Why Plants vs Zombies Creator Was Fired by EA

Why Plants vs Zombies Creator Was Fired by EA

It has been a bad few weeks for Electronic Arts and things only seem to be getting worse, as more and more stories about the company’s business practices surface. The most recent strike against the publisher is a new report that claims Plants vs. Zombies creator George Fan was fired for not supporting a pay-to-win model in PvZ 2.

Super Meat Boy Creator Edmund McMillen shared Fan’s story in a recent episode of the BaerTaffy podcast, explaining the situation behind his mysterious firing. According to McMillen, Fan was apprehensive about the idea of including pay-to-win microtransactions in Plants vs. Zombies 2 and rather than work things out EA decided to fire him.

While Plants vs. Zombies was a hugely successful mobile game, its sequel had a greater focus on curbing player progress to encourage additional spending. It was by no means the first game to deploy such an approach, but it did sour the experience for some, including the game’s creator.

Fan’s firing from EA and PopCap is no secret but the situation surrounding his termination has never been brought to light. Many assumed it had something to do with working on a profit-focused mobile game but the fact that Fan disagreed with EA’s approach and was let go because of it is a new development.

Of course, all of this information should be taken with a grain of salt considering it is a second-hand account. Fan apparently doesn’t have an NDA following his firing so he could set the record straight if he wanted to. But given his silence it might be that Fan would rather not incriminate a former employer.

Nevertheless, the timing of this revelation could not be worse for Electronic Arts, who is currently battling a controversy over its approach to microtransactions, unlocks, and loot crates in Star Wars Battlefront 2.

First, the price to unlock heroes was too high. Then, EA lowered the prices but kept the loot boxes and microtransactions. And just a few days ago the publisher decided to remove in-game purchases entirely. This was all while legislators and politicians reignited a debate over whether loot boxes and microtransactions are a form of gambling.

The good news is that Fan is still developing games and likely has put the past behind him. But if he does have a story to tell, we’re sure there are plenty that would love to hear it right now.

Via Reddit


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