Jimquisition: SimShitty

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Costia:

Yoshi Dragon:


let me tell you a little story about a game called torchlight 2
when it first game out everybody in the world who had prebought it was downloading it all pretty much at the second they could. almost noone could use multiplayer because the servers were jammed and crashed. the company that released it got up early got on their forums said sorry our bad we're fixing it and fixed it within 24 to 48 hours.

if a small company like that can do it then larger companies can do it too. sure downloads i can excuse when everone in the world is trying to download your game at the same time noones gonna get the file very fast. but always online servers... welll you should know a little something about the demand thats gonna be placed on your servers and have as many as needed to carry the capacity from day 1. there is no excuse for not doing that.

You are mixing 2 different issues:
1) the time it takes them to fix it: There is a significant difference between Torchlight and Simcity. The amount of players. And I bet the complexity of SimCity is much greater than of Torchlight. I don't think that they are just sitting there taking their time to fix it. It's hard. It will take time. Like I said, they screwed up. And now they are trying to fix it as fast as they can.
2) The necessity of always online DRM: I think they should have separated the DRM from the game, so they could remove it if necessary. But their design was such that the DRM is part of the game. I think it's bad for many reasons. Not being able to play at the first week of launch is not one of them.
Their excuse to putting it there is piracy. And if you look at the bottom lone, at how much money they are going to make, they are probably going to make more with this DRM than what they would have gotten without it, even with all the rage that you see now. So for them it makes a lot of sense to use it.

no it's basically the same issue with a twist.

how long would it really take for them to acquire and put in some new servers. it -shouldnt- take a week. what they ought to do is publicly say oops we're fixing it pull out some of their backup servers hook them up and then order some more servers.
the whole thing from the players point of view would be wrapped up in 72 hours. instead they arent apologizing and instead everyone else is excusing them

Couldn't agree more. Haven't and won't buy a game with always on drm for the single player. Won't pirate them either because if something is sh**, and you steal it, you still end up with sh**. Waste of time.

Okay, okay, I get it. We all hate EA. EA are scumbags. You should never buy EA games at launch. EA won't let you return the game that you wanted so bad you rushed out and got day one.

Doesn't anyone want to bring up the fact that, to EA's credit, they're giving everyone who bought simcity a free game as compensation for the downtime?

We just going to ignore that? Yeah? Okay, continue the rage I guess.

Also, I felt like Jim exagerated a little too much in the video at times. I get that he's angry, but framing it as though EA intentionally undershot the number of servers by such a margin as to make their game unplayable, just to give their customers a middle finger... You probably should've put on a tinfoil hat before saying that. Yes, companies tend to underestimate their server needs slightly, because it is cheaper to add servers than it is to buy ones you don't need, but clearly there were a LOT more people playing day 1 than they expected.

EA is scumy, sure, but stick to the rational rage about them, please. (lord knows they give us plenty of reasons to dislike them, we don't need to make up imaginary reasons as well)

LackofCertainty:
Okay, okay, I get it. We all hate EA. EA are scumbags. You should never buy EA games at launch. EA won't let you return the game that you wanted so bad you rushed out and got day one.

Doesn't anyone want to bring up the fact that, to EA's credit, they're giving everyone who bought simcity a free game as compensation for the downtime?

We just going to ignore that? Yeah? Okay, continue the rage I guess.

All this... That's the part he was talking about us being dogs rolling over for them and begging for scraps

Giving everyone who pre-ordered the game or bought it day-one their money back would be a real gesture.

Nurb:

LackofCertainty:
Okay, okay, I get it. We all hate EA. EA are scumbags. You should never buy EA games at launch. EA won't let you return the game that you wanted so bad you rushed out and got day one.

Doesn't anyone want to bring up the fact that, to EA's credit, they're giving everyone who bought simcity a free game as compensation for the downtime?

We just going to ignore that? Yeah? Okay, continue the rage I guess.

All this... That's the part he was talking about us being dogs rolling over for them and begging for scraps

Giving everyone who pre-ordered the game or bought it day-one their money back would be a real gesture.

It would be, and it is. Which is why EA is doing it. >_>

http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-57573434-1/after-launch-mess-ea-pledges-free-game-for-simcity-players/

Personally, I don't give two Bleeps, because I didn't rush out and buy SimCity, but now I kinda wish I did. Two for one deals are nice. XD

Edit: Misread your post. *shrug* I'd take a free game, with a game with will be playable in a week or so as a twofer deal. If you want simcity that bad that you rush out and buy it day one, you're probably going to want it again in a week when it's playable, right?

P.S.
Random Thought: I should find a cracked version of SimCity2k. I own an old powermac copy of it, but have long since made the switch to windows so that does me nothing. SimCity4 was a huge disappointment for me, and this new game doesn't look like it's what I'm after either. : /

P.P.S.
Seems it's on GoG, so maybe I'll just buy it again. (although buying a game I already own is something that irks me)

Ashoten:

dbenoy:
There is no 'free market' as long as copyright continues to exist.

Second that notion. In the age where ideas are shared ubiquitously across the world copyrights seem arcane at best. Not exclusively owning an idea will not cause an artist to starve. In fact it will protect them and allow them to always be able to use their idea without fear of a company telling them they do not own their own creations. Creative people do not have trouble finding work because they are valued for their creativity and not their intellectual property.

Copyright and IP/trademarks are 2 different things. Copyright as its supose to be used is a good thing. its ment to ensure the creator gets paid for their work. US corporate system screws that over though.

mfeff:

Hmm that seems odd. Not saying I am not nodding, just odd that if MS had BD as a proprietary technology why on earth did they attempt to leverage the HD-DVD?

Microsoft got money either way. More importantly, they were pushing their own digital service, which benefited from no clear winner in the physical format wars. I think they even said as much.

RicoADF:

Copyright and IP/trademarks are 2 different things. Copyright as its supose to be used is a good thing. its ment to ensure the creator gets paid for their work. US corporate system screws that over though.

Copyright IS intellectual property.

Also, copyright as it is supposed to be used is a good thing, but so is trademark and so is the patent process. So what's the point of differentiation?

poiumty:

Treblaine:

Pirates may have mere "kinks" with server emulation.

But what incredibly unreliability have legitimate consumers been left with from the DRM saddled versions? Pretty legendarily bad.

Pirates have mere "kinks" after SEVEN FUCKING MONTHS.

EA will likely fix this whole thing completely by next week.

There's a difference, man. Don't talk like there isn't.

Uhh, the difference is you've found one crack that isn't updated as if it's the only one on a site that is blocked in most countries now.

And a much better organised company Blizzard sill hasn't eliminated the problems inherent to the constant-online connection. I mean each single-player game has to have a server handle more than they would for each user on a 24-player multiplayer server.

MailOrderClone:
I have mixed feelings on the piracy issue. On one hand, there's every indication that Maxis has created a great game, and simply pirating a great game and not supporting the developers that made it is not sitting well with me. On the other hand, the game is not what we have a problem with. It's the service that's the issue, and that's EA's turf.

As long as companies keep up the "game = service" bullshit, we do have a problem with the game and thus it is not a great game.

Jimothy Sterling:
SimShitty

DRM is back again, and it's here to stay! Games are a service, so we're told, but who do they really serve?

Watch Video

This is the first time I've seen someone knowingly make a House of Cards reference.

God that was a good series.

On the first-two-weeks thing: surely whoever it is that invests the money into video games isn't dumb enough to think that sales mean anything? You can't *really* return games any more. The fact you bought it says nothing at all about whether or not you particularly liked it, especially in the first few weeks.

The surest sign of a game's quality would be change in sales over time, I should think. If it stays constant or goes up, you know you've got a good game.

As an old Maxis fan seeing the potential for a game that I personally would have enjoyed squandered here, I further rue the day Maxis was absorbed into the Gelatinous cube that is EA. I will NEVER buy a game that requires always online DRM. EVER.

I always said Always Online DRM just goes to prove that developers hate our troops. Our brave soldiers of freedom, stationed over seas, they play games too and the places they're stationed at don't have stable internet connections! And so these games are obviously specifically designed to spite them. EA hates our troops.

Zachary Amaranth:

mfeff:

Hmm that seems odd. Not saying I am not nodding, just odd that if MS had BD as a proprietary technology why on earth did they attempt to leverage the HD-DVD?

Microsoft got money either way. More importantly, they were pushing their own digital service, which benefited from no clear winner in the physical format wars. I think they even said as much.

That makes sense, anywho thanks for pointing out meh mistake. Again it's an interesting point that the format wars could be perceived as a driver towards a digital distribution platform. It makes sense, and is right in line with MS business practices. I used to argue all the time that the Xbox existed as a thing simply because Sony pushed hard to get their own platform in as many living rooms as possible.

That is, as a counterbalance to disrupt the Sony platform. MS plays the game like Madden would play... on both sides of the ball. Either way considering how much leverage MS has in technology as a whole... it is a foregone conclusion that they win, either way a coin falls.

The quintessential lord of war.

image

Jimothy Sterling:
SimShitty

Just to let you know Jim, I am directing people to your videos periodically to make points. We always seem to have posts here asking what the big deal with EA is and why people dislike them. Clearly these clueless posters aren't watching your videos, and I simply cannot think of anyone who puts it better then you do.

Watching the Jimquisition should be a mandatory qualification of being an Escapist.

xPixelatedx:

Jimothy Sterling:
SimShitty

Just to let you know Jim, I am directing people to your videos periodically to make points. We always seem to have posts here asking what the big deal with EA is and why people dislike them. Clearly these clueless posters aren't watching your videos, and I simply cannot think of anyone who puts it better then you do.

Watching the Jimquisition should be a mandatory qualification of being an Escapist.

I think the below Jimquisition link sums up EA the best =)

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/5946-Why-Do-People-Hate-EA

After hearing this, EA falls off the wagon and begins its drug habit again. Two weeks more and EA will kill itself, leaving Jim... Prime Minister of Games. A position he will hold for 17 years and relinquish only as he falls. Prime Minister of Games Jim "Urquhart" Sterling.

Magmarock:
I hate all online DRM because NOT EVERYONE HAS THE INTERNET nor should they. I remember when Half Life 2 came out and not being able to play because I couldn't get the net. I could afford the PC but not the net at the time. Also if my modem or connection goes the last thing that I want to go with is my games.

Don't get my wrong I love my internet and can't imagine life without it, but at times it's not always there, and having a PC without internet is like having a burger without meat, but at least I can still play games on it right.

I feel that once I buy something it's mines to use without the publishers permission.

This is basically what I was going to say since it's my main gripe with this 'always online' business. I'm no PC gamer (this will change one of these days) but being from Australia the internet here is, while adequate, not reliable, especially when it comes to the complications of gaming servers. It's the implications of the future that will directly inconvenience my gaming life, trampling onto my preference for single player games even.

Thank you, Jim, for so clearly expressing why what EA has done is a bad thing. Explanation is the difference between whinging and complaining, and you've hit the nail on the head.

All too often we (gamers) lose sight of why any one particular business practice by a games publisher is bad. Even when we suspect it is bad, if can be hard to know when. I've debated on these forums before about the pros and cons of digital distribution platforms, but had real difficulty drawing out why some things are bad when talking to people with whom I disagreed in part.

It is really refreshing to hear a case well put.
1. EA's DRM requiring a constant internet connection is bad because...
2. EA demand constant connection with a service that not everyone uses in the same way and because...
3. The "service" provided is constantly and predictably dysfunctional.

'If a game demands that we always be online solely for its benefit, it should damn fucking well always be online for ours.'
How could you argue with that?

Zachary Amaranth:

Waffle_Man:
People have been saying that the video games industry has been headed for a crash for years. They usually would bring up the problem of video games being mostly derivative and repetitive garbage. I'd usually remain skeptical of these claims, but as DRM and companies blatently punishing the consumer becomes more and more of the focus, I can't help but agree.

You should continue your skepticism.

Believe me, I am.

The video games industry hasn't gone past a point of no return, but if you had told me just five years ago about some of the video game controversies of today, I wouldn't have believed it. I used to be skeptical of complaints of the past because they were vague and unqualified, as well as economically unsound. People used to complain about stuff like "games are getting worse and worse." Really though, companies have been mostly marketing stuff that people will buy, and stuff like crowd funding and more established indie developers have started to fill in the market void that big companies have left unfilled. I'm sure that people would continue buying new call of duties indefinitely if allowed to and I see nothing wrong with it.

Now, both the aforementioned DRM issues that we've come across, as well as the lesser touched on issue of budget inflation, we are seeing companies engage in very risky and concretely unsustainable business practices. It's kind of hard to argue about the games industry going out of of business because of bad design when people they are being sold more are more. What can be argued objectively is that if customers buy a game that they are physically unable to play, it doesn't matter how "low" their standards are.

People have started talking a lot of shit about valve lately, and some of it is very justified, but is it really that hard to understand why people are so in love with them right now?

Valve is beloved for the same reason they were when their client was a clunky, obtrusive piece of crap. You may have never had a problem playing a game offline, but I have, and so have others. "It never happened to me" is the kind of thing that demonstrates why anecdotes aren't really worth much. Meanwhile, EA takes shit for stuff they practically copied off of Valve, so I'm kind of glad to see people stop fellating Valve at this point. They've got a free ride for too long.

I'm not about to defend valve for some of the shit that they do. I refused to use steam when it first came out for various reason, and I still think all of them are true. The point was more to say that things are bad because valve does pretty much just a the base line of what you'd expect from a company, with a few good and bad things that balance each other out, but people treat it like it's some sort of saintly thing that they are doing. I also never made mention of Origin, because I don't consider it that much worse than steam as a service (steam makes far more from a pricing standpoint though, since deals are the only reason I ever started using the service.)

My concern was more along the lines of comparing it to the always on services that companies have been pushing lately. I guess I should have emphasis the "because of internet connection part" because I have had trouble launching steam games. However, I still think that it's worth recognizing that if my steam collection wants me to constantly verify the cache before launching, it's a problem that I can ask someone to help me fix. If I can't get an ubisoft game to work, not because I'm not connected to the internet, but because my isp is preventing me from connecting, I get told "tough shit." The distinction should be obvious.

What they aren't ignorant of is a loss in revenue, which at this point is going to happen.

Regarding SimCity, or in general? Because if it's the former, then no. Last I looked, SimCity is ne of Amazon's top sellers even after being DE-LISTED. If it's the latter, then when? Because people have been singing that tune for years, now, and it hasn't happened.

I'm sure that EA has probably made it's money back on SimCity by now. However, is someone who buys SimCity and left unable to play it going to be a repeat customer. To be economically successful, a company has to have repeat customers. Again, people had complaining about big companies for years, but I generally tuned them out because a lot of it was just serving a different audience. I used to always tune out complaints about DRM because the majority of users weren't affected by it. Now, it's gotten to the point where two different games within a year of each other where the DRM issues went from a user experience issue for the majority of users to a major usability issue. Having a product with an annoyance does far less to erode a customer base than a product that strait up doesn't work.

I'm not picturing a riot of organized players actively boycotting the games industry. I'm picturing a bunch of unconnected people giving up on games that they would have wanted to play, but just can't justify buying.

I think your vid is just a bit late, and I think everyones outrage waited far too long as well. It's a good summary of whats already been said though. I'm sure this could reach more people, but a lot of the EA defenders don't care for anyone else as long as it works for them, which is what I see a lot of unfortunately.

I love how I hear about all this new technology bringing new potential, but instead it's being made as something we have to rely on and make things less convenient, as well as sometimes ripping off the customer. I was hoping the future would provide more options, instead I see terrible business practices over and over. I shouldn't have to do bloody research to see if new releases have annoying DRM and other shit! Fuck these greedy assholes!

I long for the Jim Sterling that had the balls to say casual gamers were better consumers than "hardcore" gamers. Now that he's got a web series, he's just become a mouthpiece for everything everyone else on the internet is already saying. Yes, thank GOD we have Jim to tell us SimCity sucked and EA was a bad company, cause NO ONE else had the guts to voice that particular controversy. Goddamn, there's being current and then there's just making a video based on whatever's hot on the forums.

Jim's been on a roll recently.

BTW every time someone like Pachter wants to talk about piracy from there high horse I can't not think about how fucking greedy these publishers are. As if fairness or providing the value they should is ever a concern for them.

Question: WHY are the first two weeks so important for sales?

https://twitter.com/simcity/status/310490053803646976

I thought it might be interesting that Maxis takes the full blame and says the DRM is not the fault of EA. I wonder why they would take the blame?

Is it bad before watching the video I thought of the Chinese food guy from South park >.>

EA and other publishers are incapable of thinking that their sales are dropping merely because their games are bad. No it must be piracy and used games that are to blame. So they introduce crippling DRM account registrations along with all the rest and in the end provide a service that is far worse than the one you can get for free. They are naive enough to think they can ever permanently beat back the pirates. They obviously think their consumers are the sheeple that will eat up anything they throw at them and do what their told so why would they try and improve their crappy games.

Jim! I love your theatrical hyperbole in this one. Very well done. I was looking forward for you to tear into this issue like bloody rare steak.

I have to disagree with you on this one Jim I dont think EA did this intentionally as some sort of master fuck people over plan remember never attribute to malice what can be aducately explained by stupidy. Still great episode and your right about waiting it has saved me alot of money.

This is a server issue, and EA being unprepared despite the Diablo 3 fiasco. Everyone knew it was going to happen this way. I may not be fond of Always-On DRM, but so long as it's made incredibly clear that it's a requirement of the game it becomes just another PC Requirement.

That said, it does mean that the company had DAMN WELL BETTER have servers that can support the fucking game. That was the failure here. Or as Jim put it "If a game demands that we always be online, solely for its benefit, it should damn well fucking always be online for ours"

dbenoy:
This sort of DRM is the solution to "piracy". It's the only truly effective scheme. They take a significant chunk of the game (in this case, the actual town simulation algorithms), and don't actually give it to you in the box. They keep that part on their own servers where they can control it.

No way to 'crack' that. Perfect protection from copying.

1 - The calculations aren't done server side, they are all actually on your computer.
2 - Pirates are not your customers, so don't design your game around them.
3 - If I buy the game, Do not saddle me with DRM designed to keep pirates at bay. I am not a pirate by the simple fact that I bought your game!
4 - Piracy is not a problem. It is a scapegoat.

I think the only thing keeping EA from being lashed out against in the most powerful ways are the beloved smaller publishers they have still screaming to get out in their bloated belly. I know that's what stops me most times. Thing is, they are never going to be regurgitated and we all know it - but we can still see their faces pressing through the flesh and it prevents us striking the beast in the heart. A dire dilemma.

It should be noted that less than 13 hours after this game was released there was an operable, but not entirely functional, crack that allowed more gameplay than the release itself had for most gamers. That entirely aside if it is EA's intention to do everything they can to avert piracy then the quickest and most efficient way to do that is to make games that people want to pay for, I don't have any statistics to hand because I don't happen to be in possession of a large team of interns with more time than sense but I'm reasonably certain that if a game is good enough the regardless of price piracy won't be an issue for _most_ gamers. You'll always have a few who pirate, if not a few thousand, and who'll do it no matter what kind of protection you throw onto it those few will still find a way and its just a matter of time.

I'm probably repeating a good number of posters here but the point still stands, right now you can be damn sure I'd pay good money to see Alpha Centauri get a decent update to work on something like steam with all the multiplayer goodness that entails. But I'd rather not pay anything for the piece of garbage that was Civ V, until I see a very good sale offer that is.

OT: I see someone has been watching "House of Cards" :D

Aircross:
Scumbag EA:

Says always online is needed to play the game due to calculations being done on servers.

Calculations for city building are done client side.

I'm glad I didn't get it.

*installs Sim City 3000 Unlimited and Sim City 4*

That is exactly what I did as well. I just popped in my copy of SC4 and went to town on that bad boy...oh, and guess what? It worked and I was offline the entire time I played it!

This is the first thing I thought of when I saw this:
"(The) Customer always gets that really big smile, as the businessman carefully positions himself directly behind the customer, and unzips his pants, and proceeds to service...the...account. I am servicing this account. This customer needs service. Now you know what they mean. Now you know what they mean when they say, "We specialize in customer service." Whoever coined the phrase "let the buyer beware" was probably bleeding from the asshole. That's business." -George Carlin

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