Peter Molyneux on free-to-play Dungeon Keeper: "This is ridiculous"

The creator of the original game has played the mobile, free-to-play Dungeon Keeper and he thinks EA didn't get it right.

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Games industry veteran and creator of the original Dungeon Keeper Keeper (1997) Peter Molyneux isn't pleased with what Electronic Arts has done with the series in its recently released, free-to-play mobile version.

Agreeing with the overwhelmingly negative response to its aggressive monetization methods from critics and player alike, Molyneux found that they simply ruin the experience. "I felt myself turning around saying, 'What? This is ridiculous. I just want to make a dungeon. I don't want to schedule it on my alarm clock for six days to come back for a block to be chipped,'" he told the BBC.

Molyneux is referring to the game's "progress gates," which make you either wait for long periods of time or pay to complete an action.

"I don't think they got it quite right," he said, "the balance between keeping it familiar to the fans that were out there but fresh enough and understandable enough for this much bigger mobile audience."

As we reported earlier this week, EA Mythic senior producer Jeff Skalski told Tab Times that EA's "intention with the mobile version was to give as many people as possible a taste of that original Dungeon Keeper experience, and for some people, that’s not the way they want to re-visit the franchise."

Also drawing debate and controversy is Dungeon Keeper's ratings system. We have confirmed that on Android, you're not allowed to give the game less than a 5-star rating. Instead, it asks you to send a message to EA with feedback.

We also recently reported that the UK government is starting to take action against these kind of monetization methods in free-to-play games.

Discussion

319 comments
gamefreak215jd
gamefreak215jd

The problem with the gaming industry is that its filled with casual idiots who can get conned easily by big publishers like EA and Activision.

Mayleene
Mayleene

Why would anyone want to play this to begin with?  Free to Play only translates to Free to Pay.

Zachareason
Zachareason

Why are we still bothering with EA's mindless management and proffesional desecration of good games ? Aren't we used to it yet? I thought we liked it since we keep buying their games

detted
detted

You should try: War For The Overworld it is It is almost Dungeon Keeper 2 just better graphics and gameplay. It´s on Steam. 

virtualskill
virtualskill

lol @ "not allowed to rate it below 5 stars"

firehawk998
firehawk998

It is news like this that I am really glad I stopped buying EA products after ME 3 and BF3. Will it do anything to EA ( me not buying them ) NO but hey atleast I dont have to put up with stuff like this.

Zombrex
Zombrex

EA is kinda like North Korea. Franchises get taken hostage and then are forced into backbreaking labor to produce game, then they wither and die.

PhonyEye
PhonyEye

If it says "EA" on the cover, you'd better stay away. everybody should know that by now. Hopes for a change in approach on EA side have been long gone.

jemoedr
jemoedr

They should remake the old one for PC. It was awesome :)


What they did with the mobile version was just wrong :(

Saladudo
Saladudo

Off the record, BBC should interview EA. Evil mofos go in pairs.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

EA Games keep covering themselves with glory, aren't they?

merrickx
merrickx

"...to give as many people as possible a taste of that original Dungeon Keeper experience..."


Accrue massive amounts of profit from casual non-gamers and sudoku players with as little effort possible.

pyosisified
pyosisified

LOL says the guy behind Fable... Don't get me wrong this game looks like garbage but it's no more garbage than anything he has released (besides the original Dungeon Keepers and the first Black and White)

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Is he serious? This is what his own game Godus is. A game with no creative direction and gameplay built around making money and mindless clicking while being restricted by time limits unless you pay. 

delta5931
delta5931

EA is going down the hole FAST! This kind of news is just bad for EA. There stock holders must be peeing their pants and trying to sell as much as they can.

Saketume
Saketume

When even Peter Molyneux says you're crazy you know it's bad.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Toll gates in a game?  Now that's funny.  And the EA titan wobbles a little more.

m_dorian
m_dorian

EA. If people want this broken company to be fixed then, more and more people should avoid their products (free or not), only then they might re-evaluate their policies.

DaDizzel
DaDizzel

I love some FTP games, but you should be able to buy this game outright right so you can enjoy it. FTP games should only benefit from extras otherwise, I don't mean pay to win either. FTP games that make you pay more then the value of the game to have an enjoyable experience is a total ripoff and should be took of the market.

tagzi
tagzi

I downloaded this game deleted it after 2m playing didn't even get to the waiting part it sucked all the way :)

Nepti
Nepti

Years ago I made the decision to stay away from pay-to-win games. This decision has essentially cut me off from most mobile games. But hey, when games like Fruit Ninja and Angry Birds are the 'Skyrims' and 'GTAs' of the mobile scene, I'm not missing much. Actually, I'm not missing anything.

stalepie
stalepie

"Ridiculously lucrative," he added. Ca-ching! 

Gwarpup
Gwarpup

 How can a developer control the rating system??? That throws the whole system into Chaos?!!

bayernfan
bayernfan

Please, from now on it is "free to pay" not "free to play", the latter does not exist in the EA offices.

notsonegi
notsonegi

The amount of "progress gates" in this game make it pretty much unplayable

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

You know things have gotten really bad when Peter Molyneux makes sense.

blutosan
blutosan

If this is true, the current ratings for this game are fraudulent. They need to be thrown out immediately and restarted, possibly with sanctions against the publisher on the play store. 

snugglebear
snugglebear

Flappy Birds is going to come back with a similar business model. You pay for each flap with Flappy Bux!

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

First time i've agreed with Peter Molyneux in a long, long.....  well -  Ever.

Jrounder82
Jrounder82

I refuse to play any game that has a timer on it to make people pay to complete. Biggest scam in history of gaming

Sgthombre
Sgthombre

Of course, Peter. It's a lack of freshness as why the game fails. 

D1zzyCriminal
D1zzyCriminal

The thing I don't understand about the "Pay or Wait Gate" is how people justify it internally.

"Why should I pay money to make an arbitrary timer disappear, what does the money go towards"


I know the answer is obvious, but it just cant be rationalised.


Its like paying money at an arcade machine to skip all the gameplay and finish the stage. This isn't a game! I'm not sure what to call these things.

fillup0
fillup0

@Mayleene  There are exceptions, Loadout has an extremely fair business model coupled with a very good matchmaking system.

Nev3rtime
Nev3rtime

@merrickx  What do you have against Sudoku players to lump them in with people who pay for trashy "Free to play" phone games?

DuskStrider
DuskStrider

@pyosisified  Fable was a good game all things considered. Yes it was overhyped, but still good regardless.

merrickx
merrickx

@delta5931  Well, they've got the less informed, casual whales, so if they keep pursuing Zynga and King-like avenues, they might have a few good quarters.

larkin-54
larkin-54

@delta5931  probably not EA is doing well on wallstreet with only increases in price so far in 2014 

merrickx
merrickx

@m_dorian  Well, in this context, most mobile "gamers" are not privy to industry happenings.

IndremaLover
IndremaLover

@m_dorian      Great point.  EA used to be a great game company a really long time ago.  Too many people complain about them, and then proceed to shovel money towards them.   

ioshilee
ioshilee

@Nepti  The only good games on mobiles are those ported from PC or other platforms - Final Fantasy, f.e., others are p2w trash. Even Deus Ex: the Fall, a game that is cost a lot (compared to avarage mobile price tag) has built-in store...

merrickx
merrickx

@Gwarpup  That type of shit happens directly and indirectly all the time. 

Karlinel
Karlinel

@OmegaGear  Yeah, I think it's written somewhere in the Book of Revelations...

SauhlGood
SauhlGood

@D1zzyCriminal  yeah as McNeelyJ39 mentioned, awhile back EA and a bunch of other companies realized that selling a game piecemeal is much more profitable than making a single disc/box/dl(whatever) product and releasing it for one lump sum... 

McNeelyJ39
McNeelyJ39

@D1zzyCriminal  The point is for kids to click to pay money since they have no concept of it.  Not sure who else would pay to get a wall removed quicker.