There has been plenty of mixed feeling towards EA’s recent decision to incorporate microtransactions into all their future games. It is safe to say that plenty of the outrage against EA’s shift to further monetization of games comes from the consumers, mostly because their money is what is expected to fuel the microtransaction system.
Gears of War designer and former Epic Games director Cliff Bleszinski, on the other hand, is “tired of EA being seen as the ‘bad guy.”
In a lengthy post on his blog Bleszinski defends EA’s decision to embrace the microtransaction model while comparing them to the quite well-received corporation Valve.
“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 bullshit that EA has the ‘scumbag EA’ memes on Reddit and that Good Guy Valve can do no wrong.”
He went on to say that when EA tries to sell consumers things similar to the $100 engagement ring in Team Fortress 2 “it’s somehow ‘cool’ yet when EA wants to sell something similar it’s seen as “evil”‘
“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.”
Bleszinski compared Valve’s early days with the Steam platform with EA’s current development with Origin.
“People love to beat up on Origin, but they forget that, for a good amount of time, Steam sucked,” he wrote. “It took Valve years to bang their service into the stellar shape that it is in these days. Yet somehow everyone online forgets this, and they give EA crap about trying to create their own online services.”
He also emphasizes that the “[gaming] market…is in such a sense of turmoil that the old business model is either evolving, growing or dying” and that “making money and running a business is not inherently evil. It creates jobs and growth and puts food on the table.”
In the end, he leaves us with some advice: “If you don’t like the games, or the sales techniques, don’t spend your money on them. You vote with your dollars.”