Another EA Exec Explains Why New Dungeon Keeper Suffered -- What's Your Take?

EA Mobile boss Frank Gibeau says company did a poor job marketing it and tried some things that players were not ready for.

Yet another Electronic Arts executive has now responded to the controversy surrounding the company's recently released mobile game, Dungeon Keeper, a reboot of sorts of the classic strategy game from Peter Molyneux. The game launched in February and was immediately criticized for its in-app purchases, with EA CEO Andrew Wilson recently admitting that the company "misjudged" the game's economy. Now, EA Mobile boss Frank Gibeau has offered his own take on the matter, explaining in an interview with GamesIndustry International why the game came up short, but also why the company is not going to pull the plug on it anytime soon.

"I think we might have innovated too much or tried some different things that people just weren't ready for" -- Frank Gibeau

"Dungeon Keeper suffered from a few things," Gibeau said. "I don't think we did a particularly good job marketing it or talking to fans about their expectations for what Dungeon Keeper was going to be or ultimately should be. Brands ultimately have a certain amount of permission that you can make changes to, and I think we might have innovated too much or tried some different things that people just weren't ready for. Or, frankly, were not in tune with what the brand would have allowed us to do. We like the idea that you can bring back a brand at EA and express it in a new way. We've had some successes on that front, but in the case of Dungeon Keeper, that just didn't connect with an audience for a variety of reasons."

EA closed Dungeon Keeper's original developer, Mythic, in May. Continued development duties for the project were handed off to another studio, Gibeau said. And while the game has been highly criticized, Gibeau said EA is not going to stop supporting it anytime soon. That wouldn't be fair to the people who are playing the game and enjoying it. he said.

"If you watch some of the things we've been doing over the last eight or nine months, we've made a commitment to players," Gibeau said. "We're sincere and committed to that. So when you bring in a group of people to Dungeon Keeper and you serve them, create a live service, a relationship and a connection, you just can't pull the rug out from under them. That's just not fair. We can sustain the Dungeon Keeper business at its level for a very long time. We have a committed group of people who are playing the game and enjoying it. So our view is going to be that we'll keep Dungeon Keeper going as long as there's a committed and connected audience to that game. Are we going to sequel it? Probably not. [Laughs] But we don't want to just shut stuff off and walk away. You can't do that in a live service environment."

Last week, a United Kingdom advertisement regulation agency ruled that EA could no longer advertise Dungeon Keeper as a "free" game.

What's your take on the backlash surrounding Dungeon Keeper? Let us know in the comments below!

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

Want the latest news about Dungeon Keeper?

Dungeon Keeper

Dungeon Keeper

Follow

Discussion

173 comments
Stepn2myworld
Stepn2myworld

More pointless damage control.  Support stops when the money stops flowing. I seriously do not understand why executives talk at all. All they do is reveal is how out of touch they really are with people who purchase their products. 

Nepti
Nepti

As a player I'll say right now I'll never EVER be ready for endless nickel and diming.

jimthev
jimthev

Either he believes this stuff and is a complete idiot that somehow got his 7 figure job or he thinks customers are complete idiots.


I'm going with the later.  So FU to him and the horse he rode in on.  Avoid any game that Frank Gibeau is associated with because it will stink.


Thank god for indies.

deltron77
deltron77

im so tired of this... sooo tired of execs, f*ck off already.

fede018
fede018

"and I think we might have innovated too much"

that is so ridiculous is funny

RicanV
RicanV moderator moderator

Customer's dont want pay to win game. Company blames customers. Makes perfect sense.

prime_l
prime_l

That's a lot of corporate mumbo jumbo for "We got greedy" and to be honest, a pretty bad example of damage control.

Veenox
Veenox

Effing EA with their "they are not ready but they will at some point". NO! We won't stand for that crap, ever! We won't pay to play by the minutes!

therealzorvan
therealzorvan

"But we don't want to just shut stuff off and walk away. You can't do that in a live service environment."

EA has shut off more "live environments" than any other game company. Who the hell does this joker think he's fooling?

Damnation_6
Damnation_6

Wow....I've never seen a more desperate attempt at turd polishing in my life...

jeremy-
jeremy-

"and I think we might have innovated too much or tried some different things that people just weren't ready for. "


I gotta give them credit where it was due. Nobody has seen the level of innovation EA has in whale hunting. From 2 minutes into the game you are already stuck and the game is asking you to pay to advance. "simply buy tokens and mine your first block faster". Its completely beyond anything we've ever seen. Next level pay2play stuff from EA. This Exec sure earns his 50 million salary because hes dead on the money.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

The day EA goes bankrupt, it should be declared a national holiday.

BigBadBanther
BigBadBanther

"I don't think we did a particularly good job marketing it or talking to fans about their expectations"

We are hearing this all to often nowadays but these companies still do nothing about it.

I am sick and tired of hearing but not seeing anything change :(

jemoedr
jemoedr

Cash n grab, duh...


They should just remake the old one. Old units, old storymap etc, with remastered graphics and compatibility.

Asharel
Asharel

frankly this is just bs, this was a greedy cash grab and they got burned for it, as they deserved.

Truly hope this company dies, when that day comes im gonna buy champagne.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

That's quite the twisted take on things, EA.

It's less that "players were not ready for it" and more "you are greedy bast*rds" because players never asked for you milking them and locking content, features and progression behind paywalls.

I even threw up a little, reading EA's quotes in the article - "did not market it correctly", "innovated too much", "commitment to players", "did not connect with the audience", "create a service, relationship and connection", "live service environment", ...

Please, just go and die silently in a hole somewhere and save us your bullsh*t, EA.

Relvar
Relvar

EA= Worst company on Earth - even worse than the scum companies in Asia and Africa and Northern California who employ child labor. 

jchip
jchip

Looks like it's time to buy a new dictionary. I didn't realise "Innovation" was redefined to mean "To bleed your customers dry".

RedDragonGecko
RedDragonGecko

Gibeau said. "I don't think we did a particularly good job...."

NUFF SAID!

brxricano
brxricano

So your excuse is you might be a bit too awesome for your own good and you blew our minds to the back of our skulls so hard we became too intimidated to play your game??

ROFL and LMAO. It must take forever for an EA exec to get to work in the morning, what with the amount of time spent staring in the mirror and all.

yoshimt
yoshimt

EA. . . thank you for taking an amazing game and company, buying them out, and turning their amazing works into your "innovative" piece of *#$&. You're a horrible company that has a special lair of hell waiting for your and your innovative antics. 

Renunciation
Renunciation

"...over the last eight or nine months, we've made a commitment to players..."

"I don't think we did a particularly good job... talking to fans about their expectations for what Dungeon Keeper was going to be or ultimately should be."

I guess when you make a commitment to a group of people that you don't talk with, it doesn't work out well.

Shocking.

veryDERPY
veryDERPY

i dont think ppl would ever be ready for shady business models and mobile paywalls/time gates

hystavito
hystavito

"we might have innovated too much or tried some different things that people just weren't ready for."


Nice spin :)

Ultima_Dragoon
Ultima_Dragoon

Yes, EA. We "weren't ready" to get nickel and dimed by your s***ty game. Maybe next time you'll be more "innovative" in finding ways to scam us out of our money. We aren't as dumb as you think.

Wrathesoul
Wrathesoul

It suffered because it wasn't dungeon keeper it was a time management game full of WAY overpriced micro crapactions. EA ruined the name as it does all games.

Vegeta-sama
Vegeta-sama

very few are ever ready for pay to win games

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

EA continues to impress, because of their lack of video game understanding.

BuBsay
BuBsay

I feel like EA wins the prize for worst PR team ever.


At least when Activision or Microsoft is called out for screwing over the consumer they actually release an apology, and occasionally even backpedal.


But whenever EA gets called out for shady business practices it's always the same "Players just aren't ready for our innovations."


My god, they couldn't be more corrupt, or arrogant, if they tried.

memenotu
memenotu

Its a god damn mobile game, of course it SUCKS compared to the first two, which were great.

Mobile gaming is for basic crap games like angry birds.

jack00
jack00

Man EA really takes us for god damn retards. "tried some things that players were not ready for". You mean ripping us off every cents that you could ?

kellian1
kellian1

Why do suits like this guy keep over-complicating things? it's really simple...


Stand alone, single player (heck throw in some multi player) Dungeon Keeper game like the first 2 games= Win!


Online, garbage, pay for basically every single thing in the game and lose the core of what the game was = Fail!


It's really that simple...but it's EA, what did we expect?

Banefire76
Banefire76

When will gamers start to realize that EA will never stop "innovating" this way?


Every game you buy from them will enable them to buy up another IP and use their trademarked "innovation" on that IP.


Could you imagine what would happen to something like Minecraft, The Witcher or Rocksteady's Batman IP if EA got a hold of it and decided to "innovate" the crap out of it?


Well if you can, STOP ENABLING THEM! ..........PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i beg of you, this will not stop until YOU stop giving them sales. 


If you say nothing will happen, and EA wont stop even if gamers took a stand and stopped buying their games in high numbers i would like to remind you of all the backflips Microsoft has made on the Xbox One BECAUSE they were losing by millions of consoles to their competition. When they were hit in their wallet THEN they altered their practices (whether it will save them or not is to be seen) but it goes to show that denial of sales is the ONLY way anything will change for the better.


Those of you who have stopped supporting EA (or any other publishing doing these things) i salute you. Everyone else that thinks "oh my purchase doesn't matter", what happens when 4-5 million other people think the same way? Well the enabling continues.


If you don't know what i'm talking about then heaven help the gaming industry.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

The problem is I don't see this disappearing. People keep asking 'Why are people still buying EA's products?'. Well that's because the purchases are made by 3 kinds of people. The ignorant, the rich who don't care, and the kids who A. Are using their parent's money and B. Probably aren't going to be interested in knowledge of the games industry in the first place. Much like DLC and microtransactions, those who are going to buy them probably aren't going to stop, and there's no way of reaching them to talk them around since they either won't care or probably don't visit gaming sites in the first place. Sure, you see lots of people on the internet on game sites and reviews being angry about EA, but the internet is a small vocal minority when it comes to games. Take COD for example. Do you really think that say, 10 million of those 12 million purchases are made by people who get involved in gaming information? Chances are they're not. And this is the problem, the majority remain ignorant and make gaming worse for those who actually give a sh*t.

jinzo9988
jinzo9988

I'm not sure that 'innovate' was the right word to use when the biggest problem people had with the game were the in-app purchases.  That just makes you sound like an absolute prick.

prime_l
prime_l

Course it does! It's entirely our fault that EA is too innovative for us lowly consumers. It's our fault that we are not stupid throw money at a game purposely designed to milk the bank but putting up a pay wall and mechanics designed to annoy and tempt money out of us.

..poor Ea.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@BigBadBanther 

It's called PR propaganda.  It's a creative way for the executive to say "Yes, we think you're THAT stupid."


Stop falling for it.

TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

@bloody-hell 

What EA did was blatantly try to rip the public off to the extreme, and the public told them to f.uck off and die.


If this company had gone bankrupt and disappeared 15 years ago, it would not have been soon enough.

jemoedr
jemoedr

@Relvar That's why they won the "worst company of the year" prize multiple times in a row.

Banefire76
Banefire76

@kellian1 Not really complicating, rather uses misinformation and misdirection in hopes of confusing someone who is not informed enough so they will give in and just agree with his viewpoint.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@Banefire76 I said this in my comment below, but the problem is that most of the people buying their stuff won't be on game sites and the like in the first place, they'll remain ignorant and buy it because it's popular or a friend has it. They don't realise the damage their purchases make, nor do they read about how they're the cause of it.

charlieholmes
charlieholmes

Word of mouth, word of mouth. It's still powerful as long as we continue to do it. It'll take some time getting out to enough people but it will happen. Just keep informing people you come across as much as possible and we'll get it turned around eventually. Keep the faith brother!

Banefire76
Banefire76

@DamnILoveGames @Banefire76 Yep i agree with you. But don't forget the effect it makes if a friend invites you to play a co-op EA game and you say "i don't buy EA" They will ask why not? and then you can explain. Sure some people wont care like you say, but others who were unaware will become informed. 


Change has to start somewhere.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@Banefire76 I would if I had many friends. Unfortunately, as far as gaming goes I have about 2 friends, and neither likes EA anyway.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@Banefire76 Oh, thanks. I try to be selective with them. Honestly, when I was at school and all the kids would be raving about the new COD my heart would die a little inside.