Dungeon Keeper remake ‘misjudged the economy’, EA CEO Wilson admits

EA has admitted that it made mistakes with its free-to-play Dungeon Keeper remake for smartphones.

The game was roundly criticised earlier this year for its use of microtransactions, with Peter Molyneux – designer of 1997’s original Dungeon Keeper – describing it as ridiculous”. The game also employed some questionable ratings methods.

"For new players, it was kind of a cool game," EA CEO Andrew Wilson told Eurogamer. "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."

Shortly after the furore, Jeff Skalski of the game’s developer EA Mythic – which, incidentally, was shut down in May – defended the remake’s design decisions.

With Dungeon Keeper, and just about any free-to-play title, the burden is on the developers to ensure that we’re giving players the most entertaining mobile gaming experience that’s as true to the franchise as possible,” he said.

We didn’t design this as a ‘pay to play’ or ‘pay to win’ game. It is designed as a free-to-play title where players can commit time or money towards their play experience, and every piece of content in the game is accessible without having to spend a dime.”

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