Cliff Bleszinski, former game designer at Epic, has come to the defence of EA for its decision to make microstransactions a core part of its business going forward.
A swift storm of vitriol followed EA’s announcement that it intends to make microtransitions part of all its future games. This reaction annoyed Bleszinski, who has now written a lengthy defence of the publisher and its ‘business’ actions on his personal blog.
“The video game industry is just that. An industry. Which means that it exists in a capitalistic world. You know, a free market. A place where you’re welcome to spend your money on whatever you please…or to refrain from spending that money. Those companies that put these products out? They’re for profit businesses. They exist to produce, market, and ship great games ultimately for one purpose. First, for money, then, for acclaim,” he wrote.
“I’ve seen a lot of comments online about microtransactions. They’re a dirty word lately, it seems. Gamers are upset that publishers/developers are ‘nickel and diming them’. They’re raging at ‘big and evil corporations who are clueless and trying to steal their money’.”
Bleszinski didn’t stop there. He went on to express his frustration at the different standards player hold for games companies.
“I’m going to come right out and say it. I’m tired of EA being seen as ‘the bad guy’. I think it’s *** that EA has the ‘scumbag EA’ memes on Reddit and that Good Guy Valve can Do No Wrong.
“Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of Gabe and co most everything they do. (Remember, I bought that custom portal turret that took over the internet a while back and I have friends over there.)
“However, it blows my mind that somehow gamers don’t seem to get that Valve is a business, just like any other, and when Valve charges $100 for an engagement ring in Team Fortress 2 it’s somehow "cool" yet when EA wants to sell something similar it’s seen as ‘evil’. Yes, guys, I hate to break it to you, as awesome as Valve is they’re also a company that seeks to make as much money as possible. They’re just way better at their image control.”
You can read more of Bleszinski’s thoughts on his personal blog.