Sorry, EA Was Never Obliged to Make SimCity a Single-Player Game

Can we have a calm conversation about SimCity for a moment?

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EA Maxis

Can we have a calm conversation about SimCity for a moment? If not, by all means take your preformed opinion to the comment section below and hammer away (I can take it). But if you’d like to have an adult conversation about what’s been happening here and why channeling your outrage measuredly matters, keep reading.

First, to those of you furious with EA for not making SimCity a single-player game, I get it, I really do. You didn’t get the game you wanted. Neither did my boss — a devoted SimCity fan who’d been skeptical of EA’s ability to pull off always-online from the start. I’m sympathetic. When Seal released a cloying club-ready paean to Heidi Klum in his 2010 album Commitment, I didn’t get what I wanted either. I hear you.

And more importantly, when SimCity met the world on March 6 with all the grace of a freight train rocketing over half-collapsed trestlework before plummeting into the abyss below, I condemned the company’s lack of preparedness. SimCity didn’t work at launch and continued not to for days thereafter — a catastrophe by any measure exacerbated by the fact that this was SimCity, one of the most beloved PC game franchises of all time. What’s more, while EA claimed the problem was essentially resolved early last week, TIME Tech’s Doug Aamoth continued to have difficulty finding a stable server. Anecdotal reports suggest people are still have intermittent issues queuing into servers or getting the game to run consistently as we near the close of the game’s second week. Two weeks is an eternity in gaming-dom. If you haven’t yet returned the game for a full refund, this is me raising a glass to both your patience and tenacity.

EA Maxis’ Lucy Bradshaw has been working to mitigate player backlash by penning regular blog updates on the status of the game’s retooling as well as to address assumptions about what the game could (or should) have been in terms of its design maxims. Whether she’s been successful is for you to decide, but I want to focus on one dispatch in particular: Last Friday Bradshaw published a post titled “SimCity Update: Straight Answers from Lucy.”

In that post, Bradshaw defends EA Maxis’ decision to make SimCity an “always online” game, noting that “[in] many ways, we built an MMO.”

So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes. But we rejected that idea because it didn’t fit with our vision. We did not focus on the “single city in isolation” that we have delivered in past SimCities. We recognize that there are fans – people who love the original SimCity – who want that. But we’re also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality. The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology.

This is causing virtual paroxysms with diehard SimCity fans, especially the allusion to SimCity being MMO-like. One blog called it “tone deaf.” Another hyped it with a provocative (and, for the record, irresponsibly presumptive) headline: “EA lied about SimCity not being offline-capable.” Even Joystiq jumped in with its “MMO Week in Review: You keep using that word.”

Joystiq makes a reasonable point about over-broad application of genre descriptors (though I get nervous when the word police come out — ask 100 people what an “MMO” is and you’ll get 100 different answers), but the rest just reads like nerd-rage. EA was never, ever obliged to make SimCity a single-player game, nor do these accusations (accurate or no) from modders that the existing code is just a few steps away from being a single-player game hold much water when it comes to EA’s obligations. So what if the game could have been a single-player game. EA made its design intentions clear over a year ago and hasn’t wavered since — love it or leave it.

You can ask, you can even petition, but I’d like to think we’re not at the point where we’re now telling painters, musicians, writers and artists of whatever stripe — game designers included — what they have to do.

You can’t have it both ways. You can’t shake your fist indignantly and shout “but games are art!” then hold game designers to a different standard. SimCity may not be the game you wanted, the game my boss wanted or the game I frankly wanted, but accusing EA of lying and double-dealing and speculating like a bunch of anti-government conspiracy nuts just makes us seem petty and juvenile. No one’s forcing us to buy the game or making our sense of self-satisfaction contingent on SimCity conforming to our personal tastes (the latter’s all us).

Didn’t we just go through this with Mass Effect 3? Where does this entitlement mentality come from? Why isn’t it sufficient to vote with our wallets? Where did artists or designers releasing games that aren’t tailored precisely to our standards morph into a mandate to launch vulgar, ad hominem-laced screeds?

I’m not defending EA’s train-wreck of a game launch, nor on a conceptual level defending their decision to make SimCity an “always-online” game. But I can say “thanks but no thanks” and walk away (or just go back to playing earlier versions — GOG’s offering SimCity 2000: Special Edition for $6, for instance). Hurling churlish accusations, hopping on mob-bandwagons, using rhetoric like “EA lied” — it says more about us than the object of our scorn, in the end.

175 comments
hardyhar
hardyhar

Mass Effect 3 sucked.  Specific whiners may or may not have whined in an entitled manner, it doesn't matter. The game sucked.


ME3MP on the other hand, that is pretty good

hardyhar
hardyhar

Btw, I didn't even buy SimCity at all so gg EA

erik.reppen
erik.reppen

Old article, but here's the problem Matt. When mega-publishers like EA are allowed to stomp all over the game industry, strip-mining smaller publishers for their IP, securing de facto monopolies in sports games by buying exclusive rights to the franchise branding and dictating who is and isn't allowed to sell their games, voting with your wallet really doesn't feel like it's worth a damn. And I say that as someone who would snatch up Mass Effect 3 in a heartbeat the second it was made available Origin-free. But they don't want my money. It discriminates on quality and that's not predictable enough for their profit model.

This is not a company that values or honors capitalism. They would rather spend a boatload to eliminate the competition than take the risk of trying to build the better product and it shows in their games. This behavior has led to a lot of us retreating to primarily indie or used and classic games that we never got around to playing. And what do they want to do next? Eliminate the used gaming market by making it impossible for players to resell their old games. It speaks volumes of the risk-averse-management-style butthurt they must be feeling about the fact that many of us would rather check out 10-20 year old classic versions of IP they're now likely to own than come to the latest regurgitation of that same IP that they've made a complete disaster of by letting their greed get in the way of making the best game that they could have and most certainly have the resources to.


That's what this, Spore, and many other DRM/online-only debacles have all been about, not whether game designers deserve to be criticized for making stupid decisions which is a separate issue, but um, they would deserve that criticism if we were all naive enough to believe that was all there is to it. It's a living environment simulation game. A game for people who want to get wrapped up in a world of their own design, and wait, what? It's a !@#$ing MMO? Oh yeah, I'm sure the design team really believed that was going to make everybody happy. Even Steam has an offline mode. There was no obvious game-enhancing reason for them to do what they did.

As a 39-year-old gamer I don't buy it. As an ex-Game Informer associate editor, I don't buy it. And now as a programmer I most certainly do not buy it. There is nothing I've read about the way the MMO aspect of the game works that indicates they had to tightly couple a given player's city game with an online-only architecture. There is no game designer that is such a numb-nuts that they couldn't see where gamers would find the practice objectionable or at the very least as interfering with what was a once a very solo and exclusive non-shared experience. But there were plenty of anti-competitive, anti-market practice reasons for doing it and that's what stunk about this. The customers can smell it. The press ought to be able to too.

The next time you want to do an alternate viewpoint piece on EA, you might want to consider the criticism in context of their long and beyond-checkered past. Do yourself a favor and research the renaissance that was happening in sports games when EA finally got some decent competition from 2K sports for instance. The explosion of new features and ideas in sports games was like nothing they'd seen at GI in years. Now they've hardly done more than update the rosters to Madden since '05 when they secured the exclusive license. Their mistake to make? Sure. But who else's football game are you going to buy if you want to play an NFL game with an up-to-date roster? Who are you going to vote for with your dollar when there's only one game in town?

mnjiman
mnjiman

This is an older article but I had to make a comment. Your entire article was ruined as soon as you decided to say "

Obliged" in your title. Of course they are not obliged too, they are not obliged to do anything. They could advertise and sell a block of wood and call it "Sim City" if they wanted too.

The issue here (was at this point) is that Sim City had to meet certain expectations. If they did not achieve those expectations even before making the game online/multi player then the entire game would flop. Instead they decided to put more focus on making a quick buck and the entire game suffered because of it.

EA is killing off all of their IP's with very poor choices. They may not be Obliged to make us happy, but they are being very counterproductive for their stock holders. 


The consumers are learning. EA needs to understand that. We will not forget constant mistakes. When their consumer base grows up they are going to hate EA and everything they stand for, and not even their children will want to touch their products.


EA is benefiting on the ignorance of people for the short term and ruining themselves for the long term when the new generation of gamers are out.

wereid78
wereid78

Calm.. Half of EA's games have problems minimizing w/o crashing.  Calm.. EA likes to gouge early adopters of games i.e. the new Simcity digital deluxe $70. Calm.. EA's Origin takes 1/4 of a gig to work in the background scary weird.  Calm.. all of EA's recent games have been glitchy nearly to the point of unplayable at launch.  Calm.. I actually like some DLC when it comes regular and at affordable and reasonable prices Sims Medieval took several months before there was any and it wasn't worth it. These are facts that EA refuses to take care of because they are cheap and greedy not because they're trying and things just don't seem to be coming out the way they expected. EA deserves its reputation. For me EA has one last chance if The Sims 4 is messed up at launch and cost more than $60 to boot than I'm swearing off EA for life.

madsenb
madsenb

Your right EA was required to provide the game everyone wants any more than any capitalist company is required to make a product their consumers actually want to buy. But here's the thing even though I was self-responsible uninformed as to what I was buying and bought the game I wont be buying any of their expansion packs (the things EA lives on now) unless said EP actually fixes the things I dont like about the game (online only play and small cities). And furthermore into the future I will be very hesitant to buy any other Sim City game or other Sim game (look at all the attention EAs given the fact that the Sims 4 wont be online only). EA may not be showing its bottom line hurting on Sim City yet but that may not be the case at the end of the games life - and they will have no one to blame for it but themselves. Remember EA you may apeal to what your quoted 1000s of people are asking for but its obliviously not your tried and true fans and those are ones that WOULD have been with you well into the future. 

A1rh3ad
A1rh3ad

Ok, so it was never their vision for offline mode, I get it. But the OP is completely missing something from his article. THEY SAID SINGLEPLAYER WAS IMPOSSIBLE BECAUSE THE GAME NEEDS THE COMPUTING POWER OF THEIR SERVERS. THIS WAS A FLAT OUT LIE. Are you already forgetting that?

Alex123
Alex123

This is the most bugged game i have played, yesterday trying to destroy police station and now i can't destroy the road.....

Now I understand why there is piracy,  and probably this game is not even pirated because it uses EA servers.

There is too much imbalance in defending the interests of large corporations and not those of the consumer, especially with regard to buggy software.

JamieMitchell
JamieMitchell

Ok, so people need to just grow up.

EA never lied, and in fact they publicly announced all of the negative features nearly a year before the release. They made it very clear that it would always require an internet connection and the fans knew this well in advance of the launch. You knew what you were getting, so live with it.

Furthermore, EA never HAD to provide an offline single player experience. They explained what they were going to provide, and they provided it.

In addition to this, the game is epic. I too begrudge the constant internet requirement but I knew what I was getting into and it's still fine as a result. The graphics are mind blowing and the depth and level of simulation is phenomenal.

MartyFish
MartyFish

firstly, stating that you'd like to have a conversation about the backlash of sim city by consumers sounds completely arrogant/ironic as you go off in monologue for eleven paragraphs. you say we cant have it both ways, but really no one considers games art before a paid product of entertainment. last time i checked, video game companies make games to earn profit, not make art, if it happens to turn into a piece of art that is a collateral bonus. there is absolutely no reason, ea couldnt make this both online and offline. for offline singleplayer, they could have used ai controlled bordering cities. There is no doubt their decision to make it exclusively online was to maximize profit and minimize piracy. they got greedy and decided to remove traditional features from the game. it has all backfired for them and why shouldnt they hear lip from consumers of their product? You're argument is weak, sure they can do whatever they want with their product, but if they want to continue to get paid in future for their products they will want to listen to the majority of their consumers. They can make whatever they want, and we can say whatever we want about their products.  It's called Capitalism Matt Peckham.

medv4380
medv4380

EA was obligated to make a game that works. They will also suffer for it too. Video games are like movies in this regard. You can do a shameless cashin and kill a franchise, or you can do a good job each time and make a long running franchise. The cash grab works, but it kills your reputation for future product. Arguing SimCity is an MMO or even multi-player is beyond stupidity. SimCity is multi-player in the same way Facebook notifications are multi-player. There is no playing or interacting together ether. Anything you see that makes you think you're playing together is a farce. The neighboring mayor is visiting? Really? When they're not online, or are "visiting" another city? They neighboring city is sending fire trucks? Really? Not a single truck has left their city, or reduced the other cities capacity one when the other player looks at their game. What you have is fancy window dressing to make a single player game "appear" to be multi-player when it really isn't. They made a single player game and strapped on a Giant Piece of Always Online DRM and asked us to take it, and are "shocked" that we're not saying "may we have another".

unu'
unu'

Always online is there only because of DRM reason.

Sim City continues to be a single player with vague, so thin multy-player elements that once in a time connection to the servers would be more than enough.

You could even play it by mail.


So you are right, EA was not obliged to make SC a single player, but they did.

The only mistake was to hang it with a perma-online DRM in spite of the very people who played them and could not use it, at the same time.


EA sat a new record regarding anti-customer behavior, in game industry.

BJWyler
BJWyler

Again, As many others mentioned - missing the point here (as was Frank G. from EA). SimCity are two different games in two different genres. Always On-line should never be the norm because in the end, Electricity goes out. The Internet goes out - sometimes for days or weeks at a time (remember that little storm the East Coast had back in October?). It is at those times, in between the work and stress that it is still a relief that we can pop in a disc and relax to a good single-player game.

Were they obligated to make the game off-line, no exactly, but I think there should have been some obligation to better inform the fans that they were making something they claim was an MMO (The Sims Online did it, as did Wizardry Online. Elder Scrolls Online is doing it, as is  NeverWinter Online - all from previous off-line single-player games). And at this point, a month after launch, it has been proven that many of Lucy's statements were lies (or the head of maxis was completely clueless to the game she was in charge of) the game is still broken in many aspects - people are still having connection issues and city rollbacks, and most of those "features" they claimed to use as the reason for making it online only actually don't work. As Walt Disney once said - "You don't build it for youself. You know what the people want and build it for them." So in the end, yes, to honor and respect the fans that made the series what it is, SimCity "5" should have been made playable off-line.

NikoCambo
NikoCambo

What happens when EA stop supporting the servers?

Matt-RyanBearMitchell
Matt-RyanBearMitchell

My general experience with SimCity has been poor, from the servers and the always on, to the general workings of the game. The idea of multiplayer is far from what its made out to be, and finding a good city to play multiplayer can be difficult (Most have logged in, bled the resources dry and left). Most of the City's I've started have been in closed regions and only playable to myself, so why would I need to be online? I trade with myself, I'm happy with that. But the biggest annoyance about SimCity isn't yet apparent to everyone yet, but in a few years it will be....what about when they decide to switch off the servers? I enjoy playing my older games, but how long is it until you cant play a game you paid £45 for? That's why I want the always online removed. Just patch the game yourselves before someone else does, heck if online piracy is your worry, then make it so you need to log online once in a while to update, but not all the time.

Eagerkiller20909
Eagerkiller20909

I think SimCity is yes a fun game, but you know it is sad that you can't return it, nor can you always log into a server. Because they were poorly set up in my opinion. Yes,yes I know these days people like to play multiplayer and play with other people or friends. Sometimes you my not be able to, or you just want to play by yourself. I don't have this game, my friend does. The thing is though I wanted to get the game. Right now the things I have seen and heard with the game. Like not always saving, and the servers not always running correctly. Now I really don't want to buy the game until it's fix or worked out. Another thing is yes singlepayer my not be designed for the game but... you should always go on the side of your coustemer. Thank you for your time and have a nice day :D

Drunkpandax
Drunkpandax

You know, being someone that didn't really enjoy the way the older SimCity games worked. I really like the way the new version is set up. I do enjoy the fact that I get to play this game on ANY of my computers by logging into my account. Yeah the start was rocky, but I do thoroughly enjoy the game. No, I'm not some Chinese kid getting paid 6 cents to write this, but I am a fan of the new game. I just think it's funny that people think EA is the bad guy because they want to find a way to make money off their game... Btw, playing this game in a situation where you can't interact with your friends, it's honestly a poor experience of a game nowadays.

GeorgePurcell
GeorgePurcell

You cannot have a "simulation" in "Sim"City without the ability to play single player and without the ability to establish save points. Period.  Whatever game you've created it simply is NOT a sim--and thus the name is a lie and people who have relied on the history of that name have been defrauded.

disrespectedman
disrespectedman

So let me get your thought process correct:

Disney tells the world they are going to have a NEW Pirates of the Caribbean: The Reboot coming out with everything before that the fans loved, but better!

Excited you rush a get tickets only to find it's a story of construction workers in the Caribbean talking about pirates.

While true they never were OBLIGATED to providing what you expected, clearly the historical context IMPLIES what it will be.

More by example though. Let's suppose you wait in line for 2 hours, finally enter the theater and are promptly kicked out for no good reason and sent to the back of the line every time. FINALLY when you make in the theater the projector keeps glitching, the audio off, the focus off, just a miserable experience - nothing you would come to expect. NOW when you ask for a refund the manager tells you "No refunds. We can just give anyone a refund because a movie was garbage. Besides, if you didn't like the movie why did you pay to go see it in the first place?" Obviously you blood would boil. Hence the fan base anger at this entire afair and the reason for the belief that EA is only showing CONTEMPT for its customers.

simcitydrmfree
simcitydrmfree

You are correct- no company is "obliged" to care about their customers at all, not one tiny bit! They are also not obliged to stay in business or be liked by anyone. This is how EA earned Worst Company in America last year and might do so again. This how CEO's gets fired aka "stepping down" and stock value plummets to the floor. If we don't see offline SimCity soon EA's real problems might still lay ahead.

machinator99
machinator99

Hi, thanks for convincing me to never read anything by this petulant, pompous fool, including Time for so long as he is employed.

I'm 32, make more money in a quarter than this sorry excuse for a journalist does in a year, and I am not going to have my valid concerns about my hobby hand-waved away while being told I am juvenile. Rarely have I read such a sanctimonious, condescneding article, and certainly never at Time.

To the author; your assertions appear to have been made over a feverish night of scanning blog posts then coming to the conclusion that you are more intelligent and reasonable than all SimCity fans. Your hubris and arrogance are world-class. Sadly, your actual talents are not.

MaxSteel
MaxSteel

I was one who bought the game prematurely and sat on it until it came out.  I had no idea about the always on idea, that's a new concept to me as I switched to xbox gaming for 3 years and dropped PC gaming.  That being said, when it originally came out and I  had to wait 30minutes I was unimpressed.  Ultimately, being patient and waiting paid off.  The game is fun and beautiful.  Anyone who says they'd go down to SC2000 is just being silly.  That old game is no where near the calibre of this game.  Yes EA botched the release, but ultimately they offered a free game (the choices could have been better), but something is better than nothing.   

I'm playing solo anyway, it's kind of offline but just has to save to the cloud.  This I have to say is one feature that irks me.  I liked being able to save my own before when I wanted and renaming.  There are times when I'd like to save it, try something and if I screw up, restore back...I havent figured if I can do that currently, and there is no undo... but other than that, give the game a try, I dont think you'll be disappointed.

AudariaJC
AudariaJC

I actually learned the game was online only just before I bought it, and boy was I glad, because I indeed chose to go back to the old game instead (and a lot less expensive at that). I don't want to be forced to be online to play a sim game, and thanks to GoG, I don't have to.

ChrisSlowik
ChrisSlowik

It's sufficient to vote with our wallets, sure. The only problem is EA is refusing to issue refunds for dissatisfied customers. I'm currently waiting for my bank to handle the matter for me, after 3 support sessions and two phone calles to EA.

EA should stand behind their product through more than words, and allow people to get their money back if they're really not happy.

kevingrr
kevingrr

I have been sitting here trying to forget having read this article and trying to validate the time I wasted writing the reply below.

All I should have said was this:  This "opinion" article is much better written than the opinion articles I remember from my college's school newspaper, but the logic and reasoning behind it are on par.

kevingrr
kevingrr

I was searching (via Google) for a level headed critique of the game.  I did not find that here.

Instead I found a very well written article that had very poor reasoning.

False Dichotomy/False Analogy:

"You can’t have it both ways. You can’t shake your fist indignantly and shout “but games are art!” then hold game designers to a different standard."

Games are art... so you can't criticize them? Games are also a consumer product.

Art:

DRM and always online are not part of the creativity or artistry of a game.  People are not attacking the "artistry" of the game.  They are attacking the ever pervasive trend to commercialize games and punish people who are willing to pay to play.  The torrent sites are full of SimCity copies that work without EA's servers.

Lies:

Bradshaw's quote and EA's statements are lies, because there is no reason you can't have both a single player and multiplayer experience.

MMO Definition:

Your right.  If you ask 100 people for a definition you are going to get a lot of different answers, but that doesn't mean you have to accept all of those definitions.  You are going to come to a conclusion about what really should be and what is similar to but not quite an MMO.  If EA wants to call SimCity an MMO fine.  Why not call it a FPS or a RTS? SimCity has historically been a simulation first.  I get wanting to make it bigger than that, but that is its core. 

Speaking of difficult definitions try defining art.

Attack:

So why is EA being attacked?  For the same reason people got upset about Cee Lo changing the words to John Lennon's "Imagine".  If you are an artist/designer and you want to make a game and call it SimCity guess what people are going to compare it to? SimCity.

ZincSaucier
ZincSaucier

They really are trying to entice customers right now, free game plus all these discounts.  Everyone can agree that they messed up pretty big.  I really hope they realize their mistakes and empower their consumers more and give us something we all can benefit from.  Im on the fence with all these incentives right now... there is a lot keep me away though; no terraforming, cloud saves, no modding community yet, bugs and freezing, game limitations and programming fumbles... plus all the shoddy business practices played out so far. 

ScottKeegan
ScottKeegan

SimCity 4 is nice because it's an oasis of single-player serenity in the middle of MMOs filled with twelve-year-olds with no aesthetic sensibilities. This new SimCity is no longer that oasis. That's the big problem, from my point of view. The game itself is deeply flawed as well, from what I've read.

wadea915
wadea915

I don't even care about all the always on DRM and the server issues. I don't know what the big deal is. The real problem is this game sucks anyway, glitchy, obviously rushed and is overly simple with zero strategy.

AlanKitchen
AlanKitchen

But SimCity has ALWAYS been a stand alone game.  Always.  And nowhere on the package or the adverts does it warn that you must be online to play -- all you laptop users on the train, tough luck.  


It's similar to my being forced to buy a VW bug sight unseen, and then get a 8 passenger SUV for my money.  I can't get my money back, it's not what I paid for, and it's certainly not what I expected. 

NikosStathopoulos
NikosStathopoulos

If they had only been using good old market research to find out what their potential clients' oppinions and desires were...

Behavioral economics it is called, and Kahnemann won a Nobel prize for proving scientifically that 'professionals' don't know what they are doing in many instances, relying on their 'experience' and ignoring present facts and reality.

asherhardstark
asherhardstark

I think this article misses the point - the problem is not that EA/Maxis reimagined SimCity as a multiplayer game - they are allowed to do that. The problem is that it is obvious that the "multiplayer" aspect in this game is nothing more than DRM in disguise, and that EA/Maxis (via Lucy Bradshaw) lied about it. Bradshaw claimed that making the game offline "would take a significant amount of engineering work," that has proven to be false. She also claimed that "from the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind," but that has also proven to be untrue. Bradshaw should have just been honest and said "it's DRM, deal with it."

Weisscastle
Weisscastle

DRM is a false argument. EA is not doing this to avoid losing money but to make money. EA wants to turn a single one time purchase into a "pay to play" ongoing source of income. Community modding is great for us but EA doesn't make a dime. Want to know why EA is doing this and how to fight it? Find and follow the money trail. For Diablo III, it all starts with the Auction House. I'll bet ya anything that EA will have something similar. Fighting piracy with an online game might be nice but the real secret will be in how EA will keep you spending.

JBWilliams
JBWilliams

EA have actively chosen to put their proprietary interests in Digital Rights Management ahead of their users interests in a working product. Unfortunately, they overlooked the fact that without users, they have no interests at all. Sorry dude, coming to the defence of EA's 'freedom' to make 'the product they want' undermines the capitalist reality that if people don't want to buy it, there's no way you're going to sell it. 

People don't want SimCity DRM Edition, and whether there are enough people dumb enough or forgiving enough to buy it, EA has to know that they've lost customers and sacrificed profit. What grounds they gained against piracy they lost on their own fecklessness. Make the game you want. Make the art you want. A supermarket with armed security guards in the aisles will mean less stock is shoplifted, but I won't want to spend money there. A game with non-functioning, intrusive and brand-destroying DRM may prevent pirates. It may even be the game of your 'vision'. But I'm keeping my sixty dollars, and in an industry which relies on brand loyalty and bang for your buck… that's a failure.

LiamAustin
LiamAustin

I have played over 100 hours and i'm still really enjoying it. I'm from the UK and didn't really have any problems on the launch night. It dose piss me off that EA have been lying about everything and they should of sorted out more of the bugs, but I brought this game knowing that it was always online and that's what I got.

ThomasEarl
ThomasEarl

Hearing from thousands, did they really, that wanted always on connectivity for their social aspects.  So the solo city, no always on were so much a smaller group.  No, they wanted to tackle piracy with that device that they didn't make a offline game that they couldn't monitor and possibly monetize if it got out in the wild.  We understand DRM, we just hate lies and half truths, coupled with rushed/bad design decisions hammered down with denials on refunds and possible banning threats.  EA put out Epic Fail: the Simcity Experience.  


For most people, the woes of those who purchased already is the lesson learned, don't buy it (and that may mean SimCity or any other EA line).

DaveDionne
DaveDionne

Im not angry at all, im never buying another EA product again, plain and simple.

lvn2140
lvn2140

I disagree with the "no obligations" claim, once the tittle is not SimCity online ea is obligated to for fill its obligation to make SimCity SimCity. Since previous Simcity do not requres to be online to play. Thus, ea is obligated to make SimCity offline unless their tittle is SimCity online.

RashidDarrylJohnson
RashidDarrylJohnson

What makes Simcity great is the modding community. You eliminate the modding community if u make this  100% online game...


The game is pointless to me w/o an offline mod where I can take it out on my ship (aircraft carrier) while im deployed for 6+ months w/ no internet access...


Idiotic move from EA/Maxis. they should have named the game "SimCity: Online".

innxt
innxt

It'd be alot easier for me to vote with my wallet if EA and the major  companies in the entertainment industries weren't trying to shut down things like Isohunt and Piratebay. You started this way by attacking them and we responded. Stop attacking them  and we can both go on our marry way.


Also , why did you make sim city an mmo? It isn't because of online DRM is it? No I'm sure it's because "you thought that's what the fans wanted."


Uh huh. Peter  Sunde's got a job and John Riccitiello doesn't for a reason.

RyanStufft
RyanStufft

To a lot of people who have complained and ranted on and on about this game all I can say is: cry harder. EA/Maxis announced they were making this new installment of Sim City require constant connection online because they were introducing a new element of the game well over a year ago. Had they offered the offline version there would not be enough drive to support it because this game is very casual and is popular with those who do not have much ties to the gaming market itself thus rending it a useless feature for many fans. If people can't read the information the product they buy they have no reason to complain for a refund. Secondly, I agree with the journalist stating that EA/Maxis was not obligated to providing an offline version at all. Third, the server issues (while slightly ironic given the game is about planning and foresight) plagued the launch week-people moaned as if it had been going well over a month not to mention the bugs that followed. Was this game released too soon? Should it have sat in beta more? Yes, but Maxis stepped up and apologized, but they also have kept a constant line of communication by updating the public with announcements and plans of action. Fast forward TWO weeks-the game is up and running just fine and they are addressing a lot of the AI issues (city to city connectivity, traffic, Sim pathing, etc). So what else is there to complain or over exaggerate about? Many PC games-heck even console games, are plagued with server issues during launch just ask any MMORPG game player. The game manufacturer follows up acknowledging the issues, expresses sympathy and provides timely updates on how to address the problems and within a few days they are handled. This is typical protocol and I think it was blown way out of proportion because a lot of people who play Sim City are not your atypical gamer (that and I am also thoroughly convinced that people will complain just for the sake of complaining) in that they are not only not used to issues like these that happen ALL THE TIME with popular titles in the market, but they don't have the patience to wait as a result of not being exposed to it.

Sim City is a great game albeit not perfect. I have no doubt the issues have and will continue to be resolved in a timely manner and we will all move on with our lives. For those who are still bitter about having to be forced to be online well 1) it is your choice whether or not to invest in the game and 2) life goes on-it is a game. As someone who has played the series for well over a decade I still highly recommend to anyone and encourage others to have some patience.

NickBolan
NickBolan

Oh I'm angry. I've bought a game that decides whether or not I can play it.  Countless times 'the cloud' has, in a manner of speaking told me, "erm, sorry I didn't save any of that.  Do you want to abandon your city perhapsl?"  I understand the point that EA can do what it wants, but right now all I want is to play the game, but EA won't let me. And it will continue to deny me whilst it promotes it's shop (origin). I don't want to take the game back because I really like it (apart from the small maps) and going back to a previous version won't have some of the improvements I'm admiring now. If it was 'Down To Earth' (as apposed to 'On The Cloud') then I could play it whenever I wanted and save it as i wished - my responsibility, my game. I just want to own a great game without it being in the hands of someone else.

jsingasong
jsingasong

I do agree with you on most parts. I don't think EA/Maxis/game developers is obligated to do 'anything'.  Also, I agree that games are a work of "art."  However, game development in EA's case is a business and must be bound by that, otherwise, yes it would be completely (or more) subjective as say art, music or what have you.  Yes we wanted a single player but didn't DEMAND it because we obviously sucked it up and got the game anyways.  The point of our rage is the lack of preparedness EA has shown and the absence of single mode after many wishes to have one.  It's almost like saying "we told you so" and more.  Furthermore, as a business must you in some ways still cater to the wants of the consumer?  As a last point, you asked why all the self entitlement.  My entitlement came after constant provocation:  The game was over hyped (my fault for falling for it but was hopefull because its SIMCITY!), game didn't function properly at launch (or near launch), features were taken out to accomidate, refunds were offered then retracted, and they lied.  Maybe seperately it's not a big deal but put together it's an obvious issue of the company.  I just wanted a refund because the game didn't work to its description.  Yes i'm sure it will get better but it is broken now.   Instead of remedying the problem, they make it more difficult by not giving me a refund, now I have to go through the bank.  Why go through all the trouble to make ALL these mistakes (especially lying) and later say people are just over entitled and expect too much.  These issues should not be a problem of this magnitude and if we accept it, we just have lowered our standards.  I believe others "entitlement" came from a mixture of this, as well as, the history of the game and costs.  We can all agree we have a stronger relationship to this game than others.   

badpuppy3
badpuppy3

I hate this game. Of the 1.1 million copies sold, I bet over a third of those have been returned, and a half of the rest would like to do so but cannot. I predict the servers will be unplugged in 3 years, so few people will be playing it. I'm not sure I'll even trust them to make a SimCity 6. EA/Maxis just can't seem to kick their social media addiction. They try to force it into everything, whether it makes sense or not. I've pretty much written them off as a company. I can't wait to see the debacle that will be The Sims 4 aka The Sims Social 2.0.

BradleyEdwardAbner
BradleyEdwardAbner

You're right. I returned my copy for a full refund after Lucy Bradshaw said they rejected an off-line mode because it didn't fit with EA's vision. Well, their vision and my gaming enjoyment no longer matched. I like single-player, off-line mode. I just like building cities; it's relaxing and I don't want to play or interact with anyone else while I'm zoning out (pardon the pun). I was willing to give the always-on a shot but it just seemed to make the game so slow and unresponsive. Imagine how slow it would have been if I built a city of any significant size. I'm not a gamer. Sim City is the only computer I play. I guess I will go back to play Sim City 4 and be grateful it works. After they fire Lucy Bradshaw (they just dumped their CEO), I bet they will start work on a Sim City 6 and I bet it will win backsome very disappointed and angry (and rightly so) customers. I also bet it will offer an offline, single-player mode ;-)

FrankFigueira
FrankFigueira

Yes, they can make the game as they please, but I returned my copy for a full refund after Lucy Bradshaw stated: “We offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers”.

ChristopherReyes
ChristopherReyes

What's next? Battlefield 4 is coming in a year. First day DLC weapons and maps? DLC perks and levels? Pay to play? Origin membership fee? Commercials during gameplay? It's part of their vision.

plowiee
plowiee

They may not have been obliged to make it a single player game; but they ARE obliged to give us a game that will last us forever. What we've got is a game that is rented, and will cease to exist once the servers are inevitably shut down in a few games. The best part of gaming is being able to keep it and play it again in the future. I can still plug in my Nintendo 64 and play Ocarina of Time, reliving my childhood. Nothing justifies paying full price for a game that will not last any longer than forever.

ChristopherReyes
ChristopherReyes

EA is screwed. They disrespect customers and nickel and dime them to death. I'm all for a good company making money and actually being progressive in their vision. Their vision of a online simcity is a lie, it's a blatant stab at making more money and trying to counter piracy... just say what you stand for EA and don't disrespect your consumer by feeding us garbage. There will be a hacked offline and online version soon enough and a rich modding community to back it... this could have been a great game, EA's greed ruined what it could have been.