Jimquisition: Free To Wait


Jan 4, 2010
United States
Damn, it's been awhile since you've torn someone a new asshole that savagely!

Also, off-topic, but damn man, it looks like you've lost a lot weight in recent videos. Good job! :D


New member
Jul 24, 2009
Wait, can't all Brits do the Sherlock-thing?

Other than that. Yeah, "gamers" aren't really the core audience for the new mobile Dungeon Keeper. Their business practice is still despicable and I hope other games not resorting to this flourish whereas the others die.

captcha: are we there yet? :D

The Squid King

New member
Jan 19, 2014
It's kind of funny that these games still get an audience and even funnier that games like this get good reviews from exclusively mobile reviewers and terrible reviews from everyone else. Doesn't stop it from being depressing though. http://www.metacritic.com/game/ios/dungeon-keeper


King over my mind
Mar 29, 2011
Jimothy Sterling said:
Free To Wait

It's the business model that's sweeping the world, and it's absolutely disgusting.

Watch Video
If you don't mind, I have a couple of questions for you since you've played Dung(eon) Keep(er) Mobile.

If the microtransactions were taken out and the dig pacing was brought to that of Dungeon Keeper Classic, what do you think would be a reasonable price for the game?

Do you think a, "meet the corporate jerks half way" microtransaction plan could work? In this scenario, the game stays free to play but the only microtransaction is a $5 boost that brings the pace back to DK classic standard for a month. Still douchey, but better than the current implementation.

Lastly, if the game had DK classic pacing, would the game's content run out in less than an hour?

The Artificially Prolonged

Random Semi-Frequent Poster
Jul 15, 2008
Cannot agree with you enough Jim. It still boggles my mind that some people will quite happily spend money on these exploitative games without even a second thought. Dungeon Keeper Mobile was a new low in the level of sheer brazen money grubbing present in these "free" to play mobile games, and that is saying something given the low bar already set for these games.

I now try to recommend any good iphone and android games that don't use exploitative business practices, just to get the few that will listen to realise that there are many better games they could play on their phones while on the train. In fact the first thing I did when my younger cousin got a tablet was to install some android games I wasn't using from humble bundles on it just to make sure she wasn't playing dross like Tapped Out.


New member
Apr 6, 2010
Fuck them!

The sad truth is - as long as there are fools out there, there will be someone willing to exploit them.


New member
May 21, 2011
While I don't have any official data to back this up, I get the feeling that this business model isn't one that can physically last forever. As you said, Jim, these games are the bottom of the barrel. If you're going from a history of earning progress through playing, they won't be compelling for you. If, however, you've come from a background of not having played games before, these silly titles will probably be amazing, but the second you find something better, you'll probably wonder why you liked them to begin with (akin to the "why did I spend so long paying for/playing this game?" feeling some people get after playing a lot of an MMO). Eventually, when more people who have played better games exist than not, these games will probably start disappearing. Our job, as people who know what good games are, is to tell anyone playing these things where to find a version of the same game without the time/pay wall.

When you start at the absolute bottom of the barrel, the only way to go is up.


Lord Fancypants
Jul 18, 2010
Yeah, its wierd though. If these are so bad (and they are) then why do the dominate the market so badly.

Edit: Maybe the skinner box stuff used in these games is acting like a disease. It hooks people and they spend a bunch of money. Eventually though (for most people) the spell breaks and then they are resistant to it. I suppose one can only hope.


New member
Aug 5, 2009
Blech. You're right, Jim. That is repugnant (Pinky & The Brain reference!). I'd rather they remade Dungeon Keeper as a FPS, like they did with Syndicate.


Doom needs Yoghurt, Badly
Dec 12, 2009
While he's spot on about Free to Wait, I disliked how he ranted at the Devs towards the end.
I mean, you think they WANT to make shit like this? EA Mythic's Jeff Skalski would mostly likely gotten fired if he didn't back up the design choices of the EA Shareholders.


Whose Eyes Are Those Eyes?
Oct 15, 2009
...well, I'd think it the responsibility of adults to choose whether or not to play games which are mostly about how well you can remember your credit card number. I'll pass, but if others are up for it, fine by me.

And really now, who's to say that buying a magical sword with $5 of real money you earned on the job is any less meaningful than obtaining a magical sword you earned by using 3 hours of grind to kill 10,000 digital orcs beforehand?

Entertainment is pretty subjective, and if someone derive pleasure from owning a vast digital dungeon by virtue of spending $250 on it, that's pretty much their business. Certainly people have spent far greater amounts on things which are objectively equally worthless.


New member
Aug 12, 2013
I usually get mad when people say video games can't be art, but when you look at the absolute garbage like this you have to wonder. There is no art here, any more than there's art in a casino.


New member
Dec 29, 2010
irishda said:
Holy shit, these free games are making me not play them. That's just the WORST! When you don't spend money to play a game that's really not all that immersive, and you don't get to play it all the time. I mean MY GOD. And then they take it to "AAA" games where they're like, "Hey, if you give us money we'll give you better stuff. You don't really need it, but it makes things go faster." As gamers, we can't be expected to THINK for ourselves or have any sort of consumer instincts or even have some fucking patience. We NEED gratification instantly! Otherwise we'd be building up an actual life skill or bettering ourselves somehow. Clearly the prominence of cheap little one off games we DON'T HAVE TO PAY A DIME FOR is the worst thing to happen to everyone.
But that's obviously missing the point. These *aren't* 'cheap little one-off games'. These are *incredibly expensive* games - if you actually want to play them as games. A Dungeon Keeper game where you have to wait 24 hours to dig out a brick is not a game at all. If you want it to be a game, you have to spend money. A *lot* of money. So these so-called games are devious excuses to persuade us to part with large sums of cash under the false pretence of giving us some kind of 'free' entertainment.

As others have said, I don't think this model is entirely impossible to implement fairly. I've mentioned Clash of Clans before as an example that seems to work pretty well - my son plays it a lot in the free mode, picking it up for a few minutes at a time every day, setting some things in motion and leaving it. My Singing Monsters is even better (and is one of the few games I've allowed him to spend some money on). But Dungeon Keeper does seem to have reached a real low point. And their ratings scam is frankly downright criminal.

Obviously some of the blame has to go on consumers too. We are far too unwilling to spend money on mobile games, making 'free' games the only workable business model. But I'd like to see more companies offering a simple 1-2-3 alternative: 1) Free demo; 2) Low-priced subscription or other incremental payment system; 3) higher-priced complete unlock. That seems to me a far more fair and transparent option.
Mar 18, 2012
deathbydeath said:
Jim, shut up. You have nothing but scorn for every single free-to-play game with time delays (and their developers) while there are games out there that are absolutely sublime and happen to use that model correctly and in an inoffensive manner.
I agree this video is more of a rant but it's deserved in this case. Jim has often mentioned good free to play models that work - like Loadout in this video! It's not that F2P is a bad model it's just that it's being abused. Part of his/our anger, which was mentioned towards the end of the video, is that F2P can be a great model but is being completely abused by people like EA.

Catrixa said:
I get the feeling that this business model isn't one that can physically last forever.
I was talking about this the other night. I'm by no means an expert, but I notice the term "short term gains that aren't sustainable" coming up quite often. I imagine the shareholders in these companies demand short term profits and don't care if it's not sustainable as they'll just sell up.

WarpZone said:
Developers are beholden to publishers, publishers are required by law to be greedy bags of dicks, consumers are apparently too stupid to stop spending money on the goddamned things, and you and I don't matter.

How do we fix this?
Looks like the new big thing unfortunately.


Let's hope this makes some difference (sorry I don't know how to hyperlink on this forum). Maybe if DK had a warning by the price tag "free, but costs £5bn to complete" it wouldn't look as good.

porpoise hork

Fly Fatass!! Fly!!!
Dec 26, 2008
You fucking nailed it this week Jim...

Sad thing is I know someone who forks over I shit you now $1-200 a month on shit games like dungeon keeper. I have tried repeatedly I might add to reason with and explain this weeks video to him, but he refuses to see just how much money he is wasting on absolutely nothing.

Oh and on the flip side he also wonders why he is always broke...


YOU'RE a pie chart.
Nov 30, 2009
So how many gems is it to buy a "Thank god for me" at the end? I neeeeeeeed one!

As far as things not being games goes, I think Total Biscuit offered a pretty good view on that:

I would be interested to see what you have to say as well, Jim. I do agree that The Walking Dead and Stanley Parable are games. Hell, I'll even agree that Gone Home is, in fact, a game. A completely shit game that fails miserably at achieving its goal, but the word game was still in there.

Yeah Gone Home, you have to do more character building than "they are your parents" to make me feel any kind of fear for why they aren't around. C&C4 couldn't make me care about the main character's wife by just saying "SHE IS YOUR WIFE", inFamous couldn't make me care about Trish by just saying "SHE IS COLE'S GIRLFRIEND" (and then following it up by having her be a massive ***** to you all game which actually has the effect of making me care LESS about her than I did at the start when you tried the "SHE IS COLE'S GIRLFRIEND" card; maybe Cole cares about her, but I don't and I can't understand WHY Cole cares about her either), and Gone Home, you can't make me care about Katie's parents because "THEY ARE HER PARENTS". I obviously know what kind of horror they were attempting to illicit, but they completely failed to do so correctly and instead veered off to a story so bad that I've replaced "still a better love story than Twilight" with "still a better love story than Gone Home" for when someone tells a crappy love story.

But sure, it's still a game, it has some basic puzzles for you to solve, I guess. It's got more to offer for gameplay than "tap this block and wait 24 hours for it to be mined so you can tap another block and wait another 24 hours".

Also if it wasn't clear already, I wish games would stop substituting actual character development and depth with "THIS IS THE MAIN CHARACTER'S ____ AND YOU HAVE A _____ YOURSELF IN REAL LIFE THAT YOU CARE ABOUT, THEREFORE YOU SHOULD CARE ABOUT THE MAIN CHARACTER'S ______ TOO BECAUSE WHAT IF THIS HAPPENED TO YOUR REAL LIFE _____ HUH HUH HUH?". That's not my real life ____ game, that's a fictional character that exists in your fictional world, and you have to develop them in order to make me give a shit about them.


New member
Feb 19, 2010
Darth_Payn said:
Blech. You're right, Jim. That is repugnant (Pinky & The Brain reference!). I'd rather they remade Dungeon Keeper as a FPS, like they did with Syndicate.
'A Bile Demon has become angry as it has no chest high walls'

OT: My brother plays Simpsons Tapped Out, he doesn't spend money on it, he just opens it every morning, has his little chuckle at the recycled jokes and gets on with his day. Personally, I can see the appeal of having a little daily routine game, like a Tamagotchi or the daily events in Pokemon but the moment developers start holding it out of reach is the point I immediatly drop that shit. There are so many great games out there I can't understand why some folk would waste their time with this stuff.