F2P Dungeon Keeper may have "innovated too much"

EA Mobile boss says it needs to be "as good as Supercell"

EA Mobile boss Frank Gibeau says EA has a lot to learn in the new mobile gaming space, and it may have "innovated too much" with Dungeon Keeper.

Electronic Arts was a leader when premium apps like The Sims 3 were the norm, thanks in part to its experience working on PC and console games, Gibeau told GamesIndustry International. But that experience is less useful for working on "live service" free-to-play games.


"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."

Dungeon Keeper met a poor critical reception, and was sanctioned by UK advertising watchdog group ASA for downplaying its microtransactions in email advertisements.

Gibeau said EA needs to be "as good as Supercell, King, Gungho, or some of these other companies at sustained live services for long periods of time" to compete in the mobile space. Until then, Gibeau says it will honor its commitment to Dungeon Keeper's players by supporting the game.

"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," Gibeau said. "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."