Has EA learned from Dungeon Keeper uproar?

3 min read

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

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