American McGee Wants Upset SimCity Gamers to "Relax"

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Yep... more reason to dislike American Mcgee. Telling people to forgive EA's latest poor decision. Lovely.

Classic debate-avoiding rhetoric: just make analogies about how everyone that you disagree with is losing contol, "screaming", "gnashing their teeth", "throwing molten cheese" and "turning it into WWIII".

You know, all these things that are so comparable to writing critical text messages on Internet forums.

Karathos:
Another good argument from an individual torn to shreds by butthurt gamers who freak out at the mere suggestion that their their over-the-top tantrums over everything could possibly be a bad thing. He is not shifting blame from the developer to the consumer - because there's none to shift. People bang on about developer respect, yet they're willing to offer none back. This is the whole "customer is always right" nonsense that's about as archaic as the bloody dinosaurs at a museum.

You can instantly tell people don't have a lot to respond with when they take the other guy's metaphor and make some twisted version of it. Gamers bitch and moan about everything. There are many good causes to fight for when it comes to developer vs. consumer situations, but the majority of the time the way gamers "support" (MASSIVE fingerquotes for emphasis) that cause is by throwing dumb tantrums that only make us seem more childish and juvenile as a whole.

Others have already responded to portions of your quote so I'll just stick to where you comment about his metaphor. People are "twisting" it because, as a metaphor, it sucks. It fails because he massively downplays the broken game as just being slightly different than what was ordered. In no way is a non-functioning game fairly represented by a small mistake in the detail of a drink order. He then follows that up by overplaying the consumer's complaints as somehow physically assaulting the messenger. The metaphor is downright insulting because it demonizes the party that was actually offended by the situation while making it seem as if their grievence is a trivial matter. Being sold a product that does not work is NOT a trivial matter and demonizing people who complain about being slighted is NOT a fair representation of those people.

give me a USB dongle for each game (which costs pennys nowadays) and the PC piracy problem is solved.

i've played every sim city since the first game but they can shove their "everything from now on will be online and pvp" up their fucking arse and i don't care what some 40 year old who largely trades off the kudos earned due to the fact he made a couple maps for Quake 20 odd fucking years ago thinks.

i just want to tooddle away playing a "god game" at my leisure and if "they" won't make what i want to buy someone else will and that someone else will get my money.

try and get this into your thick head mcgee: demand is king. not supply.
you don't get to prescribe to a market you arrogant self-aggrandizing fucks.

Gorrath:
I find his whole spiel to be quite humorous. Gamers didn't turn this into WWIII, the publishers did when they decided that protecting against piracy was more important than the user experience of their paying customers. Why is it so hard for publishers and developers to understand that if you're going to cram DRM into your games, and that DRM causes your game to be unplayable, the people who paid you have good reason to be pissed.

And the reason we have Draconian DRM schemes protecting games these days in the first place is because "gamers" like to not pay for their games, like at all. Just look at Crysis, which was torrented more times from Pirate Bay then it sold actual copies. I am not going to defend EA or always-online DRM, but we should at least be clear with the fact that this kind of respectlessness fully extends both ways. Whoever started it is kind of irrelevant, what matters is that as long as a majority of PC gamers aren't willing to pay for their games and are ready to obtain them illegally instead, we'll be seeing draconian DRM solutions, simply because the developers and producers want to get paid for the product they made.

Gethsemani:

Gorrath:
I find his whole spiel to be quite humorous. Gamers didn't turn this into WWIII, the publishers did when they decided that protecting against piracy was more important than the user experience of their paying customers. Why is it so hard for publishers and developers to understand that if you're going to cram DRM into your games, and that DRM causes your game to be unplayable, the people who paid you have good reason to be pissed.

And the reason we have Draconian DRM schemes protecting games these days in the first place is because "gamers" like to not pay for their games, like at all. Just look at Crysis, which was torrented more times from Pirate Bay then it sold actual copies. I am not going to defend EA or always-online DRM, but we should at least be clear with the fact that this kind of respectlessness fully extends both ways. Whoever started it is kind of irrelevant, what matters is that as long as a majority of PC gamers aren't willing to pay for their games and are ready to obtain them illegally instead, we'll be seeing draconian DRM solutions, simply because the developers and producers want to get paid for the product they made.

I think it says more about the sustainability of the production costs and price points of games than anything about consumers. Seriously, whenever Steam puts on one of their big sales all I hear about is how my friends and I all managed to empty our wallets for all those sweet deals. People are more than willing to pay for games, it's just that the price point is always too high. $60 is a lot to shell out for a game. With production costs continuing to climb ever higher and the economy in the toilet on top of the price point being pretty damn high to begin with, I think we're eventually going to see the unsustainability of the industry play itself out in a particularly ugly fashion.

I do not find issues such as these to be laughing matters. On the contrary, I find them to be quite serious. Laughing it off means letting companies get away with anti-consumer, greedy, unethical business practices.

So no, I will not be "relaxing" until companies stop trying to screw me over.

Keep defending foolish decisions in the industry and trying to excuse them so it can be business as usual, damn the consumer, and you'll follow THQ's path into a shallow grave. For EA's sake, I hope they ignore voices like McGee's, buckle down, retool, and figure out ground-up how to fix both their image and the corporate culture that created it. Gamers, as a whole, don't want to be the industry's enemy; they just want to play games.

And much as I loathe piracy, cripes what a foolish statement; that somehow piracy excuses the SimCity issues because they 'had to do something'. You can prevent looters from hitting your shop by setting it on fire, but that's a pretty damn short-term solution that opens up a pretty long-term problem. I don't think the shop is on fire just yet, but SimCity was the part where the owner bought several canisters of gasoline and started eyeballing crime reports meaningfully.

Timothy Chang:

"Just because you've given a restaurant your business doesn't entitle you to throwing molten cheese fries in your waiter's face if your margarita comes out frozen instead of on the rocks," McGee continued.

Dear Mr McGee.
When I tried to enter the restaurant, whose dinner reservation I had done for weeks long before the restaurant opened I was denied service. This was even though I paid for the food well in advance. The waiter uttered something nonsensical about that the service was unavailable at the moment. Around me I observed that a lot of your clients, also sitting by the tables where denied service and they were quite upset about it. I told the waiter that I was upset and that I wanted to talk to the manager about the poor service.

I had to wait countless hours for the manager to show up and when he finally showed up he offered me a glass of water to calm me down. I said "yes, please" and as waited for him to open a bottle of bottled water; instead he pulled down his pants in front of me. He placed his crotch right in front of me and he urinated in my face. As this occured I scream at him "Sir! I believe you are urinating on my face!". "No!" he replied. "It's raining!" he said. "It's raining water!". He perceived to urinate on my face and trying to convince me of that it was raining.

If you are going to use lame analogies to help your cause, you better use analogies that are accordingly to what the actual incident is about. You are doing one hell of a piss-poor job at being the devils advocate.

PunkRex:
Guy would have a good point... if it was the first time. EA does this constantly, if it was a one off I doubt people would be as mad.

Show me another EA game with always online that went this badly. Battlefield 3 worked fine for me at midnight on release, as it did for most people.

cidbahamut:
Snip

Those same games that are cheaper than they were in the past? Those ones have too high of production costs and are too expensive?

...yeah.

Gethsemani:

Gorrath:
I find his whole spiel to be quite humorous. Gamers didn't turn this into WWIII, the publishers did when they decided that protecting against piracy was more important than the user experience of their paying customers. Why is it so hard for publishers and developers to understand that if you're going to cram DRM into your games, and that DRM causes your game to be unplayable, the people who paid you have good reason to be pissed.

And the reason we have Draconian DRM schemes protecting games these days in the first place is because "gamers" like to not pay for their games, like at all. Just look at Crysis, which was torrented more times from Pirate Bay then it sold actual copies. I am not going to defend EA or always-online DRM, but we should at least be clear with the fact that this kind of respectlessness fully extends both ways. Whoever started it is kind of irrelevant, what matters is that as long as a majority of PC gamers aren't willing to pay for their games and are ready to obtain them illegally instead, we'll be seeing draconian DRM solutions, simply because the developers and producers want to get paid for the product they made.

Wow that is a lot of projecting your opinions as facts. You have statistics to prove that majority of PC games don't want to pay for their games? I honestly doubt it. Even Gabe Newell has said that piracy is a service issue more than anything. For me steam is more convenient than torrenting an illegal game and trying to make sure it works.

Also for the point I bolded, you are defending EA's decision in the worst possible way, blaming the consumer. Not only that but blaming the consumer without any facts and just being douchy all around about it. Please for gods sake get some perspective before you start spouting nonsense.

OT: I had a very good laugh when Mcgee said we needed to balance the relationship. I don't think he quite gets what balance means.

"Do gamers or the media think EA or Blizzard wanted things to go so badly at launch? Do they think all the screaming and gnashing of teeth actually helped resolve those issues more quickly? There's got to be a balance to the relationship,"

They might've not wanted it, but they knew it was going to happen, and did nothing about it - people buy games at launch to play them at launch. They should've at least given coupons for EA Origin/Battle.net as an apology, but they didn't bother, because they knew it was going to happen and weren't really sorry for it.
Screaming and bitching is the only way of letting a publisher/developer know how much their game sucks after already giving them money. Hopefully, next time people won't pay in the first place instead.
There's no balance in this relationship - once you bought the game, you have no guarantee that you'll get what you paid for. I don't see how not complaining about shitty practices will balance it out.

Yes, I know he's not reading this.

American McGee doesn't get it. This isn't a backlash against launch issues, this is a backlash against the INTENTIONAL use of always online DRM.

The backlash is us speaking out trying to stop them from using it in the future.

Gethsemani:

Gorrath:
I find his whole spiel to be quite humorous. Gamers didn't turn this into WWIII, the publishers did when they decided that protecting against piracy was more important than the user experience of their paying customers. Why is it so hard for publishers and developers to understand that if you're going to cram DRM into your games, and that DRM causes your game to be unplayable, the people who paid you have good reason to be pissed.

And the reason we have Draconian DRM schemes protecting games these days in the first place is because "gamers" like to not pay for their games, like at all. Just look at Crysis, which was torrented more times from Pirate Bay then it sold actual copies. I am not going to defend EA or always-online DRM, but we should at least be clear with the fact that this kind of respectlessness fully extends both ways. Whoever started it is kind of irrelevant, what matters is that as long as a majority of PC gamers aren't willing to pay for their games and are ready to obtain them illegally instead, we'll be seeing draconian DRM solutions, simply because the developers and producers want to get paid for the product they made.

Thanks for responding with a well argued point. I want to make a clarification and a point. To clarify, when I say 'gamers' I mean those people who pay for games. I realize there are gamers who pirate things, but I refer to those people simply as pirates. I should really drop the 'gamers' moniker and just call people either consumers or pirates. My point was meant to address the fact that paying customers didn't start this battle, but they are often the ones who end up paying for it because the publishers/developers exact that toll on the paying consumer, not the pirate.

My further point would be that I don't believe that DRM is simply anti-pirate enforcement as it often fails to deter piracy much at all. I believe that DRM isn't even primarily about piracy, its about greater control over the distribution of product. I think it has more to do with further monetization of products in the form of DLC/Micro-transactions than anything. Why allow a modding community to exist that creates free, often times superior work which would threaten your own planned DLC releases? This is not always the case of course, as some forms of DRM don't jive with the product distribution theory. But I do think publishers do use DRM for this purpose under the guise of anti-piracy behavior.

You guys, don't you see? It needs to be a balanced relationship. They treat us like criminals, ruin games with DRM, sell us products that don't function, and deny refunds. We shut up and bend over. A perfect balance between game seller and consumer.

It's always humorous when NON-RELEVANT game creators like American McGee and Denis Dyack say things that they expect people to take seriously...

American McGee...you made "Bad Day LA"...I will NEVER take anything you say seriously ever again...

"Just because you've given a restaurant your business doesn't entitle you to throwing molten cheese fries in your waiter's face if your margarita comes out frozen instead of on the rocks,"

This is an incredibly poor simile. If EA gave everyone the game for free up front and you paid later and when your order was fulfilled, there wouldn't be much of an issue. Also, did anyone throw cheese fires at EA? As far as I know, no physical violence has been accounted for.

All the backlash, thus far, has been verbal complaints, just like the restaurant in question would receive.

If the game companies like EA wouldn't throw shit in our face such as always online DRM we wouldn't be throwing shit back at them such as massive outrage. Of course they didn't want things to go badly but they didn't learn from previous times when always online DRM was a massive problem. By choosing to go with something they know people despise they brought this on themselves.

Wow. I feel like I read a completely different article from the rest of you guys.

He's not trying to shift the blame from EA, he's telling us to just chill out a bit. This is definitely quite ignorant on his part, since he should know by this point that once the Internet gets mad, it gets REALLY mad, no matter how unimportant the issue is. But it's nice to have somebody saying it, especially since the "EA = Insert Dictator Who Killed Millions" comparisons have become pretty common lately (that, and the mere suggestion that we may be overreacting has spawned some pretty ridiculous accusations regarding Mr. McGee's character in these comments)

Yes. EA royally fucked up. Again. And then they lied about it and generally made things much worse. We all have every right to bitch and complain and make ourselves heard. But we should also try to remember, as we type out our epic monologues of righteous gamer rage, that this is a video game. It's a luxury that, as much as we love and adore it, isn't that important in the grand scheme of things. At the very least, let's try to be rational in our bitching.

Let's draw the line at "EA is fucking stupid," not "EA killed everything beautiful in the world then it murdered my family and dog and oh by the way it's actually Hitler." Most of us do draw this line, of course, but it never hurts to remind ourselves about it.

I've never understood what anyone thought was so great about any game this guy designed. I guess someone must buy them.

And no, I didn't go on a cross-website ragepost binge or anything when Sim City launched, but that's because I didn't buy Sim City. Nor have I purchased any of EA's recent fare at anything more than 75% off.

So perhaps EA might prefer that I was a day one buyer that got angry on the Internet, instead of someone who has grown so tired of their slapdash products that I never buy anything of theirs except at deep discount?

But please, EA can handle some bad press, they're big boys. The sure don't need American McGee, of all people, to rush to their defense. One might almost think he's trying to draw some attention to himself, but surely he wouldn't be that desperate for some press, right?

Gethsemani:
And the reason we have Draconian DRM schemes protecting games these days in the first place is because "gamers" like to not pay for their games, like at all. Just look at Crysis, which was torrented more times from Pirate Bay then it sold actual copies. I am not going to defend EA or always-online DRM, but we should at least be clear with the fact that this kind of respectlessness fully extends both ways. Whoever started it is kind of irrelevant, what matters is that as long as a majority of PC gamers aren't willing to pay for their games and are ready to obtain them illegally instead, we'll be seeing draconian DRM solutions, simply because the developers and producers want to get paid for the product they made.

Seriously. I'm freaking waiting.

American, Frankie, McGee says Relax.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyl5DlrsU90

As for his restaurant analogy:
Once upon a time there was a chain of restaurants called "Sim City." The food was unique and delicious, but after the launch of their fourth restaurant the company who owned them, Maxis, decided to put the chain on hiatus for a while.

The existing restaurants remained open of course, but the menus stayed the same and nothing new came out. There were was an attempt to create a new, more 'hip', version called "Sim City Societies. But sadly the food was bad Nouvelle Cuisine, small portions and bland. So again the brand was put on hiatus.

Then along came Maxis' parent company, EA, who said to them; "Guys, we like money. You like money, we all like money. We want to make sure we get all the money we possibly can, and to do this we propose bringing back fan favourites that have been left on the shelf for a while. Dust off the Sim City plans, you'll be building a new one!"

Maxis replied; "But wait didn't you tell us to burn them after Sim City Societies opened?"
EA then hit them over the head till they went away and got back to work.

And so Maxis toiled away to create a new Sim City, but as they did something strange happened. With previous Sim City restaurants you simply called in your order and had it delivered to your home, but the new one got rid of that - now you had to go to the restaurant and sit down to eat.

You could bring friends with you, and they would be seated at the same table as you and their selections of food would affect your food. But if you decided to come in alone you would be seated with a bunch of strangers - who would be able to affect your food as if they were your friends. As an alternative you could sit alone - but you'd be expected to sit in all of the chairs at your table and eat all of the food delivered to each seat.

If you want to save some of your meal for later (save) you have to send it back to the kitchen - no doggy bags to bring it home with you. If you want the Chef to add a special ingredient you brought with you (mods) you'd be beaten about the head and banned for life from entering the restaurant.

And then they built it with those rules in place... ..but that's not where the story ends.

When it opened a huge number of people turned up to eat, for they remembered what the old Sim City's were like and wanted to see what new ideas the Chefs had come up with. But so many came that they soon ran out of space at the tables, and the cue built up outside. Meanwhile inside the restaurant people discovered that the chairs only had one leg, and would often fall over at random - if you fell off your chair you were kicked out of the restaurant back into the cue, and only occasionally would your food be kept in for when you got back in.

To top it off the food was bland, and served in tiny portions - with no desert in sight.

For some reason, people got quite angry with Maxis and EA. They demanded to know why they made these changes to the Sim City formula, and demanded they be reversed! They wanted to sit at home and eat delicious food once more, in fact one man discovered that you could get the new Sim City to deliver if you were able to convince them you were a manager - showing that despite what Maxis said it was far from impossible to do!

But that didn't fit with Maxis' vision of how the Sim City Restaurant should be run, so the diners got told to shut up and were given vouchers to other restaurants to keep them quiet.

I think that about covers it.

Timothy Chang:
"Do gamers or the media think EA or Blizzard wanted things to go so badly at launch? Do they think all the screaming and gnashing of teeth actually helped resolve those issues more quickly? There's got to be a balance to the relationship," he commented.

You want to know what would help the relationship? Putting out a functional product.

I agree, why are you making such a fuss of things, just because you pay top dollar doesn't mean you are entitled to a quality experience, you will eat shit and love it, also pay for it, a lot!

Thank god we have such inspirational people as McGee to enlighten us in our hours of need... you bloody twat.

CDP_RED/GOG don't need to tell their customers to relax. they are relaxed. no DRM and no multilayer didn't hurt them. and don't treat their customers like they are to blame for their failures and need to STFU

I don't follow this industry enough to know who some guy named American McGee is, or who the hell calls themselves, 'American' for their first name.

I'm a bit torn, and unsure what point he's trying to make.

If there's any point to his baffling, 'it's not you, it's the air conditioner' counter to gamers who place the blame on EA for their handling of this issue... it's the part where he mentions there's too much fire and brimstone TALK.

If you want change, stop buying games that have such silly, unnecessary requirements like this always online for a single player game. Or, like Jimquisition mentioned... wait 2 weeks or so. I'm sure executives don't follow these games far after release numbers come out. The incentive for anyone or any business to innovate or change their business model is low when they still make big dollars with releases like this.

On the other hand, if he's trying to say gamers need to take a step back and care a bit LESS about the industry and find some other hobbies to take up their time, I would argue if gamers actually followed this advice and were not so rabid about certain new titles with a number 3 or 4+ next to the name and didn't devour them so quickly, and with such vigor... the industry would not be able to release the repetitive samey games each developer seems to get away with.

Call of Duty, Madden, Modern Warfare, Crysis, Devil May Cry, Resident Evil, hell even Starcraft II feels a lot like Diablo III sometimes.

Perhaps that would require developers to focus more on games that really offer a signature experience that really draws players in a way that they have not experienced in the past.

He really stepped out in front of this train?

So according to American, we shouldn't complain that we paid $60 to $80 for a product that was nonfunctional from day one and still has functions of the full game disabled? That's absolutely the worst advice someone could give. If there is a problem with something you bought for a decent amount, you damn well complain about it. Jim Sterling said it best "You are not a dog, you do not need to behave like one". After this comment, American shouldn't be surprised that his upcoming kickstarter for Alice 3 has difficulties.

I have never understood why gaming news sites hang on every word this dude says? Has anyone ever actually played any games that he himself came up with? Alice was not really that well received and was a sort of Tim Burton acid trip. Everything else has been bargain bin shelf Warner's or was cancelled over finances. He gets by by being opinionated and sucking up to stupid Goth nitwits. I think some above said it best. If you want to step between a shitstorm argument between the customer and the producer, at a minimum be a viable and credible producer. Otherwise please just shut up.

China McGee needs to shut the hell up. Do I think EA and Blizzard WANTED things to go wrong, no. But they sure as fuck should have seen it coming, as a lot of gamers did. Seriously, I think fan reaction to SimCity was UNDERWHELMING compared to what it could have been and what EA deserved for fucking players over with never-gonna-work DRM.

Welp, it's become abundantly clear that McGee has become little more than an industry apologist, at this point. Did EA threaten to not produce his next game if he didn't agree to be their mouthpiece? Given that they literally hired people to write bogus positive reviews of the game a few weeks ago, it wouldn't surprise me at all.

Gethsemani:

Gorrath:
I find his whole spiel to be quite humorous. Gamers didn't turn this into WWIII, the publishers did when they decided that protecting against piracy was more important than the user experience of their paying customers. Why is it so hard for publishers and developers to understand that if you're going to cram DRM into your games, and that DRM causes your game to be unplayable, the people who paid you have good reason to be pissed.

And the reason we have Draconian DRM schemes protecting games these days in the first place is because "gamers" like to not pay for their games, like at all. Just look at Crysis, which was torrented more times from Pirate Bay then it sold actual copies. I am not going to defend EA or always-online DRM, but we should at least be clear with the fact that this kind of respectlessness fully extends both ways. Whoever started it is kind of irrelevant, what matters is that as long as a majority of PC gamers aren't willing to pay for their games and are ready to obtain them illegally instead, we'll be seeing draconian DRM solutions, simply because the developers and producers want to get paid for the product they made.

It isn't that "gamers don't like to pay for games". You may have noticed some services that have made billions of dollars on the exact opposite argument. Steam and ITunes being the big ones. The key is to price your product where the purchaser finds value and is willing to scream "shut up and take my money!" $69 for a non functional triple A title is not this place. Quite frankly Fuck DRM, not because I think it is wrong for producers to expect to get paid for their product, but because I think it is a poor economic and financial solution to the problem. The secret to people not stealing your product is to lower the barrier of legitimate entry. Make it easier and less painful to buy a legit copy then it is to jump through hoops pirating it. Part of that is setting the price at a point where the consumer finds value for what they are getting. THAT is the true point of balance. That is what Mr. McGee completely fails to realize. And big producers like EA just can never grasp.

Simple Math. If instead of putting in place.heir complex, clubby, overhead extensive and ongoing lay expensive always online model, EA had simply made a single player game with online matching, and put it up on Steam and Origin for $29 they would have made far more money net, with almost no piracy. People pay for what they perceive as value. They only pirate that which is already perceived as valueless.

And off to then side is EA gesturing and going

"Stop talking! Stop talking! People are staring to forget! Stop Talking!"

Oh and BWT if it's not that big of an issue some places are already starting to drop the price to 33% off roughly three weeks after release.

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