EA CEO Wilson: Dungeon Keeper Mobile Was 'A Shame'

EA CEO Wilson: Dungeon Keeper Mobile Was 'A Shame'

EA's recent attempt to reboot Dungeon Keeper as a free-to-play mobile thing didn't go so well, at least in terms of public perception, as the game carries a 42 on Metacritic and is generally considered to be the end of gaming.

And when Eurogamer asked new EA CEO Andrew Wilson about it, the man owned up to it. "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..

But will EA learn something from this? Wilson says yeppers.

"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.

"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, $US10, $US100 or $US1000, you have to delivering value, and always err on the side of delivering more value, not less."

Wilson does have many other things to say about ways EA can improve moving forward, and he explained those plans to our bossman Stephen at E3, so you'll want to check that out if you haven't already.

Side note here, since I did that thing earlier where I asked about what games people like that they aren't supposed to like: I have been playing Dungeon Keeper Mobile for like three months now. I generally only play tablet or phone games while having a cigarette, and for those short bursts I can enjoy it. That's all I have to say on this matter!


    So... does he really think the end product was a Shame? or... just that EA were called out and caught releasing a substandard product?

    If they really think they did a dis-service to the game and the series, perhaps they should patch it or lower the cost of all the pay to win aspects.

      I don't think he actually thinks it was a mistake. At any point in the last 6 months they could have released a fixed version but they chose not to. I think he will just release new IPs so that there are "no expectations" and treat them exactly the same way.

      Yeah, it sounds like he's just doing image control. He's a bit too high up in the chain to be claiming this was a misunderstanding. I mean either he's telling a half truth in that he misunderstood how much they could get away with or he's criminally under qualified for his job.
      If he were talking to someone from a business magazine rather than a gaming magazine I don't think he'd be embarrassing himself by claiming this was a negative experience. He would say it was an experiment, testing the market using an older low value IP that had a solid following in order to minimise danger and investment costs. He'd be claiming Dungeon Keeper was a success in that it mapped the boundaries for high value IPs to follow.

      It's just another "We have heard you and will do better" moment that EA does every time they get caught out.

      Would be nice to think this guy is telling the truth but the burden of proof is entirely in their court

    “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..

    Translated: “For people who’d grown up playing Dungeon Keeper, we really expected they would let us milk their fond memories for every dollar we could, there was a disconnect there. In that aspect they didn’t walk that line as well as we could have. And that’s a shame."

    How could they not realise that folks would be peeved that they were leeching off a previously-beloved franchise?

    EA made this new iteration of Dungeon Keeper with the intention of milking the franchise for every dollar that they could take. They wanted to toe the line and take as much as they possibly could, only to be caught out and left in a position where they need to beg for the goodwill of everyone who loved Dungeon Keeper growing up. They knew it would be a terrible game going in, but they clearly didn't expect the amount of backlash they rightfully received.


    "It's a shame we generated the levels of hate we did because it meant reduced profits" rather than "We're ashamed for what we did to one of our IPs that had value and potential". Yup, EA all over.

    Last edited 30/06/14 9:20 am

    "The Star Trek J.J. Abrams was very different from the first season I watched, but I still felt good about it." That's because you weren't charged by the minute to watch it.

    When DK mobile came out and it got roasted for it's microtransaction sodomy, I went and for the original from GoG.com for free and dropped a few extra bucks for DK2 as well. I would happily have given that money to EA for a mobile port of the original, but not with this microtransaction/free to play bullshit. That's the beginning and end of it.

      I did the exact same thing. I fact I could live with micro if they added value. Some custom campaigns or a dollar for a themed skin pack... a new mode that rebalanced the economy. I'd buy all of that. Instead I went to gog.

    Fun fact for those with kids addicted to Peppa Pig. The Horned Reaper was voiced by Daddy Pig.

    And how many seasons of Star Trek did he watch? Just the first?

    I think Dungeon Keeper is a prime example of why all the IPs EA hordes aren't worth a cent to them. They sunk a decent FPS with the Syndicate name, they ruined this mobile game by attaching it Dungeon Keeper, and yet somehow they still don't realise that the niche IPs they hold onto don't give them a guaranteed install base. Their name alone is poison to these IPs.
    Their business practices earned them a reputation that directly impacts sales/credibility with veteran gamers, and they're the only ones who actually recognise these titles. Dungeon Keeper got a little extra attention for being Dungeon Keeper but it also resulted in it being put under a magnifying glass. The end result was a bunch of hyper critical word of mouth that told everyone to stay away. It was a 100% predictable outcome.

    At this point they'd be better off just burning their unusable IPs rather than keeping them locked up. When it comes to games after 10 years of inactivity most IPs, even highly successful ones, become at best cult classics. At that point holding the IP captive begins to damage EA's reputation, and even they'll admit that their bad reputation costs them a considerable amount of money.

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