While EA has already pulled microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront II, they are making headlines again due to their pay-to-win ideals. It has recently surfaced that the original creator of Plants vs Zombies, George Fan, was fired from EA after he refused to add the pay-to-win model to the game back in 2012.
Fellow indie developer and horrific mastermind behind Binding of Isaac and Super Meat Boy, Edmund McMillen, recently told Fan’s story on Alex Larrabee’s Roundtable Podcast. Despite its huge success, Plants vs Zombies was developed with an indie mindset since its initial release in 2009. After EA bought PopCap back in 2011, they tried to implement their play-to-win model in the Plants vs Zombies sequel. When Fan refused, he was fired shortly after.
Mcmillen tells the story like this:
[EA was] like, ‘Okay, we’re going to focus on this and we’re going to make a sequel, we’re going to do spinoffs, this and this.’ And George was like, ‘Great! I’ve got an idea for a sequel!’ And he developed this game independently as well, with an independent mindset with a small team of people. It was personal. Knowing the guy, I can see the characters are personal, every little bit and pieces is something from him. So it was his baby.
And they’re like ‘Hey, y’know, let’s make this sequel, start on the sequel, and we’re going to put it on mobile, and we’re going to do this pay-to-win.’ And he’s like, ‘Ah, I dunno, it’s not a good idea, and I don’t really want to do that with my game,’ and they said, ‘You’re fired.’ And he left.
Fan has yet to release a statement about the situation with EA, but it is rumored that he will break his silence soon. What are your thoughts on EA fiasco after EA fiasco? Let us know in the comments below!
Update: After Fan’s story started to spread across the internet, he took to Twitter to address the situation. Fan stated, “Regarding recent rumors, it is true I was laid off by EA/PopCap, and also true that I was against making PvZ2 a freemium game. That’s all I’ll say on the matter for now.” While Fan’s statement is still murky, it shows there might be more to the story.
Shelby loves all things horror and anything even remotely nerdy. She has been playing games for as long as she can remember, and one of her first memories of gaming comes from playing Super Mario World on the SNES with her aunt. She has a real passion for literature and the indie gaming community.