Evil is good.
Earlier this year we posted a foul-mouthed rant about EA’s Dungeon Keeper (2014) and its killjoy, over-the-top micro-transactions. Case in point, something that would take two minutes in the 1997 version of the game (digging out 45 squares for a treasure room) would cost as much as $89 to finish in the same amount of time in the “free-to-play” version. I just re-watched the video and it still makes me angry.
EA tried to make amends by giving out free copies of the original Dungeon Keeper (1997) on Valentine’s Day, but the 2014 version is still a warm bucket of sh*t. EA also didn’t help matters when they were caught trying to filter out any ratings below a 5 in the Google Play Store.
Which brings us to today. Eurogamer brought up the hate for Dungeon Keeper‘s ludicrous micro-transactions during their interview with Andrew Wilson, the CEO of EA. He took over as CEO last September, about six months after the disastrous SimCity launch, in which the game was often unplayable due to the always-on requirement overloading servers while EA claimed they couldn’t easily allow customers to play offline (and that was a lie). They didn’t win “Worst Company In America” two years in a row for nothing.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson calls the Dungeon Keeper fallout “a shame”, even admitting that they “misjudged the economy”. He tells Eurogamer:
“For new players, it was kind of a cool game,” he began. “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 had sparked two types of feedback among players. One, that it didn’t feel like Dungeon Keeper as old school fans remembered it, and two, that the free-to-play model it employed didn’t make players feel like they were getting value for their money. “We misjudged the economy,” he admitted.
We hope they don’t “misjudge the economy” when they inevitably make free-to-play versions of other classic games they own, like Populous, Theme Park, and Magic Carpet. I would play the sh*t out of some Populous right now.
Perhaps with a new CEO comes a willingness for EA to admit when they’ve f*cked up instead of saying “doesn’t matter, got paid“, but an even better tactic would be to sell a micro-transactionless version of Dungeon Keeper and, what the hell, let us build a pool in it.