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Bleszinski Defends EA's Microtransactions, Laments Their "Evil" Public Image

Matt Gardner
Cliff Bleszinski, EA, Microtransactions, MILK US!!!, Monetisation, Valve

Bleszinski Defends EA's Microtransactions, Laments Their "Evil" Public Image

Cliff Bleszinski has a lot of time on his hands these days, and has been weighing in on every industry hot topic under the sun in these past weeks. Today it's time for CliffyB's appraisal of the microtransaction situation.

His view? Well, according to the Cliffmeister, everyone should lay off EA, and remember that this is an industry, and that the number one purpose of large publishers is to appease their shareholders.

Oh, and Valve are just as bad. They just have a cuddlier public image.

"I’ve seen a lot of comments online about microtransactions," wrote Bleszinski in a recent blog post. "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.

"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."

The point Bleszinski eventually reaches is that voting should done with one's dollars (or pounds), and that if you don't like a company's practices, you shouldn't buy their games.

"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.

"If you’re currently raging about this on GAF, or on the IGN forums, or on Gamespot, guess what? You’re the vocal minority. Your average guy that buys just Madden and GTA every year doesn’t know, nor does he care. He has no problem throwing a few bucks more at a game because, hey, why not?"

Why not indeed? See, it's really just our own fault. We asked for this as a mass consumer horde. When there are hundreds and thousand of people number crunching to work out ways to manipulate you out of your money, the oblivious window shopper doesn't stand a chance. But, apparently, that's fine. Everything's fine.

I need a drink.

Add a comment7 comments
frankfarter  Mar. 1, 2013 at 18:59

**** "Cliffy B" and **** EA.

They can monetize the **** out of as many retards as they like, but I, for one, won't be buying any game where you need to pay more to complete it, or to play against those who pay to win.

Having already bought an EA game recently, I feel ashamed as though I've somehow encouraged them, but I found a glitch so at least they won't get any more out of me for their **** online pass.

BetterThanLife  Mar. 1, 2013 at 19:09

One wonders how f*cked this world we'd be if "vocal minorities" hadn't stood up to governments, businesses, tyrants, Nazis, sexism, racism, homophobia, the list goes on.

I bet Bleszinski's a **** Republican. He chats enough sh*t.

Microtransactions aren't inherently evil. But charging full price for a game, then inserting nefarious ways to milk an unassuming consumer base? Get **** EA. And get **** Bleszinski.

JonLester  Mar. 1, 2013 at 19:16

Broadly speaking, Bleszinski does make a couple of good points. Companies have been implementing this microtransaction model for years - just look at the amount of booster and currency DLC in games like Tales Of Vesperia, for example - and EA certainly isn't the first to tread this road. Also, yes, publishers wouldnt do this if some gamers (who must be out there somewhere, I've never met them)- didn't put money down.

But damn, he couldn't have picked a worse example.

Valve decided to make Team Fortress 2... one of the best multiplayer shooters of all time... totally and completely free. Every map. Every class. Every mode and weapon. For free. Players can choose to support the game and show their individuality with a real money purchase here and there, but that's how microtransactions are supposed to work. A little extra on the side, to be totally ignored 99% of the time, but dipped into every once in a while on a whim while enjoying a complete game.

Not on top of a £40 game that artificially lengthens the amount of time it takes to mass resources and experience. There's missing the point, then there's Cliffy.

Otherwise, see above...

Last edited by JonLester, Mar. 1, 2013 at 19:19
Anarchist  Mar. 1, 2013 at 20:11

What an utter ****.

I'm going to coin what he is trying to put in place, the 'Pay to pay to play' model. Seeing as you have to buy the game, to get the option to buy all the extras for the game, to be able to be competitive in the game.

I'd love to see him answer the issues around his comparison, when TF2 is free to play and the paid addons don't offer you any real advantage, yet madden is still £50 on demand and still requires you to pay for microtransactions just to stay competitive.

Breadster  Mar. 1, 2013 at 21:13

As Jon said, using Valve as a comparison is laughable, I don't know what Cliffy has been smoking.

In any case, Cliffy's argument boils down to "other people do it so it's ok" which we all know is the best way to think about things. How someone who made Gears of War 3 feels they can comment on something like this and expect their opinion to hold any value anyway is beyond me. With locked disc content, selling different skins for weapons (which would maybe be ok if they cost about 10p each and there were more than like 5 skins in the game to start with) and the best one - not being able to play ranked matches on dedicated servers (which was one of the games' main draws) unless you have all the dlc.

As others have said - **** Cliffy B.

[email protected]  Mar. 1, 2013 at 22:28

Doesn't this bloke ever shut his pie hole? :)
Time for less chatty and more codey.

gamestraderjames  Mar. 2, 2013 at 08:20

The big difference which he has failed to acknowledge with his deluded rant is with paying full price for a game THEN optional micro transactions, as opposed to a game being free with optional micro transactions.

Also, he sure seems to have his panties in a twist over the comments of a 'vocal minority'. When will ****s like this learn to keep their mouths shut, how is a rant like that going to help EAs abysmal image.

Insulting your customers is probably not a great business decision.

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