It has taken some time but EA has finally admitted that their recent free-to-play mobile version of Dungeon Keeper could had been better. As a fan of the franchise though, it would had been more soothing to hear them admit their attempts were atrocious at best, rather than simply stating they could had done a better job.
Unlike the usual free-to-play models, Dungeon Keeper was actually pushed forward with a pay-to-win incentive. Players were forced to spend coins in order to get tasks done quicker. And what tasks would they be? Why the simple digging to expand your dungeon off course. The basic play of the game was put behind a paying firewall and hence it was of no surprise that players instantly began to disconnect themselves from this atrocity of a remake.
Speaking with Eurogamer, EA CEO Andrew Wilson said that the game’s downfall was partially because of EA “misjudging the economy.”
“For new players, it was kind of a cool game,” he said. “For people who’d grown up playing Dungeon Keeper there was a disconnect there. We misjudged the economy. In that aspect, we didn’t walk that line as well as we could have. And that’s a shame.
“As we look forward, the two lessons we get are, one, where you are dealing with IP that has existed in the past, even though you’re reinventing it for a new audience, you have to do your best to stay true to its essence.
“The second is, when you’re thinking about any business model, premium, subscription, free-to-play, value has to exist. Whether it’s a dollar, $10, $100 or $1000, you have to delivering value, and always err on the side of delivering more value, not less.”
This isn’t the first time that EA has messed up with free-to-play games. Last year they forced a new update for Plants vs Zombies 2 on mobiles that made the game harder and forced everyone to spend cash for powerups. The problem here was that the game was made just too damn difficult making it impossible to clear without using powerups.
Dungeon Keeper saw a full release in December 2013. Last month, EA announced it was closing the EA Mythic location in Fairfax, Virginia in order to “concentrate mobile development in our other studio locations.”