Now that he's not bound by a PR department and can say what he wants, former SOE/Daybreak and current Pixelmage Games CEO John Smedley can tell everyone what he really thinks about free-to-play and microtransactions. And he was so shy and reserved before!
Speaking in a Reddit AMA earlier this week to promote his company's new game Hero's Song, Smedley had some harsh words to say about microtransactions:
I don't like Microtransactions because I worked on too many games with them. They change the feeling of development to one where you feel like you have to worry about the business instead of the gameplay. That leads to tons of compromises. I hated that. I also hated defending stuff we did to make money to our players.. because they're right.. they know we spent too much time focusing on that stuff.
That's pretty damning, coming from the man who ran a company that jumped whole-heartedly into the free-to-play/microtransaction pool. He's not wrong, of course; it doesn't take insider information to realize that some microtransactions just don't feel right, that they're clearly meant to be for the benefit of the company, not the player, and talk like how they "give you freedom to play how you want" is pure spin.
Not every microtransaction or game with microtransactions is bad, though, and we could all come up with some good examples. I wonder, though, if SOE/Daybreak, as big a company as it was, had to "go too far" with some of its decisions to justify its larger budgets for its games. Smaller, more focused, games, like Warframe or Path of Exile, can probably do a better job with their microtransactions than huge, sprawling AAA Free MMOs that have to recoup their plus-sized development costs.
In any case, Smedley promises that "there will be zero selling of any microtransactions in any Pixelmage Games game including Hero's Song," so it's not something he'll have to worry about at his current post. Of course, he used to say he loved free-to-play and microtransactions, too.
About the Author
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.
Black Desert Online Releases Downloadable Character Creator
If you’ve been wanting a taste of Black Desert Online’s character creator, but haven't had the chance to actually try the game out, now’s your chance.By QuintLyn Bowers - 7 years ago
You May Enjoy
Secure Brand-New Exclusive Titles In Dauntless’s Gauntlet Season 2 And Consume The Power Of The Thunderdeep In Latest Patch
The Heroic Thunder season is bringing new challenges and new rewards.By Aspen Pash - 1 week ago
Marvel's Avengers To End All Official Support On September 30th; Last New Content Patch Coming In March
The writing was on the wall.By Anthony Jones - 6 days ago
World of Warcraft Classic Tech Lead Leaves Blizzard, Protesting “Stack Ranking” Employee Evaluation System
The system reportedly requires that approximately 5% of employees get a low ranking.By QuintLyn Bowers - 3 days ago
UPDATED: Say Goodbye To Your Progress: Bungie Gets Some Backlash On Hotfix That Will Roll Back Destiny 2 Player Accounts
What started as a way of fixing things ended up shaving off hours of playtime.By Anthony Jones - 3 days ago
💣 Feature | 8 Shooter MMO Games To Keep An Eye On In 2023
Hoping to find your next shooter MMO in 2023? Here are ones to keep an eye on.By Anthony Jones - 1 week ago
Lost Ark’s Inactive Accounts Have Been Deactivated Following Massive Bot Ban, Fix Incoming
If you’ve been away from Lost Ark, it might be best to check out your account.By Aspen Pash - 1 week ago