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EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems

Unknown Lamer posted about a year ago | from the replacement-game-broken-too dept.

DRM 259

An anonymous reader writes "The SimCity launch earlier this week was a complete disaster. Single player games that require an Internet connection to enable forced multiplayer features (as well as acting as a form of DRM) is bad enough, but then to not be prepared for the demand such a popular franchise has, well, that's just dumb, and Lucy Bradshaw, EA's general manager for the Maxis Label, has admitted exactly that." They did not provide much details, but supposedly anyone who has SimCity now should get "a free PC download game from the EA portfolio." They are unrepentant about the always-online requirement though.

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Too little, too late (5, Insightful)

dreamchaser (49529) | about a year ago | (#43126095)

EA has been producing crappier and crappier games and screwing over customers for years now. Their workers operate in near sweatshop (ok I wax hyperbolic, but it's not good) working conditions. They could give me their entire catalog for free and I still would never buy another one of their future titles.

Re:Too little, too late (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126255)

Don't pay to be a beta tester, and get an old game as a "reward'. Continue to ask for refunds, and dispute bank charges. Games shouldn't be rentals.

Re:Too little, too late (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126365)

Games shouldn't be rentals.

Well, yes, but if tens or hundreds of millions of people support that business model, then it's going to succeed. The way to once again have games that don't require someone else's permission to play is to buy those kinds of games, not the kind that are DRMed out the ass..

You get what you ask for.

Re:Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126467)

So EA should have hired millions and millions of "beta testers", i.e. all the customers, and then paid them to test the load on the servers?

Re:Too little, too late (1)

dala1 (1842368) | about a year ago | (#43126609)

Most companies just have open beta weekends.

Re:Too little, too late (4, Insightful)

Goaway (82658) | about a year ago | (#43126561)

Games shouldn't be rentals.

But they are going to be, because this is the one and only form of copy protection that can actually work. Publishers are not going to give that up any time soon.

Re:Too little, too late (2)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | about a year ago | (#43126791)

In what way does it "actually work?" There are DRM free pirate releases of every game ever released in the past with "always on" DRM. It may take a few more days to crack, but it's hardly "working," especially when it's pissing off nearly all your actual customers.

Re:Too little, too late (5, Interesting)

Pharmboy (216950) | about a year ago | (#43126889)

Actually, this is one form of copy protection that DOESN'T work. The fact is, I was all ready to buy the game. I actually buy all my games, haven't pirated one in forever. (I'm old, employed, $60 is no biggie).

Now I won't buy the game simply because I couldn't play it if I did, and I don't want a game that forces me to save games online, be online when I play, can't be played on an airplane or in the car, etc. And it will stop working once they get tired of hosting the servers.

I've bought every SimCity game ever made and many other sim games from Maxis. Paid money, not pirated. 1, 2k, 3k, 4, Societies, Sim Copter, even Sim Tower and The Sims 1 and 2, simant, simfarm, and so on. I just can't buy this in good conscience because I don't know if I will be able to use it like I wanted to. And that is sad, since I love their games. Maybe, just maybe, I will buy it if someone comes out with a cracked version, and just use the cracked version. I don't mind spending the money, I just don't like being treated like a criminal once I've given them the money. At least with Steam, I can play most games offline and on different computers.

Re:Too little, too late (1)

Duds (100634) | about a year ago | (#43126977)

That won't work because just by buying it you accepted it was a rental. No-one bought without the knowledge that it was server dependant and therefore that the servers (and thus the game) would be switch off as soon as it became unprofitable.

Or 2 seconds after the release of Sim City 6.

Re:Too little, too late (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about a year ago | (#43126285)

So in other words, EA is saying: "we're sorry you discovered that our product is complete DRM-ridden shit, so we want to allow you to download any of our outdated examples of complete DRM-ridden shit from our online catalog!"

I'm thinking that a lot of otherwise unconcerned folks are discovering the hard way that maybe DRM is a bad idea?

Nah - too much to hope for.

Re:Too little, too late (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126297)

What's interesting is the date they've set for the claim:

On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game.

That date is over a week away, and almost two weeks from the initial release: why would they set it so far ahead? I guess the logical explanation for it is to allow for people who ordered a copy via snail-mail, but the cynic in me wonders if they're trying to bulk out the sale numbers with "look, it now comes with a free game, and you've got ages to join in! Please buy it! Ignore the bad reviews, think of the other game you'll get for free!".

Re:Too little, too late (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126305)

Just to let you know from somebody who *actually* works at EA... the working conditions here are very very good, if you work smart. The people who seem to work late hours either; a) have no life and/or love working a lot, b) don't want to go home for some reason (perhaps home life is difficult compared to the structure at work), c) don't work smart and play/delay work far too much (remember 90% are guys, we're reknowned for leaving things till the last minute). If you treat EA well, they treat you well back. I've had people on the same team who seem to hate the job I love because, well frankly, they're moaning and complaining all the time about how "bad" things are... when in fact some percentage of the responsibility is their own.

Also, it's really dependant on what you're working on, again if you're smart you'll find yourself on a team that organizes sprints and gets things done on time. Some teams just try to do too much, and don't push back hard enough early to cut scope.

As to crappier and crappier games... some are fantastic, some great, some not so. It's actually pretty hard to build AAA titles where you need 100 to 200 (or more) people all working together. I don't think EA is that different from any other company in that regard either.

As to DRM... again, execution on some may have fallen down, but seriously I think the people complaining have unrealistic expectations because some companies/games get it perfect. This is a complex business, and if you think you can do better you are either 99% likely a total idiot who has no idea what they are talking about, or perhaps some kind of genius that EA should hire (send in your resume to please).


Personally I'm waiting a couple of weeks before trying SimCity, once all the basement dwellers have moved on to complaining about "Dwarf Tossing 7: The Parabolic Episodes" not meeting their expected level of quality (absolute perfection on day 1)...

Peace. EA dude.

Re:Too little, too late (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126333)

Yeah, how dare they expect a game to work at all on day 1! What a bunch of assholes!

Re:Too little, too late (4, Funny)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year ago | (#43126379)

Nice to know the employees are treated well. Any chance of asking them to do the same for their customers?

Re:Too little, too late (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43126477)

It an unrealistic expectation that the game be made in a such a way that the offline use-case isnt ignored outright? This game was designed so that it cannot exist without EA servers, absolutely rubbish game design.

Re:Too little, too late (4, Informative)

Cito (1725214) | about a year ago | (#43126507)

A triple A game company that gets it right is companies like EgoSoft who removed all DRM from their X3 franchise and has already announced the new X3 sequel will not contain any form of DRM at all.

DRM only hurts legit players and lags them up, making games unplayable for legit customers. And cripples PC gamers and PC's

There are quire a few triple A game companies that know DRM is shit and does not help at all against piracy and it only hurts legit customers.

People who buy SimCity 5 are total morons if they buy it knowing the DRM it has, cause in a couple years that 59 dollars goes in the toilet when EA unplugs the login server for SimCity 5.

they've already killed game servers as little as 2 years old in the past. Making money spent on the game totally useless.

Anyone who defends companies like EA or Ubisoft are just ignorant of the facts, and it's those 2 companies that are destroying PC gaming the most.

If I had a choice between piracy or selling my company to EA, I'd more than welcome the pirates. Cause Valve already published a study that games without DRM piracy HELPS sales, due to word of mouth advertising as well as most pirates will pirate for the single player action and fall in love with the title and buy it for online play or coop play or to support the developers in general if they enjoy the game as a try before you buy. Which was published by Valve that piracy helps pc game sales.

it's only companies that use draconian DRM that continue to lose money and eventually blame piracy when it's their own company shooting themself in the foot (See Ubisoft's CEO blaming piracy for last years sales drop, when in fact it was most their games requiring always on DRM such as AC series, Anno 2070, and most everything else they released this past year)

Re:Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126695)

I am going to buy the next X game, those games are fun as hell and i love the company. Happy to give them money

EA can go fuck themselves, ill pirate there shit 10 times over...ill seed longer.

Re:Too little, too late (2)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | about a year ago | (#43126587)

I don't expect perfection, but I do expect basic functionality. My fault for not looking into the game better I suppose, but Sim City has been a single player game for entire life of the franchise till now and to buy it and find out even THAT doesn't work?!?
    Sorry, I could understand it taking a few tries right at release, when the main spike hits, but to take three days to log in just to play single player which should need little to no connection (should be validation the FIRST time you run the game and maybe for the achievement section, and maybe optional online backup of saves, that is IT) is simply stupid.
    The free game and apology are a good step in the right direction, they need to also public recognize that requiring on-going internet connect for single player is unnecessary and promise not to make that mistake again. Please convey to your supervisors and as far up the line as you can what you're hearing hear from vast majority of posters.


Re:Too little, too late (1)

jitterman (987991) | about a year ago | (#43126745)

I wish I hadn't just used all my points up. I would mod you up to remove the troll - you're simply supporting your employer and giving your point of view. I once worked for Cox Cable, so I know the feeling. In this case though, you're wrong, and I'd like those who browse at +1 to have a better chance to see how an EA employee views the consumer.

I do believe your detractors have a point. EA is not the most consumer-friendly of publishers, and while people do know that patches, etc., will be forthcoming for AAA titles and that the codebase will likely contain bugs, it is not unreasonable to expect to be able to play the game. A feature may not do what it should; inventory or resources or whatnot may not calculate correctly, or a visual glitch might be discovered. But to equate being able to play the game with unreasonable expectations is an exact example of why EA is loathed by many. YOU, as a representative of EA, are part of the culture, and have displayed what I can only interpret as disdain for your customers.

Re:Too little, too late (4, Insightful)

History's Coming To (1059484) | about a year ago | (#43126361)

This is why I've simply decided not to buy another EA game. Battlefield 3 was the final straw for me - 3 downloads of around 2Gb each in the first three months? Any you have to download them to continue to play online? And the patches required are only a few Mb and the rest is DLC which you have to download whether you want to pay to have it activated or not?

To top it all, when I tried to contact them to see if patch-only downloads were available (I'm on a slow connection that 6Gb of downloads would swamp) I was told I didn't have the right date of birth. I ended up having to use the UK Data Protection Act to get hold of my account details, and sure enough my DOB was correct. The data also included "customer offered 15% discount" - which was news to me.

I give up , I'm simply not going to buy another £40 coaster from them, I have enough of those.

Re:Too little, too late (1)

data2 (1382587) | about a year ago | (#43126973)

Has been this way with battlefield 2 as well. Each "update", which seemed incremental, i.e. names such as update_103_to_104.tar.bz2, was a complete replacement and even overwrote your configs if you didn't save them someplace else. Servers were a pita to run as well, but I guess they solved that with their stupid rental model now.

Re:Too little, too late (2)

adunstan (1409073) | about a year ago | (#43126435)

I have to honestly say, it's quite a shame, because I played this at beta and I queued to play it at Gamescom, and at its heart I actually thought it was a very good game that had so much potential, and I still do think it looks like a pretty decent game, but forcing the always online is just something I don't want, and I just couldn't justify paying what I felt was completely overpriced compared to every other PC game on release.

Re:Too little, too late (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126459)

No one really gives a fuck. You bitches say the same thing all the time and EA/Sony/Apple/Microsoft/Nokia/Google/etc etc etc aren't hurting for it. As for me? I'm going to go buy something from EA just for the fuck of twisting your nuts

Re:Too little, too late (1)

B1oodAnge1 (1485419) | about a year ago | (#43126815)

I'm going to go buy something from EA just for the fuck of twisting your nuts

Mod this Funny! I'm still chortling at the though of someone buying an EA game to spite someone else. :-D

Re:Too little, too late (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126737)

A story from the trenches [] circa 2004 when Simcity 4 was still fresh.

They obviously thought... (5, Funny)

Zemran (3101) | about a year ago | (#43126103)

... that with all that really bad DRM shai'te no one would actually buy it... so they were not prepared for actual sales.

Re:They obviously thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126191)

We obviously thought that with all that really bad DRM shai'te no one would actually buy it... so we were not prepared for actual sales.


Welcome to the netherworld of no longer being part of a lucrative market.

Re:They obviously thought... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126433)

You must be a lot of fun at parties.

Reminds me of some of the Amazon comments (1)

Moraelin (679338) | about a year ago | (#43126943)

At least on there were a couple of comments to the effect of, "Well, they couldn't have guessed that all the idiots who paid a lot of money for a game actually intend to play it." :p

Vote with your wallet (5, Insightful)

Beavertank (1178717) | about a year ago | (#43126111)

There's an easy fix to this: Never, ever, ever buy a game that has always on DRM.

Eventually the game manufacturers will learn.

Re:Vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126253)

EA even has an 'easy' fix. Prob a few days work. Give the end user the server code. Then let the users point at local servers... They will *never* do it though.

Re:Vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126317)

Does this apply to MMOs?

Re:Vote with your wallet (1)

Beavertank (1178717) | about a year ago | (#43126675)

The issue is sort of moot for MMOs. Because of the game's basic nature it's unplayable without an internet connection, whether or not there's a persistent connection to a DRM server as well as the game server doesn't really matter at that point (assuming the DRM servers, separate or not, don't have uptime problems).

Re:Vote with your wallet (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126319)

There's an easy fix to this: Never, ever, ever buy a game that has always on DRM.

Eventually the game manufacturers will learn.

We HAVE voted with our wallets. And we're getting clearly outvoted, else publishers and developers wouldn't keep doing it.

Re:Vote with your wallet (1)

Mycroft_VIII (572950) | about a year ago | (#43126613)

Sadly it will take a lot of people not buying or pirating several games that would otherwise be popular for them to get it, they'll blame piracy or that the game wasn't very good before they believe that the drm they waste money on is the problem (kickbacks from the companies that sell this snake oil wouldn't be unbelievable to me).


Reality (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126331)

Most of the people posting angry rants on EA's facebook page are people who bought the game, will keep it, and will play it once the server issues are ironed out. And when EA produces an on-par sequel, they will buy that too.

There are some people who would enjoy this game, but won't buy it because of the DRM and server issues. However, what EA (and their ilk) have learned so far is: this population is small.

So long as the greater part of their target audience is willing to put up with this frustration and still buy the games, EA will keep frustrating them, apologizing, and laughing all the way to the bank.

As right as you are about voting with your wallet, the majority of EA's target audience have already outvoted you.

Re:Reality (4, Insightful)

xstonedogx (814876) | about a year ago | (#43126409)

Which is to say EA hasn't learned at all. I'd love a new SimCity game, but I won't buy it in this state. So not only did they spend the money to make it unplayable, but they lost some numbers of sales. I am hard-pressed to believe the *real* losses from piracy (i.e. those who would buy the game, but don't) are greater than the losses they are creating for themselves.

Re:Reality (1)

reub2000 (705806) | about a year ago | (#43126569)

Well a SNAFU like this will get more people to understand what the nerds have been complaining about. Hopefully the number of people the are discontent with DRM will grow large enough that it can't be ignored.

Re:Vote with your wallet (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126377)

There's an easy fix to this: Never, ever, ever buy a game that has always on DRM.

That approach requires people to be capable of considering the future and what's in their own best interest. Thus, it will never work.

Re:Vote with your wallet (2)

adunstan (1409073) | about a year ago | (#43126393)

Doubt it, they will just blame piracy and shove even more DRM on it, they may eventually fail but more companies using DRM like this will come, how are they supposed to know why you didn't buy it if you don't tell them? I believe the best solution is to spread as much word of bad press like this as we can, keep showing these companies that we don't want always online for games we may want to play single player in, and keep giving these games bad reviews stating why you didn't like the always online, and talk about the issue for as long as possible so they never forget. Stop letting these companies convince themselves that the reason things go wrong is because of piracy; don't vote with your wallet, vote with your voice - spread your opinion everywhere, sign petitions such as the one here [] . If you want to see change, then do something about it.

Re:Vote with your wallet (1)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | about a year ago | (#43126937)

Plus, give it a nice review [] .

We are sorry our products are so shitty. (4, Funny)

pclminion (145572) | about a year ago | (#43126115)

In order to make you feel better, please choose one of our other shitty products. Two shitty games are better than one!

Re:We are sorry our products are so shitty. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126217)

You, sir, are an optimist.

The actual wording is pretty smarmy. Using the word portfolio leads one to believe one will be able to select any title from their portfolio. But read it carefully and you'll see not only does it not say that, it doesn't say you will have ANY choice as to which game.

Re:We are sorry our products are so shitty. (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | about a year ago | (#43126271)

In order to make you feel better, please choose one of our other shitty products. Two shitty games are better than one!

And good luck getting to the activation server.

Free Single Player? (4, Insightful)

grim4593 (947789) | about a year ago | (#43126119)

A free single-player version of the new SimCity game would be nice.

Re:Free Single Player? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126251)

It's not a single-player game, get over it. That's like asking for a single-player version of World of Warcraft.

If you don't like that, don't buy it.

Re:Free Single Player? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about a year ago | (#43126503)

Its only akin to an MMO because the devs forced it, jsut like Diablo III. What game designer in his right mind thought putting a hardcore mode in a game where a moment of lag can wipe out months of work?? Forcing online-only causes devs to give up some fundamental gameplay for monetization. THATS WHY WE GET UPSET.

Why buy one when you can buy two for twice the... (1)

tutufan (2857787) | about a year ago | (#43126273)

No, but you can have a second copy of the multi-player version. W00t!

What about a Simcity 4.5? or simcity 4 source code (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year ago | (#43126277)

What about a Simcity 4.5? or simcity 4 source code?

Even if out looking at the DRM simcity 5 is to dumbed down and the city sizes are to small.

Now I used to play simcity 4 + NAM and other plugins But it needs the source code to fix stuff.

The simcity 5 beta made my move from maybe buy to not buy and buy a different game.

Re:Free Single Player? (1, Interesting)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | about a year ago | (#43126289)

There are older versions of Sim City that are single player. Maybe you should play one of those games. Making a new game means changing things. I suppose they could of just changed released Sim City 2000 with hi res textures. But I think that would of been a failure as well. Adding multiplayer is a reasonable change. Selling more copies of the game than you have servers for is stupid.

Re:Free Single Player? (3, Informative)

BonThomme (239873) | about a year ago | (#43126499)

"adding multiplayer" implies nothing was subtracted

Re:Free Single Player? (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about a year ago | (#43126555)

Multiplayer Sim City does sound interesting, I agree, but they've gone about doing it in entirely the wrong way.

A much smarter way would have been to implement save-games in a Git-like fashion, where you can pick and choose which people to play with.

This obviously won't work for a real time game, but for games like Sim City and the like, it'd work just fine. Hell, a Civilization style game could work fine as well.

The better product (5, Insightful)

Groo Wanderer (180806) | about a year ago | (#43126121)

And they keep bitching at me when I write up that piracy has moved past "free" and now is about a demonstrably better product. Free is almost lost in the noise now. The state of modern consumer fleecing has gotten painful to watch.

Download a free game??? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126123)

Isn't that... piracy?!

Even better (1)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43126127)

Even without the always-on DRM this game would still suck! Too bad this fact has been overshadowed by the DRM débâcle!

yeah? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#43126133)

> They are unrepentant about the always-online requirement though.

And I am equally unrepentant about not buying any more of their stuff.

EA's Lucy Bradshaw's post (4, Informative)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about a year ago | (#43126149)

POSTED BY Lucy Bradshaw ON Mar 8, 2013 A SimCity UpdateAnd Something For Your Trouble

Here’s a quick update on the problems we were experiencing with SimCity – and a little something extra for people who bought the game.

The server issues which began at launch have improved significantly as we added more capacity. But some people are still experiencing response and stability problems that we’re working fast to address.

So what went wrong? The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta.

OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it. In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent. It’s working – the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.

So we’re close to fixed, but not quite there. I’m hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us.

Something Special for Your Trouble (see linked page at bottom of post)

The good news is that SimCity is a solid hit in all major markets. The consensus among critics and players is that this is fundamentally a great game. But this SimCity is made to be played online, and if you can’t get a stable connection, you’re NOT having a good experience. So we’re not going to rest until we’ve fixed the remaining server issues.

And to get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game.

I know that’s a little contrived – kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent.

SimCity is a GREAT game and the people who made it are incredibly proud. Hang in there – we’ll be providing more updates throughout the weekend. []

Re:EA's Lucy Bradshaw's post (0)

Beavertank (1178717) | about a year ago | (#43126189)

It's such a great game that it has a one star rating on Amazon. Only the best of the best manage that!

Re:EA's Lucy Bradshaw's post (1)

Huntr (951770) | about a year ago | (#43126345)

That response is as big a pile of horseshit as the game. Of course, that's expected marketing spin, but at some point the bald truth saves more face than grasping at straws (I wish...).

The good news is that SimCity is a solid hit in all major markets.

Gamers don't care about that. The good news would be your mess is un-f'd.

Actually, I think this is a great example of why digital downloads (of anything) shouldn't cost as much as the same thing distributed on disk. Obviously the net worth of the digitally distributed version of these games is such that EA can pass out a bunch of them in the name of good will. Doing that is an economic decision and speaks to the lesser value of the digital good.

In conclusion, screw EA.

Re:EA's Lucy Bradshaw's post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126453)

"More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta."

WHAT THE MERRY FUCK DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!?! I'm sorry, I'm angry, are these not the people who market and press and supply the damned things to shops and download retailers? How dare they try and feed us this horse shit. If it is not a bare faced lie then something far far worse is wrong here.

Re:EA's Lucy Bradshaw's post (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126487)

So what went wrong? The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta.

Beta tester here: Maybe if their beta lasted longer then 24 hours they would have seen this coming.

Never strikes twice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126161)

Bearing in mind that a huge part of this fiasco has been a massive underestimation of required server capacity it'd be hilarious if the same thing happens when this free-game process goes live.

"We're sorry, but due to heavy server load we are unable to process your free game download. Estimated queue time: 20 minutes."

Fuck em (2)

JohnRoss1968 (574825) | about a year ago | (#43126177)

If I cant even play a single player game off-line I wont buy it. Fuck em I hope SimCity crashes and burns hard.
BTW I have purchased all of the other SimCitys as well as some of the side games, BUT I will NEVER buy SimCity again until they remove this allways on DRM crap.
PS. Did I mention FUCK EM.

assholes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126201)


Pet Hotel Tycoon! (4, Funny)

BenJeremy (181303) | about a year ago | (#43126219)

I expect, given EA's greed, that this will be the "free game" they give to every victim of their ineptitude. ...that or they'll give away free copies of Star Wars: The Old Republic

Would have liked to play it... (4, Interesting)

Loki_666 (824073) | about a year ago | (#43126229)

but I'm already boycotting any always connected games or any other product. I can live without, plenty of other good games available, plus my back catalog of awesome games that i always go back to, and thanks to visualization, i can always return to even the oldest ones.

After the Bioware debacle where they disabled their authentication servers (fortunately games still playable online) and Gamespy shutting down their old servers (without the publishers releasing patches to enable online matchups without gamespy - eg: Marvel: Ultimate Alliance), I'm totally against any form of always-on connection.

I'm not even willing to trust Steam now. I believe Gabe is a good man, and as long as he is at the helm things will be cool, but one day he will be gone, and when the first profit oriented CEO takes over, it will just turn into another EA or Ubisoft, and at that point, support for old games will suddenly disappear, and one by one, those games you paid for will no longer work. Or at least that is my guess... i'm not willing to risk it. I want the games i bought to be mine.

Re:Would have liked to play it... (1)

Loki_666 (824073) | about a year ago | (#43126259)

LOL... And, just to reinforce my belief, my internet just dropped 2 seconds after making this post. If I was playing an always online game at that point, my game would have either stopped/lagged badly/or maybe just crashed.

Re:Would have liked to play it... (0)

_xeno_ (155264) | about a year ago | (#43126527)

I'm not even willing to trust Steam now.

But, but, Steam has an offline mode! That you must be online to enable. So if you lose your Internet connection, you lose the ability to play all your Steam games until it's back up again and you can "go offline." (As Steam itself won't even start if you don't have an Internet connection and aren't already in offline mode.)

So now I count Steam as being an "always connected" form of DRM. Strictly speaking, it isn't, in the sense that if you're already playing a game, you won't be kicked out. But if you try and start a game without being online or having the foresight to know that your Internet connection is going to die and going offline before that happens, you'll be locked out of your entire library.

Re:Would have liked to play it... (1)

jjjhs (2009156) | about a year ago | (#43126679)

I usually don't have any problems with offline mode, my cellphone hotspot is my primary/only available internet connection and is very unreliable, getting dropped from the cell network quite often.

Re:Would have liked to play it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126883)

I would care a lot more about this except for a few things.
First, Steam DRM is really easy to strip. If Valve goes to the darkside I will get rid of the DRM on my games without a hair of guilt.
Second, I have a really spotty internet connection and have been using steam for over 7 years. In that time I have had trouble running my games about three times, all in the first few years. I know some people do still have problems, but the low numbers of problems is a testament to Valve's commitment to makes sure it stays a value adding form of DRM rather than value subtracting.

Re:Would have liked to play it... (2)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year ago | (#43126969)

Erm, if I'm disconnected when I launch it, I get asked if I want to start it in offline mode.

Schadenfreud (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126231)

Haven't they suffered enough already?

This is why I don't buy games very often. (5, Interesting)

ChangeOnInstall (589099) | about a year ago | (#43126235)

I have the income to buy them. I have the desire to play them. I have the computer hardware to play them. And I won't pirate them.

But I won't pay you $50 or $60 and be rewarded with the very kind of stress that I've purchased the game to temporarily escape from. You're not going to stop the pirates, but you are going to stop me.

Re:This is why I don't buy games very often. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126307)

It is rare when I will shell out $60 for a game. A year later most games are half that, and wait long enough and you can get the game, plus all the DLC for even less.

As an added bonus, the game has, by that point, been patched multiple times, has copious stragety/cheats/whatever online, and has been reviewed by thousands who have played it through all the way multiple times.

Consolation: You get a game you don't want? (4, Insightful)

HalAtWork (926717) | about a year ago | (#43126241)

What sense does it make to give SimCity players another game from EA that they probably don't want? My dad got this game and he's not interested in playing Dead Space or whatever else, he only wants to play SimCity. They should just fix the problems the game has in the first place and allow "offline single player mode" a.k.a. normal fucking single player mode like any other game has.

Re:Consolation: You get a game you don't want? (1)

whoop (194) | about a year ago | (#43126401)

It's to give you something to do while you're unable to play Sim City. Genius!

Re:Consolation: You get a game you don't want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126417)

They should just fix the problems the game has in the first place and allow "offline single player mode" a.k.a. normal fucking single player mode like any other game has.

But they won't, because of people like you who buy it anyway, no matter how abusive the DRM and online requirements. Why should they not abuse you, when you've clearly shown that they can, and you will give them money anyway?

All in all (2)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43126249)

Poor Maxis, i feel so bad for them.

Re:All in all (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43126329)

Yup. Behind the horrible crust of DRM and connectivity problems, there's a fine game inside.

Re:All in all (1)

lesincompetent (2836253) | about a year ago | (#43126551)

That's not exactly what i meant: the game has been both ruined by the DRM and by the dumbing down. What i meant is that both of these issues are EA's fault: the big, evil, greed, corporation with no intention of producing works of art. Just cash cows.

Re:All in all (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126363)

Poor Maxis, i feel so bad for them.

It's sad how often this [] can reasonably be updated.

I'd like Sim City 5 please. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126279)

With a side of fries and an apple fritter.

The great thing about mobile games (3, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about a year ago | (#43126351)

A really great aspect of mobile game development is that while game makers can expect you probably will have networking, they can't rely on it always working. So while they can build features that make good use of networking they can't really make games that don't work when disconnected.

Don't buy proprietary games! Pay libre developers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126371)

I stopped paying for proprietary software years ago. Now I (and my company) contribute significant sums of money to free software development. So far I haven't regretted it for a minute. The return on the investment in free software development has greatly outweighed its cost and our business model is not software development. We don't make any money on software development.

Meaningless (1)

onyxruby (118189) | about a year ago | (#43126385)

They are unrepentant about the DRM issue that caused the problem and have been busy spinning it as a popularity issue instead. They have no plans or intention of changing their ways and hope that this offering smooths over a public relations debacle.

This game, and EA themselves need to be boycotted for the good of the industry until such time as EA repents and changes their ways. A grassroots boycott that costs them far more money than their imaginary losses from piracy is the only thing that can get them to change.

"It's because it's so popular!!" was great spin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126389)

How about, nobody logs off because if they do, they can't ever get back on?

This is almost like... (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#43126411)

Imagine if you had a plumber in to do some work, and they warrantied the labor on their work, such that they would come back at no additional charge if there were any problems with the work that they did. Only a week or so later, the pipe starts leaking, leaving no doubt whatsoever that they did an incompetent job. You can get them to come back in to fix it, per their alleged warranty, but do you really want a plumber who evidently does that poor a job actually doing any more work on your place?

They've learned nothing (1)

Tridus (79566) | about a year ago | (#43126485)

And as a result, I'll continue to not buy the game.

Sooner or later EA is going to piss off too many people with shoddy service, and they'll be in real trouble. It'd actually be nice if the game tanked due to nonsense like this: it'd be a warning to the rest of the industry.

This is equivalent to "Let them eat cake" (1)

asm2750 (1124425) | about a year ago | (#43126533)

I hope EA rots in hell after their customers take them to the fiscal guillotine.

beta was a bad portent (1)

Kogun (170504) | about a year ago | (#43126535)

My son and I were looking forward to playing this until we played in the first beta. With a one hour limit on play time, practically no new content to be experienced in that beta, and some really oddball bugs, I knew a decent play experience would have to be several months away. It is clear the imminent release data was driven by forces outside of the developers' authority. This was not a milestone driven release schedule, therefore, ignore all the spin coming from EA marketing. The game is in alpha, even now. The improvement they report for server access can be explained by customers staying away in droves.

buy one turd get another one free? No thanks. (1)

Dan667 (564390) | about a year ago | (#43126591)

I stopped buy ea games years ago and have been much happier gaming since.

But wait, there's more! (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about a year ago | (#43126753)

Since there's a no return policy on opened software in the US, a ton of folks are just canceling their CC payments if they bought it thru a retail store. And since there's no way to return it, they still have it sitting on their shelves. So if they decide to play it... they can. EA would have no record of the "voided" key code and no way to get it. So the DRM didn't stop pirating, it just created thousands of new ones!

With all that in mind the only ones here getting burnt are the retailers. Not EA. Unless they have some sort of reimbursement plan in mind for them. Say a store had 1000 copies and got hit with 500 charge backs that they never get back... Could put some smaller stores out of business.

That being said, this fiasco not only hurts us, but the retailers will likely think twice about ordering anything from EA every again.

Big and Floppy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126773)

That game is like getting smacked in the face by a big floppy donkey dick, I'll pass.

No more DRM (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126803)

After the Diablo 3 disaster of DRM requiring being always connected even to play as single player, never never again will I purchase another game with this kind of DRM

How about 2 free games? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126811)

Well since you can't return an opened game, tons are just cancelling their CC payment. So essentially you can go out and buy it, cancel the payment and have that and a free game to boot. The shop owner will know where the CC cancel came from but no one at EA would have a clue which key code to cancel.

EA can suck my arse (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | about a year ago | (#43126813)

I am not paying 60 bucks to be at the mercy of your servers just to play sim fucking city, and tanks for renforcing that to me by not being able to keep up with demand of your own product, did you not look at how many copies you sold?

Sorry EA, but I just can't fall for this again (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126873)

A few years ago I grabbed myself a nice copy of Battlefield 2, having owned a bunch of the BF1942 and related products. I fragged people, tanks, and generally had fun. Then one day out of the blue I decided to double click BF2 icon and launch into a game and...."You are banned". Hmm, oh well, maybe this server is just broken, let me try another...."You are banned".

Apparently there was a problem about a year ago where someone was able to blacklist a bunch of BF2 user id's via punkbuster, and now I can never play my BF2 again on any server unless I use a non punkbuster one (which there are only like what 4 of them, and filled with cheaters?). So I am sorry EA, but I don't think I can take a chance wasting money on your third party DRM'd games again.

EA is stupid and self-destructive but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43126991)

EA is stupid and self-destructive but we should really spend time thinking "why?". The answer, sadly, is simple. EA has a management that is both educationally sub-normal, and yet unaccountable. We've all met vicious moronic people who are convinced their ideas are the best ever, regardless of their academic background and lack of any track-record. Oft-times, these types worm their way into upper management, especially in companies that have previously had periods of success independent of management activity.

The games industry is notorious for having the worst possible management- and easily the most corrupt and criminal. Managers have been caught over and over attempting to 'emulate' 'Hollywood accounting' by ensuring games never seem to turn a profit, because the money made goes in outrageous management salaries, bonuses, and none returnable loans. EA and Activision are easily the two biggest offenders.

Criminal type managers are notorious for having a vicious and vindictive attitude toward their own customers. But simply, they think their customers are 'scum' - 'scum' to be exploited in any way that is still likely to keep the managers out of jail.

An ordinary person might naively think that EA would be thankful for a person handing over $60 for SimCity, and wish to have that customer leave happy. Nothing could be further from the truth. That initial transaction is like when an old person makes a first payment to criminal builders who go door-to-door looking for vulnerable suckers. That first payment tell the criminal builders that they now have a chance to bleed dry the bank account of the old person.

You go "but why, oh why would EA choose to behave like this?". I'm sorry, you're not facing reality. The reason is simple. EA has employed the worst kind of nasty scum to manage its company. These people have no business or industry skills. These people got the job PRECISELY because they are sharks with no conscience. EA owners became famously bewitched by the success of Zynga, a company owned and run by an admitted criminal whose business model is stealing other people's games, and paying court fines when necessary. EA had no success themselves with Zynga's business model, but while trying to emulate Zynga, they hired managers they thought were most sympathetic with the concept.

EA is damaging itself massively with this behaviour. It recently bombed in its attempt to take on the COD franchise with its MOH franchise. Battlefield 4 is due to suffer the same fate as MOH and SimCity, as EA refuses to release the product customers want to use. EA's ownership of DICE will destroy DICE (it's pretty much finished already).

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