EA Admits That SimCity Could Have Been Offline

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT
 

To give it offline play would be against their vision for the game... Don't you see? EA isn't trying to standardize this kind of DRM, they're its biggest opponent! The purpose of this game all along was to crash into a horrible flaming mess, an immortal effigy blazing a light of warning to all other companies who might dare copy it. They made the ultimate sacrifice with this game to show the world that it should never be done again! You brave soul, EA.

My girlfriend sits down every night and plays The Sims, she loves that game despite so many, many flaws.

When I told her that EA/Maxis would likely have The Sims 4 as an online only game, she was horrified. Now introduce the random crashes that The Sims already experiences and add it to cloud saves and Maxis running the servers. Also with the vast multiple expansion collection model that the Sims already uses.

You would have to be flat out brain dead not to understand that it's a bad, bad decision.

Yet it is my prediction, that we haven't seen the worst to come yet from EA/Maxis, there is the potential for a perfect storm as in a very popular game franchise having a new release in an entirely unplayable state, that continues.

Oh imagine everything going wrong at once...
-An always online launch where servers constantly crashed
-Multiple expansions which cause tons of glitches and visual errors
-Cloud save corruptions
-The same problem with each additional expansion

I'd like to believe that Maxis would have learnt from this launch... but I'm pretty pessimistic about it.

I do love how there was no vision that some players just rather have a single player game and not mess with the whole on-line deal. People played version after version of Sim City without being forced to connect but I guess that old player base was not part of the vision.

Personally I'm glad the stink keeps getting bigger and bigger because we need the stink levels to be so horrible that developers actually start thinking about how much negative backlash they will get from forcing people into a mode they don't want.

"But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision."

Your vision? Fuck your vision! We think your vision sucks ass, and so do our wallets.

I'm filled with an odd mixture of giggling satisfaction and raging frustration that she's admitted to straight lying to millions of people, but at the same time brushes it off with a metaphorical middle finger. So they wanted this to be Sim City the MMO, fine, I hope for their sake they've feverishly gotten started on a proper installment to the franchise. A patch at this point would fix nothing; if anything they'd just twist it to fuck people who want to play offline. Nothing short of a game separate from this crapfest will do any good.

Callate:

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.

Hmm, looks like DA3 is gonna be multiplayer only, how fun :D /sarcasm.

OT: Uhh, Ms. Bradshaw? Your EA approved script is showing, we don't believe you. I haven't even played the game and I want an offline mode.

You've made me empathetic to the wrong people in your case.

Or keep going with this, it's like a carnival of impromptu entertainment.

JemothSkarii:

Callate:

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.

Hmm, looks like DA3 is gonna be multiplayer only, how fun :D /sarcasm.

OT: Uhh, Ms. Bradshaw? Your EA approved script is showing, we don't believe you. I haven't even played the game and I want an offline mode.

You've made me empathetic to the wrong people in your case.

Or keep going with this, it's like a carnival of impromptu entertainment.

I must admit, this is the most entertainment I have ever gotten from a game I didnt buy!

Octorok:
""... could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes," Bradshaw states in no uncertain terms. "But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision.""

If that's your vision, you need some new glasses. Putting to one side every single other problem with the Online system (technical issues and game restrictions (and that's a big thing to ignore)) and taking her words at face value (which I don't. I think she's lying through her teeth.), I love how she talks about always online as supporting some kind of bold, new option. When it's really forcing multiplayer into a game genre that is well-known for being more fun in single-player. Cities XL tried this, and it failed. Your "vision" indicates a willingness to simply take control away from players and say, "No. This is the game now. I know you didn't want it to be this way, and I couldn't care less."

""loving the Always-Connected functionality"" - although "lack of functionality" is more accurate, I hate this. I hate the idea that for a game's multiplayer mode to be fun, there must be no single-player. It's illogical. It's basically saying, "We wanted to focus on a new, multiplayer orientated game for SimCity. To that end, there is no single-player mode at all. And yet, we're still charging a preposterous 45 for this, with no discernible reason beyond naked, short-sighted greed."

Imagine this thinking in a different industry - "Green cars are, we think, the future. We really want to support green as the primary car colour. To support this goal, we refuse to sell any other car colours. It's green or nothing."

"We think that pizza is the future of the restaurant business. We really want to support pizza as the primary food served in all restaurants. To support this goal, from now on we will only be serving pizza in all of our restaurants. It's pizza or nothing."

I see no reason, literally none (from a game design perspective), that these supposedly-epic multiplayer features could not have been optional. If you build a good MP, people will play it. That's no justification for removing single-player. Her carefully-worded PR speak uses words like "focus", when the correct term would have been "focused on to the exclusion of all other possibilities."

We talk about "artistic vision" and how fans have no right whatsoever to shape a game series, but reality of the situation is this - Maxis made SimCity an MMO, and was then surprised when fans of a traditionally single-player franchise were annoyed at waiting 10 years for a new SimCity, only to get an MMO.

The response to this, of course is, "Well, if you don't want SimCity the MMO, don't get it. Buy another city-builder." This would be basically fair, if the modern city-builder market wasn't made up of;

Tropico. Fun and pleasing, but a much smaller scale than actual "city" management. The bigger towns never get past a few thousand people maximum.

Anno. I've never played this, but it's apparently a bit wonky, and suffers a bit from the Tropico problem of not really being a "city" management game. Plus, if you don't want a Tropical/Medieval/Futuristic aesthetic? You just want present-day, vaguely realistic-looking cities? Then you have...

Cities XL. The only fair competition to SimCity as a modern, pretty "true" city builder. Rather flat mechanics aside, the game's virtually unplayable. By the time your city is nearing 1 million population, the game has serious, crippling performance issues. It doesn't matter what your rig is at all, damn near EVERYONE gets Cities XL FPS drop. Serious FPS drop.

And that's it for the past 4 years. From the perspective of an eager SimCity fan, this idea of SimCity the MMO is a slap to the face. It tells them that they don't have any kind of say in their favoured genre, and no games will be made to cater towards them any more. While it is perhaps a legitimate debate to argue to what degree they have a right to demand a certain type of game from a company, it's very easy to see where this bad blood comes from. The only solution to this (another example of the AAA gaming industry refusing to plug gaps in the market) is Kickstarter, but I don't believe it can raise the kind of funds needed to make the game the fans wanted.

People just want a nice, slick, modern city-building/management game. That's all. But no, it has to be "social", it has to be an "Always-Connected experience" (again, I must stress that "sometimes connected" is more accurate. My offline games run 24/7, no problem. The only games I can't access are those dependent on servers.)

In EA's Brave New World, the consumer has no options. No choices. It's their way or nothing. Fuck the lot of 'em.

Anno is more of a RTS with city managemnt aspects.
You manage a bunch of small towns miro manage resorce chains to build an army to destroy opponents(atleast multiplayer).
It's fun in its own way but I would hestate to call it a city builder or compare it to pure city builders.

I will give Citys XL credit on one thing:

They were planing on making it a MMO with the resource trade at the core of there "vision" and they still had singe player on it.

"We did not focus on the 'single city in isolation' that we have delivered in past [SimCity games]. We recognize that there are fans -- people who love the original SimCity -- who want that...."

Then why didn't you give players a way to DO that?

image

Oh, right.

Desert Punk:
snip

I must agree with you, as bad as EA are at PR and just about everything, they're ironically good at free entertainment. Heck, maybe they should make intrusive DRM just for stuff like this.

Wow, they actually admitted to something. Good, NOW...tell us about your mental retardation, EA. Come on, be honest.

FizzyIzze:
Holy crap, Ms. Bradshaw. Disclosure is fine, but damn...TIMING! Timing is everything!

In this case the proper time for disclosure of this detail would have been after you retired.

No kidding. As if EA wasn't under enough fire as it is. They're pretty much digging themselves deeper, really.

So making it offline capable would have compromised their "artistic vision" for the game? Better stop complaining now guys and just play the game and be glad to have it at all. Lots of people are dead against anyone compromising their integrity like that. Just look at the Mass Effect 3 debacle. Tons of people defending Bioware's right to their vision there as soon as they made that claim.

Not to mention they're claiming that thousands of people are loving the always-online requirement. Just like Bioware claimed that the majority loved the endings. Can't argue with the companies, right? They MUST be telling the truth. I mean all of you people complaining about SimCity must be only a fraction of the total people who bought the game, so the rest MUST be just enjoying it, right? I bet there's lots of people telling people who dislike SimCity to stop being childish and entitled in here.

*looks through thread*

...wait, why aren't there tons of people jumping to Maxis' defence here? Oh, perhaps because the very concept of "vision" in a mass produced commercial product is an absolutely terrible argument to make when your customers are furious at the mess you've made of the game that they have paid for. I find it even more hilarious that the publisher in BOTH cases is goddamn EA.

That said I'm glad everyone is finally starting to come around to the idea that these are companies selling a product for mass commercial consumption and that people have every right to be unhappy with any part of it and to demand better. Many of you are about twelve months late and it took two even more major failures and flagrant displays of contempt than ME3 to get the hang of it (Aliens:Colonial Marines and now SimCity) but that's ok. Can we start looking at actually supporting consumer rights now rather than throwing the whole "integrity" thing about?

My point here? These companies are getting increasingly arrogant and altogether too disdainful of their customers. It is absolutely disgusting how complacent they're becoming and then the try to hide behind their "vision" when huge numbers of customers reject the garbage they serve up. I can't help feeling its all going to come crashing down over the next couple of years. A year ago it was perhaps understandable that some people wouldn't admit the problems with ME3 (not just the end in fact), because it was all much lower key and easy to dismiss as a one-off. But now I think everyone has noticed the elephant in the room, now its up to customers how to react.

Lightspeaker:

...wait, why aren't there tons of people jumping to Maxis' defence here? Oh, perhaps because the very concept of "vision" in a mass produced commercial product is an absolutely terrible argument to make when your customers are furious at the mess you've made of the game that they have paid for. I find it even more hilarious that the publisher in BOTH cases is goddamn EA.

Well, your main rebuttal will be that ME3's story did not render the game completely unplayable whereas Simcity's online requirement and the once again failure to predict launch numbers did. Don't get me wrong, I think Mass Effect 3's story was a pile of re-fried garbage fisted out of a mandrill's anus for more than just its ending, but that's off topic.

I do agree with you that I'm happy to see people annoyed that games are released in such am unfinished manner. Hopefully, this debacle will serve to show developers and publishers that the customer does indeed expect a content complete game when its released, not a poorly tested mess that they still feel justified charging $60+ or the regional equivalent for.

evilneko:

"We did not focus on the 'single city in isolation' that we have delivered in past [SimCity games]. We recognize that there are fans -- people who love the original SimCity -- who want that...."

Then why didn't you give players a way to DO that?

image

Oh, right.

cute picture by the way.

EA are jumping on the multiplayer thing for 2 reasons. first and minor is that multiplayer and connectivity is the latest fad so desperately needs it.

the larger implication is the WOW effect. why do alot of wow players try other mmo's and then go back to a really old game? its because of the connection and community, they have established friends there. thats the real reason i would say behind this conectivity push. they are trying to create the wow effect in other games so even if there is a superior product out there customers return because of their friends

1: Fuck you EA.

2: Why am I not surprised by this? Well, history Does tend to repeat itself.

And 3: I have only one true love for this franchise and thats number 4, so when I heard of the DRM that killed outright all interest in the new installment.

wombat_of_war:

EA are jumping on the multiplayer thing for 2 reasons. first and minor is that multiplayer and connectivity is the latest fad so desperately needs it.

the larger implication is the WOW effect. why do alot of wow players try other mmo's and then go back to a really old game? its because of the connection and community, they have established friends there. thats the real reason i would say behind this conectivity push. they are trying to create the wow effect in other games so even if there is a superior product out there customers return because of their friends

The "WoW Effect" actually has a name in economics: Network good or sometimes Network Effect.
And yes, it is the chief reason behind EA's goal for a dominant multiplayer title.

Call of Duty (like Halo before it) stays immensely popular year after year, despite innovating or changing very little precisely because of this effect.

This release has effectively killed the SimCity brand. The last Simcity wasn't great at all. I hope some indi company makes some kind of simcity clone, releases it like minecraft (cheap betas) and steals EA's customers for this clearly deficient product. I feel bad for Maxis, but they should have known better.

I'm glad they didnt apologize for lying since they've been saying it's impossible over and over, but now? Yeah it's possible so what? It's better this way nyeh nyeh.

EA, your vision is shit. Mostly because your vision is your vault full of dollars, and murdering whatever franchises you can to achieve that.

It's not natural how much I hate EA.

I think I speak on behalf of MANY disgruntled gamers, not just about SimCity, but forced multiplayer integration as a whole:

Multiplayer is an OPTION, it is NOT mandatory and should never be forced upon the player. When gaming companies start turning previously single player or multiplayer optional titles into multiplayer dependent titles, they are effectively alienating a particular portion of their audience who may in fact have no interest in playing that particular series or style of gameplay with other players.

And it seems to be pretty clear that SimCity is one of those series wherein players ACTUALLY exist who have no desire to be FORCED to participate in other activities with other gamers. There are plenty of titles out there which offer people to have social experiences through video games, not every single one requires these features.

...But this still doesn't excuse their laziness for not offering some form of non-multiplayer dependent content. If anything, it really seems like they're dodging the reasons why always on DRM exists and no option for offline saving is there.

Did'n't we know Sim City would be always online a year ago?

You know what you can do?

Turn it off.

I am sure you could patch in no always on DRM within a week, or ask the modder what he did.

Otherwise...

Well, if the modder can figure out how to turn off the DRM, the pirating sites will be flooded with the game by tomorrow.

You know what they could have done to fit in the so called "vision" they had for Sim City and not be such raging asshats about it all? Start it out as single player and implement the multiplayer as things went along, slowly but surely.

Well just prepare for this to be the norm because people don't have a backbone anymore. If people see a game they want but have really bad systems for their consumers they don't give a shit and hit that buy button. Pretty much just gonna need to abandon AAA titles and go for the indie games.

Lucy Bradshaw:
"We did not focus on the 'single city in isolation' that we have delivered in past [SimCity games]. We recognize that there are fans -- people who love the original SimCity -- who want that. But we're also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality."

Uh huh

And tell me, is there ANY reason that you couldn't have provided both?

It would literally take NO work on your part, none what so ever.

I want ONE reason that we couldn't have had both

Desert Punk:
I must admit, this is the most entertainment I have ever gotten from a game I didnt buy!

Oh no, that would be the TORtanic

The always on DRM was the only thing that stopped me from buying this game :(

Way to go Maxis, you've succeeded in preventing profits once again.

14.99 for a building.

http://i.imgur.com/XkESThE.jpg

Artistic Vision eh?
I think this clip is fitting at the moment.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e2dJG4SvbE

Edit: Also did they learn nothing from the Spore debacle?

The fact that you can create a private region and play by yourself with one city proves that this not "MMO-like". They would have clamped down on that functionality if that was the case. As it stands, they do let you play alone. They just don't let you play offline.

It's not a fucking artistic decision. It's fucking DRM. If they could stop pretending it's not, that would be just great.

A private region and offline mode are different how?

Oh that's right, for one you're locked down in DRM. How stupid do they think people are? And of course someone is going to break their game, why lie about it?

Never was interested in this game, but I wanted to say my piece.

And bravo to the article for playing the devils advocate, but I'm sure most people here prefer freedom over constant (dictated by the servers being available) save files.

What's up with every developer now having a "vision" about making singleplayer games into multiplayer games?

What next? Super meat boy online? Trine Online? Dragon Age online? Tropico 5 Online edition?

"The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology," Bradshaw adds.

I...What...I...WHAT?

Look at launch. Ever-improving technology? You guys have demonstrated the WORST element of an emerging technology.

My head. It hurts.

bringer of illumination:
Uh huh

And tell me, is there ANY reason that you couldn't have provided both?

It would literally take NO work on your part, none what so ever.

I want ONE reason that we couldn't have had both

I imagine it took more time to make it always online than it would have to allow both, ironically.

Akexi:

Well, your main rebuttal will be that ME3's story did not render the game completely unplayable whereas Simcity's online requirement and the once again failure to predict launch numbers did. Don't get me wrong, I think Mass Effect 3's story was a pile of re-fried garbage fisted out of a mandrill's anus for more than just its ending, but that's off topic.

Still, artistic vision.

Evil Smurf:
Did'n't we know Sim City would be always online a year ago?

Yes, but do you expect gamers to actually not buy a product, just because of known and expected flaws?

Not G. Ivingname:
You know what you can do?

Turn it off.

I am sure you could patch in no always on DRM within a week, or ask the modder what he did.

Otherwise...

Well, if the modder can figure out how to turn off the DRM, the pirating sites will be flooded with the game by tomorrow.

Isn't this "mod" admittedly incomplete? If so, that kinda puts a damper on circumvention.

Honestly, the better solution for gamers would be to, as you put it, "turn it off." Whatever the intent, torrenting the game sends the message to EA that you want to game and only won't pay because you don't have to.

Yes, I know this isn't "the" reason people pirate a game, but that's their takeaway.

What would be awesome is if people decided not to buy or pirate a game. To send the message that they aren't going to put up with this, and that there's no excuse. EA will have trouble continuing this sort of practice if the message is unambiguous.

But alas, that kind of wishful thinking is as likely as John Riccitiello being visited by three ghosts that show him the error of his ways, so he decides to change EA's business practices out of the kindness of his heart.

And as such, I'll leave you with this haunting tale...

God bless us, everyone.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here