While I respect their vision, why can't they just add the offline mode if it has been proven to work?
Giving the player the choice to play offline wouldn't hurt that vision in any way.
Everybody that loves the social aspect can play online with friends and people who don't won't be bothered.
It seems that instead of giving the people what they want they'd rather make excuses, like this one.
Alienating a large part of your fan base doesn't sound like a good business decision to me.
Maxis and EA if you're forcing this always online system on the consumer as DRM, just say so.
Don't hide behind excuses like saying it's for our sake or that it will ruin your vision of the game.
Isn't this exactly what people wanted? Developers to stick with their guns and not tack on extras?
I think there is a lack of focus on the problem here. The problem is that the product didn't work as advertised. It is not that the product is not exactly what the consumer wants it to be.
For clarification: People always complain about tacked on multiplayer that is inconsequential to the core vision of the game.
The people at EA are inadvertently starting to look like the people from Office Space. I wonder if Lucy Bradshaw has 8 different bosses.
Seeing as Maxis only appears to qualify for a "Brand Manager" these days, not a VP or other executive level position, almost certainly at least 8.
No one who witnessed Diablo III's belly-flop at launch couldn't have seen this coming, but I must give EA credit for managing to surprise me at just how badly their train flew off the rails. I assumed that if they were going the whole hog with always online they would at least relegate a substantial amount of info to the server-side so that a cracked copy wouldn't really offer any functionality. But when the mod community peaked under the hood and found it was nothing more than a back-to-base alarm for not being connected, it was almost too funny to believe.
It just goes to show that EA are incredibly out of touch with the broader community of Sim City fans, despite their constant claims to the opposite. Anyone who has even vaguely glanced in the direction of SimTropolis in the past few years would have known that an army of people with vast modding experience would have been picking the guts of this program apart the second it was released. Did they really think they wouldn't get caught with their pants down? Clearly not. EA have obviously decided that their core audience for the franchise are people who like Farmville, and tailored their expectations accordingly.
Of course, this bubble being popped won't stop the board from giving the CEO another huge bonus, nor the PR team calling this a 'success' because enough people bought the game before discovering the litany of flaws within.
The even sadder thing is while they made a bad decision with Diablo III's always on internet stuff, there was at least some sort of a non mercenary logic path to it that they could hide behind. Much of Diablo I and II's success and certainly almost all of Starcrafts was focused around multiplayer. The thing that kept bringing players back after 10 years was the multiplayer stuff. Battlenet etc. Yes there was a strong single player game there, but there was some reasonable calculations to me made when they debated whether or not to build the thing around Battlenet. I don't like it. It flopped hard on launch. And some of the online structured features had the unintended consequences of being long term game poison (ie cash auction house). But you can at least see how, from a purely game and gameplay perspective, they may have come to or at a minimum been able to justify that decision.
But SimCity? Really? Show of hands, who here ever used any multiplayer features in any previous SimCity games? (Where there even any?) I mean SimCity as a MMO? What possible game design argument could be made to justify that? That they had so much success with the Sim's Online that they wanted to do it again? That they had some very valuable data from all 349 Simcity 4 players who ever attempted to use the multiplayer functions? There is no way to get to that design decision that is based on gameplay or game design. It is 100% pure unmitigated mercenary marketing. It is truly appalling. I am not sure it has sunk in with EA yet just how much damage they have done to themselves with this one?
If you froth when you fart fellow gamers it is probably because EA has arse raped you again when your attention was diverted. Now fellow cultists let us chant:
EA EA Sim Citytrash, dead dog of a game with zero fun.
The worst part of this is that we all saw it coming.