A Way Out's Josef Fares called out EA and the Oscars at The Game Awards 2017. The video game developer is primarily known for writing and directing movies, such as 2000's Jalla! Jalla!, 2005's Zozo, and 2010's Balls, while his brother, Fares Fares, is known for acting in his films as well as major productions such as 2012's Zero Dark Thirty, FX's Tyrant, and HBO's Westworld. However, the duo recently made the jump to video games and are currently in development on their brand new title, A Way Out.
The upcoming co-op action-adventure game comes from the Fares brothers' new studio, Hazelight, and is being published by Electronic Arts (EA). A Way Out, which follows two convicted felons - Leo and Vincent - as they break out of prison, was first announced during EA's pre-E3 press briefing at E3 2017, and it's scheduled to finally hit store shelves in 2018. Considering that the game is the first title to come from Fares' new studio, they would presumably want to maintain good relations with the publisher - but that didn't stop the game director from railing against EA last night.
Josef Fares flew into Los Angeles to showcase his game, A Way Out, at The Game Awards 2017, and during his presentation, he went off script and called out EA for their predatory use of microtransactions and loot boxes, as well as the Academy Awards because he believes The Game Awards are much better than the Hollywood awards ceremony. You can read his profanity-laden rant against the Oscars below:
"Look at me, man. How do I look? It's like - I'm telling you this, okay: There are like passionate people, there are crazy people - and there's me. I'm so passionate to be here, so excited to be meeting these industry people. This is kind of insane, like, we're here, we're celebrating... the Oscars should f*** themselves. This is the sh*t. I'm telling you, this is the real sh*t. ... F*** the Oscars, you know. F*** the Oscars, f*** you [flips off the camera]. I'm telling you, this is bullsh*t. Here's the thing, the gaming industry is an interactive experience that lives in your heart."
When Fares got back on topic and started discussing his game, he made sure to mention that A Way Out, though published by EA, is a co-op game that has nothing to do with EA's current focus on microtransactions and other live service features that have landed them in hot water recently. Here's what he said:
"This is the thing, this [game] is my idea - doesn't have anything [to do] with the EA sh*t going on, with the loot boxes and stuff. I'm going to say to you one thing: EA has been very good to me, and to be honest with you - because it's nice to hate EA and blah, blah, blah - what I'm saying is this, all publishers f*** up sometimes. That's how it is. They f*** up, but that's how it is. In this case, they've been treating me very well, that's what I'm saying. I have 100% of the income for my team, for the game I'm doing."
EA is one of the biggest video game publishers in the industry today. And while the overwhelming consumer backlash they received for DICE's Star Wars: Battlefront II made waves around the world and brought down their stock price, they've still made some good decisions along the way, and it seems Fares' A Way Out is one of them. We'll just have to wait and see what happens with his game when it releases next year.