Home Gaming Has EA learned from Dungeon Keeper uproar?

Has EA learned from Dungeon Keeper uproar?

2 min read
60

Dungeon keeper money

If there are two things that gamers hate it’s microtransactions and watching their favorite franchises ruined with bad remakes. So it’s no wonder that gamers universally hurled hatred and vitriol at EA’s mobile atrocity called Dungeon Keeper. But EA seems to have realized they made a mistake.

Eurogamer interviewed EA boss Andrew Wilson who seems adamant about changing perceptions of EA, as well as the internal culture. He started by explaining that since becoming CEO at the end of last year, he has been trying to “re-instill a player first culture” at EA:

We’d come off the back of some negativity around some of the things we were doing, and, quite frankly, some of the things we weren’t doing well enough. You come into a company that is inherently good, that is full of inherently good people who come to work to deliver great things every day, but just isn’t always manifesting itself in the way you would expect it to – that comes with some challenges. We’ve been working on that stuff.

When it comes to Dungeon Keeper, Wilson called it “a shame” saying that EA had “misjudged the economy” and learned some important lessons from reactions to the game:

You have 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.

[…] You have to think about value irrespective of the increment of spend that is being made. 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, $10, $100 or $1000, you have to delivering value, and always err on the side of delivering more value, not less.

I’m glad to see EA saying the right things. Wilson is obviously on message and coming out strong in this regard. However, I’ll only really believe it when I see it – show me EA, show me that you can make a game that doesn’t feel like absolute milking for money. Once I can tangibly see the change over there, I might feel better about the fact that they still make some of my favorite games.

Last Updated: June 26, 2014

60 Comments

  1. Admiral Chief Cyber Commando

    June 26, 2014 at 11:32

    Saying this is good, DOING something about it, that is the real kicker here

    Reply

  2. Kensei Seraph

    June 26, 2014 at 11:36

    “re-instill a player wallet* first culture”
    Fixed.

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 26, 2014 at 11:36

      lol

      Reply

  3. Ross Woofels Mason

    June 26, 2014 at 11:36

    The latest rendition of SSX was one of my favorite games on the last gen. The pricing structure in there for buying boards and stuff was not obscene either.

    EA always seem to either hit or miss, but dungeon keeper wasnt even a miss they went in the opposite direction. It’s so impossible to get anywhere or do anything in the game with out coughing up money for their stupidly priced micro-transactions.

    I love F2P games, but EA should go look at the people doing it right Valve (DOTA 2), Blizzard (Hearthstone) & Ubisoft (The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot), those three games have the best F2P models I’ve seem imo.

    Reply

    • R1ker

      June 26, 2014 at 12:50

      Don’t forget about Team Fortress 2 – but thinking about it the F2P model is very similar to Dota 2.

      Reply

  4. Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

    June 26, 2014 at 11:37

    Kind of have to agree with you Zoe. I will believe it when I see it. When EA turns back in to a “for the gamers” kind of company and the results show. Then I will believe this. But I’m sorry to say. How often do new CEO’s take to the plate and say all this stuff about “refocusing” on the gamer and then the very next release is exactly the opposite and instead of admitting they were wrong they then make some hairball excuse that they still need to remain with the industry standards because “That’s where gamers want to be”

    Reply

    • Kensei Seraph

      June 26, 2014 at 11:39

      “Under my leadership we will make EA great again and turn around this stigma.”
      *Makes Dungeon Keeper reboot”

      We’ve seen it all before and will probably keep seeing it for a long time to come.

      Reply

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        June 26, 2014 at 11:42

        I fear you are right

        Reply

    • Weanerdog

      June 26, 2014 at 11:39

      Yeah I always wonder who “the gamer” is, has not felt like it is me for some time now.

      Reply

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

        June 26, 2014 at 11:42

        Same! I haven’t felt like games have been geared toward me in ages.

        Reply

        • Weanerdog

          June 26, 2014 at 11:56

          Probably just getting old, but it seems like everything is a clone with fresh paint and it is more about the paint than the game.

          Reply

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            June 26, 2014 at 12:00

            Yep. Exactly how I feel.

            I really enjoy the new IP’s. Even ones that aren’t seen as “amazing” are usually, to me, more fun than the next version of whatever established IP is of preference.

            But, this is mainly our fault as gamers because we pushed for sequels to our favourite games when we were younger and so the industry began pushing out sequels instead of new IP’s. We led them down this road if you think about it.

          • R1ker

            June 26, 2014 at 12:52

            I still miss the days where we use to get expansion packs. Where it was about 1/2 the price of a normal retail game but almost equal in length. Quake 2 and Half life springs to mind.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            June 26, 2014 at 13:41

            Yeah now we got full price DLC that is a 3rd of the size

          • R1ker

            June 26, 2014 at 14:48

            Yep – that really ticks me off

          • Weanerdog

            June 26, 2014 at 13:09

            Yes we did, but even the new IPs are often just a rehash on went before. It is almost like each genre has been saturated and we have seen it all. Sometimes I wonder if I am not just a Dopamine junky and the next fix is not as good as the last.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            June 26, 2014 at 13:40

            You may have a good point hey

          • Weanerdog

            June 26, 2014 at 15:56

            That would be a first. 0_o

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

            June 26, 2014 at 16:13

            lol. Take it. Before I change my mind

        • Johan du Preez

          June 26, 2014 at 12:48

          The only game I feel is for the gamers is Wasteland 2, Witcher 3 and Star Citizen so far. Elite Dangerous is also up there.

          Reply

          • Weanerdog

            June 26, 2014 at 13:06

            I love RPGS but my problem is that I struggle to find the time to put in extended sessions, also small place with kids. So I can only get started after they go to bed and then if I do game till 04h30 I get an hour and a halves sleep before being woken up again. Eventually I probably land up not playing it till the end.

            Games that lend themselves to shorter time frames I don’t really seem to enjoy, looking at most FPS out there.

  5. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 26, 2014 at 11:37

    Oh EA…

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 26, 2014 at 11:40

      I tried. Then I read what he said.

      Reply

  6. Viking Of GabeN

    June 26, 2014 at 11:39

    I accidently bought a game published by EA on the Steam Sale…. And I’m enjoying it…. they can publish good games… If they don’t treat everything as a cash grab *cough cough* Battlefield *cough*

    (I’m referring to Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, btw)

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 26, 2014 at 11:47

      Nice one, but damn that game is old.

      Reply

      • Viking Of GabeN

        June 26, 2014 at 11:59

        Not Really, it was released in 2012…. The style of graphics just make it look older than it is… which is fine…. What sold me was the creative team that worked on it… Artwork by Todd McFarlane (as in SPAWN McFarlane) Grant Kirkhope’s music (Perfect Dark, Donkey Kong 64, Banjo Kazooie) and Leading them as executive Designer was Ken Rolston (Lead Designer on Morrowind & Oblivion)

        Also, the combat is really Fun and fluid 🙂

        Reply

        • R1ker

          June 26, 2014 at 12:53

          Got the same one in the previous steam sale. This game got me strangely addicted. Loved it to bits.

          Reply

  7. Rince&Shitity

    June 26, 2014 at 11:39

    Reinvent IP? Slapping a $ sign on something already done is not reinventing anything.

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      June 26, 2014 at 11:46

      He has kids to feed 🙁

      Reply

      • Rince&Shitity

        June 26, 2014 at 11:47

        What, all 1000000000 spider minions?

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          June 26, 2014 at 11:49

          XD

          Reply

  8. Alien Emperor Trevor

    June 26, 2014 at 11:40

    Err on the side of delivering more value, not less? THAT’S NOT A MISTAKE.

    To err is human, to forgive is FUCK YOU EA.

    Reply

    • Sir Rants A Lot Llew. Jelly!!!

      June 26, 2014 at 11:41

      • Rince&Shitity

        June 26, 2014 at 11:42

        I know! He’s usually such a calm alien 0-O

        Reply

    • Kensei Seraph

      June 26, 2014 at 11:41

      I think he means to say it’s better to make an awesome game and sell it for slightly less than it’s actually worth than to make the latest Spiderman game.

      Definitely not something EA has managed to pull off in a long time (if ever).

      Reply

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        June 26, 2014 at 11:44

        I know ;P

        I was just having fun deliberately misinterpreting words. It’s a nasty habit I have.

        Reply

        • Rince&Shitity

          June 26, 2014 at 11:44

          NEVA?! 0-O

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            June 26, 2014 at 11:47

            We’ll see about that!

  9. Hammersteyn

    June 26, 2014 at 11:44

    Thanks Andrew, I’m glad you learned, so now what?

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      June 26, 2014 at 11:45

      Now he’s going to teach the guys at DICE how to learn. Because apparently figuring out what made a game they made good is very difficult.

      Reply

      • Hammersteyn

        June 26, 2014 at 11:45

        Hahaha

        Reply

  10. Weanerdog

    June 26, 2014 at 11:50

    I wonder if Mr Wilson is actually going to the right company every day. EA winner of the shitist company award for two years in a row, granted they got pipped at the post this year and now they are this great company, where everyone loves them and everything is great.

    Sure they do make good games but that is always overshadowed by trying to screw over the gamer see Dungeon Keeper as a prime example. He also said some really scary stuff about if it was a new IP there would not have been this backlash because that is what the current consumer knows.

    Reply

  11. Dutch Matrix

    June 26, 2014 at 12:04

    What I would like to know is why all the constant hate for EA? Look, I get that. They mutilated Dungeon Keeper, and their adamant defence of Sim City’s online requirement (which they have fixed in the meantime) put them on the bad side of gamers.
    But come on, look at their catalogue of games being released. Getting it wrong with some titles is unfortunately going to be the reality of life.
    Is there really enough BAD titles for EA to deserve the hate they are getting?

    Reply

    • HvR - Still dislikes Random.or

      June 26, 2014 at 12:07

      It is the conscious bad decisions that really get on ym nerves.

      Then there is the constant buying out of smaller studios which they then fire or force out the old developers and then either mothball the IP or turn it into something generic.

      And they were pretty much the main driver of the annual release cycle and DLC.

      Reply

    • Kromas

      June 26, 2014 at 12:19

      Not bad titles but rather bad gaming business. You only mentioned DK mobile and Sim City. What you failed to remember is BF4 release, ME3 Fiasco, DA2 Fiasco, The need for speed 30fps crappy console port, The horrible dead space 3 console port.And that is just off the top of my head. Oh wait and Origin.

      I still love their games but the company itself is pretty damn horrible.

      Reply

      • Dutch Matrix

        June 26, 2014 at 12:27

        You know, I bought ME1, ME2, Kingdoms of Amalur and another game on Origin and I do not see the reason for the Origin hate. I buy, I login, I download my game. What is so bad about origin? Okay, it is not as huge as steam, but it does what it is meant to do.
        What about the ME3 fiasco? Are you referring perhaps to whiney gamers bawling their eyes out about the horrible ending, all but forgetting that they had played one of the best games ever released?
        And come on, DA2 was a bad game, or so I am told, but you cannot expect every game they release to be the next Mass Effect.

        Reply

        • Kromas

          June 26, 2014 at 12:37

          Seriously?! Origin did not work on launch … I mean at all! BF3 buyers had to wait a week after getting the game to log in. Also they have massive issues with Origin downloading older games. Sure it is slightly more fixed now but it was horrible. The main thing was the service was a forced release while in alpha. Essential the very first early access piece of crap to get spawned.

          Okay enough about Origin as I can go on about it. ME3 they promised and let me quote here. “Yeah, and I’d say much more so, because we have the ability to build the endings out in a way that we don’t have to worry about eventually tying them back together somewhere. This story arc is coming to an end with this game. That means the endings can be a lot more different. At this point we’re taking into account so many decisions that you’ve made as a player and reflecting a lot of that stuff. It’s not even in any way like the traditional game endings, where you can say how many endings there are or whether you got ending A, B, or C…..The endings
          have a lot more sophistication and variety in them.” – Casey Hudson a few month after launch clearly stating that there won’t be an A B C type ending yet there it was.

          As for DA2. It was a good game that was hated on because of the cut and paste level design.

          Like I said. Their games are great but everything else they do is horrible.

          Hell I did not even mention the class action lawsuit against them from their own employees a while back.

          Also they destroyed the C&C franchise.

          Reply

    • Johan du Preez

      June 26, 2014 at 12:55

      I suggest you read up on how many innovative game developers and IP’s they gobbled up and just sitting on it.

      Origin
      Bullfrog
      Maxis
      Bioware

      and that’s just at the top of my head. They deserve all the hate they get, they see what gfans shout about take one of the IP’s they have been sitting on since the 90’s and then release a game with micro transactions or make a sub par game.

      BTW EA doesnt make games they publish it.

      Reply

  12. HvR - Still dislikes Random.or

    June 26, 2014 at 12:05

    He start by beating the business manager who came up micro transaction Dungeon Keeper idea with a stick and make him pay $10 for every hit he takes.

    Reply

    • Kensei Seraph

      June 26, 2014 at 12:10

      I’d say I want to watch that but I’m not willing to pay the $4,99 per hit that will be charged to the viewers.

      Reply

  13. Kromas

    June 26, 2014 at 12:22

    I know how to fix this. Ask him what race Liara T’soni is. If he can’t answer in a split second fire him. The CEO of a gaming company NEEDS to be a gamer himself.

    Reply

    • CAE9872

      June 26, 2014 at 13:35

      I am not so sure – if I was a shareholder, I want best returns. Now saying that I agree that if you understand gamers and the gaming market, like someone like Phil Harrison does at MS, it does make life a tad bit easier as you can talk to the core market. And if you talk to us as gamers you buy our trust in your products.

      I think the CEO doesn’t have to be a gamer; but the COO does probably. It’s possibly why Nintendo makes such archaic decisions because they don’t watch the market, its changing nature, etc.

      But I agree with Zoe – SHOW ME EA. If Battlefield Hardline launches in a bad way again…then there is no change! Heck DICE categorically stated a few years back they would not charge for DLC maps…and guess what we have now! DICE, like Rare, is not DICE anymore…its part of a corporate mindset that says “returns, returns, returns” and that isnt always best way to make sustainable growth.

      Reply

      • Kromas

        June 26, 2014 at 14:03

        I want to just use CDPR as an example. Most of their staff are core gamers. People tend to buy Witcher just out of principle now even though it is a great game in its own rights. Let us not even mention how great GOG is. They make money and they make it honestly and I forsee them living on a long good life cause they have support from the gaming community as a whole.

        Reply

  14. Johan du Preez

    June 26, 2014 at 12:43

    Bullshit!, they made the same comment last year before BF4 was released.

    Reply

  15. Norm

    June 26, 2014 at 13:15

    I want a new (proper) DK!
    :<

    Reply

    • Tiaan Pat

      June 26, 2014 at 13:33

      Imagine a proper remake of DK…. Would be amazing with today’s graphics!

      Reply

  16. b1nd3r

    June 26, 2014 at 15:47

    EA gave me the C&C ultimate collection for free today 😀 problems with their online payment and my bank.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Check Also

FIFA and EA Split? How Did it Happen and What Now for the Future of the Franchise?

In life, there are many staples, peanut butter and jam, bread and a toaster, and in gaming…