EA Alienates Again, Dungeon Keeper Mobile Nothing but a Money Grab

It didn't seen to faze Electronic Arts that it was voted by Consumerist readers the "Worst Company in America" for two years in a row, so why be feign surprise that EA is apparently more than willing to piss gamers off with its mobile reboot of Dungeon Keeper? Most of the professionally written reviews on the web hammer the title for falling into the mobile trap of being a blatant money sucking incubus, and though there are a number of positive user reviews on Google Play, those have come under fire.

Dungeon Keeper Spend Dungeon Keeper Items

When the game asks for your feedback, you have two choices -- give it a "1-4 Star" rating or a "5 Star" review. If you choose the latter, you're transported to the app store where you can leave your glowing recommendation, but if you choose the former, it brings up an email form so you can wax angry directly to EA. Granted, you can choose the "5 Star" option and still leave a 1-4 star rating and bad review, but let's be real, this is a shady way of preventing bad reviews from appearing in the app store, just don't expect EA to admit as much:

"We're always looking at new ways to gather player feedback so that we can continue to improve our games. The 'rate this app' feature in the Google Play version of Dungeon Keeper was designed to help us collect valuable feedback from players who don't feel the game is worth a top rating. We wanted to make it easier for more players to send us feedback direction from the game if they weren't having the best experience. Players can always continue to leave any rating they want on the Google Play Store." - EA told JustPushStart in an email.

Feedback isn't the issue, however, it's that EA wrapped a popular game in a freemium model that's overburdened with microtransactions and is reluctant to fess up to it. There's an excellent editorial in Forbes written by Paul Tassi that breaks down the game's descent in mobile hell and how EA Mythic's Jeff Skalski, the game's senior producer, tries to spin annoying paywalls into features that gamers should appreciate.

Dungeon Keeper Tutorial

For example, there are critical parts of the game that work at a snail's pace unless you use gems to speed things up. If you don't want to buy more gems, you basically have to wait. And wait, and wait, and wait.

"It’s important to emphasize that we designed a game that is built around the typical mobile play patterns. This means Dungeon Keeper is meant to be played on the go multiple times a day with a few minutes here or there. This way of playing allows fans to naturally progress as a free player," Skalski told Tab Times in an interview.

In other words, those time walls exist to fit your busy schedule, never mind the fact that if they didn't exist, you could still play the game in small doses of your choosing. Sadly, that's the way many mobile games are these days, it's just too bad a game like Dungeon Keeper had to follow the same script, and follow it so closely.