Electronic Arts Disables "Non-Critical" SimCity Features - UPDATED

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Capitano Segnaposto:

I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Yeah, we know how hard that is since it's never been done and won't be for a long time. The once most popular online game of all time, WoW, was famous for having 12 million subscribers. Now, League of Legends is claiming that #1 online game spot, boasting 32 million players active monthly and a peak of 3 million concurrent players.

The day a game reaches hundreds of millions of players online at once is still a ways off.

Capitano Segnaposto:

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

That's the entire point:

Who knows better than us how complex it is to set up servers for SimCity properly?
-Maxis and EA.
Who's responsible for the online infrastructure not being up to snuff on launch day?
-Maxis and EA.
And you know what's easier than all of that?
-Letting people play offline
.

If EA are going to force people to always be online to play their game, then people should be able to expect EA to always be online for them. Especially since, you know, they're the ones paying EA.

And all for what? An MMO? Battlefield? Nope! It's fucking SimCity!

You know what's nice when you don't have internet access? A couple custom matches in Starcr- oh wait. How about a clearing a couple dungeons or a boss in Diabl- oh wait. Well, you can always just build yourself a city in SimCi- OH WAIT, APPARENTLY ALL THIS SHIT NEEDS TO BE ONLINE NOW...

Atmos Duality:
So get this. That Adrian person/whatever...isn't wrong or misrepresenting company policy at all.

https://help.ea.com/article/returns-and-cancellations

Relevant text

EA's Policy:
What is your refund policy for PC digital downloads?
Unfortunately, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin. EA reserves the right, however, to offer refunds under exceptional circumstances at its sole discretion.

That is highly questionable, to say the least.
Caveat emptor.

It's not great, granted. But tell me, does Valve offer refunds on any product downloaded through Steam? I know about the Day Z thing, but that was A) an exceptional circumstance, and B) done at their discretion.

Desert Punk:
And just think, all of this could have been avoided if they hadnt introduced pants on head retarded DRM

But they need that always online DRM so that everyone has access to the scoreboards and... oh wait.

Watching the release of Simcity burn to the ground as EA tries to put the fires out by dousing it in gasoline is providing me with more entertainment than a game ever could. It's like some sort of modernist art demonstration about corporate idiocy.

Sometimes I feel guilty for coming down so hard on EA, but then they do make it so damn easy!

thebobmaster:

It's not great, granted. But tell me, does Valve offer refunds on any product downloaded through Steam? I know about the Day Z thing, but that was A) an exceptional circumstance, and B) done at their discretion.

Steam has a similar policy, and why I try to avoid games that require Steam exclusively.
https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=8360-WEJC-2625#refund

A problem that becomes worse when it's a purchase for an online-only game, and the online-component is in bedlam.

Atmos Duality:

thebobmaster:

It's not great, granted. But tell me, does Valve offer refunds on any product downloaded through Steam? I know about the Day Z thing, but that was A) an exceptional circumstance, and B) done at their discretion.

Steam has a similar policy, and why I try to avoid games that require Steam exclusively.
https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=8360-WEJC-2625#refund

A problem that becomes worse when it's a purchase for an online-only game, and the online-component is in bedlam.

Fair enough. I just wanted to make sure you were aware that this policy is not just an EA thing. I have nothing against people sticking to their guns over something they are against. Where the problem comes in is when people complain about EA doing something that Valve has been doing for a while without complaint, just because they think Valve is better than EA.

I just want you know, life over here in "I've never dealt with Origin and I don't purchase EA products" is going very well.

Eventually, the market will learn. EA's long, protracted, bloated death will come sooner or later. I'm keen to be patient, while playing good games made by respectable developers.

KeyMaster45:

Jove:

KeyMaster45:
Sadly they won't, if anything they'll find a way to blame their customers for everything.

Don't forget the inevitable "IT'S ALL PIRACY! DAMN YOU GREEDY PEASANTS!".

In a perfect world nobody would bother trying to crack it just so EA would be forced to stand there like a dumb-ass and struggle to come up with an excuse for why it does poorly.

Questioner: EA, we just got word that your game "Sim City" is now proclaimed as a total failure in both sales, and by critics from reviewers and consumers. Any thoughts about this?

EA: Just peasants being peasants as always. Them being poor and their piracy. *twirls Scottish salesmen mustache*

Questioner: But sir, it's been reported already that their have been ZERO attempts by anybody cracking or pirating the game. One hardcore pirater even made a statement earlier, quote "This game sucks so much balls, and has so much crap over it, that it's simply not even worth looking at, lettle alone pirating it" un-quote.

EA: When I said piracy, I meant Used Games. Heh, their pretty much the same thing now a days. Those peasants and their constant looking to buy used sh-

Questioner: But sir, Sim City is a PC digital download only game, how is buying Sim City used even possible?

EA: ...http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8jpNcAQKQO8

thebobmaster:

Atmos Duality:
So get this. That Adrian person/whatever...isn't wrong or misrepresenting company policy at all.

https://help.ea.com/article/returns-and-cancellations

Relevant text

EA's Policy:
What is your refund policy for PC digital downloads?
Unfortunately, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin. EA reserves the right, however, to offer refunds under exceptional circumstances at its sole discretion.

That is highly questionable, to say the least.
Caveat emptor.

It's not great, granted. But tell me, does Valve offer refunds on any product downloaded through Steam? I know about the Day Z thing, but that was A) an exceptional circumstance, and B) done at their discretion.

There's another rather sizeable part to this equation that seems to get missed a lot in these conversations. It isn't simply what a company's policies are, but how they employ those policies. In my very long time with Steam, I only ever felt the need to ask for a refund once. In my very short time with Origin, it happened twice. In the case of Steam, my request was granted. In the cases of Origin, neither was granted.

Valve has earned great goodwill from me by providing me an immense amount of hassle free gaming, and so I do not have to run afoul of any Valve policy I might find problematic. EA on the other hand has garnered no such goodwill because of the lack of quality gaming I've had on the platform mixed with how they employ those exact same policies. It may be true that EA and Valve even have the exact same language in their TOS, but this doesn't matter to me in the least so long as my overall experience with one is positive and the other a constant headache.

Of course I would never begrudge anyone their opinion of the two companies if their own experiences were reversed. However based on the usual flotilla of hate launched EA's way, I can only guess that many have had the same sort of experiences I have had.

Capitano Segnaposto:

Bernzz:
I am in shock.

Nobody saw this coming, especially after Diablo 3's stellar launch.

Oh wait.

I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

Sure it's hard, but EA must have known this thing would happen but they decided to go with DRM anyway. I sincerely cannot understand the logic of those guys 'we will get lots of bad press, our reputation among customers will be undermined... f*uck it, launch the DRM!'

I'm just eating my vinegar popcorn while watching this wonderful, wonderful commotion.
I'm not going to press my luck, but I hope whatever 'reputation' EA gains from this be impossible to get rid of, unless they actually start treating their customers well.

thebobmaster:

Fair enough. I just wanted to make sure you were aware that this policy is not just an EA thing. I have nothing against people sticking to their guns over something they are against. Where the problem comes in is when people complain about EA doing something that Valve has been doing for a while without complaint, just because they think Valve is better than EA.

Bringing up Steam is something of a Strawman to my original point, since this was more about discussing what Origin's policy was and why people are not guaranteed a refund (quite the opposite, really); however, I do believe that your point has further merit as a word of caution given the changing reality of the gaming business.

I do not dispute that while Valve has earned their largely positive reputation, however, they have implemented a number of changes to their EULA and policy that makes me doubt their goodwill towards customers will continue indefinitely and why I have taken a more passive stance when the tired Origin vs Steam argument is brought up.

To butcher an analogy:
If you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will jump out immediately, but if you put a frog into lukewarm water, and slowly heat it up, it will gladly tolerate it till death.

Desert Punk:

Agreed, and you know the "Servers cost moneys!" excuse doesnt even fly, because its not like EA wouldnt be able to find another use for a few less than used servers after the launch rush was over.

Plus, you know what else costs money? Games. Like the one that a ton of people paid for and can't play.

Well, this is a slap to the face to everyone who say "Get better internet" to people that dislike always online drm.

Just like Diablo 3 was.

Mcoffey:
I like that their always-on DRM bullshit causing EA grief, but I am dismayed at the same time because it means that a lot of people bought it.

EA, with their unending Tunnel Vision that can only see the bottom line, will see the massive sales and think "Okay, gamers don't care if the game is always online and has microtransactions. I guess we'll make that mandatory for everything now! Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk!" They don't care if people are unhappy with the product, they paid a non-refundable sum (Just because they said "you can ask for" a refund, doesn't mean they'll give you one, because they wont).

Ugh.

It doesn't matter what they say, some places have laws that require them to refund a faulty product.

OT: its unfortuent that its come to this, buying a game on launch is worse than waiting for a discount. EA has turned economy on its head and not in its favor.

Capitano Segnaposto:

Bernzz:
I am in shock.

Nobody saw this coming, especially after Diablo 3's stellar launch.

Oh wait.

I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

If EA wants to use a system like this then they should have been prepared for this eventuality, clearly they weren't. I agree, not easy, but if you want to do something like this then be prepared.

Oh, look, all of the features that forced multiplayer and online capabilities were supposed to support had to be disabled, because the servers were unable to handle the load of.....THE GAMES THEY KNEW THEY WERE EXPECTING TO SELL.

At this rate we could get our money back if we sell memberships to the "failed online" club. The floor is paved with the shattered remnants of all the claims that online only is the way of the future.

Btw, did anybody notice how fucking obnoxious the kid in the SC commercial was?

EA guess what! I have a solution for you that is WAY cheaper than getting more servers and such. Patch out the DRM, like now. Just do it.

What? Always online DRM causes server overload and people can't play? This never happened before!!!

Is anybody really surprised? What should be surprising is that so many people bought it in the first place. I wonder if it was mostly due to people not knowing about it, not caring, or being too overhyped about a new SimCity game.

At least when it happened to Ubisoft, they toned it down to just checking with the server when starting the game and when exiting. I think they completely disabled it for some of their games.

Yeah, I'm not celebrating here. Sim City 2000 was one of my all-time favorite games, and although I really didn't like its immediate sequel, to see this happen to the franchise... it's kinda sickening.

Capitano Segnaposto:

Bernzz:
I am in shock.

Nobody saw this coming, especially after Diablo 3's stellar launch.

Oh wait.

I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

Are you being sarcastic with the hundreds of millions thing? I honestly can't tell.

PS: BTW I am not being sarcastic with this post.

PPS: That last statement also was not sarcasm.

Another fuck up in a long line of fuck ups. All there is to do is watch the ruckus
and be sure to keep my vow to never ever buy anything from this company again.

KelDG:

Capitano Segnaposto:

Bernzz:
I am in shock.

Nobody saw this coming, especially after Diablo 3's stellar launch.

Oh wait.

I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

Are you being sarcastic with the hundreds of millions thing? I honestly can't tell.

PS: BTW I am not being sarcastic with this post.

PPS: That last statement also was not sarcasm.

What about that last last statement, was that?

Capitano Segnaposto:

Bernzz:
I am in shock.

Nobody saw this coming, especially after Diablo 3's stellar launch.

Oh wait.

I love how people can't seem to wrap their heads around how hard it is to organize, set-up, protect, and keep hundreds of millions of people on servers at once.

Nope. It is all easy. Simple as flipping a switch.

/facedesk

Try "a few million", at most. And perhaps they should have thought of that beforehand.

thebobmaster:

Atmos Duality:
So get this. That Adrian person/whatever...isn't wrong or misrepresenting company policy at all.

https://help.ea.com/article/returns-and-cancellations

Relevant text

EA's Policy:
What is your refund policy for PC digital downloads?
Unfortunately, EA does not offer refunds on any products downloaded through Origin. EA reserves the right, however, to offer refunds under exceptional circumstances at its sole discretion.

That is highly questionable, to say the least.
Caveat emptor.

It's not great, granted. But tell me, does Valve offer refunds on any product downloaded through Steam? I know about the Day Z thing, but that was A) an exceptional circumstance, and B) done at their discretion.

I think gamers gate is the only one who takes returns NQA on digital products within a certain time.

Gorrath:

I don't understand the reasoning here. If a company insists on selling their games as a service instead of a product, the difficulty of that business model is not a valid defense for incompetence. EA made the design decisions here and should be held fully accountable for delivering the promised product when it is purchased, not at some later, unspecified date with several features still missing. What's worse is blaming the paying customers for being upset about the situation, as if their expectation of a working service is somehow unreasonable. My inability to grasp the difficult logistics of running a restaurant should in now way preclude me from complaining that my food was served cold, three hours after I ordered it, with half the meal missing.

Thank you. You have written in text exactly what has been bouncing around my head while reading all these threads. I really do not understand people defending this mess. It is as if they have already given up on hoping to be treated well, and are quite happy and enthusiastic to defend being treated like crap. I really don't get the attitude.

Companies don't want to buy servers for the release week that wont be utilized for the rest of the year. With this happening for the Majority of popular games that utilize this always on DRM people need to realize that they are not buying a working product, they aren't even buying a product, they are basically renting. Everyone should boycott games that use this type of DRM.

I wont be buying this and as someone who will be responsible for selling this and other games I'll be sure to inform consumers about what they're buying if they are looking at these games.

And the train-wreck continues...

I wonder if EA are going to learn from all this.

Sim City Limited edition: Now even more limited!

Sorry, just had to get it out. This whole debaucle is just so tragic, it's funny, even for me who preordered the game.

Heeey! In before someone said

SimFailure!

Sooo...I guess we're learning what kind of a bank-buster it is now to try and keep out the pesky pirates who wouldn't bother pirating if you weren't trying to keep out the pesky pirates and just make a good game. Eh? Eh?

Wow, it's like shooting fish in a barrel here!

Remember when we all defended piracy?
Remember when we all pirated stuff because we could even though we had the money or at least the ability to make the money? Remember how none of you are really poor enough to justify piracy if you have a computer and internet to begin with? remember how spoiled this culture has become?

I don't buy any single player game with this always online restriction, hence I don't have to deal with this. Still, I can't help but enjoy how you self entitled "consumers" act like this is completely out of left field.

Remember how people reacted to spore because you had to call a number if you installed the game 3 different times? They pirated the game to a massive degree.

I'll defend piracy and free exchange of data to the day I die but I'm not going to pretend like anti piracy tactics are somehow unprovoked or uncalled for. EA doesn't "want" to make money, it's a corporation meaning it's LEGALLY OBLIGATED to do whatever they can to maximize profit. Don't like it? Then stop whining about it online and tackle (or at least whine about) the root of the problem, the entire corporate culture.

Atmos Duality:

Bringing up Steam is something of a Strawman to my original point, since this was more about discussing what Origin's policy was and why people are not guaranteed a refund (quite the opposite, really); however, I do believe that your point has further merit as a word of caution given the changing reality of the gaming business.

Steam probably didn't need to be brought up related to the initial point, I'd agree.

However, I also agree with the changing game business notion.

This brings up a further point, though. The number of people who buy digital services and expect them to be treated as goods instead, despite agreeing to EULAs that say otherwise and repeated demonstration by the companies as o how they feel about it....We may not like it, but it's reality. The best idea would be to stop buying them if you want the right to refund or exchange, as the gaming industry has made it clear that they treat them as services. You have no guarantee of continued service, no guarantee of refund, and not even a guarantee of functionality.

This should probably be illegal, and I doubt it'd hold up long in court. Still, until then, people have the information before them and at this point, people should know better. While I don't advocate companies pulling this sort of thing, we know it's happenings. In other words:

Caveat emptor.

A little bit of something from Amazon's 5-star page concerning this game:

I want anyone reading these reviews to notice one thing, nothing bad is being said about the game. Yes they screwed up the launch but I guarantee you this server issue will be fixed in a couple days and now a franchise will suffer over impatient entitled people.

*incoming language*

Entitled people? When the fuck are people not entitled to a product/service they just recently paid for?! Or paid for it in advance? If people can't play their goddamned game because of EA's in-fucking-competence, then yes, then those people are entitled to be pissed and do their damnedest to warn others to keep their money in their banks instead of giving it to EA. Blizzard and Diablo 3 basically made the template on how not to launch an always-on DRM game, yet Maxis and EA fucked it up something fierce! To be honest, I'm glad this title is getting zero-bombed in Amazon and Metacritic, and I hope it hits them where it hurts worst -- their wallets.

Excellent. Maybe this will make people think twice about purchasing games with always online DRM in the future.

Yeah right, who am I kidding. People will still come back for more even after this debacle. No self control whatsoever when they could get a shiny new game.

Jove:

KeyMaster45:
Sadly they won't, if anything they'll find a way to blame their customers for everything.

Don't forget the inevitable "IT'S ALL PIRACY! DAMN YOU GREEDY PEASANTS!".

image
I weep for humanity every day this image remains relevant...

Companies will never see how DRM only works against the paying customer.

It does give a whole new meaning to 'justifiable piracy'. Or at least, 'try before you buy'. As another poster in another thread said - 'I wait a month before buying any new game, so they sort out the issues and bugs [sic]'

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