Ex Blizzard Boss Wants To Be Able To Tip Devs At The End Of A Game


Former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra has suggested that tipping culture could benefit games, with some “special” single-player games leaving him wishing he could give more money to developers after completing them. Ybarra noted that “most will dislike this idea,” with many consumers already tired of tipping culture coming to other industries.

Ybarra introduced the idea in a tweet, as picked up by IGN, saying he had been thinking about it for a while as he was playing more single-player games.

“At the end of the game, I’ve often thought, ‘I wish I could give these folks another $10 or $20 because it was worth more than my initial $70 and they didn’t try to nickel and dime me every second,'” Ybarra explained.

“Some games are that special,” he added, listing games such as Horizon Zero Dawn, God of War, Red Dead Redemption 2, Baldur’s Gate 3, and Elden Ring among the games he would be tempted to pay a little extra for.

“I know most will dislike this idea,” Ybarra added at the end of the tweet. “I realize we are tired of ‘tipping’ in everything else–but I view this different from a pressure to tip type scenario many face and give feedback on.”

While some have agreed that it would be a good option to have for some games, most commenters unsurprisingly don’t like the idea of being asked for an extra tip after completing a game. Some gamers pointed out their pockets aren’t deep enough to afford anything more than the price of a game, while some expressed that it would be hard to trust that tips on AAA games would actually go back to the developers who made it.

Tipping culture already exists in some gaming spaces, with game platforms such as Itch.io including an option for tips. It’s also common for makers of fan games and modders to fund their work off tips.

Ybarra’s comments come at a tumultuous time for the industry, with many major companies scaling back–resulting in layoffs, studio closures, and game cancellations. AAA development costs have skyrocketed in recent years, with former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden saying the current state of AAA develompent is unsustainable.