Published: Mon, February 17, 2020
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Epic Games hires Nike vet Adam Sussman as its new president

Epic Games hires Nike vet Adam Sussman as its new president

Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney has called on game developers to "divorce ourselves from politics".

Sweeney told the crowd: "We have to ask ourselves, as an industry, what we want to be when we grow up". Pre-launch, the game included loot boxes which affected gameplay but after fans voiced their frustration, the loot boxes and microtransactions were removed. It allows friends on different platforms to play with one another, leading to longer playing times and more money spent on the games. More pertinently, however, the Epic Games Store itself already plays host to a number of games that are inherently political, from Ubisoft's The Division 2 and its Assassin's Creed series, to the likes of Phoenix Point and Detroit: Become Human.

IGN made a video of Sweeney's DICE keynote available last night.

Sweeney seemed to think it was ok for players to express their politics: "When a streamer jumps in and shares a political message in the context of an esport or just a streamer or commentator on Reddit expresses their opinion, we're seeing gaming becoming more like a social network, and whether we like it or not we're going to have to accept that gaming is now a platform for world discourse". Essentially, games as a medium are growing, and we need to be careful with that expansion.

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"We have businesses that profit by doing their customers harm", Sweeney said.

Hunting to clear the confusion up, Sweeney posted:"When a match accomplishes politics, as To Kill a Mockingbird failed as a book, it ought to come in the center of creatives rather than from advertising departments trying to capitalize on branch". At this time, our political orientations determine which fast-food chicken restaurant you attend (referring to the political affiliations of Chik Fil-A and its consequences). There's no reason to drag divisive topics like that into gaming.

It wasn't all bad though - Sweeney did have praise for cross-play and the freedom it gives players. But it's Fortnite's success that has reinforced Sweeney's stature within the games industry, so when he talks about the market, people listen. The previously mentioned Epic Games buyouts are entirely political. To include LGBTQ characters in Stardew Valley is political.

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