UPDATE: A representative from EA has made a statement to Eurogamer, defending the practice.
We’re always looking at new ways to gather player feedback so that we can continue to improve our games. The ‘rate this app’ feature in the Google Play version of Dungeon Keeper was designed to help us collect valuable feedback from players who don’t feel the game is worth a top rating. We wanted to make it easier for more players to send us feedback directly from the game if they weren’t having the best experience. Players can always continue to leave any rating they want on the Google Play Store.
ORIGINAL: Every so often, there comes a games that sees release that tries to egregiously take large sums of players’ money while providing as little content as possible. The case has been made with the recent release of Dungeon Keeper on iOS and Android, and now EA doesn’t want those who played the game to provide their negative reviews for the product.
Pocket Gamer has noticed that Dungeon Keeper on Android provides the usual “Rate Me” screen fairly early into the game. If you accept, you can click on giving it either 5 stars or 1-4 stars. Clicking on 5 stars takes you straight to the app’s page, allowing you to give it the rating you desire. However, if you click on 1-4 stars, you are taken to a Feedback screen that says the following:
We want to hear from you. What would it take to make Dungeon Keeper a 5-star game?
You can then send them an email explaining why their game is not a perfect score in your eyes, or you can click “Not now.” EA Games has effectively made their game to convolute the system so that people who prefer the game can easily give them a good score, while those critical of Dungeon Keeper even to the point of 4/5 (a very good score) are given the loop around.
There’s no guarantee that you HAVE to give EA Games a 5-Star review if you click that option; you can give them any score you want from that screen. It does go to show that not only is the company not letting fans of quality free-to-play games let others know exactly what they are up to, but that they don’t have trust in their own game’s quality to allow the market to decide fairly whether their game is good or not.
This is what happens when you create a pay-to-win model that favors money-spenders over the remaining fans. Not all free-to-play games utilize such schemes; Loadout is a pleasant shooter that is doing rather well for itself on Steam with an economic focus on custom aesthetics over weapon boosters. It would be silly to paint all free-to-play games with the same brush.
Hopefully EA Games corrects this problem as soon as possible.
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