Amazon Refuses to Sell SimCity

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They should probably hold back on sales anyway until the server situation stabilizes, like they did with that other game's preorders, just so that the current users don't have another pile of metaphorical rocks dumped on them.

Who thinks Gearbox and Sega are really glad about this.

"Oh hey they screwed up talk about them now!"

That being said I'm going to go give Cities XL a try

Look on the bright side people! This will blow up in EA's faces and their shareholders will demand offline games again because they see the bad sales stemming from DRM. Companies will stop doing it if rumors like this stop them from making a profit!

Seriously... does anyone else notice how EA comes out and says "No, we do not ban people for asking for refunds", while evidence has been shown the kid who posted the chat session actually got his?

And the only thing we see on this thread is people saying how bad EA is for banning people who want refunds?

Seriously...

What is wrong with you EA haters?

Hitchmeister:
Actually, EA is being quite reasonable about giving refunds to people who ask for them in a reasonable manner. But nobody wants to hear that.

This exactly.

In fact, EA is quite generous and the Origin customer service is amazing. Just yesterday I ran into the infamous Mass Effect 3 error where it suddenly tells you that you need to purchase an Online Pass to play multiplayer. Customer service fixed this in 30 seconds, and gave me a 15% off my next purchase promotion code for my trouble.

If you are polite and reasonable in your requests, they will return the favour.

Oh god EA what are you doing now? You made a statement that "[SimCity customers] can of course request a refund" and then you deny the refunds! It'd be funny if it wasn't so serious.

I think the escapist "News" section really ought to be called "(Second Hand) News About EA Being Evil" as that's all I ever seem to read in it.

The thing is that this is a server based game. And as such knowing that going in you are at the whim of the servers. No a refund should not be given. It would be like asking for a refund for an new MMO if the servers were at capacity when you first log on.

Yes it is a problem, but it is a problem that the consumer should expect going in and if they do not think they can handle waiting for more servers to pop up then they should not buy a game like that.

It's the reason I didn't buy it.

Falterfire:
Not gonna lie, I'm kinda sad to see this happen to the SimCity franchise. I'm actually a fan of 'simpler' and 'dumbed down' sequels like XCOM:Enemy Unknown and Civilization V that make it easier to get into those ridiculously complex franchises that are difficult to understand for new players. I had kinda hoped the new SimCity would do that for its franchise, but instead this happens.

Ah well, back to Civ V I guess. Glad I didn't preorder.

I personally like that kind of difficulty because it indicates that there might be a great deal of depth and the game might require skill and use of a brain.

No offense intended, but it's just there are classic lego people and there are duplo people, most of them being under the age of five. :)

It doesn't change the fact that EA has the ability to ban someone from their own paid-for game library, which should be the real issue.

People think digital distribution is super until they find this stuff out

Captcha: Heart break

Geez, this has turned into quite the cluster-cuss.

I'm gonna need to refill my bag of popcorn before I'm done watching this one.

Sgt. Sykes:
Smart choice of words, EA.

Maybe they won't ban users for REQUESTING a refund, but if the user blocks the payment for a defective product, they will be banned for sure.

Moral of the story: Don't buy online games, don't buy games with online DRM, don't buy games that require an online service.

Don't buy games from EA. Ever.

And Online service is a bit harsh. That includes Steam. Steam is great. Don't hurt Steam. Hurt Origin.

Whoa, didn't see this one coming...said no one ever!

As much as it pains me to say this, I'm quite happy that this game is falling flat on its face. Nothing upsets me more than a dumbed-down game, and always online DRM. Take my money, give me the disc, and don't make me always be online to play MY game! As it stands now, you're not getting a single penny from me for this game.

EA wonders why they get bad rep?

Refusing deserved refunds is one of them.

Good on Amazon for refusing to sell defective products too. I hope EA loses many many sales over this WHOLE ordeal.

Ickabod:
Nice to see Amazon stepping up here.

Amen. I just wish they'd done it earlier with certain other games i.e. with terrible DRM, with no clear indication it has as such until you'd bought the item.

kajinking:
Who thinks Gearbox and Sega are really glad about this.

"Oh hey they screwed up talk about them now!"

Oh man totally. If Sim City wasn't a huge cock-up we'd still be going on about Colonial Marines.

Now everyone's going to start forgetting their disappointment and when Gearbox makes their next game everyone will buy it hoping it to be good.

Seems like gaming companies have each other's backs like that. There's always a new controversy.

Winnosh:
The thing is that this is a server based game. And as such knowing that going in you are at the whim of the servers. No a refund should not be given. It would be like asking for a refund for an new MMO if the servers were at capacity when you first log on.

Yes it is a problem, but it is a problem that the consumer should expect going in and if they do not think they can handle waiting for more servers to pop up then they should not buy a game like that.

It's the reason I didn't buy it.

Well, any product should work as advertised as is, even if you know there might be some kinks in the system. That's not the case here. It's the company's responsability to provide service to all its clients the moment you give them money, unless otherwise stated before the purchase (i.e. "please be advised that at launch server saturation may be experimented"). It's not the client's duty to buy a product then wait until they can use the product they've already purchased at some indeterminate time in the future. Also, you may be privvy to situations like these, but for every gamer who reads sites like these there hundreds who don't and don't know their product will be unusable at purchse.

Good for Amazon. They should protect themselves. It's a PR disaster for EA, they don't want to be the retailer that sold a product with full knowledge of problems in its functionality.

I keep seeing people essentially giving the "caveat emptor" excuse that people should have known better, but that doesn't hold up here, and the reason it doesn't hold up is EA's own doing. They made Origin a "service" so you are buying a service, not a product. When you buy a product, and it breaks just outside the door, you're out of luck. If they fail to provide a service, you are entitled to compensation.

They wanted control and now they have it, but they don't want the responsibility that comes with it.

Also, to those saying that anyone asking for a refund reasonably is getting it. Too bad, when you pay for something you get the right to be as unpleasant about it as you like. I always try to be as nice as possible to customer support, I've been on both ends of it, but if I wanted to be an unreasonable ass, I could and they (EA) are obligated to deal with it.

Nachtmahr:

Hitchmeister:
Actually, EA is being quite reasonable about giving refunds to people who ask for them in a reasonable manner. But nobody wants to hear that.

This exactly.

In fact, EA is quite generous and the Origin customer service is amazing. Just yesterday I ran into the infamous Mass Effect 3 error where it suddenly tells you that you need to purchase an Online Pass to play multiplayer. Customer service fixed this in 30 seconds, and gave me a 15% off my next purchase promotion code for my trouble.

If you are polite and reasonable in your requests, they will return the favour.

You must have not read the screenshot because they did offer that to him as well. However, what they are offering is an upsale not a refund. If a customer is unsatisfied with a defective product they normally want a refund not a discount on next purchase.

Guy Jackson:
Oh god EA what are you doing now? You made a statement that "[SimCity customers] can of course request a refund" and then you deny the refunds! It'd be funny if it wasn't so serious.

I think the escapist "News" section really ought to be called "(Second Hand) News About EA Being Evil" as that's all I ever seem to read in it.

You mean like that news article where EA supported a gay marriage bit of legislature? EA sure was evil in dat one!

Not the escapists fault that EA is just having a string of news worthy PR disasters instead of good PR.

OT: Good on Amazon

Nachtmahr:

Hitchmeister:
Actually, EA is being quite reasonable about giving refunds to people who ask for them in a reasonable manner. But nobody wants to hear that.

This exactly.

In fact, EA is quite generous and the Origin customer service is amazing. Just yesterday I ran into the infamous Mass Effect 3 error where it suddenly tells you that you need to purchase an Online Pass to play multiplayer. Customer service fixed this in 30 seconds, and gave me a 15% off my next purchase promotion code for my trouble.

If you are polite and reasonable in your requests, they will return the favour.

Sorry, no. When they force your games into two separate accounts because you had an EA account and a Bioware account under different e-mail addresses, that is an understandable oversight. When they then refuse to merge those accounts on request despite the accounts both being registered to the same name, that is less understandable. When the system allows you to accidentally purchase DLC for the account that doesn't even have the game it is intended for registered to the account... okay, well that's not reasonable; it's goddamn retarded that you can buy DLC for game you don't "own." But when you point out the mistake to customer service, point out that the whole thing could have been avoided if they had merged the accounts when you requested it, and then they suggest that you buy the fucking DLC again for the other account...

No. Origin customer service is not amazing. It isn't even adequate.

Desert Punk:

Guy Jackson:
Oh god EA what are you doing now? You made a statement that "[SimCity customers] can of course request a refund" and then you deny the refunds! It'd be funny if it wasn't so serious.

I think the escapist "News" section really ought to be called "(Second Hand) News About EA Being Evil" as that's all I ever seem to read in it.

You mean like that news article where EA supported a gay marriage bit of legislature? EA sure was evil in dat one!

Not the escapists fault that EA is just having a string of news worthy PR disasters instead of good PR.

OT: Good on Amazon

You're preaching to the the choir, or a member of it. I was defending EA, or at least agreeing with a guy from EA, just a few hours ago and saying people ought to be a bit more level-headed regarding EA and then I see this article and want to facedesk.

Edit: Oops, I just realised I misunderstood your comment.

Scars Unseen:

Nachtmahr:

Hitchmeister:
Actually, EA is being quite reasonable about giving refunds to people who ask for them in a reasonable manner. But nobody wants to hear that.

This exactly.

In fact, EA is quite generous and the Origin customer service is amazing. Just yesterday I ran into the infamous Mass Effect 3 error where it suddenly tells you that you need to purchase an Online Pass to play multiplayer. Customer service fixed this in 30 seconds, and gave me a 15% off my next purchase promotion code for my trouble.

If you are polite and reasonable in your requests, they will return the favour.

Sorry, no. When they force your games into two separate accounts because you had an EA account and a Bioware account under different e-mail addresses, that is an understandable oversight. When they then refuse to merge those accounts on request despite the accounts both being registered to the same name, that is less understandable. When the system allows you to accidentally purchase DLC for the account that doesn't even have the game it is intended for registered to the account... okay, well that's not reasonable; it's goddamn retarded that you can buy DLC for game you don't "own." But when you point out the mistake to customer service, point out that the whole thing could have been avoided if they had merged the accounts when you requested it, and then they suggest that you buy the fucking DLC again for the other account...

No. Origin customer service is not amazing. It isn't even adequate.

Hmm, EA merged my two Origin accounts with no fuss.

Isn't the real story here that EA just discharged this biggest gaming turd the world has ever known? Am I supposed to suddenly love them because in response to complaints about said glorific turd, they are only *moderately unreasonable*? Have our standards fallen so low that when defecated on, we are merely grateful that on the second pass, they defecated on us slightly less than on the first pass? Oh wait, of course our standards are that low... Gamers are the economic equivalent of toilets.

Desert Punk:
You mean like that news article where EA supported a gay marriage bit of legislature? EA sure was evil in dat one!

Not the escapists fault that EA is just having a string of news worthy PR disasters instead of good PR.

OT: Good on Amazon

Don't worry dude, they are at it again:


It's like their go-to excuse, but I feel it's getting kinda stale and people are catching on to it, at least the YouTube comments would indicate that.

People hate Dragon Age 2 for the broken game and utter failure it is (as opposed to Dragon Age: Origins, that also had gay characters and people loved).
EA: "It's because there were gays in it!"

People hated TORTanic, their subscriber numbers were sinking and their stock went for new lows.
EA: "Look how many letters about the gays we got, people are totally hating on our game because of the gays!"

EA gets voted Worst Company on The Consumerist.
EA: "Yes, but at least we aren't as bad as those oil companies, also look how supportive we are of the gays! LOOK! It's probably all those gay-haters that voted."

People flipped out over Mass Effect 3 and its ending.
EA: "It's because of the gays, we put a gay in it and people are totally hating on that!"

Sim City is shit and their servers aren't up for 3 days straight. Amazon stops selling their game and people want refunds.
EA. "But look, we are totally supportive of the gays!"

Dear EA.

Next time you go to a restaurant, and order your food, I hope you're made to pay first, then told to, "come back tomorrow, you can have your dinner then."

Vie:
Wow, this really is turning into a good old fashioned train wreck!

Crumpets anybody?

I'll take one. I'm having the time of my life watching EA bungle yet another major franchise.

And this just adds yet another reason why I love Amazon. They always come through in the end and actually give a shit about quality products.

Terramax:

Ickabod:
Nice to see Amazon stepping up here.

Amen. I just wish they'd done it earlier with certain other games i.e. with terrible DRM, with no clear indication it has as such until you'd bought the item.

They have done quite a bit with other games in the past actually. It's much more than I can say for Steam and their lack of quality control. Like selling a broken and misleading game like WarZ. -_-

Good on Amazon.

If EA want to go full steam with Origin and try and handle a huge chunk of game retail themselves, then Amazon is perfectly at liberty to cut ties with them when shit goes down and leave EA to it.

If EA wants to run the store, they're the ones responsible for cleaning up the mess.

CrossLOPER:
I personally like that kind of difficulty because it indicates that there might be a great deal of depth and the game might require skill and use of a brain.

No offense intended, but it's just there are classic lego people and there are duplo people, most of them being under the age of five. :)

There is a time and a place for that sort of complexity. It is not in your user interface. To use your analogy: I'd say Legos VS Duplo is more a game difficulty thing. The complexity I'm talking about is like Lego vs K'Nex. Sure K'Nex is more difficult to put together, but that doesn't mean the end result is any better.

In my opinion a game should be able to give you enough information in 15 minutes to beat an AI on the very easiest difficulty. From there it can be as hard as you'd like, but good game design means not putting all the complexity on the very surface.

The screens linked in the OP is of an edited forum post about a customer service transaction. Doesn't look like a chat window to me. I don't buy the story told by the screenie at all. It is good to see that EA has responded so quickly to this issue as it was required, their reputation has been dragged through the gutter so effectively over the last few years.

Amazon's reaction is not suprising either, but not for the reasons implied by this so called mal-practice of customer service by EA, but that many major titles that have launched recently with online components , have been unable to handle their server loads due to popularity. If a game with always online components requires their servers to be up to play the game in any mode whatsoever, then the publisher is mis-advertising if the game doesn't run after launch due to network difficulties.

Whether technical difficulties resolve themselves later doesn't matter, because the internet hate machine will make sure that patience is lost and complaints are filed. No self respecting publisher of internet bound business wants the bad press related to the internet's lack of patience and love for drama. Whether it is through the elaborate construction of conspiracy upon the head of the likes of EA and their business partners, or the ceaseless discharge of hightened emotion relating one's spare time, any hint of a slip up, difficulty, or vague process the internet can turn against business will be one they'll relish.

Finally, I really do not care for simcity, but this steamy pile of rumor mongering is entertaining for me. Anyone got any popcorn?

kajinking:
Who thinks Gearbox and Sega are really glad about this.

"Oh hey they screwed up talk about them now!"

That being said I'm going to go give Cities XL a try

Just don't turn off the auto save,as there is a memory leak, and it will only run on a single core.

OT: I think il check back on this game in a few months. If they sort out the issue and the price drops I may give it a swing.

Uhm... It's back to being available for download on Amazon.
http://www.amazon.com/Electronic-Arts-41018ted-Edition2-SimCity/dp/B007VTVRFA/ref=cm_rdp_product?tag=vglnk-c384-20

I'm guessing they were told that not having it available was breach of contract or something so there it is again. Maybe my page is caching, but I don't think it is. Also, I haven't logged into amazon to try and complete a transaction to see if it will.

Jasper van Heycop:
Look on the bright side people! This will blow up in EA's faces and their shareholders will demand offline games again because they see the bad sales stemming from DRM. Companies will stop doing it if rumors like this stop them from making a profit!

No, the servers will be fixed and in short time this will all be forgiven, just like Diablo III.

I don't think EA should entirely be faulted for wanting to take action against people who take their games and then refuse to pay for them. From one view, that's a reasonable course of action for a consumer to take against a company in the event of fraud; on the other, it's something resembling theft if the person doesn't actually return the game they bought when they withdraw the funds used for the purchase.

I suspect that it really boils down to a failure of one customer service rep, not company-wide policy. One could argue that customer service reps not having the power/knowledge/autonomy to deal with such issues appropriately led to the dispute, and that is a matter of company policy, but that's not unusual, unfortunately.

With the refusal of Amazon to deal in SimCity, though, I'm officially declaring the matter a "debacle". Do I have a second?

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