Former Epic Games developer Cliff Bleszinski has had enough of all you whippersnappers who are all too happy to slam the free-to-play business model. The Gears of War creator is particularly irked with the negativity towards microtransactions, likening the new-age "nickel and diming" instead to an arcade machine.
He suggests on his blog
that if consumers don't like the way a game is presented, then all they need to do is vote with their wallets. "The video game industry is just that. An industry," he writes. "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.
"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 then crosses a line of gaming sanctity and pegs Valve on the same level as EA - the latter being a company that is somewhat despised by a number of internet commentators because of its growing focus on microtransactions.
"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.
"Don’t get me wrong – I’m a huge fan of Gabe and co most everything they do. 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. Making money and running a business is not inherently evil. It creates jobs and growth and puts food on the table."
Cliff seems to have a point with the Team Fortress 2
comparison. What do you think? Read the rest of his blog article and sound off in the comments box below.