Sometimes video game publishers and creators make headlines for negative reasons. So here are 10 controversial things said by game makers. And please note, this isn’t intended to stir up new anger or get mad at anybody, in particular, just a look back at some old headlines, a trip down memory lane, to really see what we’ve learned.
10 Controversial things said by game makers
“A dollar to reload” – CEO EA
So starting off with the number 10,
Let’s start off with an absolute banger when, in 2011, then CEO of Electronic Arts, EA, John Riccitiello had this to say at a shareholder/stockholder meeting.
“When you are six hours into playing ‘Battlefield'” and you run out of ammo in your clip, “and we ask you for a dollar to reload, “you’re really not that price sensitive” at that point in time. “So essentially what ends up happening,” and the reason the play first, pay later model “works nicely is a consumer gets engaged in a property.”
“They may spend 10, 20,30, 50 hours in a game, “and then when they’re deep into a game, “they’re well invested in it. “It’s a great model, and it represents” a substantially better future for the industry.
Boom. So there you have it, guys. Then the CEO of EA Games, in explaining the free-to-play and microtransaction models to shareholders, pretty much admitted that they are down to generate revenue, really draw revenue from you, the player, the consumer, so much to the point that they would actually even hypothetically consider charging you for a reload.
$1 to reload definitely became a thing, a rallying cry against practices like this. And while, yeah, he definitely was probably exaggerating a little bit, just using it as an example, I still think it’s indicative of EA’s mindset, specifically at the time when they were playing the game really hard.
Look, John Riccitiello has got in hot water in the past for some crazy statements. I’m sure when we do apart two of this video, which we do have planned, we’ll probably talk about more, but there are times in the world of media where quotes can get taken out of context, and there are times like this where just the quote itself Just doesn’t sound good any which way you present it.
“Do you guys not have phones?” – Activision Blizzard
On the list of 10 controversial things said by game makers at number nine we have
You guys probably still remember this one, but it’s when Activision Blizzard announced “DiabloImmortal,” the very mobile, free-to-play style “Diablo” game that, of course, as we now know, is filled with monetization and microtransaction purchases that people are just not into.
When the game was first announced at BlizzCon, and the reception wasn’t really great, one of the heads of the project At Activision Blizzard on stage, upon hearing the reaction of the crowd, said, “Do you guys not have phones? “You guys all have phones, right?”
This is specifically because some people in the crowd booed because they said that this game would only be on mobile. And when you’re at BlizzCon, chances are you are more of a hardcore Blizzard fan.
You’re playing on PC, maybe console, but most likely PC, and to hear that the next new thing they’ve been working on isn’t even coming out on your platform, the main fans’ platform of choice, you’re gonna be bummed.
So to flippantly respond, “You guys all have phones, right?” Yeah, sure, we do. That just doesn’t necessarily mean we wanna play on them.
Yes, everybody has a cell phone, but not everybody plays mobile games. No disrespect to anyone else here at gamecheckup. I know some of us play mobile games, and we talk about them from time to time, but personally, I barely play any.
So when I heard this, I was like, “Ah, this ain’t it, guys.” And sure enough, now it’s2022, the game has been released, and it pretty much is exactly what everyone expected.
“Surprise mechanics” – EA
On the list of 10 controversial things said by game makers at number eight we have
You may or may not remember when EA referred to loot boxes as “surprise mechanics.” No, loot boxes aren’t bad, negative things for the consumer.
They’re actually ethical and fun. This was when representatives from both EA and Epic Games spoke to a parliamentary panel in 2019 specifically to defend their business practices, which were getting hot at the time throughout Europe.
The EA representative really doubled down and called them “surprise mechanics,” referencing going to a toystore and buying a blind box and getting surprised over that excitement, Referencing Kinder Eggs orHatchimals or other kid toys, where I really think it did not do a good job of helping their argument.
And it’s also worth pointing out that these people are not marketing or public relations people or anything like that.
These are hardcore heads of legal and government affairs within these corporations. So I think, if anything, what they’re talking about is actually how they’re thinking of it, and it’s really hilarious.
It’s called Xbox 360 – Xbox
On the list of 10 controversial things said by game makers at number seven we have
A lot of people are forgetting This brief footnote in history, but when the Xbox One was first announced, things were a little rocky.
Xbox’s messaging was a little all over the place, and they said a couple of things that people really didn’t wanna hear.
The focus on how game sharing would work, the fact that the console would be always online, you’d need to be connected, which, back then, was still really a huge deal and a negative for quite a lot of players, and just an overall emphasis on it being a media console, A platform for television and media, with games, almost feeling like a footnote in their messaging.
So when players specifically took issue with a lot of this stuff and specifically harped on the fact that the console would need to stay connected online, and you wouldn’t be able to play your games offline, an Xbox head at the time, Don Mattrick’s, response for those people was basically, “Well, if you don’t like it, we still have the Xbox 360.”
We have a product for people who can’t get online. It’s called Xbox 360.” As you can see on the screen here, the actual quote is a little bit wordier, but still, I think it’s very fair to distill it down to say it exactly like that.
We’re not misconstruing anything. Really, it blew up, but now looking back, it’s not as big of a deal. It’s really just the way it was worded.
Growing pains for the time, online connected consoles, always online, DRM. These things on consoles were still kind of getting figured out, And now today, we face plenty of similar problems, but we don’t have, at the very least, the heads of the company saying, “Oh, don’t like it? Go play our old shit. Cause that would still be very bad if they were still saying that, to be clear.
“Story in a game is like a story in a po** movie” – John Carmack
On the list of 10 controversial things said by game makers at number six we have
Cause we’re having fun here, it’s not all serious, let’s talk John Carmack. This dude is the Co-founder of id Software. He’s the Lead Programmer behind like “Commander Keen,” “Wolf 3D,” “Doom,” “And Quake.
He’s a legend and seemingly a computer super genius. John also got tons of spicyquotes from documentaries and books throughout the years about the history behind first-person shooters and id Software, and one of our favorite quotes is, “Story in a game is like a story in a po** movie.”
It’s expected to be there, but it’s not that important. Damn, that’s savage, if you ask us. If anything, I don’t really think it’s anything to get mad at.
I don’t think anyone really ever saw this and got pissed off. It’s just one person’s opinion about video games. And I mean, look at the context here.
John Carmack now is an older dude. He’s been playing and making games that specifically focus on gameplay first and foremost.
Obviously, there are some games out there that are story-based and absolutely compelling. We talk about them all the time here.
I like both. I can play “Quake” or”Rocket League” with anyone and just always just have endless fun, but I really also don’t mind a slow game with limited gameplay that just tells An incredibly beautiful story.
Either way, it doesn’t matter. I’m not mad at John Carmack. I’m very grateful for his contributions to video game history. And really, if I’m honest, the quote is kind of funny.
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“Work your ass off or put yourself in debt to get one” – Ken Kutaragi
On the list of 10 controversial things said by game makers at number five we have
Here’s one I really love. Ken Kutaragi, the former head of PlayStation, considered by many to be one of the fathers of the original PlayStation, was always good for a spicy quote.
And one of my favorite ones was around the time of the PlayStation 3. During an interview with a Japanese magazine, Ken had this to say about the PlayStation 3 and the price goal. “For consumers to think to themselves, “‘I will work more hours to buy one.
“We want people to feel that they want, “irrespective of anything else.” So basically he said, “Yeah, we’re pricing it high, yeah, we want you to want it,” and we know you’re suckers enough “to work your ass off or put yourself in debt to get one,” basically saying like, “Hey, get a job, man,” which is a really, really funny way to talk about how they want the PlayStation3 to be perceived, because, I actually buried the lead here, this quote actually came out before the price of the PlayStation 3 was announced. So he was really setting the groundwork for what will be chaos later on.
As much as it’s a weird quote to hear from somebody repping the console, I will admit, for the PlayStation 2, I saved up every single bit of money I could, pocket change, side jobs, lunch money, everything to get that thing. So I guess maybe he was talking specifically to me.
I certainly didn’t love it at the time, though, and it’s just really interesting to see the context of how the PS3was priced and launched compared to the PlayStation 4. Ken and his buddies definitely learned something.
“People who play RPGs are depressed gamers” – Hiroshi Yamauchi
Next, over at number four
I absolutely love this one. So Hiroshi Yamauchi, technically Nintendo’s third president, did an interview in 1999 after his tenure Specifically talking about RPGs and how, at one point, “Final Fantasy” really popped off with Nintendo until “Square” ultimately moved over to PlayStation.
He said, and I quote, “People who play RPGs are depressed gamers” who like to sit alone in their dark rooms “and play slow games.”
Side note, he also called RPGs as a whole “silly and boring,” which is really funny. But that quote, could we just back it up for a sec? “People who play RPGs are depressed gamers “who like to sit alone in their dark rooms “and play slow games.” Yes. Absolute legend.
Yes, I am, and I’m proud of it. Oh, boy.
“Not an easy concept to grasp” – Nicolas Pouard
On the list of 10 controversial things said by game makers at number three, we are sticking with something current.
A Ubisoft Executive, a Vice President at Innovations, Nicolas Pouard, took an interview with a financial publication and defended Ubisoft’s new at the time of NFT, specifically with Ubisoft Quartz, and the whole idea centered around getting NFT items in “Ghost Recon.”
Remember that? He said that their quartz system was really the first step to something much bigger. They said, though, that it is “not an easy concept to grasp” when talking about audience backlash.
I think gamers don’t get”what a digital secondary market can bring to them. So really, it’s for them. “It’s really beneficial, but they don’t get it for now.
Yeah, that’s right. If you don’t like NFTs, it’s ’cause you don’t understand them. Now, I’m sure plenty of people watching this video are into blockchain concepts, the technology behind them, and NFTs in general.
You might even be invested in them, but ask many gamers who are very jaded to the practice of spending additional money on their games, whoever it may be from, and they really just don’t want any more of that. It’s not about not understanding.
It’s strictly about not wanting. After having so much meddling in games from all types of monetization practices, Another one comes along, people don’t want to hear it, no matter how exciting you might think personally the technology is.
Pretty interesting, considering Ubisoft Quartz is barely a thing now. Nobody really seemed to care about the “Ghost Recon” ones. And then you have other developers like the people behind “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2” announcing NFTs, seeing the backlash, and listening and backing away. Oh, man.
“They’re a 10, but they only like playing single-player games” – EA
On the list of 10 controversial things said by game makers at number two we have
Again, we’re keeping it light. We’re keeping it fun here. EA’s bad tweet. Now, again, this is just a tweet from a social media account, whoever sent it represents EA. Whatever, it doesn’t matter.
The tweet was following a TikTok trend highlighting significant others saying, “They’re a 10, but they…” Blank. So a silly version of that would be like, “Oh, they’re a 10, but they only like pineapple on pizza.”
Stupid stuff like that. So EA’s version of tweeting that out was, “They’re a 10, but they only like playing single-player games.”
I’m sorry, EA. Excuse me. Are you dunking on me for liking single-player games only? You could take this tweet a couple of different ways, but that’s how I and seemingly a lot of other playersonline really took it.
It’s really funny coming from EA obviously they focus on multiplayer And microtransactions and stuff, but they’re also currently funding and publishing a remake of the original “Dead Space,” which is primarily just a straight-up, good, old-fashioned single-player video game.
So your message is all over the place, guys. I know you’re just doing it for the fun little memes, but damn. Again, though, it doesn’t really matter. Who cares? It’s Twitter. You’re better off not thinking about them. But again, that’s just me.
“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride” – EA
On the list of 10 controversial things said by game makers at number One we have
One last good, spicy quote if we’re talking about monetization stuff. We’ve been talking about EA a lot today, but we can’t help ourselves with this one.
It’s when Battlefront II launched, and people found it pay-to-win and riddled with loot boxes and microtransactions they didn’t want.
When this first started a pop-off, EA seemingly scrambled to handle the messaging, and when acknowledging a Reddit post where someone, quote, said, “Seriously, I paid$80 to have Vader locked,” EA’s Community Team Reddit replied, “The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride” and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.
Then they went on and had a bunch of other explanations for it, but that sentence right there, dude, that is killer.
Yeah, dude. I love grinding to get Darth Vader in the Star Wars game for a sense of pride and accomplishment when that thing is locked behind hours and hours and hours or tons of real-world dollars dumped into the game.
It’s just not cool. I can’t believe what they were thinking with this. It’s so funny to see howfarBattlefront II has come, but it’s taken a long time to get there, specifically because of messaging and statements and actions by EA like this one specifically.
Still, we’ve all learned from all this stuff, whether it’s serious ones or funny ones. These are 10 controversial things said by game makers that we just wanted to chat about.
Now, if you enjoyed this little trip down memory lane, this little discussion, let us know what you’re thinking about some of these comments and more, suggestions for part two. We’d love to hear it in the comment section and you can also reach out to us on Twitter.