In the aftermath of EA’s huge controversy over the number of microtransactions that they had for Battlefront 2, the news just keeps getting worse for them. Apparently Plants vs Zombies creator George Fan was fired from the company while making Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare because he didn’t want to make it pay-to-win.
Plants vs Zombies was a rather popular computer game that was first created in 2009. It took the world by storm, enough for multiple sequels, but considering its gameplay style you shouldn’t really be surprised that microtransactions were a thing, especially when upgrades and abilities were up for purchase with in-game currency.
Apparently, after the first game came out while Fan worked with Pop Cap, the studio got acquired by EA, who wanted to do more with the game. The Plants vs Zombies creator said he wanted to make a sequel, but EA in addition to wanting a mobile game, also wanted it to apparently be pay-to-win. Fan protested, and in response, EA fired him.
While this is all related secondhand from an episode the podcast Round Table Live featuring Edmund McMillen (who worked on Super Meat Boy and Binding of Isaac), after the display that we’ve seen from EA over Battlefront 2 it wouldn’t really surprise anyone to learn that they fire anyone who disagrees with microtransactions.
EA has also been doing this for a while before now, such as with Visceral, who developed Dead Space. After two very well-received survival horror games that provided solid single-player experiences, EA had Visceral make a sweep of harshly criticized changes to Dead Space 3, such as adding in co-op, microtransactions, and cover-based shooting. When, due to these decisions, the game didn’t perform well, EA killed the series, and would kill Visceral several years later.
You can take the story about the Plants vs Zombies creator with a grain of salt if you want, but there’s a reason that EA has been voted the worst company in America multiple years in a row.