EA Mythic defends Dungeon Keeper and IAPs

EA Mythic defends Dungeon Keeper and IAPs
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

February 6th 2014 at 2:32PM

Developer aware of controversy and is working on fine-tuning game based on player feedback, says producer

Mythic has responded to the furore surrounding free-to-play mobile game Dungeon Keeper by insisting the in-app purchases system it utilises is fair.

The game has brought microtransactions under the spotlight during the last week as consumers and developers alike claim the title's use of IAPs is too aggressive.

Speaking to TabTimes, Dungeon Keeper's senior producer Jeff Skalski said the studio was aware of the controversy surrounding the game, and understood the sensitive nature of reviving a popular IP.

He insisted that the game was designed to fit in with how users play mobile games, and the development team had played the title throughout its 15-week soft launch to ensure non-spenders could enjoy the title as much as paying players.

Skalski also pointed to the high ratings the game had received during the time of the interview, rating the game at 4.5 stars out of five, in contradiction to the anger surrounding it.

As of the time of writing, the average rating for the title has fallen to three stars following a slew of one star ratings by users.

"One of the important data points we’re looking at is our store ratings and downloads," he said.

"At the time of this interview, App Store ratings currently sit at four out of five stars and Google Play ratings sit at 4.5 out of five stars. We’re also seeing a lot of game downloads and in-game engagement so that tells us there is a large group of people who are playing and enjoying the game. Obviously, this is counter to some of the angry reactions we’ve seen around the internet, so we’re still trying to look at all of these data points.

"I think any time you re-make anything that is much beloved and has a great sense of nostalgia for people - be it a game, a movie, or whatever - people are going to be very protective of it. They have fond memories of it. We, as gamers, have our own fond memories of it. For a lot of gamers, the original Dungeon Keeper was one of their first experiences with great strategy games. Our 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."

Stalksi added that moving forward, the developer would be introducing more ways to players to acquire gems without having to pay for them, and would continue to fine-tune the experience based on player feedback.

"It’s too early for us to get an accurate sense of what changes might be needed, but we didn’t make this game for ourselves, we made it for the players," he said.

"We know that you can never please everyone, but we want this to be a game that most of our intended audience enjoys."