EA Admits Mistakes Were Made With Free-to-Play ‘Dungeon Keeper’ Game

During an E3 interview with EA boss Andrew Wilson, Eurogamer asked the top man at Electronic Arts if he had learned any lesson from the free-to-play Dungeon Keeper mobile game and whether all the negative attention about the overuse of micro-transactions were heard at the very tip-top of the company. Wilson, who became EA CEO in September of last year began his conversation by promising "open and transparent conversations" on the subject.

He said that what happened with Dungeon Keeper was a "shame" and that EA had misjudged its economy.

"For new players, it was kind of a cool game," he told Eurogamer. "For people who'd grown up playing Dungeon Keeper there was a disconnect there. In that aspect we didn't walk that line as well as we could have. And that's a shame."

Wilson said Dungeon Keeper received two types of feedback among players: that it didn't "feel" like the Dungeon Keeper fans remembered, and that the free-to-play model it employed didn't make players feel like they were getting any value for their money.

Wilson went on to say that EA has learned a lot from fan reaction to Dungeon Keeper and that companies need "to be very careful when you reinvent IP for a new audience that has a very particular place in the hearts and minds and memories of an existing audience."

Wilson added he had personally offered feedback of his own to EA's developers following the release of the game.

"You have to think about value irrespective of the increment of spend that is being made," he said. "And 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. And that's a challenge. The Star Trek J.J. Abrams was very different from the first season I watched, but I still felt good about it."

You can check out the entire interview with Eurogamer here.

Thanks to Andrew Eisen for the tip.

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  1. 0
    prh99 says:

    Mistakes? That's being generious, it was a cynical money grab by a company looking to cash in on the nostalgia of their fans for the original game.

  2. 0
    Wymorence says:

    Yeah, for the most part this is all I heard as well:

    "Ah come on baby! I know I've beat you up a number of times previously, but I've changed! I swear!"

    /please note that I'm not saying the two are identical in severity or anything, just that it's remarkably similar

  3. 0
    Davin says:

    This seems to be intended as an apology, but at the end of the day really says: "new players liked it, and our approach would have been fine if there hadn't been veterans of the series with expectations".

    "We were wrong but we were also right." is the standard consumer apology these days, and it's somewhat insulting. I chalk it up to shareholder appeasement.

  4. 0
    MechaCrash says:

    While it is good that the lesson about rebooting beloved IPs into things that have no resemblance to the games that made them beloved in the first place managed to sink in, I see that the lesson about not making shitty cash-grabs that take days to accomplish anything unless you shovel in hundreds of dollars did not.

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