In June, EA CEO Andrew Wilson referred to the mobile version of Dungeon Keeper as “a shame.” In doing so, he seemed to be admitting that EA had made a mistake with their approach to bringing the cult classic to the mobile gaming space as a free-to-play game.
Don’t tell that to EA Mobile boss Frank Gibeau. He didn’t think that the failure of Dungeon Keeper Mobile was a result of the monetization model. Instead, in an interview with Games Industry, Gibeau said that Dungeon Keeper Mobile “innovated too much or tried some different things that people just weren’t ready for.”
No, I’m not letting this go. I’m not sure what the worst thing about the free-to-play mobile edition of Dungeon Keeper is. The denigration of a much heralded franchise for a quick buck is pretty bad. The fact that the game isn’t so much free-to-play as it is fee-to-play with microtransactions that are hardly “micro” isn’t any better. Maybe it’s the fact that the game is likened to Clash of Clans in Dungeon Keeper clothing after we talked about King ripping off and being ripped off by other games.
The 2014 mobile game purporting to be Dungeon Keeper might not be the worst free-to-play mobile game ever made. It may not even be the worst free-to-play mobile game released in the last couple of months. Dungeon Keeper represents much more than itself. It shows how broken the mobile market is. Whether it was called Dungeon Keeper or Crypt Master or Confrontation of Demons, it would still be an abomination of a game when it’s not there to entertain but to panhandle.
But enough of what I think. Let’s see what the critics have to say.