'I just want to make a dungeon. I don't want to schedule it on my alarm clock for six days to come back for a block to be chipped'

Dungeon Keeper time delays are ‘ridiculous’, says Molyneux

Peter Molyneux has branded the game mechanics that underpin EA’s mobile free-to-play title Dungeon Keeper as ridiculous.

Speaking to the BBC, the 22Cans founder criticised the time delays for dungeon expansion, which can sometimes mean it will take over 24 hours to clear out sections of a dungeon.

He also said some of the criticism surrounding the game was from the fans of the original, and felt the developer hadn’t got the balance right between staying faithful to old fans of the game and opening the IP up to new audiences.

"I felt myself turning round saying, ‘What? This is ridiculous," he said.

"I just want to make a dungeon. I don’t want to schedule it on my alarm clock for six days to come back for a block to be chipped."

He added: "I don’t think they got it quite right, the balance between keeping it familiar to the fans that were out there but fresh enough and understandable enough for this much bigger mobile audience."

Dungeon Keeper has come under the spotlight in recent weeks due to its use of in-app purchases, which some have claimed to be too aggressive.

The title’s senior producer Jeff Skalski has defended the title from such accusations however, but said developer Mythic is aware of the controversy surrounding the game.

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

"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."

Since that interview, it has emerged that the developer has been filtering out low star reviews on Android when prompting users to rate the game. Those who rate the game as five stars are directed to Google Play to make their review. Those who rate the game between 1-4 stars are instead redirected to a feedback form, asking what improvements Mythic can make to the game.

It should be noted however that once on Google Play, users can review the game at whatever star rating they choose.

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