Former Blizzard President Says Players Should Be Able to ‘Tip’ Developers


  • Former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra thinks gamers should be able to “tip” developers for games they particularly enjoyed.
  • Ybarra shares his own desire to give monetary tips for games like Baldur’s Gate 3 and Elden Ring, while echoing fan concerns about the rising price point of games.
  • The comments come as many fans have complained about recent price hikes with triple-A games and the abundance of microtransactions in the modern gaming industry.

Former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra recently shared his thoughts that players should be able to “tip” developers after completing a game, showing a little extra love to the creators. The price point of video games has been a hot-button issue for many gamers, especially since the start of the newest generation of consoles. Throughout recent years, many of the most popular releases have seen a raise in their standard pricing, with new games often now costing $70 USD instead of the previously standard $60 USD price tag. Now, a former Blizzard executive has his own opinions on game pricing.

Mike Ybarra first joined Blizzard after a long tenure with Microsoft, starting with the Xbox studio back in 2000. Ybarra was heavily involved with Xbox Studios throughout his time at Microsoft and would later go on to become the president of Blizzard Entertainment. Ybarra would serve as President at Blizzard for two and a half years, beginning the role in August 2021 and departing from the company for Microsoft following the Xbox developer’s acquisition of Blizzard. Now, Ybarra is sharing his thoughts on a new way for fans to show their support for game developers.


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As reported by VGC, Mike Ybarra recently took to his Twitter account to share his thoughts on giving players the ability to “tip” game developers. Ybarra believes that gamers should be able to “tip” a developer after completing a game, expressing his own desire to give a little extra to developers of games he particularly enjoyed. While echoing concerns about the high price point, Ybarra also shared some games he would like to tip for, including Baldur’s Gate 3 and Elden Ring. Ybarra also stressed that tipping should be entirely optional and not a “pressure to tip” situation.

Mike Ybarra Thinks Gamers Should Be Able to “Tip” Developers

Ybarra’s statements elicited a variety of responses from fans, both offering alternatives and disgruntled at the price point of triple-A games. One fan suggested that features like Steam’s gifting system offer an alternative for tipping, with players able to buy games for friends. Many fans, however, were wholly opposed to the idea, with several feeling game marketplaces do not offer enough opportunities for refunds for disgruntled fans. Some fans also complained about the heavy wage disparity between game developers and company executives.

The high price of video games has seen plenty of controversy throughout recent years, especially when combined with the prevalence of microtransactions. Tekken 8 recently saw significant backlash following the unexpected reveal of the fighting game’s in-game shop. The launch of Dragon’s Dogma 2 was also marked by controversy surrounding its microtransactions, with players able to pay for mechanics like character revives and fast travel. While Ybarra’s comments on tipping game developers may have come from a good place, video game pricing remains a major point of discussion.