EA's earnings report hinted at some interesting future regarding new games but also served as another clear reminder that despite complaining about microtransactions and loot boxes, gamers still supported such practices with their wallets.
Live services scored almost $1 billion for EA in a single quarter of fiscal 2020. You might want to let that sink in. According to the financial report, this is a 27 per cent increase over the previous year, meaning the player spending via microtransactions is on the rise. For comparison, Q3 in 2019 raked in $784 million through the same means while Q3 2018 had $787 million.
When those numbers are put next to full game downloads, which scored "just" $317 million in Q3 2020 net bookings, it is quite clear that microtransactions and loot boxes are not going anywhere, anytime soon. One can't even be surprised that EA are trying to justify loot boxes while calling them surprise mechanics since they more than tripled the what full game downloads achieved.
Companies generally favour revenue over having a good reputation on Reddit and other places where the consumers can complain about predatory practices so the phrase "vote with your wallet" has never been more important.
Sadly, it has never been more depressive either since enough people voted with their wallets already for EA to swim in cash that was mostly gained through the likes of FIFA Ultimate Team.
Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order is the only bright spot for those hoping for a future where games are not plagued with microtransactions. Respawn Entertainment's title has sold around eight million copies which is more than EA expected apparently. Considering it beat their expectations, it is possible we will see more microtransactionless content in the future.