Titanfall Fans In South Africa Ask EA To Let Them Play - Update

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Titanfall Fans In South Africa Ask EA To Let Them Play - Update

Build Our Titans ZA

Gamers in South Africa are calling on Respawn and EA to release Titanfall in their country, saying that if they want to play with a bad ping, they should have the option to do so.

Update: Build Our Titans ZA has confirmed that even though Titanfall isn't being released in South Africa, South Africans can still play it by getting a non-region-locked key for the game and redeeming it through Origin. Both Kinguin.net and Evopoints.co.za are reportedly offering them.

"Although this is a work around it is a VERY simple one," the group wrote on the Build Our Titans ZA Facebook page. "We would suggest you take all that pent up frustration over the last couple of days and unleash it on some unsuspecting EU pilots!"

It added that it will continue to push EA and Respawn to disclose the real reasons for the release cancellation, but for all practical purposes considers the problem solved. "Our goal was to give ZA pilots the CHOICE to play Titanfall," it continued. "It seems that choice is available (through no actions of our own) and every ZA pilot who wants to play the game now, can do so."

Original Story:

South African gamers received a nasty surprise last week when Electronic Arts announced at the last minute that Titanfall would not be released in their country. The problem, according to a message on Origin, is simply one of performance: Titanfall relies on Microsoft Azure servers and there are none close enough to South Africa to provide a decent ping and thus a proper experience. Respawn founder Vince Zampella confirmed the cancellation on Twitter, writing that he doesn't want to "sell you something that isn't great."

It would seem that quite a number of gamers in South Africa would appreciate the opportunity to buy something that isn't great, however. A petition launched shortly after the announcement by a group calling itself Build Our Titans ZA has already attracted nearly 1500 signatures, not an enormous number in and of itself but pretty impressive considering that it's coming from such a small slice of the gamer pie.

The petition notes the lack of Azure servers in South Africa but says the game ran well and "was still amazing even at the latency disadvantage," which left the nation's players dealing with pings of 180 ms or greater when connected to European servers. And while that number approaches the sort of lag you'd associate with a dialup connection, the petition says the final choice should be left up to the players.

"We have been putting up with bad latencies to EU and US for many years in order to enjoy our favourite titles in a multiplayer environment. Please don't take away what might be one of the best FPS titles of the decade, on the pretense that we would not enjoy the experience with a higher latency," the petition states. "We humbly petition Electronic Arts and Respawn Entertainment to make the game available to South Africans on release date, and give us the CHOICE to play Titanfall."

The petition's authors acknowledged that while the response to the game among South Africans was "almost universally positive," its relatively poor performance might be enough to make Electronic Arts shy away, especially after the messes of SimCity and Battlefield 4. There's also reportedly speculation that potential legal complaints based on the country's consumer protection laws may have spurred the last-minute cancellation.

"I think South Africa is too small a gaming market for EA and Respawn to bother with. Given EA's recent issues with releasing unpolished games (or games with a bad online experiences) they might have decided to avoid South Africa altogether given the fact that our latency to EU servers was 200+," a Build Our Titans ZA rep said. "If you throw in any potential legal troubles that might stem from that experience then their decision might make sense. Compare this to Australia and India that have large thriving gaming communities... it wouldn't make sense to pull out from these territories as you're just throwing away revenue."

Australia, like South Africa, has no native Azure servers, forcing players there to rely on servers located in Singapore. Even so, the Titanfall launch in that country is proceeding on schedule.

EA said in response to inquiries that it has nothing more to say on the matter than the statement it released last week. "After conducting recent online tests for Titanfall, we found that the performance rates in South Africa were not as high as we need to guarantee a great experience, so we have decided not to release Titanfall there at this time," it said. "We understand this is a disappointment for local fans and will keep them posted on any future plans regarding the release of Titanfall in South Africa."

Source: Change.org

Permalink

Why can't they import the game? This isn't the first game that doesn't come out in a region. A ton of Japanese games release in Japan first and sometimes never outside of Japan yet that doesn't stop us from importing them.

...Importing it?

The vast majority of people in South Africa speak English, right?

Then what's the problem? Most of the games I play are imported, mostly because I fall under the ever inclusive title of "otaku" (I fucking hate that word and the people that use it, mostly Western ones) so a lot of the games I tend to be are of the stranger variety. So, given Scotland's thriving art appreciation market, tend to import about 60% of all games I play that aren't digital.

And that's just me.

I imagine a place like South Africa, with a very obscure gaming community, would import most of their games.

I'm guessing importing won't be an option as the Titanfall servers may decide to not allow anyone with a South African IP address to connnect. You could get around that using a VPN or a proxy, but that would slow down the connection even more making the game harder to play.

I would imagine they would be able to import it, though not living in the country I'm not too sure how cheap it would be. It is sort of strange given Titanfall seems to be one of the few games in a long time that actually includes a South African character (Blisk).

Andy Chalk:

Australia, like South Africa, has no native Azure servers, forcing players there to rely on servers located in Singapore. Even so, the Titanfall launch in that country is proceeding on schedule.

Yup - EA (and Respawn) is full of **it - here in NZ we suffer similar high latency figures (if not greater, due to lack of local servers), have a tiny gaming population (in global terms), and yet sales are still in full swing - not that I'll be bothering.

Wouldn't this fall on Microsoft, not EA, to make sure there are Azure servers available world-wide?

I give this literally 6 hours before a new headline pops up with
''Hundreds of South Africans banned from Titanfall servers''

That seems to be the way a lot of these things seem to go down.......

Hey, that's my country! What is it doing on The Escapi - ? :D

:'D

What?

Sure, we don't have the best internet in the world. Hardcore gamers of course can afford the higher speed connections, but for the average user, some latency is kinda the norm.

All in all, this is a multiplayer only game. We know what we're getting ourselves into by buying this kind of game. Our gaming community isn't the biggest thing in the world, but holy hell, we are a sizeable lot, a very large and dedicated community.

That's just counting my knowledge of the Western Cape alone. Let's not even begin to count South Africa as a whole.

EA:
After conducting recent online tests for Titanfall...

Translation:
"We didn't bother to check it before the open beta."

Seriously, they should either check stuff like that early enough or release it there anyways. Or have it run on rented servers until they can offer a better alternative. I am sure there are SA companies capable of that, just like most MMO companies had their EU servers run by GOA.
Ok, GOA was pretty horrible but it was probably still better than having to connect halfway across the globe.

dylanmc12:

I imagine a place like South Africa, with a very obscure gaming community, would import most of their games.

South African gaming is not as obscure as you might think. We have our own annual gaming expo/lan with booths from most major game companies (EA, Ubisoft, Blizzard, etc) which is hosted by our national gaming magazine. We even have national teams for various eSports.

As for imports most games are bought at stores or digital distribution, exchange rates and shipping costs make importing expensive. A newly released AAA costs about R700 which is about 40 or $65 (digital distribution obviously cheaper). Some stores even follow both NA and UK release schedules, whichever is earlier, so we are generally up to date with new releases. An import from the UK would cost me more with a 3 week waiting period.

OT even though I have no interest in Titan Fall, I'm a little annoyed that it won't be released locally over such a silly thing as bad ping. This country's online gaming community has been built on playing on bad ping.

I do however appreciate the irony in EA cancelling a game release on the grounds of quality control.

...180 ping doesn't really seem that bad, honestly. I see, or rather saw, a lot of pings higher than that, in a lot of games... say, MechWarrior Online. That still works well enough. If you ignore the state of the game in general.
I just think that EA has gone a bit downhill since Future Cop L.A.P.D.

Okay, EA. Why must you always shit away every drop of goodwill you get from me? Now I can't play one of the few games I was excited for this year. Would you kindly f*ck off and go die in hole.

As for importing, I'd have to make a Origin account with a fake adress since it will probably be region locked.

180 ping? That's really not that bad. Hell, for me that's a good number.

Besides, surely this shouldn't be too much of a challenge for the "infinite power of the cloud?"

180 ping? If that's the cut-off EA will have to ban anyone with a roommate who uses Netflix as well.

It makes no sense. An ISP here offered to host servers for the game so we can have better ping, obviously EA didn't even consider that. Microsoft offers it's Azure service here but do say you're going to be getting EU servers. The game ran fine during beta.

EA has no fucking reason whatsoever for this except to be giant fartfaces.

Yeah really. I thought by high, they meant at least 500+. 180 isn't really that bad. Hell, it's decent in some cases.

180 ping? My girlfriend who lives 5 minutes away barely gets that, and we live in the US (she lives in a house that uses an abysmal internet provider. It's one of those "you get what you paid for" places.) She plays most games fine (though she is having one TERRIBLE time with DayZ...)

NLS:
Wouldn't this fall on Microsoft, not EA, to make sure there are Azure servers available world-wide?

Why yes. Yes it would.

'Course, that little detail isn't going to stem the oncoming wave of bullshit from people looking to hate on EA, Respawn, and/or Titanfall.

I swear, I haven't seen a single game polarize the gaming community quite as much as this since....maybe the Mass Effect 3 fiasco?

I don't know all the details of it, but superficially it seems like they are making a good call. I tend to get annoyed in MMOs when I am trying to do a dungeon, raid, or even PVP with a team and there are massive connection issues with other people in the group and/or they keep getting dumped. I'd imagine it's even worse when it comes to things like shooter games (which I don't play much) which by definition move a little quicker. Your looking at a situation where including those players from South Africa might wind up representing a potential liability to the entire community, the issue not just being their ability to enjoy the game (and honestly players will endure a lot for the sake of a game they love when it's a matter of their access) but what it's going to potentially do to other gamers they will wind up sharing servers with, as your apparently not just dealing with their local ping, but how these guys are going to perform when they are say hooked into North American, US, or Oceanic servers with a connection that isn't great to begin with.

As far as EA and the responsibility to provide servers everywhere that wants a given game, in an ideal world that would be the case, but one has to look at issues like cost effectiveness, safety, and other concerns. Despite what a lot of people might want to think, South Africa is not exactly one of the nicer places on earth to live or try and run a business. I'm sure if EA thought they could run servers there, they would. I remember reading articles going back years about how "Africa is again "The Dark Continent" ", albeit in this case referring to it's access to things like internet and other high tech services. The Middle East doing a bit better than the rest of it, but also still having a huge US military contingent present there to defend it and responsible for a lot of the demand (and even so troops overseas will complain about their ability to game online), and of course you have some of the more advanced nations in the region (Parts of the UAE, Egypt, India and Saudi Arabia for example, not to mention Israel) which represent something of an exception. When you move more into what people think of as "Africa" however you gradually find things getting worse and worse, with it being a bad place to do business to begin with, and where for a number of reasons (social, political, economic) even where claims of stability are being made, it can be difficult to even maintain running water or electricity never mind seriously maintain a business infrastructure. While it wasn't in context to this, I'd imagine in practical terms for South Africans to play, EA would probably wind up running it's servers through India which would allow them to do so with some stability but would probably require them to wind up paying two or three times what they would cost normally due to "shadow expenses" (bribes) that don't show up on the paperwork, as well as dealing with Indias own fairly tight standards, cultural foibles, and security (being highly concerned about nations like Pakistan right next to them). You wind up with what's still going to be a substandard connection, massive expenses, and a relatively low number of customers, none of which makes it appealing or cost effective for someone trying to make money off of a video game. I really hate EA, but in some cases it seems fairly reasonable... of course, a lot of what I'm saying came from an article out of context to online gaming, which was more focused on things like "the world wide web, actually being world wide" so to speak, which is again why the article was calling Africa a "Dark Continent" due to it's very limited coverage and access. Of course the article also pointed out that as much as one could argue stuff like Internet access could help improve conditions and stabilize the region due to information, you can't just bring it there without there being a lot more real stability as opposed to simply claims by politicians. Unless boatloads of minerals are involved or whatever and a fortune is at stake, people just frankly hate doing business there and for some good reasons (among them, that it's still not exactly safe, even in the areas people like to imply are, and even if the business people are not directly threatened, it can be a horrible chore to protect infrastructure).

Maybe if they let individuals host their own servers, rather than requiring megacorporate EA servers, lack of server coverage wouldn't matter.

Well that sucks for South Africans, although the game is playable with bad ping. I had terrible connections in the beta yet I still managed to do fairly well most of the time. I would love to play it with a better connection though, looking forward to tha-

Wait.

WAIT!

There are still no Australian servers? Seriously?

Ugh, screw you EA, you've disappointed me YET AGAIN. You have just lost a sale. I would have been okay with it if you advertised the lack of servers in my country (again the beta was playable and a ton of fun). But the fact I have to find out about it here instead of your store page? Not cool.

Vigormortis:

NLS:
Wouldn't this fall on Microsoft, not EA, to make sure there are Azure servers available world-wide?

Why yes. Yes it would.

'Course, that little detail isn't going to stem the oncoming wave of bullshit from people looking to hate on EA, Respawn, and/or Titanfall.

I swear, I haven't seen a single game polarize the gaming community quite as much as this since....maybe the Mass Effect 3 fiasco?

It may be Microsoft's job to make the servers available but it's EA's responsibility to advertise the lack-thereof in places like Australia. They haven't done that as far as I can see.

Vigormortis:

NLS:
Wouldn't this fall on Microsoft, not EA, to make sure there are Azure servers available world-wide?

Why yes. Yes it would.

'Course, that little detail isn't going to stem the oncoming wave of bullshit from people looking to hate on EA, Respawn, and/or Titanfall.

I swear, I haven't seen a single game polarize the gaming community quite as much as this since....maybe the Mass Effect 3 fiasco?

NLS:
Wouldn't this fall on Microsoft, not EA, to make sure there are Azure servers available world-wide?

I know everyone is on the M$ hate train, but how on earth is it their fault? servers and cloud solutions need to be putchased by your ISP, or by you government if it is socialist. I think azure costs something like over 2000$ yearly for an application license and after that there are data rates, so it is by no means a free service and not something a private person can purchase... unless of course they are rich.

or am I mistaken? all know is that my ISP provides clouding solutions based on azure

O maestre:

Vigormortis:

NLS:
Wouldn't this fall on Microsoft, not EA, to make sure there are Azure servers available world-wide?

Why yes. Yes it would.

'Course, that little detail isn't going to stem the oncoming wave of bullshit from people looking to hate on EA, Respawn, and/or Titanfall.

I swear, I haven't seen a single game polarize the gaming community quite as much as this since....maybe the Mass Effect 3 fiasco?

NLS:
Wouldn't this fall on Microsoft, not EA, to make sure there are Azure servers available world-wide?

I know everyone is on the M$ hate train, but how on earth is it their fault? servers and cloud solutions need to be putchased by your ISP, or by you government if it is socialist. I think azure costs something like over 2000$ yearly for an application license and after that there are data rates, so it is by no means a free service and not something a private person can purchase... unless of course they are rich.

Correct. I'm not looking to blame neither Microsoft nor EA on this case (EA publishes a game under orders by MS). Pushing Azure worldwide takes time and money, and if there's no current market for it in South Africa that recuperates that potential loss, then the math does itself. However, things are subject to change, and Australia is apparently getting Azure servers "soon" (last updated may 2013). Maybe South Africe will follow in a couple years, I don't know.

I'd rather we stop the hate train station that is the Escapist, and start getting news articles that reflect the situation from both sides of a "conflict".

tl;dr

I'm South African, I had to import SWTOR. Why can't they do the same?

Well that is a load of garbage. In Australia, most multiplayer games without local servers run anywhere from 200ms plus.

How can they be fans if the game isn't even out yet? Yes, I'm aware I'm being a douche...

s_h_a_d_o:

Andy Chalk:

Australia, like South Africa, has no native Azure servers, forcing players there to rely on servers located in Singapore. Even so, the Titanfall launch in that country is proceeding on schedule.

Yup - EA (and Respawn) is full of **it - here in NZ we suffer similar high latency figures (if not greater, due to lack of local servers), have a tiny gaming population (in global terms), and yet sales are still in full swing - not that I'll be bothering.

Kiwi here too. The lack of servers is why I won't be bothering with this title. Which is a shame, because it looked like it could be fun.

unstabLized:
Yeah really. I thought by high, they meant at least 500+. 180 isn't really that bad. Hell, it's decent in some cases.

Try having it be constantly that or worse in fast action games and fps like this online, it's frustrating as hell.

Shayman:
Well that is a load of garbage. In Australia, most multiplayer games without local servers run anywhere from 200ms plus.

Agreed, they should still have the option to play it.

Purely speculation on my part but I suspect the reason we are not getting Titanfall has to do with the fact that Xbox One has not yet been released here.

RipVanTinkle:
Hey, that's my country! What is it doing on The Escapi - ? :D

:'D

What?

Sure, we don't have the best internet in the world. Hardcore gamers of course can afford the higher speed connections, but for the average user, some latency is kinda the norm.

All in all, this is a multiplayer only game. We know what we're getting ourselves into by buying this kind of game. Our gaming community isn't the biggest thing in the world, but holy hell, we are a sizeable lot, a very large and dedicated community.

That's just counting my knowledge of the Western Cape alone. Let's not even begin to count South Africa as a whole.

But why would people want to play a Multiplayer only game if you had a poor quality connection? It seems like a waste of money and would also bother players from other regions playing on the servers (issues such as hit registration and such)

And this is why Respawn/EA should have left the dedicated server capability left inside the Source engine's code and not some cheap matchmaking functionality.

Leave the servers for PC up to the users, not faceless megacorps who care only about sales and profits.

An Ceannaire:

But why would people want to play a Multiplayer only game if you had a poor quality connection? It seems like a waste of money and would also bother players from other regions playing on the servers (issues such as hit registration and such)

Because denying a country a game based on latency issues alone is an idiotic notion.

You could say the same thing about Australia and their connection. If they can be allowed the game, I don't see why we can't.

We should still be allowed the choice to play the game. Potentially bad latency or not.

EDIT: Phew! At least we can safely get a non region locked key to play the game at least. That's a relief. :)

European pilots? The game isn't even released in Europe yet...
Capcha: push harder. For equal release dates? Sure!
Huh, that was quick, just got mah key ;)

RipVanTinkle:

Because denying a country a game based on latency issues alone is an idiotic notion.

When the ms is going to vary around >200 for an MMOFPS, I will disagree. You're pretty much going to feed other players and possibly suffer from regular disconnections.

RipVanTinkle:

An Ceannaire:

But why would people want to play a Multiplayer only game if you had a poor quality connection? It seems like a waste of money and would also bother players from other regions playing on the servers (issues such as hit registration and such)

Because denying a country a game based on latency issues alone is an idiotic notion.

You could say the same thing about Australia and their connection. If they can be allowed the game, I don't see why we can't.

We should still be allowed the choice to play the game. Potentially bad latency or not.

EDIT: Phew! At least we can safely get a non region locked key to play the game at least. That's a relief. :)

Because it may have a negative effect on players in other regions on the server? In addition, the publishers may not want to release a game in a region where it will not perform well from a sales perspective due to potential customers being put off by latency issues.

EA releases a game with issues? Bad EA, you should catch issues before launch!

EA doesn't release a game in a region due to catching an issue that the game would have in that region? Bad EA, we want our game!

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