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

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And here I am, holding my very own CD-case of SimCity2000, inserting the disc softly into the drive.
I see the installation screen pop up, the whole thing finished in no time,
and a few seconds later I can already see SimCity how I know and love it.
And while I setup my game, I silently whisper with honest joy:
"suckersssssss..."

As someone who never had Origin and doesn't plan to ever use it,
I can safely say that I am one of the happiest people on this planet : D!
(also I feel kinda sorry for EA: for years now it behaves insanely suicidal.
I think it's time for it to get some therapy and/or medication.
Depression is serious business and must not be left untreated.)

Ok, apart from my schadenfreude: who didn't see this coming? Why didn't Riccitiello see this coming??

Couldn't help laughing when I checked metacritic:
image
That said, skipping out on a proper stress test weekend before release is just insane.

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

I don't think any ever thought it was easy, but when every major release that requires people to be online to play is essentially unplayable for the first week or more, the question comes up as to just how much forethought went into this.

Are these companies just not planning for this properly? Are they not allocating enough resources because they know they won't need as many after a few weeks?

Perhaps more concerning: Is this a necessary evil of Always On DRM? If so, is the bad will these companies are generating worth the potential money the DRM is making for them?

I think those are the questions most people are asking, not "Oh this shit's easy, why is EA so stupid?"

If it were easy, this wouldn't happen every time. The guy you quoted was basically saying the same thing. Didn't EA learn a lesson by watching D3? Or was all they learned that people will still buy products with always on DRM?

Players will now be able to play the game seamlessly as intended, with the minor deduction of not being able to build any buildings.

GAunderrated:

porous_shield:

Genocidicles:
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.

Yeah, they are like sheep. Plenty of game launches have had problems and yet people still preorder and support terrible DRM schemes.

It is because most people are insane. They keep hating these practices yet they expect things to change while supporting these horrible practices. That is full on insanity.

If the market changes to always on DRM with pay up front, pay for DLC, pay for microtransactions to be competitive, and fuel the fire then gamers have no one to blame but ourselves for our lack of willpower.

This just fits too well.

Strazdas:
The biggest problem with this: yet you all STILL bought it.

Hey! I sure didn't buy it (I don't play SimCity). Been having too much fun jumping around as a ball of meat looking for band-aids and shooting Chimera with alien guns to do such a thing. :P

On a serious note, I get your point. However, don't assume that everyone bought it or buys every game that even holds a remote bit of interest in them. The last EA game I got that wasn't for the PS2 is Battlefield 3, and that only because it was a birthday present and I refuse to be an ass to a family member for giving me something, especially when they knew enough about my gripes with the game to not get me the PC version. This was back in November, btw.

My main point here is that not everyone did an A:CM and bought the game before they actually knew what they were getting into, it's just that those who play SimCity games and refused to buy this game so early are the vast minority.

Steven Bogos:
The cheetah mode thing is a BIG DEAL by the way. At the early stage, you have a pretty slow cash flow, so you need to speed the game up to get some cash. This essentially makes you wait around more. It basically just makes the game less fun overall

I figured that'd be the case. It's amazing how much of the game they have to shave off just to get it working adequately. Bethesda games are more stable than this, by the sound of it.

008Zulu:
The always on DRM seems to be working out a treat for EA. Still, I suppose that's good news for us the consumers. All it takes is a screw up like this (and lets face it, a few more) to convince the industry it's a bad idea. At least we get to chant "We told you so!" when the company comes out and admits it was a bad idea.

Since when does a game company care about the concerns of the product (and yes that is what us consumers are, the product) over the concerns of the shareholders. As far as the shareholders are concerned, SimCity has sold like hotcakes and is nothing but a success.

image

I can't help but feel it's the latest in a long string of extremely questionable design choices, among other things.

Perhaps the old ship is finally showing she's not seaworthy anymore.

We're getting more glitches now; the readouts for things like water, power and pollution just bugged up so I have no idea what's adequate or not. Guess I'll have to come back to it. Again.

kebab4you:
Couldn't help laughing when I checked metacritic:
image
That said, skipping out on a proper stress test weekend before release is just insane.

Its lower than that,

A reviewer LOWERED their score MULTIPLE times. Metacritic doesn't want to update anything beyond the first review.

Polygon is now a 4/10, lowered from 8/10, and lowered from 9.5/10.

So its MUCH lower than 79, it would be somewhere is the 60s right now.

I would LOVE a horrible, scathing Escapist review.

I have an easy 5 second fix for this problem.

Remove the DRM and let me run the game on my own PC. I did not invest money in this thing so I could play streamed footage from some crappy serverfarm miles away. It could be so easy. Just don't put your dick in the salad EA, but no. You just had to do it.

The allure of forcibly tying millions of people to Origin in the hopes that they will stay and buy every single nickle and dime piece of shit DLC you release was too tempting! So you made a singleplayer game into a multiplayer game and made it always Online.

Now you are being slapped with refund requests. Stores are refusing to sell this game because they know their customers will be back demanding refunds. The game itself has a queue a mile long. People can't connect to their friends games leaving entire regions basically filled with useless unmanned cities. Cities get WIPED off the map thanks to corruption (because remember you can't save your cities) and a host of other problems.

I hope you are happy EA. You just had to go and put your dick in the salad and gamers everywhere rewarded you with a game that sold so well it caused all these problems.

I say it's pretty much an all around lose for everyone who cared about this game. Past Tense.

How do you cut game features before you cut the game-breaking DRM? What sense does that make?

Ultratwinkie:

kebab4you:
Couldn't help laughing when I checked metacritic:
image
That said, skipping out on a proper stress test weekend before release is just insane.

Its lower than that,

A reviewer LOWERED their score MULTIPLE times. Metacritic doesn't want to update anything beyond the first review.

Polygon is now a 4/10, lowered from 8/10, and lowered from 9.5/10.

So its MUCH lower than 79, it would be somewhere is the 60s right now.

I would LOVE a horrible, scathing Escapist review.

Holy shit, lower than 60 probobly, cheat CC lowered their review down to a 4/10, too bad Metacritic is dropping the ball

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

It is very easy: Just don't make Online a requirement, but rather an option, and these problems wouldn't be an issue at all.

And yet another PC title I was greatly looking forward to that I wont be playing, not for any reason relating to the gameplay itself, but because of shit business practices. It really is the most frustrating thing in the world to read page after page after page of people bitching about problems with DRM but that are willing to support it by buying the games that use it. Here's a clue, THE COMPANIES THAT MAKE THESE GAMES DON'T GIVE 2 SHITS WHAT YOU THINK. ALL THEY CARE ABOUT IS WHAT YOU ARE WILLING TO SPEND MONEY ON! If there is ever to be any change then people need to start learning to speak with their wallets. I would have thought that more gamers would have learned something from Diablo 3 but apparently I gave them too much credit.

I was contemplating buying Sim City but when I read those 3 little letters ("DRM") a really loud alarm bell went off in my head (although that might have been my tinnitus flaring up).

Several years ago, I purchased Mass Effect 2. It was a brand new copy that I paid money for and didn't steal. However when I came to play the game, I fell victim to the much-reported "CD-KEY" issue that had struck so many people - I suppose that'll teach me to do more research!

Quite cross, I emailed EA Customer Service and got the expected "sorry for your problems, we are working on it" line. They also asked for a copy of my proof of purchase. That was fair enough, I thought - they don't know me from Adam and I wouldn't just expect them to take my word for it so I provided what was asked for.

And got no reply for 3 days. During that time I was pointed to a site which had made a "No-DVD" hack that bypassed the problem and allowed me to play the game. Despite this, I was still miffed at EA's lack of response so I sent them another email, to which I got the same repsonse - "We are working on it, very sorry, yadda-yadda-yadda..."

Another week passes with nothing. I am enjoying the game so I get some of the DLC, which when installed resulted in the CD-KEY error returning so I had to re-apply the hack. Fed up, I sent an email complaining of their lack of interest and flat-out told them I was using the hack. Did they respond? Did they fark!!!

Even though ME3 played just fine, despite my misgivings, I remained weary of EA and their DRM-related BS. I'm sorry to hear that so many people who bought the game have been so comprehensively screwed-over but I kinda saw this coming.

All I can say is that, when / if EA run themselves into the ground due to their money-grubbing ways, I will be very disappointed if there is not a rousing chorus of "Na-na-naaa-na! E-A! Good-bye!"

You know although this is being likened to the D3 launch there's a point of scale here. It took waaaaaaaaaaay more people to break the D3 servers. I mean we can safely agree that there were more people jumping to play D3 than SimCity.

As for this lovely DRM crapfest. No sense complaining about them, just speak the language that they'll understand. You see a single player game that requires an always on connection... don't buy it. Seriously. If you buy it and complain it doesn't matter to them they already have your money.

Of course the elephant is the room really is, what happens when the company decides to pull the server. I'm not even sure that should be even legal, it'd be like your car dealership shutting down your car permanently because they no longer want to support that particular year make and model of car.

Seriously, the beauty of buying a game is that some years later or months later you can go back and play through and have fun.

Capitano Segnaposto:
Snip

In another thread you asked me why this game was a failure.
I guess this about covers it.

On a side note, alot more people will probably ask for refunds but you can say for certain that if they dumped this complete BS DRM they would have sold more.

Edit;

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.

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

/facedesk

Hey!, its you again. Actually got your name in that first quote from another thread.

Anyway.

Nobody said it was easy, but see if you can wrap your head around this;

it's their fucking JOB

If the developer / publisher / whatever decides, against all forms of logic to put DRM in the game, at least make sure the bloody thing works (This comes back to the whole its their JOB part) Or remove it completely

When thinking of who to blame, make sure to spare a thought for the men and woman who gave EA money to purchase this game. "You get what you pay for." Capitalism works only if the consumer's spending is discretionary.

Person321:
How do you cut game features before you cut the game-breaking DRM? What sense does that make?

In the world of business where you know branding is the most important thing in the world.

V da Mighty Taco:

GAunderrated:

porous_shield:

Yeah, they are like sheep. Plenty of game launches have had problems and yet people still preorder and support terrible DRM schemes.

It is because most people are insane. They keep hating these practices yet they expect things to change while supporting these horrible practices. That is full on insanity.

If the market changes to always on DRM with pay up front, pay for DLC, pay for microtransactions to be competitive, and fuel the fire then gamers have no one to blame but ourselves for our lack of willpower.

This just fits too well.

Ha you are right about that! I will forever love Farcry3 for that scene but most people just look at it as entertainment scene instead of the nugget of truth it really represents.

All of these gamers going on their favorite websites and bashing these practices, all these boycott groups, all these petitions are useless because many people who are the most angry still bought the game and so the change they say they want will never come because they support these horrible practices.

When you really start to think about all the common trends gamers catch themselves doing, you find out that millions of people are by definition insane.

However, if you buy a game no matter what because you are a true fan of the series then more power too you. I support your choice to spend your money how you want. If you are kicking and screaming about how awful these business practices are and that you want them to stop this crap but you still bought the game anyways regardless of what excuse you throw, I am sorry but you should take a hard look at yourself because you are insane.

Sean Strife:

dragongit:
Please enjoy your always on DRM, and micro transactions. Leader boards and other minor services will be released as future DLC. A functioning game will be released as an expansion: It wont be a new game, it'll just work.

Seriously, I just read that they are blocking people who ask for refunds and other stupid crap. I'm surprised if EA still had legs, I've lost count on how many times they've shot their own feet.

*snip*

You mean stuff like this?

I went through bullshit like this yesterday with EA's online support, unfortunately forgot to save my conversation, but I was told that I was denied a refund because my reason wasn't valid, and actually quoted that same EA forum's thread.

Person321:
How do you cut game features before you cut the game-breaking DRM? What sense does that make?

Perfect sense. You just don't have to care about the game.

V da Mighty Taco:

dragongit:
Please enjoy your always on DRM, and micro transactions. Leader boards and other minor services will be released as future DLC. A functioning game will be released as an expansion: It wont be a new game, it'll just work.

Seriously, I just read that they are blocking people who ask for refunds and other stupid crap. I'm surprised if EA still had legs, I've lost count on how many times they've shot their own feet.

Falcon123:
So, no word yet on how they justify threatening to ban people's accounts for trying to claim the refund EA offered? Awesome. I'm so glad EA are such good guys like CliffyB said. Otherwise, everyone involved in this wreck would look REALLY dumb and at least a little evil...

Sean Strife:

dragongit:
Please enjoy your always on DRM, and micro transactions. Leader boards and other minor services will be released as future DLC. A functioning game will be released as an expansion: It wont be a new game, it'll just work.

Seriously, I just read that they are blocking people who ask for refunds and other stupid crap. I'm surprised if EA still had legs, I've lost count on how many times they've shot their own feet.

*Image snipped to save space*

You mean stuff like this?

Hate to burst your bubbles, but that was already proven false. This very site already has at least two articles about that being disproved. As much as I like seeing EA getting flak, I'd prefer it if we did so with accurate info.

2 Things:

1. Look at the time stamp on my post. The articles "proving" it to be false came out AFTER I posted. To judge me for not using information that was not available to me seems patently unfair.

2. Read that text again. He only threatens to cancel the purchase AFTER they tell him they won't execute the refund. Yes, when he said that, the rest of the conversation became null and void. But if they had just agreed to do what they promised, he never would have made the threat. So...yeah, it's still pretty accurate as far as I can tell

Falcon123:

V da Mighty Taco:

dragongit:
Please enjoy your always on DRM, and micro transactions. Leader boards and other minor services will be released as future DLC. A functioning game will be released as an expansion: It wont be a new game, it'll just work.

Seriously, I just read that they are blocking people who ask for refunds and other stupid crap. I'm surprised if EA still had legs, I've lost count on how many times they've shot their own feet.

Falcon123:
So, no word yet on how they justify threatening to ban people's accounts for trying to claim the refund EA offered? Awesome. I'm so glad EA are such good guys like CliffyB said. Otherwise, everyone involved in this wreck would look REALLY dumb and at least a little evil...

Sean Strife:

*Image snipped to save space*

You mean stuff like this?

Hate to burst your bubbles, but that was already proven false. This very site already has at least two articles about that being disproved. As much as I like seeing EA getting flak, I'd prefer it if we did so with accurate info.

2 Things:

1. Look at the time stamp on my post. The articles "proving" it to be false came out AFTER I posted. To judge me for not using information that was not available to me seems patently unfair.

2. Read that text again. He only threatens to cancel the purchase AFTER they tell him they won't execute the refund. Yes, when he said that, the rest of the conversation became null and void. But if they had just agreed to do what they promised, he never would have made the threat. So...yeah, it's still pretty accurate as far as I can tell

I'll admit, I did not check the timestamps and do apologize for that.

From what I've been hearing though, that entire conversation is a fabrication. Let's assume though that it is the real deal and look at what we do know:

- Most online distributors have in their terms of services the whole "no refunds" clause, most notable being Origin and Steam. Even Valve refuses refunds the majority of the time.

- The whole chargeback thing is grounds for banning on most of these online distribution services as well, due to the very serious nature of chargebacks. A lot of people (I am not saying you) do not fully understand just how big a deal chargbacks actually are and that they are meant to be an absolute last resort for when one is completely done with a company.

- SimCity is a now a multiplayer-focused game that sells for $60 and has always-on DRM, with the latter being infamous for causing massive technical issues in many games.

- Games that require some sort of server-side authentication typically have widespread playability issues during at least the first week of a games launch.

- SimCity has EA as it's publisher. That alone says a lot.

What does this all actually mean? First off, that everyone who agreed to that ToS agreed to the whole "no refund" rule. While some nations out there do have laws protecting people from that kind of crap, the U.S. and numerous other countries do not. In other words, if your country does not have a law like that in place, then you either need to not accept horrendous terms like that and do the whole "vote with your wallet" crap or push the government to make those laws. Otherwise, companies such as EA ends up being able to legally get away with this crap as much as they like. Second, that chargebacks typically will get you banned from just about anywhere, even retail from my understanding. Chargebacks are seen as a final "I am done with you once and for all, give me back my money or this goes to court", and thus it should not be taken lightly at all. Third, people need to stop buying games that have some sort of always-online requirement, especially during the launch week, as massive technical issues are far too common on these type of games. Fourth, anything that's published by EA should at least encourage people to exercise caution when deciding whether or not to buy the game, as EA is notorious for screwing people over in the name of profits.

In other words, the always-online game being published by the arguably second most-despised publisher in the business (behind Zynga) should have had raised enough red flags to be mistakeable as a Chinese invasion. Getting the game day-1 should not have been seen as a viable option, all things considered. While this absolutely does not excuse EA in the slightest for this bullshit, they do have the right to refuse refunds in many countries due to that pesky ToS and thus until adequate laws are in place to stop this crap, people need to exercise extreme caution when buying products from them or anyone else who puts this "no refund" clause into their ToS - doubly so when it's a full-priced $60 game and exponentially more so when always-online is involved. As Ackbar would say...

Desert Punk:

EA corporate retard......

the poor guys probably just doing his job..he doesnt make the rules

Vault101:

Desert Punk:

EA corporate retard......

the poor guys probably just doing his job..he doesnt make the rules

I think Marcel Hatam, global community manager for Origin, has a bit more say than just a "poor guy trying to do his job."

I was calling Hatam a tard, not the poor shmuck doing customer service, I know how shitty that kinda job is xD

Desert Punk:

I think Marcel Hatam, global community manager for Origin, has a bit more say than just a "poor guy trying to do his job."

I was calling Hatam a tard, not the poor shmuck doing customer service, I know how shitty that kinda job is xD

ah...ok

I feel bad when people are mean to customer service reps

V da Mighty Taco:

Strazdas:
The biggest problem with this: yet you all STILL bought it.

Hey! I sure didn't buy it (I don't play SimCity). Been having too much fun jumping around as a ball of meat looking for band-aids and shooting Chimera with alien guns to do such a thing. :P

On a serious note, I get your point. However, don't assume that everyone bought it or buys every game that even holds a remote bit of interest in them. The last EA game I got that wasn't for the PS2 is Battlefield 3, and that only because it was a birthday present and I refuse to be an ass to a family member for giving me something, especially when they knew enough about my gripes with the game to not get me the PC version. This was back in November, btw.

My main point here is that not everyone did an A:CM and bought the game before they actually knew what they were getting into, it's just that those who play SimCity games and refused to buy this game so early are the vast minority.

what i mean was more along the lines of this.
image

People go around shouting how awful this or that is and yet still happily play it all day long. well, thats not oing to work. you still gave them money - the only thing they care about.

Strazdas:

V da Mighty Taco:

Strazdas:
The biggest problem with this: yet you all STILL bought it.

Hey! I sure didn't buy it (I don't play SimCity). Been having too much fun jumping around as a ball of meat looking for band-aids and shooting Chimera with alien guns to do such a thing. :P

On a serious note, I get your point. However, don't assume that everyone bought it or buys every game that even holds a remote bit of interest in them. The last EA game I got that wasn't for the PS2 is Battlefield 3, and that only because it was a birthday present and I refuse to be an ass to a family member for giving me something, especially when they knew enough about my gripes with the game to not get me the PC version. This was back in November, btw.

My main point here is that not everyone did an A:CM and bought the game before they actually knew what they were getting into, it's just that those who play SimCity games and refused to buy this game so early are the vast minority.

what i mean was more along the lines of this.
image

People go around shouting how awful this or that is and yet still happily play it all day long. well, thats not oing to work. you still gave them money - the only thing they care about.

Like I said, I know what you mean. There's a colossal amount of hypocrisy that comes from boycott groups, I get that. I'm just saying that not everyone who complains about these business practices bought the game. If you added the word "almost" before the word "all" in your post, I wouldn't have said a thing.

More on topic - the fact that anyone preordered this game (without at least canceling the preorder) or got it day-1 after the disasters that were Diablo 3 and Aliens: Colonial Marines is staggering. I've already used up my Far Cry 3 "definition of insanity" quota, but to put it simply nothing will ever change if so many people keep doing the exact same thing over and over again. After all, EA... EA never changes.

Sean Strife:

dragongit:
Please enjoy your always on DRM, and micro transactions. Leader boards and other minor services will be released as future DLC. A functioning game will be released as an expansion: It wont be a new game, it'll just work.

Seriously, I just read that they are blocking people who ask for refunds and other stupid crap. I'm surprised if EA still had legs, I've lost count on how many times they've shot their own feet.

image

You mean stuff like this?

Yup I had essentially an identical conversation when i asked for mine. The rep straight up said to me that the press release stated only that customers can request refunds, not that they will receive them. And that their policy is no refunds for digital copies only physicals will get refunds. IN which case why even have origin to begin with.

EA will not be getting any of my business ever again.

Trouble is, the acheivements are needed - at least if you want to rain fire on your city. Yup, all the disasters are achievement locked.

tehroc:

008Zulu:
The always on DRM seems to be working out a treat for EA. Still, I suppose that's good news for us the consumers. All it takes is a screw up like this (and lets face it, a few more) to convince the industry it's a bad idea. At least we get to chant "We told you so!" when the company comes out and admits it was a bad idea.

Since when does a game company care about the concerns of the product (and yes that is what us consumers are, the product) over the concerns of the shareholders. As far as the shareholders are concerned, SimCity has sold like hotcakes and is nothing but a success.

image

And as far as shareholders are also concerned, their cost of delivering the service has increased massively over original estimates, refunds are being issued where the law requires them to (hopefully - if not they may find legal proceedings against them, which means worse press!), and there is incredibly bad press. I've seen a couple of pieces from financial advise websites suggesting that investors short sell EA stock.

Investors are probably going to be more pissed by the childish rantings than they would be through a few lost sales...

mew4ever23:
Trouble is, the acheivements are needed - at least if you want to rain fire on your city. Yup, all the disasters are achievement locked.

Really but why? why would they do something so dumb as to lockout a principal feature of the previous games? It one of the best things to save after your city gets going and they summon godzilla o wreck or start multiple riots.

Remember back in the day when games ran perfectly fine on Day one and you do not have to be Online to play single player mode?

Oh I know how EA will save MONEY, STOP FORCING ONLINE CONNECTIVITY WITH EVERY FRICKING GAME!

to someone who has actually been able to get into the game and play it successfully how does it compare gameplay wise to something like the latest tropico?

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