EA has developed a “moral compass” to help it build live services

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EA is redesigning its development schedules to make sure that games released by the company have their live services tested early. In an interview, the company’s vice president of strategic growth, Matt Bilbey, says he and chief creative officer Patrick Soderlund have developed “an EA moral compass,” intended to “ensure we’re giving our game teams the right guidance” when it comes to monetisation.

In the wake of the controversy over Star Wars Battlefront II’s lootboxes, there’s been growing scrutiny across European and North American governments about the role lootboxes play in game monetisation, and EA can often be found at the forefront of the debate. Now, however, Bilbey says the company is redesigning its live services to fit in with its wider development schedule.

In the interview with gamesindustry.biz, Bilbey refers to the work EA has done with organisations like the Belgian Gaming Commission “is an education, helping them understand how we design the games and the notion of choice and our commitment to making the games fair and fun.” He also states that “we learned a lot from Star Wars Battlefront.”

In order to try and prevent a repeat of the controversy that surrounded Battlefront II (EA had to pull microtransactions from the game entirely soon after release), Bilbey has been working to “redesign our game development framework.” Working with Soderlund, Bilbey says EA is now working to give teams “the right guidance – we’ll call it an EA moral compass – at the beginning of development.”

That means that “we’re designing our live service early, we’re testing it early, testing it with gamers who are giving us feedback so we ensure those pillars of fairness, value, and fun are true.”