A hot potato: Getting your name in the Guinness World Records is no easy feat. There are all sorts of wild, weird and wonderful achievements that usually become the pride of those who've given their all for it. Not for EA, though, as the company whose reputation has dwindled under the weight of "surprise mechanics" recently saw itself making it into the Guinness Book of World Records after receiving the highest number of downvotes on Reddit for its response on loot boxes in its Star Wars: Battlefront II game.
EA's Star Wars: Battlefront II was a highly anticipated title for fans of the series but it got off to a rocky start and things didn't get better when a user pointed out on Reddit that the locked "Darth Vader" character in the $80 title hid behind a micro-transaction paywall for a quick unlock or through the usual way of grinding through the game.
The publisher's response, stated below, wasn't well received at all.
The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.
As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we're looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we'll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.
We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.
Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.
The original post received 164k upvotes from users who had similar concerns while the response from EACommunityTeam made it into the Guinness World Records 2020 when it peaked at 683,000 downvotes.
Although the exact figure has changed since then - 667812 as of writing - the reason for downvotes is stated on Reddit as "Ripping people off, then brigade" where it holds a comfortable lead ahead of the second most downvoted comment by nearly 8 times.
Micro-transactions were eventually suspended just hours before the game launched but the backlash EA received from the gaming community caused an industry-wide shift towards monetizing over cosmetic items instead of pay-to-win models.
This rather embarrassing achievement is yet another hint for EA (and others) to avoid the use of "surprise mechanics" in gameplay design and focus on the more pressing needs and demands of the gaming community.