The game can no longer be marketed as “free-to-play.”
Dungeon Keeper Mobile was kind of a travesty. EA took a franchise people loved and turned it into a cynical cash grab (which is typical of the publisher). But it may have overreached just a bit in the greed department; CEO Andrew Wilson recently went on the record to talk about how EA will adjust its approach after negative feedback centered on the title.
It’s not just players who are pissed about Dungeon Keepers annoying pay-walls and forced time-locking of content. A UK court doesn’t seem to think too kindly of the app’s monetization either, and has ruled that EA cannot refer to the game as “free” in its advertisements:
“We acknowledged that the game could be played without bypassing the countdown timers. However, from the information available in the ad, players would expect the gameplay progression and their ability to advance to be unhindered by unexpected and excessively onerous delays, and we therefore considered that the length and frequency of these countdown events was beyond that which would be reasonably expected by players. We consequently considered it likely that many players would regard the gameplay experience as unexpectedly curtailed and as a result would need to spend Gems in order to achieve the form of gameplay anticipated.”
The end result? A change to future advertising:
“The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told Electronic Arts Ltd to ensure that future ads made clear the limitations of free gameplay and role of in-app purchasing with regard to speeding up gameplay.”