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On the subject of EA and Dungeon Keeper

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Simburgur

Managing Director
Brightrock Games
Nov 10, 2011
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#1
Hey folks,

Every so often a thread starts on the forum about the subject of Dungeon Management games and EA, so we thought it might be helpful if we dispelled some misconceptions that have been posted about it.

As you know, we are all big, big fans of Dungeon Management games and EA's Dungeon Keeper in particular, which spawned the genre back in 1997. Our love for the game was in fact the reason that we started this project — because we didn't think there had been a decent Dungeon Management game since then — and certainly not one which exploited the massive technological advances that have been made in the last decade or so.

Many of you who have expressed concern here on our forum and through other channels that EA might take issue with War for the Overworld because it will be the first time since Dungeon Keeper 2 that anyone has produced a game so close to the roots of the genre. More than a few of you have worried that they might try to put obstacles in our way.

So we thought it might be interesting for you to know that, yes, we have been talking to EA and — guess what — they're not evil! Far from it in fact. It may come as a bit of a surprise to you, but as well as being a multi-billion dollar business, EA is also, apparently, full of people who also love games (and specifically, love Dungeon Keeper).

Rather than simply firing off lawyer’s letters warning us to take our tanks off their lawn, we've had a number of calls with EA, which have been extremely helpful. They've been very encouraging about what we are doing and incredibly useful in terms of steering us away from anything that might get us into trouble with the minefield that is the law in this area.

It wouldn't be right to go into the detail (so don't ask)! but we're unbelievably chuffed that micro-developers like us and the largest corporate game publisher can actually co-exist and co-operate. So Vive La Différence! (In our case 9,355 employees and several billion in turnover of Différence.)


Much love,

- WFTO Team
 
May 23, 2013
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#2
Oh wow this is very interesting, great news :D Nice to know that the big guys are actually trying to look out for the little guys such as yourselves. Very very interesting ^^

This may mean that I have to retract my statement saying how EA were the evil overlords however -_-
 
Likes: Amon

Varon

Bafu
WFTO Founder
Jan 10, 2013
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#3
Rejoice! The excellent mammals at Subterranean Games has mostly extinguished my fears of a lawyer assault from EA. Thanks for the announcement Simburgur. :D

In regards to: "guess what — they're not evil!" ... :eek:

Really, as long as they don't torture rats or similar I won't call them evil. But I still don't like their fondness for micro-transactions and games that sometimes feel incomplete without using dlcs. (And their tendency to act a bit like the democorn perhaps.)

Anyway, thanks Electronic Arts.
 

Fireeye

Augre
WFTO Backer
Dec 30, 2012
1,155
687
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Ze Germany
#4
While I have been aware that EA tolerates the production of WftO and don't think that every single EA employee is evil incarnate, I choose to believe that the people who run the company are not so much interested in making good games as they are interested in making profits. They're businessman, not players themselves. I actually strongly doubt many, if any, in the leading parts of the company would bother playing the very games they produce, simply because they are little more than products for them.
The list of things one could hate EA for is long - they have a habit of acquiring good-going game franchises, slaughtering them in the form of rushed and underdeveloped products and then simply disbanding the developing companies if the players realize the series is dead. Their treatment of employees is, or at least used to be, inhuman. They shamelessly shoehorn minorities into their game, not because they actually care about them, but only for the sake of profit and the option of using them as human shields.

EA has no problems with WftO. Possibly because they don't expect the game to make enough money to be of interest to them, or possibly because they actually have on of their rare humanistic moments. It matters little to me. One way or another, EA, together with Activision, is still one of the greater evils in the video game market.
 
May 23, 2013
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#6
Great! So, the next question would be: are you discussing or thinking about renaming WFTO to "Dungeon Keeper 3: War for the Overlord"? It would be fantastic for you, and would put a big shining light on your project! :)

Hahaha, Indeed that would be awesome. Imagine how many more players would flock simply because of its labeling. But sadly I think EA would suddenly begin to care about the franchise again when the interest goes back up ^^
 
Likes: Amon

Noontide

Designer / Community Manager
Brightrock Games
Dec 8, 2012
2,160
1,784
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Brighton, UK
#7
I'm not sure really where EA get's all this hate from, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Personally I've found while EA makes some rather dubious business decisions at times, as does every company in the world. They generally produce good games that I enjoy playing and from what I can tell they generally do care about the quality of game they produce, because bad quality products lead to bad sales and bad sales lead to unprofitable business. So yeah business people generally don't care about games, but you'll find they care about sales. And I'm sure especially in the light of this that there are people high up in EA who seriously do care about their games and their IPs, they're just waiting for the right time and place to introduce them.

Personally I can't think of an EA game recently that I have not enjoyed playing. But I guess I must be weird? Add that to the fact we wouldn't be here discussing this game if not for EA I think there are some things to thank them for as well.

As I say I believe that at some points dubious business decisions have been made, but I think like all companies they can learn from this and build themselves into something better, and generally I think they have done this. I'd love to see a bit more flexibilty in their product line but I can understand the need to make sure what they develop & publish is profitable. Little quote here from the previous CEO, John Riccitello

"The command and conquer model, the command and direct model doesn't work," said Riccitiello. He went on to concede that EA's past post-acquisition tactics backfired badly. "Bullfrog, Origin, Westwood--all no longer exist today because something broke. ... and I'll simply state that EA blew it, and to a certain degree, since I was involved, I blew it."
Business be Business.

Either way just dropping in here to remind people to be mindful of rule #11. Feel free to broadcast your opinions but be careful you don't post abuse or insults towards certain companies, it's a fine line for some I know. :)

The OP represents Subterranean Games views of EA, I think they've been rather forthcoming and helpful, surely that's not a bad thing?
 
Jan 16, 2012
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#8
Great! So, the next question would be: are you discussing or thinking about renaming WFTO to "Dungeon Keeper 3: War for the Overlord"? It would be fantastic for you, and would put a big shining light on your project! :)

hmmm if I recall wayyyy wayyyy back when (like pre kickstarter, god I feel old). They approached EA asking about that. This being said, might be different now that they have funding and everything.
 
May 23, 2013
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#9
Oh Absolutely, its great news the fact that the biggest games publisher in the world is willing to work with a small Indie company. Not only a small indie company, one which is working on a spiritual successor to one of their products. It is really quite something when you think about it. So hats off to EA. It could of been them getting ready to march a battalion of lawyers instead.

I'm sure most of us are just poking harmless fun for their previous mistakes that they have made (I know I certainly do). But in all honesty, we are all only human, and we all make mistakes. I for one still think its quite humble to do what they have done.

So here's looking at a bright future no longer clouded by EA's colossal hands^^
 

Nutter

Frost Weaver
WFTO Founder
Jan 19, 2013
2,453
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Huddersfield, UK
nutter666.tumblr.com
#12
I'm not sure really where EA get's all this hate from, but everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

Personally I can't think of an EA game recently that I have not enjoyed playing. But I guess I must be weird? Add that to the fact we wouldn't be here discussing this game if not for EA I think there are some things to thank them for as well.

Latest SimCity was an abomination and broken by design. Is the Syndicate FPS released yet? because that'll be next. And let's not forget the fact that they killed off Bullfrog and stopped production on DK3 to make the guys work on the Harry Potter games (which admittedly made them a tonne of money), but even so... just reeks of forcing people to sell out.

So they get a bit of hate from me, but this has restored a little faith I guess too.
 
Likes: Amon
Jul 24, 2013
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#13
Wait wait wait. EA. Helping someone making a game? The cynic in my tells me they are just doing it to avoid spending time and money on lawyers. But for some reason i feel that they might have a hint of love for one of their early games.

When they end up in my prison i will feed them some extra chickens.
 
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Nutter

Frost Weaver
WFTO Founder
Jan 19, 2013
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Huddersfield, UK
nutter666.tumblr.com
#14
Wait wait wait. EA. Helping someone making a game? The cynic in my tells me they are just doing it to avoid spending time and money on lawyers. But for some reason i feel that they might have a hint of love for one of their early games.

When they end up in my prison i will feed them some extra chickens.

You mean Micro-Piggies right?
 
Likes: Artaire
#15
I'm pretty sure that EA loves Your project dear Developer. Probably if finish they would love it more, because they will do with You the same what they'd done with Bullfrog or Westwood studios. Just do something wrong, they're waiting. EA is the largest in the world and the worst (comparing to last year's researches) game company in the america. Just keep an eye on market. Don't be a lemming, watch, think and keep up the work You're doing in almost all the way well.
 
Likes: Amon
May 4, 2013
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#16
This is fantastic news! However since you guys have announced the game will be modable (as far as I know), a DK mod will undoubtedly be made. What would happen then? I remmeber a mod in skyrim got pulled because it carried LOTR design.
Would a mod cause trouble for the game or just the mod developers?
 

Wrath

Priestess
Dec 24, 2012
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#17
"...we have been talking to EA and — guess what — they're not evil!"

I don't think you're well enough acquainted with the concept of evil (ironic given the subject matter of WFTO) or the depths to which EA might stoop. I hope you have it in writing that they won't pursue legal action against you AFTER you've released and have a bona fide success on your hands. A friendly smile and a pat on the back means nothing without a legal agreement to bolster it.

There's a reason they have the reputation they do and it's not from exhibiting altruistic behaviour towards developers, at least not since the late 80s and early 90s. Decrepit old curmudgeons like myself have been around long enough to maintain our skepticism when it comes to EA's supposed goodwill.
 
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Amon

Ember Demon
Apr 14, 2012
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subterraneangames.com
#18
This is fantastic news! However since you guys have announced the game will be modable (as far as I know), a DK mod will undoubtedly be made. What would happen then? I remmeber a mod in skyrim got pulled because it carried LOTR design.
Would a mod cause trouble for the game or just the mod developers?
I'm pretty sure that it would just be the Mod makers.
After all, did Skyrim / Bethesda Softworks get in trouble for the mod you mentioned?
 
Likes: Artaire
May 23, 2013
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#19
I'm pretty sure that it would just be the Mod makers.
After all, did Skyrim / Bethesda Softworks get in trouble for the mod you mentioned?

See, I can't imagine so because its kind of out of the developers hands after that stage. I know with several mods I have seen there has been issues, but they were always directed to the mod team, not to the developers...But ofcourse they could of sent them some crap too and we would never really know about it. But I mean logically its not the developers fault that someone is making some kind of mod that has some kind of 2/3rd party infringement right?

No idea how it works tbh ^^
 
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