Ex-Blizzard President Advocates for Games to Allow Tipping Developers

Mike Ybarra, the former president of Blizzard, has suggested the idea of adding a “tipping” feature to games to allow players to show appreciation for game developers. Ybarra feels that certain games are worth more than the standard $60 or $70 price tag and that players should have the option to tip the developers at the end of the game, similar to how one would tip a service provider. Ybarra’s proposal has been met with backlash online, primarily due to concerns about whether the studios would actually share these tips with the developers. Many are skeptical about the idea, especially as game prices continue to rise and layoffs in the industry are prevalent.

Ybarra acknowledges the resistance to his idea but maintains that some games are “special” and more than worth the initial price. After leaving Blizzard in January, Ybarra is aware of the general disapproval of his suggestion. Critics point to the current state of the industry, with continuous layoffs and the lack of trust in executives to share the tips with developers. Moreover, there is frustration with the idea of tipping culture in general, especially outside the US where it is not as prevalent.

Ybarra took over as the president of Blizzard in August 2021, succeeding J. Allen Brack. However, he shared the role with Jen Oneal for three months before she left the company.

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