EA Admits That SimCity Could Have Been Offline

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EA has no artistic vision; all of their recent games were churned out to make money, not to inspire someone.

EA is now a company, and have long since abandoned their roots, so they shouldn't hide behind weak-sauce excuses like the ones in the article.

It makes me both angry and sad when I hear the *challenge everything* jingle at the beginning of SimCity 4.
Also it makes me laugh because I imagine that "challenge everything" nowadays includes bad business practices.

I'm actually sympathetic to the "It didn't fit our vision" argument...

...it's just that I won't buy a game with that scope.

Offline mode, or no buy from me.

In a way, this makes it all sound even worse to me. They COULD have let the players play uninterrupted when their servers failed, but still wanted to maintain their control and the player's experience was an acceptable casualty.

Lvl 64 Klutz:

saintdane05:
If Maxis says that they put it in, then you might want to not put EA in teh title.

Except with all the lies that have been spewed about from both companies, who can really be sure as to who is saying what and why?

Exactly, I'm disappointed the author here didn't have the balls, or sense, to call bullshit on everything Bradshaw just stated. They are only admitting all this now because one modder blew open the whole big secret on the "impossible" offline mode.

It's just a F%^&in switch. On/Off. Anything else can be fixed easily via a bit more modding/cheats.

I'm not seeing how having an offline option wrecks their vision. Sounds like that option would make everyone happy and lower stress on the servers.

Your vision was really fucking stupid, then. Your poor team must have been really fucking frustrated while working for you. They were probably thinking "Man, I love SimCity, I can't believe I get to work on my favorite franchise! Oh, I'm going to make it based around a multiplayer only experience where everything can go wrong? Yay... "

EA probably looked at what Maxis was doing and said, "Multiplayer only? What the fuck Maxis? The players are going to hate it!". And Maxis replied with "It's okay! We've got a vision! We're going through a mid-life crisis so we have a vision! We've made you guys millions before! Trust us!". And EA said "Fuck it! Everybody hates us anyways, not like it's gonna change anything..."

Fuck you, Maxis. And fuck you EA for not stepping in.

In light of this revelation, developer Maxis has admitted that it could have created an offline, singleplayer mode for the title, but couches this admission with the caveat that such a feature would have compromised the firm's vision for SimCity.

So instead they compromise every customer's vision of having a working game to play.

Assholes.

It's incredibly stupid, this whole phase of "Interconnectivity" and "Social Marketing". Having the Option to be online and hang with friends and provide companies with metrics is one thing, but demanding that everyone be online, when there are a million things that could go wrong is ridiculous. Games are not "services", they are products. I pay, you give me my damned game however I want.

Many good comments in this news thread so far, and I can only agree with them. EA is still full of shit and Maxis are still bending the truth. My respect for maxis has gone out the window now and I wholeheartedly despise EA. Get an offline mode, give me possession of my own game saves and allow me to play with larger and/or parellel cities, and then I'll buy your game AND even optionally sign in to your servers for you to spam me microtransaction shit and social connectivity. That's how it works, EA/Maxis, you give us the CHOICE rather than treat us as dogs or untrustworthy crooks.

Their artistic integrity is questionable, and we can question it as paying customers.

EA-monitored PR statements by Maxis should be taken with a bucket load of salt, particularly now they've been caught lying.

This "Always-connected" artistic view could still be achieved with an offline mode for those who want to play singleplayer. How is that different to the many who have played/want to play in private regions by themselves? It only interferes with their plans of microtransactions force feeding and DRM. Saves in the cloud and "simulations done server-side" are total bullshit and only serve a purpose as a form of DRM.

Their PR department at EA needs to just shut the fuck up now. They clearly can't talk sense without spinning it into a web of fabricated bullshit-wool to try and cover over out eyes. It's disrespectful to me, as a consumer, at the very least.

Fucking ugly company, EA is. This is the first time now I've not bought a game I desperately wanted because of the shitty business practices of the publisher behind it. Maxis deserve as much of the blame for going along with this whole fucking fašade, and trying to design SimCity around it, but in the end they're owned by EA so what can they do? Fucking disrespectful and a disgusting model of business.

Treat me like a dog that chases after everything to no-end, a thief that can't be trusted and a cow to milk all my money from - and you can go fuck yourself.

Hey Bradshaw, how about an apology for OUTRIGHT LYING to all your customers for a week? No? Well fuck you too then.

It's not unpirateable, there are options in the game to not interact with people. The majority of the game realistically is spent by most players doing stuff by themselves for themselves.

There's not even an evil reason for always online. It's like they got so hung up on it they thought mandatory internet connection was a feature by itself. Maybe it's a bullet point on the back of the box

Akichi Daikashima:
EA has no artistic vision; all of their recent games were churned out to make money, not to inspire someone.

EA is now a company, and have long since abandoned their roots, so they shouldn't hide behind weak-sauce excuses like the ones in the article.

It makes me both angry and sad when I hear the *challenge everything* jingle at the beginning of SimCity 4.
Also it makes me laugh because I imagine that "challenge everything" nowadays includes bad business practices.

Here ya go guy... try these out...

http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/26793-network-addon-mod-for-windows-installer/

http://community.simtropolis.com/files/file/28544-sc4-launcher/

imageimage

Challenge everything? Yeah... maybe a couple years ago... now I just turn it off.

SacremPyrobolum:
I love how the pictures show more and more sever disasters as this story goes on.

Haha, so I'm not the only one who noticed that.
First it was the single building on fire, then a firestorm, now a meteor strike?
By the end of next week the Escapist will show nukes going off in cities adjacent to SC5 articles.

Welp, I'm satisfied. Let's go get some sushi.

Always online is not a feature, it is a limitation. Please, stop trying to sell this as something new, exciting and in favor of the consumer.

The vision :

A service where consumers purchase the platform as well as all the future DLC in a all inclusive system that can advertise and deliver the DLC to the consumers at no extra cost.

Game ? What game ?

Hell its a joke anyways, even the multiplayer is a mess... mates on a 16 city region, cant all seem to join that specific server at the same time, full up and with the all so helpful hint to try another server.
You know the server without the region of mates or that half built city from a previous session.

Simcity MP is like a game of TF 2 on a 1 man servers... with lots of 1 man servers all over the place, sure you could eventually find a open server but it wont have your mates on it.

You know Maxis, we're used to games with single-player AND multi-player modes. Just saying.

Oh, what a train wreck, the schadenfreude is strong with this one!

So of course after they have to admit their shitty DRM scheme was not integral to the game, they hide behind the "it was our artistic vision!" argument. Maybe next they'll say the need for a constant internet connection wasn't DRM at all, that was just a part of their vision. Hell, over at Maxis, they don't even know what DRM is, much less would they intentionally put it in one of their games!

EA caught out on a lie? One of many ... The only way they will stop doing this sort of thing is if people stop buying EA games. Plain and simple. Friends don't let friends buy EA.

36 buckets of popcorn finished, and the fail train still ain't stopping. God this is delicious.

When they say "vision" they mean "we thought we could make more money". If you're always online then the microtransaction store is always available and they think that we'll be more tempted to spend money there. And they can also make multiplayer pay-to-win. That's the extend of their vision.

I have a vision too. And that's a game without always-on DRM.

zinho73:
Always online is not a feature, it is a limitation.

If only more people would realize this. Especially those corporate apologists who think that always-on DRM is fine and dandy and that games (even single player games) are services.

SacremPyrobolum:
I love how the pictures show more and more sever disasters as this story goes on.

when this all ends, and there is finally some good news about SimCity, I fully expect the picture to be of a city from SimCity 1.

I've got my eye on you, Escapist Jounalists.

OT: So, they didn't actually stress test their servers before launch because one hour a day 'beta' no, fuck that, 'alpha' tests didn't allow for it.

Then they said that Offline mode would be impossible, then got shat on by the PC community even harder than what was going on.

Then they eat their bullshit and claim 'we could of, but we wanted this version'

That is just it, its what YOU wanted, not the players. If anything EA/Maxis should be embracing the offline mod until they quit being fucking lazy and patch in an official offline mode.

Bradshaw:
Describing SimCity as akin to an MMO, Bradshaw also illustrates a number of reasons why key aspects of the game's core functionality rely on the presence of an online connection. "Always-Connected is a big change from [SimCity games] of the past," Bradshaw writes. "It didn't come down as an order from corporate and it isn't a clandestine strategy to control players. It's fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity."

*laughs uproariously*
Right. You keep barking for your master Maxis. You already took blame for something that was provably not entirely your fault once. Better keep barking, or master won't feed you.

There is a mountain of evidence that points to a clandestine strategy for control; it's called SimCity.

Adam Jensen:
When they say "vision" they mean "we thought we could make more money".

I propose an amendment to that:
"we thought we could make more money for less effort"

As someone who loves SimCity, all I have to say is that this is the most entertaining game I never bought.

Kalezian:
That is just it, its what YOU wanted, not the players.

And that is tragically hilarious since EA actually has a "consumers first" policy in place. They just forgot about it.

Whilst I always try to be an optimist even I can see the PR spinning here. Artistic vision my butt, how long does an EA execs arm have to be to use the devs like Muppets to spoute their dribble.

I like how she misrepresents the people who want single player mode by referring to all the people that they've FORCED to play online (as in, all of their users) as "thousands" and further using that wording to imply that it means that they both enjoy and desire the online functionality, while she doesn't even mention any quantity for the detractors in such a way as to call into question the existence of those fans in the same way one would refer to life on other planets.

And then she refers to the system that both broke largely due to the incompetence and bad design of the developers and/or publisher, and has been proven to be forced DRM to be "ever improving technology". She then says that it was never intended to control players, even while saying that the game isn't possible as single player, even if not allowing single player IS A FORM OF CONTROLLING THE PLAYERS.

Sleaze never changes, heh.

As game developers they should know that their vision should definitely be pushed, but not forced. Because as we all know:

image
Fans find a way

Adam Jensen:

Kalezian:
That is just it, its what YOU wanted, not the players.

And that is tragically hilarious since EA actually has a "consumers first" policy in place. They just forgot about it.

Actually, I'd say EA sticks to that policy just fine. The word "consumer" implies that one consumes something, which means that the product is meant to be temporary / expendable and that the "consumers" will constantly use it up and want more. In EA's eyes, that's exactly what they want from their customer base - to constantly buy more after they use up the product or service, and everything EA does reflects this. Just look at their sports division - a new Madden or FIFA every year to replace the old one - for a prime example of this. "Consumers first", indeed.

Is it wrong that I have started looking forward to these SimCity news updates? These just get better and better.

While I haven't played a SimCity in years and have no experience wit this one, it seems a poor business decision to not include an offline mode. You know you've covered all your customers that way and if your always online vision is as good as you think, everyone will want to be a part of it anyway.

Of course, I don't know anything about what's required to include an offline mode, but I would think if someone has managed to mod/hack it then it shouldn't be too terribly difficult.

Anyway, can't wait to see what tomorrow brings for SimCity!

Wow, so THIS is how they decided to spin the damn thing, eh? "Yeeeeeah, we could have put it in there but it didn't match our vision." Really? So why'd you lie about it in the first place? Why didn't you tell us "It's our vision to have a crappy online game that doesn't work" when people first asked about no offline single player? Didn't anyone teach you as children that the most infuriating thing about being lied to is when people know that you're still lying in order to cover up your original lie?

Seriously, I call bullshit on this through and through. They got caught being dirty little liars and now they're telling another lie to make the first lie not seem so upsetting.

Hell, even giving them the benefit of the doubt, there's still the massive question "Ok, so you wanted it to be a multiplayer game from the beginning? Fair enough. That still doesn't explain why you didn't put in an offline single player mode for those players that loved your old vision of the game and quite frankly don't have any interest in your new vision."

Up next: Child with hand in cookie jar admits (through mouthful of crumbs) that he is taking a cookie.

Guy Jackson:

Earnest Cavalli:
It's not our place to question Maxis' artistic vision

I bet hardly anyone here didn't think of the words "artistic integrity" when reading that.

Of course we didn't. It reads 'vision' not 'integrity'. It made me think of glaucoma.

Halfwits at EA ruining a good game step by step, Deadspace dead in the water and soon to follow Sim City. Sorry guys but who is even surprised feel i'm wasting words even saying this.

Oh Draec, just look how wrong you are. It's beautiful. *wipes tear*

*raging demon* HAVE A VISION WHERE EVERYONE CAN BLOODY ENJOY!!! You're entertainers, put some love into your work, don't limit your audience with DRM and other garbage. The fucking future should be about having more options!

Bostur:
The obvious question that comes to my mind is, why not have both?

I don't see how an offline mode would conflict with their vision of also allowing a connected MMO experience. The only thing an offline mode would conflict with would be the DRM aspect of games as a service.

I wish I would hear this from more people. I was saying it at the beginning and for some reason my opinion wasn't very popular then. Where is all the people saying "it's not DRM, it's an MMO" now!?

Remember people, nothing is impossible, especially if this game isn't that different from the previous games (and I'm not talking about the little things).

saintdane05:
If Maxis says that they put it in, then you might want to not put EA in teh title.

Lucy Bradshaw is saying this. Lucy Bradshaw is a Senior Vice President in the EA corporation, she just happens to be the EA VP that is in charge of Maxis at the moment as Maxis is owned by EA. This is EA saying it.

Earnest Cavalli:

It's not our place to question Maxis' artistic vision,

It wasnt "Maxis' vision" and we all damn well know it.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119449-EA-Turns-Its-Back-on-Single-Player-Games

"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers," Gibeau said. "I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365."

This was all EA and Lucy Bradhaw is just a lying scumbag trying to cover EA's ass in this, and only fooling the people already blind enough to lap up the lies in the first place.

Or if it was "Maxis' Vision" it was one forced upon them by EA's President not being willing to greenlight a single player game.

Earnest Cavalli:
"It didn't come down as an order from corporate and it isn't a clandestine strategy to control players. It's fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity."

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/119449-EA-Turns-Its-Back-on-Single-Player-Games

Well, it's fundamental to the vision that somebody had for SimCity. Maybe they didn't get an explicit order, but this seems a little like one of the Queen of Hearts's cards saying "Yeah, I was seriously thinking about painting a rose blue, but in the end, it just didn't fit with my vision."

Bradshaw, you were starting to seem like the lone voice of reason and honesty. Don't blow it now.

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