Former Epic Games designer Cliff Bleszinski has defended publishers using the microtransaction payment model in games.
Posting on his personal blog, the Gears of War creator said he's tired of seeing publishers vilified for adopting the model, and stepped up to defend EA, which said earlier this week that it plans to integrate a microtransactions model into all future game projects.
"I've seen a lot of comments online about microtransactions," he said. "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.'
"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."
Bleszinski drew a parallel between microtransactions in EA's titles and Valve selling cosmetic items in Team Fortress 2, highlighting the difference in attitude towards the two and suggesting EA is being unfairly demonised while Valve is celebrated for it.
"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."
Bleszinski went on to describe detractors as a "vocal minority" and advise players to vote with their wallets.
"If you don't like EA, don't buy their games. If you don't like their microtransactions, don't spend money on them. It's that simple.
"EA has many smart people working for them (Hi, Frank, JR, and Patrick!) and they wouldn't attempt these things if they didn't work. Turns out, they do. I assure you there are teams of analysts studying the numbers behind consumer behavior over there that are studying how you, the gamer, spends his hard earned cash."
Bleszinski also said: "Every console game MUST have a steady stream of DLC because, otherwise, guess what? It becomes traded in, or it's just rented. In the console space you need to do anything to make sure that that disc stays in the tray. I used to be offended by GameStop's business practices but let's be honest...they're the next Tower Records or Sam Goody. It's only a matter of time."