EA admits it could of done better with the Dungeon Keeper remake

dungeon-keeper-screen01-ios_656x369 EA always gets themselves in these situations, getting into a bad PR hole hoping to rectify the reactions they received. When Dungeon Keeper for the iOS  came out last year in 2013, it wasn't taken in too well and EA boss Andrew Wilson admits that they could have done better with Bullfrog's classic IP.

The problem lies with the iOS version turning into a Clash of Clan clone, with a strong pay wall right in your face in just a few minutes of play, and to have a very small resemblance to the original content. New and casual players are familiar with this kind of gameplay, but it doesn't give much value to stay invested, and players that are huge fans to the 1997 classic is still left scratching their heads even after its release in 2013.

In an interview with Eurogamer, EA boss Andrew Wilson said that it was "a shame" and they "misjudged the economy".

“For new players, it was kind of a cool game,” he said. “For people who’d grown up playing Dungeon Keeper there was a disconnect there. We misjudged the economy. In that aspect, we didn’t walk that line as well as we could have. And that’s a shame."

“As we look forward, the two lessons we get are, one, where you are dealing with IP that has existed in the past, even though you’re reinventing it for a new audience, you have to do your best to stay true to its essence.

“The second is, when you’re thinking about any business model, premium, subscription, free-to-play, value has to exist. Whether it’s a dollar, $10, $100 or $1000, you have to delivering value, and always err on the side of delivering more value, not less.”

"Stay true to it's essence". Hearing that from the higher-ups at EA brings hope to future titles. But time will tell if they will act upon it during development. The backlash really sparks from the use of making this a Dungeon Keeper remake. If it was a new IP with a different name, it would have been taken lightly and easily forgotten in a few weeks time. It still boggles my mind to why they didn't just give us a true remake release on the PC? The fan base is still there...waiting for a true new release of the beloved strategy game.

Is it really monetization embedded into the gameplay the problem? Not entirely. Many Free-to-Play games like League of Legends, Clash of Clans, or Team Fortress 2 show that it can grow a player base with real money transactions in play. It's really all about how it's presented to the player.

The game's original designer in 1997, Peter Molyneux,  says  "I don't think anyone would be so against the monetisation loops if they came in a lot later and a lot more gentle," he pondered. "But it is so in your face."

In your face indeed. Two hours to cut down a piece of block was bad enough, but constantly asking to spend gems or buy gems to speed gameplay? Pay walls first before ever experiencing the gameplay hinders any momentum for the player.  If you compare this Dungeon Keeper remake to Ubisoft's Trials Frontier on the iOS, you'll have a better understanding on what went wrong.

Admitting they could have done better is half the battle. I fear for other Bullfrog classics still in EA's vault of games.


E3 2014: EA Press Conference - New Mass Effect, Sims 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, Star Wars: Battlefront, Battlefield: Hardline


Right after Microsoft's press conference we have EA's press conference, and boy was that hard to watch. We don't expect much from EA, we don't even recall a year that made us appreciate staying up to watch their presentation live. But this time around  we were hoping to be blown away. What's makes this year special? Oh, just the possible reveal of Star Wars: Battlefront 3 gameplay, Mirror's Edge 2, Dragon Age: Inquisition demos, and a strong chance of getting a new Mass Effect game reveal. We did get those games on stage, but only as a developer diary trailer. Bottom line from this press conference - These games are confirmed, and that they are definitely working on them. You could of sent us a memo instead of making a presentation EA.

Star Wars: Battlefront coming Spring 2015

Dragon Age Inquisition demo showing combat

The BioWare E3 2014 trailer

The Sims 4 dev trailer

New UFC game, featuring Bruce Lee available June 17

Madden NFL 15 out August 26

Criterion Games E3 2014 trailer

PGA Tour 2015 with Frostbite 3 Engine, out Spring 2015

Dawngate announced. What is it? EA's MOBA.

New Mirror's Edge

FIFA 15 E3 trailer

Battlefield: Hardline up next.#E32014 32 player match demo

Quick Mentions

- Battlefield: Hardline beta out now

- Bioware Montreal team is working on the new Mass Effect(Mass Effect 4) , while the team in Edmonton is working on completely new IP.

- Criterion Games working on a new action sports game, no name though. First-person multi-vehicle game

This has to be the most disappointing presentation this E3. It really felt like EA didn't really care of making a huge impression for their future games. It was a nice touch to have Battlefield: Hardline beta up and running for all to play the day they announced it, but I think the biggest shocker is the fact that we saw more developers talking about their games than new gameplay footage.

We will give more of our impressions of what was shown in the press conference in a future post. TMG Podcast E3 Special will go LIVE next week once all the dust has cleared to go through each announcement and reveals one by one.

SSX - Timed Trials

ssx I subscribed to PlayStation Plus not too long ago and got access to a bunch of free games. But not only do you get access to free games every month, there are also games listed under Timed Trials. You essentially get one hour to try a game. If you liked the game and decide to buy it, your progress from the timed trial will carry over. 

In the first episode of Timed Trials, I check out the newest iteration of SSX. Formerly known as "SSX: Deadly Descents". I haven't played a SSX game since SSX Tricky. I did play the demo of this game before it came out and liked it. Let's see if it still holds up.

I uploaded it to Dailymotion this time because of Youtube's copyright claiming system and this game contains a lot of licensed songs from various artists.

Timed Trials - SSX by toomuchgaming

"The inconsistency of Battlefield 4": Launch impressions for the PC version

IMAG0363 Last Tuesday, Battlefield 4 was released for current gen consoles and PC. Carlos went for the PC version and has been playing it all week and has a few words for DICE's next gen title-- "Stop crashing on me!!".


I go for games on day one because I believe I'll have a great time with it. Just like how everybody mindlessly buys Call of Duty regardless of what they change, I do the same with Battlefield. Is there a big change for Battlefield 4 though? Visually, sort of. Gameplay, well you still shoot people, and the stages are..bigger with more structures to blow up. But  my frustration doesn't come from the gameplay, I'm loving the feel of the game, but if it crashes on you every so often...that doesn't count for anything really.

Joining large conquest maps with 500 tickets can take a lot of your time. Halfway through one match, I was enjoying raking up the kills in different ways in the match. Then, it crashes. Losing any progress you made. 20 minutes wasted. So imagine that happening 50% of every match you join. The game feels like its running on dutch taps to keep it together. My PC specs is well enough to run the game on ultra with smooth gameplay, so believe me that's not the case, I've checked.

Game crashes happening often detached me from the experience. When it happens, I'm left with the thought of turning on the TV to watch a movie instead. What's more troubling is that the servers can be unstable as well, making you stare at loading screens more than having someone lined up in your gun's scope.  The mix of both of these issues makes it hard to really enjoy the game when you can't stay on one server for at least 5 games. It's inconsistent, and it makes me want to do something else with my time.  These issues are also present in the campaign. Which is hard enough to get into since I'm annoyed by the characters in just 3 missions.

Battlefield 4 is a great game, but only if it cooperates. Put game crashes and server shutdowns aside, you still have to deal with the random rubber band lag that occurs even though you have less than 100 latency stated on the scoreboard. People can argue that it hasn't been a week, but a rocky start is a rocky start. They will eventually get around to making the game as smooth as butter, but it seems like the pressure to make the release date is being felt on launch.


War never changes

Okay, game crashes and server issues...check! How does the game feel? I did mention earlier that it feels great, but overall you are still getting the same Battlefield experience. For some, like myself, that's all I want. But if someone wanted a groundbreaking game? you'll get disappointed. Don't even consider getting the game for a good campaign. Battlefild 4's campaign is tolerable now compared to Battlefield 3, but it isn't good at all. I'm not even done with it since multiplayer has caught most of my attention. As it should since that's the only reason why I bought the game. Don't be fooled by the "Levolution" term as well. The stages that alter the map are appealing, but only if people bother to activate it, and if your actually there to see it happen. And when they do, just hope you are not in front of it when it happens. Having a skyscraper falling on you or a dam breaking did make me break a smile when I saw it happen, but when it's over, back to shooting. Some are also pretty dull if you compare it to the skyscraper Levolution found on the Siege of Shanghai map. I'm having a hard time finding a server where I can always see it trigger, so I can't really say to how much of a degree it affects the experience.

Unlocking and leveling in this game is just the same as Battlefield 3. The more you use one weapon, vehicle, or class, the more stuff you unlock for that category. As you go through levels, you are given Battlepacks, which up to level 12(current level as I write this), seems to be the only benefit in getting higher levels. Inside those Battlepacks can provide random attachments for specific guns, and weapon/vehicle skins. And if your lucky, you get experience boosters that lasts for only an hour.

That's it for now. The game is great only if it wants to be, and hopefully DICE can resolve these crash and server issues soon. If you are considering the console version, take note that there's a player cap of 24 while next-gen titles and PC has a player cap of 64 players on each match. Why the very low cap? Ask DICE because the player cap was a  big factor to why I opted for the PC version.

Have the same opinion as me? Or experiencing the same problems? Vent on the comments below.

Battlefield 4 Open Beta launches October 1

battlefield-4-angry-sea-single-player-screens_7-wm EA just announced the date for Battlefield 4's Open Beta. We'll get to try out the game on October 1 for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.

The Open Beta will allow us to test out Battlefield 4's Conquest mode on Siege of Shanghai. What's weird is there's still no information about the exclusive early access promised for those that have Pre-ordered the Digital-deluxe version of the game, people that purchased the Medal of Honor Limited Edition, and of course Battlefield 3 Premium members. With the Open Beta hitting on the first day of October, it's most likely going to hit before then so we'll keep an eye out when EA talks about it.

Battlefield 4 will be out for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC on October 29, with the next-gen version for PS4 and Xbox One to come out on each console's launch date.