EA’s Frank Gibeau left his role at the head of the publisher’s PC and console-focused Labels division last year to become president of EA Mobile. Maybe the Dungeon Keeper license fell off a shelf and into his coat pocket, because it turned up a few months later, looking washed-out and smelling slightly damp, on iOS and Android.
EA CEO Andrew Wilson has already acknowledged that nu-Dungeon Keeper struggled to “stay true” to its namesake - but clearly failed to pass on the mea culpa memo to Gibeau. Instead, Frank thinks EA and Mythic “might have innovated too much”.
“Dungeon Keeper suffered from a few things,” Gibeau told GamesIndustry. “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.”
Gibeau said EA like the idea of digging out an old license to “express it in a new way” - but admitted that they might have tripped a couple of traps in remaking Dungeon Keeper.
“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,” he said. “Or, frankly, were not in tune with what the brand would have allowed us to do.”
That said, EA will continue to keep the new Dungeon Keeper running.
“Are we going to sequel it? Probably not,” laughed Gibeau. “But we don’t want to just shut stuff off and walk away. You can’t do that in a live service environment.”
Sigh. I guess now we wait the requisite half-decade before another studio is allowed to try rebooting Bullfrog’s finest properly, yeah?