Getting a world record provides most people with a sense of pride and accomplishment, but this might not be the case for the unnamed owner of Electronic Arts’ Reddit account. In the 2020 Guinness Book of World Records, an infamous post defending Star Wars Battlefront II’s loot boxes gained around 668,000 downvotes, earning it the dubious honor of “most-downvoted comment on Reddit” in the iconic record book.
The comment in question was in response to a post on the Star Wars Battlefront subreddit that was complaining about characters having to be unlocked through loot boxes and microtransactions, requiring either additional payment of dozens of hours of grinding to unlock them. The post stated that EA has stretched the boundaries of what is acceptable.
EA’s now-infamous official justification was that the intent behind the loot box system was to provide a “sense of pride and accomplishment” for unlocking different heroes.
The comment quickly became something of a meme on Reddit, with “pride and accomplishment” used as a euphemism for what the community saw as exploitative practices by EA and other companies that have adopted the loot box model to squeeze money out of its customers.
The controversy over the loot boxes ended up hurting Battlefront II's sales and momentum - and while the game is still getting updates, the controversy did cause the game to miss its initial sales targets.
For its part, EA responded to the outrage by changing how loot boxes worked in Battlefront II, only allowing cosmetic items to be unlocked though the system. They did, however, defend themselves from gambling accusations earlier this year saying that their loot box system is simply “surprise mechanics,” similar to how Kinder Eggs, Hatchimals, and LOL Surprise dolls work.
Battlefront II isn't the only EA game to be hampered by the company's love of microtransactions. Recently, Apex Legends' Iron Crown event was heavily criticized for how greedy it was, forcing players to spend $154 to unlock everything the event had to offer. The event didn't even allow players to choose which content they unlocked, instead relying on their so-called "surprise mechanics" to help these players find the sense of pride and accomplishment that EA enjoys promoting.