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.

181 Comments
No Caption Provided

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!

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Join the conversation
There are 181 comments about this story
181 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
GameSpot has a zero tolerance policy when it comes to toxic conduct in comments. Any abusive, racist, sexist, threatening, bullying, vulgar, and otherwise objectionable behavior will result in moderation and/or account termination. Please keep your discussion civil.

Avatar image for lp9867
lp9867

class action lawsuit << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for GSyysouprice86yyGS
SoupRice86

War for the overlord = win

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for deltron77
deltron77

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

Avatar image for fede018
fede018

"and I think we might have innovated too much"

that is so ridiculous is funny

Avatar image for RicanV
RicanV

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

Moderator
Avatar image for 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!

Avatar image for 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?

Avatar image for Damnation_6
Damnation_6

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

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

Avatar image for Selig05
Selig05

<< LINK REMOVED >> It should be a worldwide holiday

Avatar image for TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

This article alone shows why EA needs to go.


The only thing their Executives do is engage in explosive verbal diarrhea, finding more complex and creative ways to tell their customer base how stupid and brain dead they think they are.

This i.diot was born WAY too late. In the 30's, Goebbels would have killed for a Nazi propagandist with this level of gall.

Avatar image for 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 :(

Avatar image for TheWatcher000
TheWatcher000

<< LINK REMOVED >>

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.

Avatar image for jemoedr
jemoedr

Cash n grab, duh...


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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for Relvar
Relvar

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

Avatar image for jemoedr
jemoedr

<< LINK REMOVED >> That's why they won the "worst company of the year" prize multiple times in a row.

Avatar image for 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".

Avatar image for RedDragonGecko
RedDragonGecko

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

NUFF SAID!

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for veryDERPY
veryDERPY

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

Avatar image for hystavito
hystavito

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


Nice spin :)

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for Vegeta-sama
Vegeta-sama

very few are ever ready for pay to win games

Avatar image for gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

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

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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 ?

Avatar image for 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?

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for 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.

Avatar image for Martyr77
Martyr77

<< LINK REMOVED >> Well said.

Avatar image for deactivated-584419ec3a052

@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.

Avatar image for Banefire76
Banefire76

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> 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.

Avatar image for deactivated-584419ec3a052

<< LINK REMOVED >> I would if I had many friends. Unfortunately, as far as gaming goes I have about 2 friends, and neither likes EA anyway.

Avatar image for Banefire76
Banefire76

<< LINK REMOVED >><< LINK REMOVED >> Sounds like you have the kind of friends that matter ;)

Avatar image for deactivated-584419ec3a052

<< LINK REMOVED >> 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.