Plants vs Zombies 3 Pre-Alpha is Out to Play

PopCap/EA’s has announced Plants vs Zombies 3, their new title in the garden defense game. The game is currently pre-alpha. Pre-alpha is very early launch of the game. Expect many glitches and errors before criticizing the game harshly. PopCap wants players to try out the game and provide feedback on potential improvements for the title.  The pre-alpha is free to play exclusively on Google Play store right now.

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The game has changed from landscape to portrait mode since Plants vs Zombies 2. Although the pre-alpha is currently out, you may not be able to play. If you can’t get access, PopCap says to try again another day as it will be opening up the pre-alpha in phases according to Gamespot. The pre-alpha is only available to the United States. EA has not announced a specific launch date for Plants vs Zombies 3. If the game is only in pre-alpha, don’t expect the game to launch until 2020.

The original Plants vs Zombies released in 2009. Due to the success of the game, EA bought the company in 2011 and helped them release Plants vs Zombies 2 but it was exclusive to phones. The second game was harshly criticized by fans for excessive micro transaction and the need for grinding which slowed down and made the game frustrating. I personally disliked the 2nd one for those practices after enjoying the first title so much. Hopefully the 3rd title won’t have the same issues.

Are you excited for Plants vs Zombies 3? 

EA Origin has an Exploited Security Weakness

EA Origin is Electronic Art’s online PC game platform. It sells and acts as an online source for all games under their brand. There are approximately 300 million players who utilize EA Origin. According to security researchers from Check Point (A vulnerability research company), there is a huge security flaw that could affect many players.

The security flaw allowed hackers to steal people’s accounts without using the user’s logins and passwords. They could steal a Single Sign-On authorization token which Origin provides for players to stay signed in. This can be stolen without any user participation. Similar occurrences have happened to Fortnite and Facebook accounts. Through this loophole, hackers could gain access to EA’s subdomain and send malicious pages to players through EA websites. This could fool players as it would be their an actual EA website rather than a fake.

CyberInt and Check Point told EA back in Feb 19th but it still looks like they haven’t fixed it. However, EA’s Head of Security stated they are currently working on fixing it.

If you’re using EA Origin, be careful on whatever websites you are sent from EA.

Sources

CNET

EA Fights for Loot Boxes at UK Parliament

Ever since Star Wars Battlefront 2 released, EA has been under heavy scrutiny from multiple governments; especially regarding the Loot Box system. Loot boxes have been a common premium content in many multiplayer games. Whether it is Overwatch, FIFA, or NBA 2K, many game companies are using loot boxes to make more profits.

What is bad about Loot Boxes?

Loot boxes usually contain multiple in-game items that can be difficult or slow to earn normally in games. However, there are no guarantees what you can obtain from a loot box. You could be spending money on items that aren’t very valuable. This could cause players to continue to spend money on loot boxes in hopes to obtain rare or good items in games.

EA says Loot Boxes are “Ethical” and “Fun”

Kerry Hopkins, EA’s VP of Legal and Government Affairs, stated that the company’s randomized purchases aren’t “loot boxes” but rather “surprise mechanics.” (PCgamesn) He states loot boxes are similar to Kinder Eggs or other surprise gifts. In regards to questions from the Scottish National Part, Hopkins stated: “our FIFA Ultimate Team and our packs – is actually quite ethical and quite fun, quite enjoyable to people.” Whether it is fun for players to spend countless dollars in hopes of obtaining a good player seems ridiculous. This is mostly to defend EA’s pack system as FIFA is one of their best selling titles and generates massive amounts of revenue to the player pack system. FIFA 19 sold 9.15 million units for the PlayStation 4 last year. It is the 3rd best selling game of 2018.

Hopkins and EA believe that loot boxes isn’t similar to gambling or leads to gambling addiction. Many governments believe loot boxes will lead people, especially children, to be gambling addicts. EA is hoping the government won’t make any laws to prevent the banning of the system as it generates massive amounts of revenue for the company. While many hardcore players are recognizing and complaining about loot boxes or similar systems, many other players are still purchasing them in hopes of getting their best characters, loot, or cosmetics.

I believe loot boxes should be removed from games. It creates an unhealthy habit because it causes players to spend more money then they should on a chance of obtaining their desires. If you want to just spend money on a character or cosmetic, then that’s fine. At least you know what you’re paying for but spending over $100 a month just for a chance is ridiculous. It is a smart business tactic for companies who can pray on consumers but it isn’t a healthy option in the long run.

Sources:

PC Games

Statista – FIFA stats

Anthem Players plan Blackout to Protest Loot system

Anthem’s loot system causes players to start week long protest

Anthem has some problems with its community. Early during the game release, players were unintentionally joining raids far beyond their levels and also shutting off PlayStation 4 devices. A new issue has arisen with EA Bioware making changes to the loot system within Anthem.

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What changed?

In Patch 1.03, level 30 players will no longer receive common or uncommon loot. In plain view, this seems to be a great option for stronger players; however, it is still extremely exhausting to earn legendary or master tier items. Some players on the Reddit have reported that they have played over 60 hours in Grandmaster without receiving any significant loot. Players are frustrated as Anthem, at its core, is a loot based shooter similar to Destiny and Warframe. They feel as though their time is wasted.

The Weeklong Protest

Reddit user r/Afinda created a post suggesting a week-long protest where no one would play Anthem. The post is currently at 12,000 upvotes.

You’re Pissed? You want to make a point once and for all? Well, what could hurt a game that has Real Money transactions for cosmetics (lol, yeah there are nearly none i know) or is a live service more than anything? Get your point across, simple as that. Stop Playing the game for a whole Week (Hopefully with the support of the entire Subreddit) to show BioWare that all it’d take for us to really enjoy the game, is to receive loot.

This protest is good for Ubisoft as The Division 2, another loot-based shooter, releases this week. The protest is already making waves. EA Bioware’s Head of Live Service for Anthem tweeted:

Player feedback is key, especially to modern loot based games. For example, Star Wars Battlefield 2 by EA is now much better received after the huge outrage from their loot box systems. The game has removed all aspects of  Ubisoft’s For Honor was also being boycotted by their player base during its launch. Their protest caused Ubisoft to quickly change their game rewards and increased in-game currency earnings by 25%.

Hopefully, EA Bioware makes these changes soon. Anthem has received mixed reviews and the spotlight on them is making the game look worse. While I personally don’t own the game, I don’t want the game to be awful for its community.