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Josef Fares: "All publishers fuck up sometimes"

A Way Out developer assures consumers that Electronic Arts will not interfere with development

A very excitable Josef Fares supported EA during The Game Awards last night, although distanced himself from the recent loot box controversy.

Fares, who founded new studio Hazelight and was the driving force behind Brothers: A Tales of Two Sons, appeared on stage to promote his forthcoming co-op adventure A Way Out.

When asked if the co-op player can join in for free, Fares said: "Yeah... it doesn't have anything to do with the EA shit going on, with the loot boxes and stuff."

He then immediately spoke out in support of Electronic Arts, which has come under fire throughout the past few months over the proposed monetisation for Star Wars Battlefront II through loot boxes that, during the beta, hindered progress for anyone who didn't buy them.

"EA has been very good to me, and to be honest with you... it's nice to hate EA and blah blah but I don't care about that shit," he said. "What I'm saying is this: all publishers fuck up sometimes. That's how it is. They fuck up.

"In this case, they've been treating me very well. I have 100% of the income to my team for the game I'm doing."

He also repeatedly stressed that A Way Out is his vision and based on his ideas, implying that EA has in no way attempted to take creative control or interfere with development.

A Way Out was announced at E3 2017 as part of the publisher's EA Originals initiative, in which the firm funds new titles from independent developers but promises all profits will go to the studio.

Consumer backlash over the use of loot boxes in AAA video games has raged over the last few months, with Battlefront II and EA arguably taking the brunt of the public's ire. Electronic Arts eventually relented and removed the system hours before the game launched, although CFO Blake Jorgensen says the success of microtransactions in EA's sports titles means the publisher won't be giving up on them any time soon.

We recently spoke to developers about whether they believe loot boxes constitute as bad game design.

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James Batchelor


James Batchelor is Editor-in-Chief at GamesIndustry.biz. He is based in Essex and has been a B2B games journalist since 2006