Microsoft Exec on Always Online Consoles: "Deal With it"

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Deal with it what an ass it would be nice if he would eat his words but with the success of Diablo and Simcities always online Scheme people most likely will deal with it to get their hands on the next halo or all the DLC that Microsoft bogarts.

Winthrop:

BurnOutBrighter:
Front page on Reddit and all over the big news sites now. HUGE PR disaster for MS.

Oh, and there's also the meme!

image

Oh god Sim City ad showed up on that page. Cannot stop laughing. Was having a rough day this helped haha.

that page was a thing of beauty thank you.

This page really should be updated with Microsofts reaction

Here's a link for anyone interested: http://thenextweb.com/microsoft/2013/04/05/microsoft-apologizes-for-employees-xbox-durango-always-online-tweets-claims-customer-centric-approach/

In till the day of the actual Xbox 720/Durango/Next (or whatever it actually ends up being called) and we can actual see how the always on requirement is implemented and what it offers/restricts users from doing there's no way of knowing if the always on requirement will be a hindrance to its targeted audience or a boon.

I remember when the Wii was first announced and all the hardcore gamers started bitching about the fact that it was going to flop because they weren't going to buy it as it was causal centric and last time I checked the wii had the most amount of physical console sales for that gen.

So while I agree that always online sucks balls the best thing we can do to voice our disdain is vote with our wallets and not buy the damn thing, even though I don't think Microsoft will be that worried as there a massive company and they would already have a target audience in mind and maybe only selling to the MILLIONS of people who actually live in a location that offers always on as a viable thing and alienating all those who live in locations that cant has been there plan all along.

Heck xbox live is more focussed as a streaming service these days then a gaming one and if everyone who used to use their xbox 360 for access to Netflix etc alone buys one that still a pretty big customer base for the thing based of those number alone.

BurnOutBrighter:
Front page on Reddit and all over the big news sites now. HUGE PR disaster for MS.

Oh, and there's also the meme!

image

It's not a disaster at all; most likely by the time the "Durango" is revealed, the public at large will have forgotten this.

EDIT:
And the followup pitch...

Microsoft:
"We apologize for the inappropriate comments made by an employee on Twitter yesterday. This person is not a spokesperson for Microsoft, and his personal views do not reflect the customer centric approach we take to our products or how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers. We are very sorry if this offended anyone, however we have not made any announcements about our product roadmap, and have no further comment on this matter."

Typical deflection speech.
Let me translate:
"We'd prefer if you forgot what the man said...
...*fake apology for an opinion they just disowned*...
...*placating comment to kiss consumers ass*...
"...we have no further comment."

The one thing I have learned about the average consumer... the console could demand a blood sample taken straight from the heart via chainsaw and people will still call it the greatest thing ever because of the company. The guy should have said "Hey, be annoyed! We'll just tell other people how great and rewarding always online will be and they'll eat it up because we tell them what's good for them".

This gen showed without a doubt at least with consoles that a company can do ANYTHING with zero positives and people will scream and shout how awesome it is much louder than those who dislike it.

Kael Arawn:
snip

yay! Dune avatar! :P

Atmos Duality:

BurnOutBrighter:
Front page on Reddit and all over the big news sites now. HUGE PR disaster for MS.

Oh, and there's also the meme!

image

It's not a disaster at all; most likely by the time the "Durango" is revealed, the public at large will have forgotten this.

I think you are seriously underestimating peoples memory. Especially considering they are likely going to be wanting to launch in about 7 months from now in time for the holiday season.

An apology is nice, but the meme should definitely rage on until he's fired. Fill up your Twitter feeds and Facebook pages until he's sacked! I'm sure his wage has been high enough for him to afford at least a few months of unemployment.

Ryan Minns:
The one thing I have learned about the average consumer... the console could demand a blood sample taken straight from the heart via chainsaw and people will still call it the greatest thing ever because of the company. The guy should have said "Hey, be annoyed! We'll just tell other people how great and rewarding always online will be and they'll eat it up because we tell them what's good for them".

This gen showed without a doubt at least with consoles that a company can do ANYTHING with zero positives and people will scream and shout how awesome it is much louder than those who dislike it.

Spot on!

Desert Punk, Thankyou. Yours is awesome as well footrot flats is great, ill never forget the first time i saw the film and ive enjoyed many a hour of reading the comic. Anything to do with horse or "the grey ghost" (dogs super hero persona) is just pure win :)

And every one else :- WAHHHHHHHHH!!! A ELITIST PRICK DISAGREES WITH ME I MUST USE THE COLLECTIVE RAGE OF THE INTERNET TO GET HIM FIRED RIGHT NOW TO STOP MY BUTT HURT!

As i said earlier vote with your wallet when the consoles out besides that you are all simply crying over proverbial split milk.

Desert Punk:

I think you are seriously underestimating peoples memory. Especially considering they are likely going to be wanting to launch in about 7 months from now in time for the holiday season.

I wish I were, but I've given the general public far too much credit before.
Two years ago, I watched Sony suffer two massive PR black eyes...and then everyone went about their business like nothing happened.

I'll grant that Sony apologized for what was one of the largest network security breaches in history, but the removal of Other-OS should have been a wakeup call. It proved that the relationship between consumer and console provider had changed, in a rather scary way.
People raged about for maybe a couple of weeks, then completely dismissed it and went right back to supporting Sony. (whose market share was growing; they were catching up to the 360 in active units)

Compare that to something like Mass Effect 3; its controversy left a much stronger, lasting impression.
What was its crime? The ending sucked. That's it.
Shit, that's nothing new or scary.

Unless it hurts them immediately, the general public will not care for long.

Atmos Duality, very good point the removal of other OS from the ps3 was a huge thing in my eyes and most people that i know who own a ps3 where "meh" about it but nearly everyone I know who played ME3 complained about the ending when it was brought up in conversation and games having shitty endings is a pretty universal thing.

Also i feel obliged to point-out that if you wanted to keep other os as an option all you needed to do was not apply the update which removed it. It's a gruesome fact that if you want to apply updates made by a company AFTER you purchase the hardware or do anything online that requires connecting to a service like XBL or PSN then you agree to them screwing with your console.

Any PS3 sold without other os as a function was sold without it being a function so no once can bitch about it being a promised function as it wasn't promised to people who bought ps3s past the initial wave.

There is a solution though simply buy your hardware and keep it offline and mod the bugger out of it so it can do what you want it to.

I should also point out that I live in Australia and in the land of oz its legal to do whatever you like to a piece of hardware you own but by playing with the devices hardware/firmware voids your warranty and thus your service agreement with the manufacturer.

Case point my CECHA01 model ps3 is still running other os in the form of a install of DamnSmallLinix and I have never had to upgrade the firmware as I have multiman installed and can use it to get around the need for firmware updates to play games, I can't use it on the PSN but since I'm a single player focused gamer it's never phased me.

And if Microsoft are planning on the NEXT being focused as a media extender more than a console (which would require always on to offer most of its functionality), I seriously see nothing wrong with it being always on and if I want to play games offline there always pc & ps4.

Or are people really that attached to halo :P

Due to Microsofts current "promises" for the next Xbox, I convince an average 150 people a day to not buy the next console.

Deal with THAT, Microsoft.

Sorry Orthy, but I work in the electronics department of my job, specifically with video games, and there are a surprising number of customers that don't have or use online services. You wanna alienate those customers? Go for it.

Personally, I have a shitty ISP, but it's also the ONLY ISP in my area, unless I wanna go the Dish route. If it goes down (which it often does) and I lose the ability to use my Xbox, once instance of that happening is all it would take for me to switch to Playstation... or hell, just stick with my PC.

And I will try and convince people to be rational and to spend there money on the system that most matches the functionality they require from a entertainment device

And since "dedicated gamers" make up less then a quarter of current AAA game sales and the industry as a whole is aimed at "filthy casual's" who play games as a time waster and use there consoles as a media extender the rest of the time I will probably be recommending people buy a decent shuttle pc :P

EDIT

Or a Ouya :)

Sheo, Im in the console/pc supply industry myself and a large part of my income comes form me going to peoples houses and setting up live profiles and the likes as they cant figure out how to do it themselves and I would say 2 out of every 3 xbox 360s I sell end up online due to "all the other crap" people do with them beside play games, and i think that's the market Microsoft are aiming for and everyone else is just dead consumer weight in there eyes.

I have had ALOT of luck building and selling my own "steam boxes" as well in the form of shuttle xpcs (preloaded to bugger with freeware and delivered/setup most of the time in packs with microsoft wireless receivers and Xbox wireless game pads)and I personally think anyone who buys a console at launch when you can build a perfectly respectable shuttle pc for about $600 and have access to the entire steam backlog of games as well as a open ended architecture is mad!

But that's the common sense option and it really isn't that common.

Also as i mentioned i make a living selling consoles & peripherals, building/fixing pc's and i also work as a reseller for a few different ISPs so i might be slightly biased when it comes to having a opinion on the subject of always on being a requirement.

Kael Arawn:
Sheo, Im in the console/pc supply industry myself and a large part of my income comes form me going to peoples houses and setting up live profiles and the likes as they cant figure out how to do it themselves and I would say 2 out of every 3 xbox 360s I sell end up online due to "all the other crap" people do with them beside play games, and i think that's the market Microsoft are aiming for and everyone else is just dead consumer weight in there eyes.

I have had ALOT of luck building and selling my own "steam boxes" as well in the form of shuttle xpcs (preloaded to bugger with freeware and delivered/setup most of the time in packs with microsoft wireless receivers and Xbox wireless game pads)and I personally think anyone who buys a console at launch when you can build a perfectly respectable shuttle pc for about $600 and have access to the entire steam backlog of games as well as a open ended architecture is mad!

But that's the common sense option and it really isn't that common.

Also as i mentioned i make a living selling consoles & peripherals, building/fixing pc's and i also work as a reseller for a few different ISPs so i might be slightly biased when it comes to having a opinion on the subject of always on being a requirement.

The interesting thing is that you're still confirming that 1 in every 3 customers does not take their system online. That was the kind of number I was talking about. That's a third of their customers. I mean, would Microsoft really be willing to take the hit on a third of their customers just to force their 'always online' console on the remaining two-thirds? Yes, many people use features on Xbox Live for things other than gaming, but Smart TVs are becoming pretty common, and those TVs give you access to all that 'other crap.' So why pay for a service like Xbox Live just to access those other services which are already being offered by your TV?

I like consoles, personally, and there are a lot of console games I really enjoy. I have an up to date PC which I use for certain games (Skyrim, MMORPGs), but I'll still want one of the new systems. I just fail to see what advantage always-online would offer me. Sometimes my ISP goes down while I'm playing a game and I get disconnected from XBL, but it's not a big deal if I'm playing a single player game. I'm sure the ISPs you work with in your area are respectable, but mine happen to be shit, so perhaps I'm biased too.

Excellent some real debate about the underlying issue of the concept not just "RAGH ALWAYS ONLINE SUCKS, IM NOT BUYING IT".

Firstly ill address the concept that the actual threads about, the Microsoft exec who made the comments is a elitist douche, but he's an executive so being a douche comes with the turf and it's his personal opinion so he's entitled to it.

And if we were all commenting and raging about his options and only his opinion's we would all be simply saying "he's a douche" but where not so this tread is mainly about the concept of the NEXT being a always online console so lets address it as such.

Right of the bat people have to stop thinking as Microsoft as a game company, I also think referring to the xbox as part of Microsoft's gaming division or saying Microsoft even has a gaming divisions as a whole is oxymoronic as Microsoft has a MEDIA ENTERTAINMENT division and that's a completely different thing.

Ever since the first Xbox was released it has been Microsoft's intent to provide a content distribution system that is accepted as a standard device in a living room simply because pcs never really have been and the end goal of this strategy has always been to become a MAJOR PLAYER in the digital distribution market with each console offering more and more functions besides gaming.

The issue is that Apple bet them to the punch with iTunes and the explosion of the popularity of the idevice, ever since then they have been scrambling to regain a market share that they felt they lost before they even had there foot properly in the door.

So let's apply this paradigm to the NEXT box, let's say the NEXT box comes out and 90% of its sub functions are locked behind an online gate and said functions that they have locked away are aimed at digital distribution of movies, music, streaming tv, etc. Then add into the equation the fact that a very large portion of common society still doesn't have a damn clue what they're doing when it comes to digital distribution, it would be highly advantageous for Microsoft to start marketing there next console as always online as it would alleviate all the BS that comes from a customer not understanding why half the functions there device offers are not functional as if they have to "connected to the net to have it work from the start" so most of the extra crap would function out of the box.

I totally agree that the fact that being online would be a deterrent to at least a third of their potential customer base but if those customer are only using the machine to play games which Microsoft get a much smaller cut from them profit wise vs say a digital music sale on a unit by unit basis why would they expend resources/effort trying to keep them.

So focusing on those people who do buy it and use it online as a digital distribution machine would more than make up for the lost customer basis and thus the concept of dead commercial weight is applicable i.e. where keeping existing customer happy far outweighs the benefits of focusing on bringing in new customers after a different more cost effective service.

I also agree that most modern smart tvs have all the functions that a xbox offers built in but as I have stated previously most common users don't even understand this stuff let alone set it up or use it and Microsoft have MASSIVE brand recognition with the Xbox as a media extending online thingy already and people are used to comfort and convenience so if they are used to the Xbox name as well as the functionality already for that type of stuff they will stick with it, which brings me to my next point.

Do you have any clue how excited most media company would be by the concept of a locked down media distribution system for home use with even a portion of the xboxs current market share? I guarantee you there's a lot of music executives getting rather excited by the prospect right now as it offers drm control ON ALL stuff sold via the network, and Microsoft would be looking to please the people who own IP rights on this type of stuff now more than ever as making fat stacks of cash for selling other peoples product on your own digital distribution networks is a very lucrative industry practice just ask valve.

Look at what Microsoft did with window's 8 a large portion of its new functionality is expressly designed to make it easier for the customers to buy crap from them and with brand named services like skype that they are building into the console as a base function I can see how there marketing push for the thing will have VERY little to do with gaming (it will be a after thought).

This is also self-evident if you look at their actual game output as a company, they used to fund more game development BEFORE the advent of the xbox and there actual game division has only got smaller over time (Ensemble I shall for ever morn ye!).

I also wouldn't be surprised if they severely decrease the cost of live with the NEXT or even make it free outside of paying for your actual subscriptions to services (netflix) or for multiplayer gaming, and I would be very surprised if they don't have some type of limited offline mode for games as all games will be force installed to a hard drive anyway according to other news on the console and I expect them to start trying to push the zune/window's phone/window's 8 shared infrastructure a lot more through marketing/sales and those work on an account locked offline model so why wouldn't the NEXT.

I think we simply have to accept that all the mega bucks in the gaming/personal entertainment field are in selling and marketing to the majority and we (dedicated gamers) are NO LONGER THE MAJORITY OF A CONSOLES SALES MARKET!

But then I liked deus ex invisible war so all my options should be seen as those of a ranting mad man :)

Nothing to say that likely hasn't been said. Just expressing solidarity in the disgust.

I wish I could drag him on over to my Uni accommodation, where the following are true;

1) WiFi does not reach my room well enough to connect.
2)While I am provided with excellent wired internet, I am NOT permitted to connect a router or network switch to the cable. If more IPs are detected than the one device I'm allowed to connect, then I'll get fined by the uni.

I currently have my PS3 next to my desk, which I occasionally game on. If it were an always-online console, I'd have to disconnect the Internet from my PC every time I wanted to play. Considering the fact that I'll often be gaming on the PS3 with a guide or some other related stuff open on the PC, this would be a massive pain in the arse. Not to mention the fact that swapping cables/having to buy some sort of switcher would be incredibly annoying.

This exec needs to learn that sometimes, internet access is limited and he needs to learn to deal with that.

Wow just wow,
Well i guess i won't be getting a next gen xbox 760 then. So not only do i have to pay for the privilege of playing online like my current xbox, i need to be always online now. Well i guess i won't be getting this next gen for xbox. Just have to wait and watch the ps4 details on how it runs now before i think about getting that. In any case seems i'll be just keeping this current gen for much longer heh.

I also probably wont buy one for myself. Well in till there's some universally cool mods available for it, at which stage since it force installs all game to a hard drive im expecting "the scene" to mod in NoCd.xex support which will lead to a FLOOD of piracy kinda like pc (.xex is the xbox executable extension).

But i will be selling them if a customer asks for one and i expect there to be descent demand for them, as opposed to the WiiU which i have only sold 13 of since release (and i haven't bought one for myself yet either).

The main point is that dedicated gamers are being deluded if they think there (our) numbers matter in the long run.

Also has anyone stopped to think that Microsoft might be simply getting ahead of the curb on this one, even Sony thinks that by the time the PS5 roles around game streaming services like on live will dominate the gaming scene and Microsoft might be aiming for the NEXT to be the last console they ever make as by the time the PS5 arrives they can simply start using the grunt of the NEXT to stream games from a dedicated server and that means once again our short term hatred for the thing is meaningless in the long term.

Also its pretty much confirmed that BLURAY will be the last form of physical media advancement we ever get outside of SSD's and it has a BLURAY drive.

Remember its already confirmed the thing will work with any old usb device as storage and its rumored that it will have 2.5' sata bay as well which will just lead more credence to the concept that its designed to be around for quite a while and is aimed at digital distribution of entertainment first and foremost.

The real solutions to everyone woes, GET A DECENT SHUTTLE PC with a ps3 or 360 control and bind them to it and install steam.

And if its to "pcey" for you pay a nerd to customize the ass out of it so its user friendly :P

Seriously EVERYTHING you all want is perennially available on a pc (universal backwards compatibility, offline mode etc) and i bet you can get one for less then a new console at launch and there open ended architecture, so you can swap out cards when its under powered instead of buying a brand new console every 5 years.

So pc, less expensive,offers more for much less, plus 1 billion other reasons, and everyone seems to hate where newer consoles are going, so why are ppls still obsessed with gaming on them (consoles that is)?

Catcha - no soup for you, seems strangely relevant :P

image

EDIT

Also with the fact that backwards compatibility seems to be thrown by the wayside with the direction the current consoles are headed it should mean that xbox 360s and there game collections retain some semblance of value just like the snes etc, unlike the PSx which was worth about the same as a brick once the PS2 launched due to backwards compatibility.

So there is that as a bonus :P

"Every device now is "always on". That's the world we live in."
Really? my Xbox 360 isn't "always on", the PS3 isn't "always on", and the PS4 won't be "always on", and even my laptop isn't "always on"
So tell me, what devices exactly are "always on"

Bwahahahaha.
I'd like to know if someone from the Company later told him that people don't like that much. Also, the later comparison with the vacuum cleaner sucks, the thing requires energy to run and gets this energy by electricity.
So do the consoles and my PC isn't running with a steam engine either.
Everything we know about the durango thing is that it will play videogames. As of now, we have several devices that play the latest videogames that don't require online connections.

Someone's done a Hitler Rant to go with the other Meme pics regarding this debarkle.

And there are unconfirmed reports that Adam Orth no longer works for Microsoft.

http://4playernetwork.com/blog/2013/04/adam-orth-article/

Relevant information is at the bottom

I will deal with it. I won't buy it, that's the best way to deal with it :-)

No.

We're not gonna "deal with" shitty DRM, you condescending little [POST EXPUNGED].

Now you have to "deal with" severely reduced sales due to your fuck-up now.

Ed130:

And there are unconfirmed reports that Adam Orth no longer works for Microsoft.

http://4playernetwork.com/blog/2013/04/adam-orth-article/

Relevant information is at the bottom

my my, that is quite the interesting update.

I look forward to seeing if this gets confirmed.

Thanks for the link!

Pebkio:
Yeah, we certainly weren't bypassing that crap since it's beginnings.

And you kind of invalidated your argument there.

What concerns me the most about the "always-on" approach is not that I could be kept from playing because my connection is down today or tomorrow, although that thought doesn't really appeal to me either. What concerns me is if these games will still be playable ten or twenty years in the future. What happens when Microsoft's servers are shut down? Will my copy of the game be useless?

It both bothers me because I wanna be able to go back to the games I'm playing now in a couple of decades, but also because it says something about how publishers look at the games they put out. I mean, isn't a game worth more to them than some use-and-throw entertainment meant to be played only when it's new only to then be forgotten and never touched again? You don't even have to be of the opinion that games are art in order to believe that they are worth preserving and have value that lasts more than a couple of months after launch.

It's not just always-online DRM schemes that are worrisome in that regard (there's a similar problem with DLC), but the most infuriating because it's hard to see what benefits we really get from it.

I never had a PS3, but it looks like I'm looking into a PS4. I can live without any more Halo and Gears. The next Xbox (whatever they're calling it) WILL flop, there's just no way around it.

I can't add much to the conversation that hasn't already been said. In the sense of "always on" that SimCity was or Durango is rumored to be no, there is no device that is "always on" like that and it is ludicrous and downright insulting to think such a world exists. To twist the meaning of those words and people's understanding of our technological landscape insults his fans, Microsoft's followers, and his own position and the experience that comes with it.

It's opinions like that which continue the dangerous corporate world we live in. Companies keep doing things based on the mantra that "we're in it to make money" (which isn't completely the reason for their existence but that's a whole other issue) until one day they do something that could make them that much more extra money from a certain perspective. In reality, the execution of that idea proves disastrous and companies that form a big part of the economy and foundation of a country collapse and never recover or are never trusted again. This causes a lot of problems as we are seeing now (partial reason) This is because it inconvenienced and angered its consumers; to make money you have to be willing to compromise and do things that sound bad for you at first (sell a digital copy of a AAA for $5?!?! OUTRAGEOUS?!?!) but actually help sustain your company.

This is very basic thinking really. We can't keep living in a world where there's 1 to 3 big players that are too big to fail and have most of the public flock to them. Our economic system encourages that (or the U.S.A.'s does anyway). We need an economic system that encourages diversity and marketing that lets consumers know they have other great options available in similar sectors. They can flock to one or can they flock to multiple places to get different advantages for the same service or product but no one equally talented business gets overshadowed by their much bigger, more stagnant counterpart.

Strazdas:

World is going online, like it or not, and you are going to have to get plugged in or go live in a cave. deal with it.

Because anyone who doesn't live in a major metropolitan area is worthy to be dismissed as someone with disposable income and "living in a cave" so to speak. Nice to compare people to cavemen because of where our jobs or families require us to be.

Strazdas:

c)If the power goes out, no one is going to blame the vacuum company. People will blame you when they can't use the product they paid for, and they won't be able to use the product they paid for at all times.

if electricity goes out, you don't blame the vacuum creator, but if YOUR INTERNET goes out, you blame Microsoft? double standards FTW?

Let's say we're playing a game together. We're both sat in your living room, console hooked up to the TV, playing a game split screen.

Now Let's imagine this is an xbox 360 and we're playing Halo 3, just for the sake of argument. The internet goes out. Notice how we're still playing the game? Yeah. That's because the console doesn't always need to be online.
Let's say the internet comes back on but I've gone home. You fancy playing some Red Dead Redemption for the story, so you whack that in the drive and fire it up. Through some unforeseen series of events, a meteor strike occurs and knocks out your ISPs network. You don't even notice. You're still playing RDR quite happily.

Now let's imagine it's a 720. We're playing Halo 5 or whatever number they're up to now. You're just about to line up a perfect headshot from the other side of the map. The internet goes out. Suddenly, we're back at the home screen! There's an error message saying we were disconnected from the internet! But wait a minute, we weren't even using the internet, all the processing was being done on the xbox and sent straight to the TV! What the hell Microsoft?! Now I've gone home again, and your internet is back online. You decide to play Half-Life 2 Episode 3. It doesn't even have a multi-player mode. You're Gordon Freeman again, crawling through air vents, to push a button and stop the combine from doing whatever it is they're up to this time. You've just navigated a really tricky section, shot your way out of hell and come out with a handful of hitpoints. You can see a health dispenser. You run towards it. Suddenly the I.S.S. falls out of orbit and lands on top of your local switch board, cutting off your connection. You're inches away! BAM, BACK AT THE HOMESCREEN, DO IT ALL AGAIN WHEN YOUR INTERNET IS BACK ON. HOW ELSE ARE WE SUPPOSED TO KNOW YOU DIDN'T STEAL THIS GAME?

Fuck always online.

Not to mention the energy costs that "always on" forces on people who can do it but don't want to. No matter how advanced our technology gets that's not good for consumer satisfaction, the economy, technology, energy usage, or the government. It is not a sustainable business model. Period.

Zachary Amaranth:

Kargathia:

Except that I'd be extremely surprised if SimCity turns out to be profitable. At this point it's safe to say that it'll be selling way below expectancy.

SimCity was still #1 in computer games on Amazon weeks after being delisted. I have no idea if it's still there, but if you think that's unprofitable, or anything of the sort....

I don't even know what to say, honestly. People have gone so far as to take their own expectations and portray them as fact and then act surprised when things don't turn out that way (and to be fair, they still MIGHT, but I suspect "below expectations" will only be an issue because these are the same guys who thought Dead Space 3 should be able to sell 5 million units).

I call it "Fox News Syndrome," based on the 2012 election, but I suppose at this point "disgruntled gamer syndrome" would work just as well.

SimCity is the kind of blockbuster where if it were selling at anything below #1 in a period not shared with an even larger behemoth (CoD, AC, WoW), you would know for sure it had bombed horribly.
Dead Space needed to shift 5 million copies because they threw busloads of money at it, and needed to recoup that, along with the losses suffered on less successful projects (past or future).

SimCity is a full re-boot featuring an entirely new engine (no recycling of assets), requires substantial server space, and additional server space band-aids due to the widespread connection issues at launch. All these things do not come cheap.

A substantial amount of its sales figures also stem from pre-orders, further excarbated by that pre-views were critically well-received. This matters because DLC is a sizeable chunk of expected revenue, and this will take a big hit if the playerbase quickly dwindles, as it's doing right now over at Diablo (initially sold like hot cookies despite the widespread complaints and issues).

My guess is that financially this is not an outright disaster, but it won't do much more than scrape even - a bad thing in a business model centered around blockbusters paying the bill for all the smaller and less successful games.

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