Live service is "better for developers and players," says former Halo and Destiny producer

by Danny Craig  · 
Live service is "better for developers and players," says former Halo and Destiny producer

Joe Tung, former Halo and Destiny executive producer and current CEO of Theorycraft Games, has shared his thoughts on the controversial games-as-a-service model, claiming that it is better for both developers and players.

The details:

  • Speaking with PC Gamer, Tung shared that after working on League of Legends at Riot Games for nearly a decade before leaving in 2020, he knew he wanted to create a free-to-play live service title through his studio, Theorycraft Games. "The games as a service model is so much better for developers and players,” Tung said. "I always felt like in the $60 boxed product model that I was having to make decisions that were not in the best interest of players.”

  • The CEO went on to say that the traditional one-time buy-to-play model forced developers to focus on selling as many copies as possible in a short period. On the other hand, live service enables them to "think long term in terms of what is best for the player," which Tung believes leads to publishers and developers making "much, much, much better decisions overall."

  • Tung shared previous examples of developers making poor decisions during the era of the now-defunct E3, such as adding "vaporware" to the build shown at the expo to generate interest, even if it would never appear in the final release. "I would have to wager that some hugely significant percentage of those E3 efforts ended up on the cutting room floor because they were half-baked and caused people to crunch and really have to make huge sacrifices to get it in,” he said.

  • Live service has become a heated topic among players, with free content updates and seasonal battle passes quickly becoming the norm following Fortnite's success. Some argue that having a low to no entry cost and ongoing support keeps a game alive, while others believe that microtransactions are becoming more expensive and aggressive, ultimately harming the quality of the overall experience.

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