Who Will Stand Up For Dungeon Keeper?

(Editor’s Note: There is a new game by Electronic Arts called Dungeon Keeper. It is a “free to play” microtransaction game that is a pile of shit. They are trying to filter reviews at the Google Play Store, through a process of only taking you to the review screen if you first say you will give it five stars. Thanks to Eurogamer for the article.)

Let’s get the low-hanging fruit out of the way. Fahey from Kotaku wrote some piece of shit article talking about how all mobile gaming is shit, so he doesn’t get why people are mad. It’s typical Kotaku linkbait and there’s nothing worth even quoting except this:

Features that seem so common to me that when I sadly review a game like Dungeon Keeper, mindful of its dying roots, and call it not a bad example of the genre, I get called “corrupt” on Twitter.

I’m not reading that review, but I’m sure the criticism is right. Are we going to have to hear about every negative tweet any journalist or dev gets, ever, from now one? Is it some goddamn badge of honor that someone sent a tweet insulting you that you think about more than they ever did? Pocketgamer.biz is a site that exists for whoring mobile games, so a defense comes as no surprise, but Jesus this still took me off guard.

Yes, critics should pillory the particularly abhorrent games, but that’s not what is happening with Dungeon Keeper. This is all about emotion.

People who liked the original games are complaining that a new entry in the series isn’t what they wanted it to be, and it being a free-to-play game hits a nerve that causes the vitriol to spill out.

All the while, Baekdal was decrying a business model that affords people a free taste before offering open-ended payment – all on a site where that critic gives away some opinions for free before offering an open-ended subscription service for more of his opinions. Irony is dead and Thomas Baekdal killed it.

Nothing is worse than an asshole who insists that they’re the “rational” one and you’re just being “emotional”. It stinks of some sort of weird oblique sexism (although traditional gamers are less likely to be girls than mobile ones, unless he’s manifesting some weird insecurity about that NOW WHO’S EMOTIONAL) and undeserved high-mindedness. It’s a more dickish “Fans bitch” defense. Meanwhile the only reason this guy is writing this bilge is that a site devoted to mobile gaming signs his checks and can’t even fathom engaging in or making a creative work that means something to him on a personal level or that he values more than $99 microtransactions. Every poster at No Mutants Allowed is worth more than this shithead. I can’t even tackle the last two lines because they’re so disconnected from reality.

“That’s not the point,” I hear you saying. And you’re right. But you know what is the point? Clash of Clans.

Supercell’s free-to-play game of base building and assaulting took the world by storm last year, inspiring a zillion clones and netting a $1.53 billion spend for a 51% acquisition of the company by GungHo. It’s a formula that every developer in the free-to-play market wishes they had thought of first – but while most of them are happy to simply copy it after-the-fact, EA and Mythic have taken inspiration (and for once, that word isn’t just a euphemism for ‘cloned it’) to create a great new competitor with a well-loved old school license attached.

Et tu, Gamezebo? Not surprising. Ever since GameTunnel folded there hasn’t been a decent indie/casual game review site. RPS is far too forgiving of most indie games and reviews them more on concept and meaning than enjoyment or fun. Jayisgames posts 15 games a day, not realizing they they’re miserably failing their job as curators. Gamezebo was always too wishy-washy and now they write editorials with this shit:

Get a grip. Old Dungeon Keeper is good. New Dungeon Keeper is good. They’re just different kinds of good, and made for different audiences. If EA made any mistake, it’s in thinking they might have been one and the same.

I wonder if Skalski knows of all these guys who’ve learned his ways and would eagerly take up a job as his assistant.

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