Ex-Blizzard Chief Believes Gamers Should Have the Option to Tip Developers an Extra $10-$20 Over the $70 Game Price



Former Blizzard president, Mike Ybarra, recently suggested the option for players to tip developers after completing a game. His idea, prompted by his own awe-inspiring reactions to games like Elden Ring, Baldur’s Gate 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, God of War and Horizon Zero Dawn, explores its intended application to $70 games, letting players show appreciation beyond the initial purchase cost. Ybarra explained his theory of wanting to provide extra funds to the creators, particularly of games without constant microtransactions or paid DLC.

The possibility of tipping, according to Ybarra, would be distinct from Patreon subscriptions, Ko-Fi donations, and crowdfunders, which are more common for indie developers seeking to cover costs. Despite some resistance against adding tips to already expensive AAA games, the question arises of whether these tips would increase the earnings of developers or go directly to the publishers. The high pricing of modern games has been seen as unsustainable by figures such as Matthew Karch, CEO of Saber Interactive, predicting a coming shift in the industry.

Although Ybarra’s tipping idea has been met with criticism, he emphasizes that his concept aims to reward developers for great work rather than pressuring players into tipping. This view appears contrary to his previous statement highlighting a need for constant new content to be monetized, especially ironic given the criticism of Overwatch 2’s move to a free-to-play model. The viability of tipping as a potential path for sustainability still remains to be seen.


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