Mike Ybarra, Phil Spencer
Photo: Blizzard Press Center

Ex-Blizzard President Ybarra Faces Backlash for Suggesting Gamers Should Start Tipping

Former Blizzard president Mike Ybarra sparked a lot of attention by suggesting gamers tip their favorite games.

In January of this year, Microsoft trimmed 1900 jobs at Activision Blizzard, Zenimax, and Xbox-related divisions. Mike Ybarra, then President of Blizzard, also decided to step down. Now with more free time, Ybarra is leaning towards single-player games like BG3, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Elden Ring.

After finishing a game, he sometimes thinks that game publishers are able to earn more than the standard $70 price you pay for the game, by using a tipping system.

This has stirred controversy mostly in the US, a nation with a well-established tipping culture that some argue is spiraling out of control. The Times published an article on tipping, concluding with a question: Has tipping gone too far in America? Out of 19,000 votes, 99% answered yes.

It’s somewhat controversial that this suggestion came from him, the ex president of Blizzard, a company that recently faced significant layoffs and allegedly withheld bonuses from employees. According to Gamedeveloper.com, Ybarra led a Q&A session with staff in early 2023, where he announced reduced bonuses and insisted on returning to office requirements.

RELATED: Blizzard’s President Mike Ybarra leaves as Microsoft cuts 1900 jobs

Should gamers start tipping for games?