Electronic Arts earned itself a spot in the Guinness World Records through a comment on Reddit regarding the loot boxes of Star Wars Battlefront II, but unfortunately, it is not an achievement worth celebrating.
In 2017, EA was dealing with severe backlash over the microtransactions and loot boxes of Battlefront II. One of the most dynamic channels for player’s concerns was the official Star Wars Battlefront sub-Reddit, where a comment made by an unknown community manager turned out to be a legendary one.
On the official Star Wars sub-Reddit, user -amsha- uploaded a picture from the Guinness World Records book for 2020 that showed EA earning its place in history. The response by the official EA Community Team account was declared the most downvoted comment on Reddit with 683,000 downvotes.
The comment was made in response to a player’s complaint that he paid $80 for Battlefront II, but Darth Vader, presumably his favorite character in the series, still needs to be unlocked.
“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes,” the EA community manager wrote. The infamous “pride and accomplishment” post is now part of world history, blasting the competition — the second-most downvoted Reddit comment has just under 89,000 downvotes.
EA’s comment is a small peek into the publisher’s controversial pay-to-win scheme for Battlefront II. Microtransactions were suspended on the eve of the game’s launch, but the outrage by players sent shockwaves through the video game industry, pushing developers and publishers to switch to monetization models that only involve cosmetic items.
The reactions of players to EA’s initially proposed microtransactions for Battlefront II paved the way for the Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act, a bill introduced by Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri in May that aims to tackle the problem of predatory loot boxes and pay-to-win schemes.
From a single Reddit comment gushed forth a flood of downvotes, leading to an industry-changing movement from players and finally landing a Guinness World Record. Electronic Arts surely did not want it, but the publisher now holds one of the most egregious achievements in the history of video games.