Its late 1990 (or maybe early 1991) and my brother brings home a most glorious gift for me. He bought me a copy of Bullfrogs masterpiece Populous for my Amiga 500. Populous was the first game from Bullfrog that I ever played and still to this day it holds a special place in my nerdy heart. Later I would also buy Populous II, Syndicate, Magic Carpet, Theme Park, Theme Hospital and Dungeon Keeper I & II from the same company. All of them were published by Electronics Art (EA) which in 1995 would buy Bullfrog. In 1997 Bullfrogs most famous employee and founder Peter Molyneux left the company to found Lionhead Studios (Black & White, Fable). Dungeon Keeper being ´Molyneux`s last project to work on. With his departure a bit of Bullfrogs soul also went away. Dungeon Keeper I & II is for many of us synonymous with the best of gaming that the 90`s had to offer. Many are the hours me and other spend building up our dungeons, smacking imps and killing heroes left and right. The games brought something new to the table and made many of us think that evil is indeed sometimes good. The games had that Bullfrog typical style of humour combined with fantastic isometric gameplay and a wonderful array of characters to boot. In 2001 Bullfrog published its last game and after that Electronics Arts basically kills the studio. Some of it`s staff were fired and others continued to work with other projects in EA UK.
After the closing of Bullfrog many have asked what will happen with the intellectual property (IP) that EA holds. Dungeon Keeper 3 was teased but eventually cancelled for some reason that was never fully disclosed. For many years EA just sat on the old Bullfrog IP and did nothing with it. Then in 2012 we got a new Syndicate game, this time created by Starbreeze Studios (Swedish studio for the uniformed). The game got some good reviews from the critics but the gamers gave it the thumbs down (150 000 sold copies worldwide). In an interview Frank Gibeau of EA said that "Syndicate was something that we took a risk on. It didn't pay off—it didn't work". The problem is that EA and Starbreeze turned a beloved tactical shooter to a first person shooter with so many bloom effects that J.J Abrams Star Trek remake (bad remake at that) looks tame. The story was generic, gunplay was mediocreand nothing we hadn`t seen during the last 10 years. What EA (and Starbreeze) didn`t realize is that you can`t do a relaunch of an old beloved franchise were you are playing on the feelings nostalgia from the original gamers. Something EA should have learned along the road after multiple failed launches of other titles.It`s now 2014 and EA finally gave us a new Dungeon Keeper game, or did they? What we got was a mobile based Free-2-play title that`s only Dungeon Keeper by name but soul is ripped of and buried in the sands of old. The game is basically a money grabber created to line the pockets of EA and its shareholders.
EA please stop killing the games of my youth....
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