star Wars: Battlefront 2 launching.

Last night, the game received a new 269.3MB patch via Steam to improve its online multiplayer features:

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005) - Johnathan.Thompson
Minor bug fixes and optimized performance, the most important fixes are:
Lobby functionality has been improved
Steam usernames should now display correctly
Ping calculations are more accurate
29 декември 2017
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

The great Star Wars debacle - and I'm not talking about The Last Jedi's second act here - dominated video game headlines in the last quarter of 2017. But in truth the year was packed with depressing stories about loot boxes, so many in fact that it has at times felt like our beloved hobby was more about the chance to win a rare item than it was about the chance to play.

It all began with For Honor, Ubisoft's excellent but troubled melee combat game. Soon after For Honor came out in February, a redditor worked out how much money it would cost to unlock all 12 heroes in the game and their associated aesthetic items (2017 would see enterprising redditors work out how much things cost to unlock in a lot of games). It turned out it would cost an eye-watering 585. Ouch.

Ubisoft, sensing a growing resentment among players (growing resentment was a running theme of 2017), said it never intended for players to unlock everything in the game. That was a PR line that didn't go down well (PR lines that didn't go down well was another running theme of 2017).

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Apple, in what may be a trend-setting decision, now requires any App Store game with loot boxes to disclose the odds of receiving items from them.

"Apps offering 'loot boxes' or other mechanisms that provide randomised virtual items for purchase must disclose the odds of receiving each type of item to customers prior to purchase," a bullet point added to the 3.1.1 in-app purchase clause now reads (via TouchArcade).

Forcing disclosure of odds is something China has required all games to do, by law, since May. It's how we learned Overwatch awards an epic item once every 5.5 loot boxes and a legendary once every 13.5 loot boxes.

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Star Wars: Battlefront 2 (Classic, 2005)

Last week, independent charity Gamble Aware held its annual two-day conference in London. It focused on what's called Harm Minimisation, in particular, how to protect young people from gambling. The event was a who's who of the UK gambling industry, but there was one topic on everyone's lips: loot boxes.

The loot box debate seems to have torn the UK gambling industry apart. While many in the conference room appeared curious to learn more about the issue, others scoffed at the mere mention of "video games".

Perhaps that's why Gamble Aware wanted to address the issue head on, holding a series of panels and discussions which debated a variety of gambling related issues within video games - skin-betting, social games, esports and, of course, loot boxes.

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