Devs Have Families To Feed; People Shouldn't Purchase MTs If They Don't Like Them,Says Ex Bungie Dev

Ex Bungie dev Niles Sankey stated that games are a business and ultimately devs have families to feed. People should just avoid microtransactions and loot boxes if they want.

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Neonridr396d ago

"Developers have retirement to save for and families to feed…"

does the money from loot boxes go into the devs pockets or do they line EA, Activision, MS's instead?

KaiPow396d ago

Probably shareholders and not even EA

darthv72396d ago

I was under the impression that a developers job was to make the product and they get paid for that product by the company who hired them to make it (aka the publisher). So... the dev is essentially already paid regardless if that game sells 1 copy or 1 million.

The publisher is the one who makes the deals and reaps the rewards. MT's and such are a side effect of them wanting to make $$ back on their initial investment the same way DLC has done. DLC is content that was either omitted from the final build or something that was an afterthought and released later but all in all... the dev usually gets paid once they have delivered their product.

Unless, of course, there is something in their contract that says otherwise.

thekhurg396d ago


Many publishers offer bonuses to developers if games sell "X" number of units, have a metacritic rating of some value, etc...

They aren't always paid and forgotten.

Eonjay396d ago (Edited 396d ago )

I don't give a shit if they were going to devs. If we don't want them we aren't gonna buy them and no one is going to sucker me into buying something I don't want. Well then if you need MTs to live you probably should be doing something else because developing isn't working for you. Now... I, of course realize it isn't the devs but don't think I give a damn who it is. This isn't charity.

freshslicepizza396d ago

Ask Acclaim. If you don't produce sales you shut down, simple as that. Games should not cost $60 but they do so of course they will find other options to get more money.

Go make your own game and tell us how easy it is to make money.

FITgamer396d ago

Apparently the people buying the games don't have those same obligations.

WelkinCole396d ago

@Darth " DLC is content that was either omitted from the final build or something that was an afterthought and released later but all in all" Why I have so much respect for Project Red with their DLC/Expansions. I can say for certain that their later DLC would not fit the main game story if it where part of the original

Unspoken395d ago (Edited 395d ago )

Were devs not allowed families before loot boxes RNG slot machines? WTF, families who get hungry and eat are to blame. I get it now. Thanks.

Who wrote this? Interesting angle to get folks on board with this abuse.

rocketpanda395d ago

The shareholders ARE EA. Everyone else that makes the games are scrubs. If EA even were half a decent company many of the studios they swallowed up over the years wouldn't have been shut down. So much talent as left that company.

Docmortem395d ago

@darth It depends on the structure. Studios owned by the publisher are getting paid continiously. Thus the lootboxes actually provide a steady flow that also pays for the devs.

What those devs dont get is that people are not mad about lootboxes in general, but about the way they are used and stuff they contain. Paid advantages will never be accaptable for me. They already increased the price for new releases to 90$ (60$ + 30$ Seasonpass). Having cosmetic only additional DLC and Lootboxes is fine ... everything else is greed and destroying their own business.

gums007395d ago

so you're saying shareholders shouldnt feed their family? Rightttt...

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-Foxtrot396d ago

They probably go to future game investments or the big suits waaaaay above the developers making the game

Alexious396d ago

They do have a point when they say that gamers expect games to become bigger and better all the time and that inevitably translates into higher budgets.

thekhurg396d ago


Which is why we have DLC, expansions, etc...

Loot crates are sickening. If a game as massive and amazing as Witcher 3 can be made with tons of free content given out - then there's little excuse for other games.

Unspoken395d ago

Careful using reference points for comparisons. If all devs shift to pay per piece then you may have to arm Geralt with your weekly paycheck so he can survive his encounters and be able to drink mead at the local bordello.

rocketpanda395d ago


And yet many of their AAA experiences still fail to live up to expectations. How long are they going to spin that it costs more and more to develop games.

Rather than leave devs get on with making the game they think will be the best experience, EA wants it filled with padded nonsense and modes which takes up precious development time that should be spent on the core game experience.

If they think they can't make a profit from the game they want to release then don't. They have no confidence in their products and want an easy cash grab so they can do it again and again.

Christopher395d ago

***inevitably translates into higher budgets.***

Which translates to hiring more, not paying more for the staff you have.

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Killa78396d ago

Well yeah, the games industry is pretty cut throat atm.

If your game isn't successful/make money, your studio will be shut down.

IGiveHugs2NakedWomen396d ago

Exactly. I will never support this excessive greediness, EVER!

threefootwang395d ago

If developers simply remember to make quality video games, as it was done for so many years up until recently, they wouldn't need all this extra crap to make profit off it.

A good game will naturally sell itself. This has been proven time and again regardless where it is in the gaming spectrum.

Sevir396d ago

Hard to say! The Viceral Dev that now works at Bethesda said that Dead Space 2 sold a tad over 4 million units, however, after it marketing budget, and Royalties that MS and Sony collected, the return they made with a 60 million dollar budget EA still qualified it as a game that wasn't comercially successful, which was why Dead Space 3 had micro transactions.

The price of games have stayed the same for 12 years while development budgets have inceased by 10-20%
I can see why season passes and DLC, Microtransactions and loot boxes are all included in today's game development budgets in order to break even and keep studios alive!

Michiel1989395d ago

The ammount people that play games have also gone up so that would even it out if they make a good, full fledged game instead of flooding it with microtransactions.

ShadowWolf712395d ago

Doing some math here...

Assuming they sold, say, just 4 mil on the nose, after the cost of the game's budget, that boils down to $180 mil in profit. Factor in Sony and/or MS taking as much as $20 off each sale (which is far more than they actually do take), that's still $100 mil in pure profit.

The excuses just don't hold up EA made money, a good deal of money, in fact. They just didn't make "ENOUGH" money. They wanted MORE money. They want every single franchise to be a home run omega success. That's just not realistic.

And the problem is a LOT of the big publishers are like this, and won't settle for a game just doing ok, or being a mid-tier title. That line of thinking's been abandoned. It's why so many games are just sequel after sequel from these companies, while new IP are left to die; one is a surefire fanbase they can milk, the other... well it darn well best become one, or it too will die.

KOIMOJO396d ago

I think the bottom line here is if a dev doesn't prove to be profitable enough to a publisher they become the next visceral. It isn't just about money in pocket as much as job security. This is a dog eat dog business after all.

Imalwaysright396d ago

"Thanks to these court documents from the Marty O’Donnell lawsuit, we now know that Destiny accrued over $500 million in pre-order and day one sales. Furthermore, the game sold 6.3 million units in its first month on sale, which amounted to additional $47.5 million in revenue."

Who exactly is this clown trying to fool? $547.5 million and this only 1 month after the game being on the market. Why is a developer doing the bidding for publishers? If he wants more money to feed his family then he has to take it up to the publishers.

fiveby9396d ago (Edited 396d ago )

This isn't a personal thing against devs with families. This isn't charity, it's a business. Make games people want to play without fleecing some people with MT's and more people will buy the game. So now we're supposed to buy games with MT's so we can provide charitable giving to devs in need? I'd rather donate to a real charity. Granted I think often times it's the publisher pushing the MT's not necessarily the devs. But I guess it's "go along to get along". So sorry but no I think EA and others like them bring on the disdain by their own actions. And IMO, it's not enough to avoid loot box purchases. Avoid the game(s) entirely.

zcmilano396d ago

Don't be so ignorant and stupid. Of course if the game makes significant profit then the devs keep their jobs, thereby keeping food on the table. Man, it's so easy to forget that 90% of the idiots on this site and gamers in general are little children that have no idea about life or the world.

Dlaw76396d ago

So Sony doesn't do Loot boxes

Uken12395d ago

This is suck a crock of shit excuse. These games make hundreds of millions of dollars. More than movies. Ex Bungie Developer, of course. They charges $5 for a 'Praise the Sun" taunt. A taunt taken from a game where you actually get the shit for free. In game.

You can't defend the absurdity that has become Micro Transactions. Now people that complain about paying for DLC, that is different. Unless the game was bare bones or completely gimped without the DLC.

I doubt most of them have families.

rainslacker395d ago

Yet most devs are contractors who are let go at the end of the project, or when their usefulness to the project has ended.

gums007395d ago must be a liberal if you don't understand business so I'll let this one pass

Christopher395d ago (Edited 395d ago )

The only effect MTs have for developers is they might improve the chances of a sequel.

Absolutely no money goes to developers. They are salaried employees who are paid not based on game success but average salary for similar positions in their region. Most developers do not even get bonuses for when a game sells really well and the development company achieved all goals for max pay out from the publisher.

Publishers put up investment money and set aside money for marketing as well (which the publisher handles). Developer company use investment money to set how much they can spend on overhead. Create game. Profits of games technically go back to publisher who pays out money to developer company based on agreed upon sales milestones (which can also include details such as having to meet a certain average Metacritic score, performance milestones by region, performance milestones promoting digital sales over retail, and performance milestones for selling DLC). Excess money earned from agreed upon sales milestones tends to go to execs of developer company and they might hand out smaller bonuses to management and maybe even a small thank you to regular staff.

Ignored in this are temporary hires and third party studios often hired for various projects such as motion capture or the like.

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XiNatsuDragnel396d ago

BS man there's better options like for example make a quality product.

Tko1111396d ago

One that you can trade and resell without any profits going to the dev or publisher

nowitzki2004396d ago

Or trade, or give away for free.. yes. I bought it, it is my game is it not?

AmstradAmiga395d ago

@now: you may own the physical media but not the game itself. Anyway, if loot boxes and MT were not a way of life would developers have pushed for digital only a lot harder by now?

Anzil395d ago

You can own digital products moron. He's trading it in legally and getting paid for it. But just for the plastic disc right.....

Michiel1989395d ago

@amstrad so ur basically saying people cant resell anything cause we dont own patents.....
No i cant sell my coffee machine because i dont have the patent for the technology. I can't sell my shoes because im not owner of the brand?

thats bs dude and u know it.

By having that certain copy in your posession you are the owner of that copy of the game to do with what you want. Give it to a friend, burn it, sell it.

tehpees3395d ago (Edited 395d ago )


I don't care what the law says about paying to use the license you own the disc or cartridge and have the right to put it in the tray, keep it on the shelf or even smash it to pieces or flush it down the toilet. Software laws should be manipulated because they literally support capitalism for people that don't even need money.

That is what gets me about you apologists. Scamming people by making them pay for stuff already locked in the game is morally wrong and they will reincarnate into poverty because of their greed.

Every single apologist for these developers and publishers should know one simple fact: the next £50 you spend on a game could be your last but they will still have money no matter what because they don't need all that extra Down loaded CON money.

These people are rich. What I find funny is the journalists who get paid to bark the "entitlement" insult at people throwing criticisms should know full well the companies couldn't care less about the journalist jobs either so they should pull a Jim Sterling and tell them all where to stick it.

People wonder why I call out the apologists for throwing the "entitled gamers" curse but its simple. The companies are truthfully the entitled ones and I am struggling to keep afloat to support a hobby all the while they pay the nearest website to say "oh just say our budgets are out of control and blame the used game market".

I wish these paid sellouts on the internet would stand with us and realise we have a common enemy so we can work together to show the companies they are at fault if their games fails financially.

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UKRsoldja396d ago ShowReplies(3)
nowitzki2004396d ago

We all have bills and families lol

395d ago
Kenshin_BATT0USAI395d ago

Yeah I'm honestly getting sick of the victim complex the game industry has. From the Journalists to Devs to even Publishers.

Literally no other industry exists where making a bad product is acceptable. And if money is a concern, why are you a game dev? Most software engineers earn significantly more than a game dev and put in less time/effort and have better perks. If money is your end game in this industry, leave. It's not for you.

UCForce396d ago

I get it that developers need money for families. But there are much better ways than this.

Fishy Fingers396d ago

They could hike up the price of games substantially. But personally as someone who’s never bought a MT I’d rather those that do make up the extra income.

UCForce396d ago

No, the solution is 60$ and expansion pack. That's enough.

Liqu1d396d ago

That argument has been debunked, games don't need a price increase.

IGiveHugs2NakedWomen396d ago

DLC's, in the form of expansions and cosmetic items. Even stand-alone DLC is better than those insidious microtransactions.

Fishy Fingers396d ago

Cosmetic items are the epitome of MTs.

Debunked liquid? Explain way so many studios are being closed. All that money they’re making?

Imalwaysright396d ago (Edited 396d ago )

That could be true if it wasn't a former bungie dev talking.

If he wanted more money he should have taken it up to Activision.

AmstradAmiga395d ago

@UForce: based on what math would that be enough?

The cost of buying a game has not changed much since I was buying games on the Commodore Amiga back in the early 90's. The console gaming community has hardly grown and may even be shrinking in number. Regardless, the number of games sold seems to have little to do with install base as very few games sell multiple millions of units, especially at launch RRP.

On the other side of things the cost of making AAA games has done nothing but increase over the years.

So again, please, what was the math you used to come to your conclusion?

rainslacker395d ago

×you assume that my wouldn't exist if game prices increased.

Many people seen to assume that they aren't maki mg enough on the game sale, as opposed to the more logical conclusion that the pubs will.always want more money

dumahim395d ago

There were late NES games that were $80 brand new (memory was expensive for those carts). That was 25-30 years ago. But yeah, it was $50 from the PS1 until the 360 bumped it up to $60. I think it's time for a price increase, but think smaller scope games should be cheaper as well.

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396d ago Replies(4)
AspiringProGenji396d ago (Edited 396d ago )

you are already getting $60 dollars from the product for your “families to feed”.

F off with the MTs

UKRsoldja396d ago

Developers get only a fraction of that...

Travis3708396d ago

Maybe they should go on strike and ask for more than a fraction.

Silly gameAr396d ago (Edited 396d ago )

That's sad too, because it's the devs that do most of the hard work. Some literally work themselves to death or end up having bad health because of their conditions. I'm not a big fan of MT's but it seems like it's a necessary evil for some companies.

nowitzki2004396d ago

And only a fraction of MT.. Still a lot more than most of us.

ShaunCameron395d ago

@ Travis3708

Or maybe they should be their own publishers.

zuul9018395d ago (Edited 395d ago )

Its the lower people that do most of the hard work at every company/job/business/military.

Thats how employment works, dont feel any more worse for developers than you do for fast food workers, walmart workers, or anyone below E-4 in the military. Atleast developers are doing what they want/chose.(presumably)

PapaBop395d ago

They also get paid a wage/salary then bonuses based upon certain criteria when the game comes out. Look how much money the former heads of IW Zampella and West were claiming from Activision based purely on their bonuses for MW2 performance.

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