DRM disaster plagues SimCity launch

Despite being a primarily single-player title, the new version of SimCity is saddled with a DRM scheme that requires an online connection to EA’s servers. The game was released yesterday, and predictably, EA’s servers are swamped. The situation is so bad that some folks haven’t been able to even download the game. Others were able to complete the download but not unlock it to play. Then there are those who got through the installation process but are having problems connecting to online servers. Wait times are reportedly as long as 30 minutes just to get into the single-player game.

Kotaku has a series of posts detailing the problems associated with the game. While it appears that some users have been able to get online and play with few problems, they may be in the minority. SimCity‘s Metacritic page is filled with negative user reviews that have lowered the user score to a measly 2.5 out of 10. That’s a stark contrast to the critic score, which sits at 90 out of 100.

Patches are being applied to EA’s various regional servers to try to address the connection issues, and more machines have apparently been brought online to handle the load. It’s unclear whether those efforts have resolved the issues many playersβ€”or would-be playersβ€”are facing, though.

While I can understanding publishers and developers wanting to protect their investments with anti-piracy measures, I’m shocked that the SimCity launch has been botched so spectacularly. It’s the early adopters who are getting screwed here, and they’re likely the biggest fans of the storied franchise. To make matters worse, a cracked version of the game will almost surely show up on BitTorrent sites before long.

Comments closed
    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    KROGS VINDICATED: [url<]http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/03/12/simcity-server-not-necessary/[/url<]

    • Airmantharp
    • 7 years ago

    And here I was just hoping that it’d be a good game and a decent successor.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    I actually received my games yesterday and played all night. I had no issues with the game what so ever. I was playing on NAE 3 though. I tried switching to NAE 1 and started getting the issues people were talking about.

    I think this has to do with people loading up the primary servers and sitting on them. Maxis needs to do a better job with load balancing. Maybe even transferring regions with different servers. Ideally this should all be transparent. It should be a cloud and people don’t pick their region except for something generic like America, Europe, Asia… Maybe even NAE and NAW, but not further then that.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      I take that back. Today I played for like 10 hours and the game got progressively worse and buggier as time went on. Something they did the other day completely fuxored the stability. First game I played was rock solid, today was terrible.

    • RtFusion
    • 7 years ago

    Well, its confirmed by the Maxis Lead, no offline mode for the foreseeable future:

    [url<]https://twitter.com/simcity/status/310482745732259844[/url<] Overall, the session on twitter to ask her questions was useless.

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    MetaCritic is now down to 1.5 for user reviews.

    Look out below!

    This would be funny if I didn’t love the Sim City franchise. πŸ™

    • WaltC
    • 7 years ago

    No, I don’t think there is any way to crack this in the traditional sense, because key parts of the game code are designed to only run remotely on EA’s SC servers. (Kind of like Diablo 3 was designed–which I passed on because of that.) It looks to me like EA was much more concerned with piracy than it was with pleasing its paying customers–and so we have this huge train wreck on launch day. The bottleneck is the network, not the local environment.

    EA really needs to rewrite the game to run 100% locally like the other SimCity titles ran, and this would also allow the newer game to support much larger cities, too–like the older games did. Yes, because of its macro-micro graphics modes the new game demands a lot more graphical resources than the old games ever did, but the newer hardware available today even in the budget domain of 1 gig of on-board ram ought to be more than a match for the new game–at least, that’s based on what I’ve seen of the game so far. EA has released many far more demanding games that run 100% locally, so all of this EA talk about “Dad’s PC” is just bunk. If “Dad’s” box is so primitive graphically then “Dad” likely plays no games at all. The networking game code is what’s killing the performance of the game. It is going to be difficult to “patch” in a fix without breaking the game, imo. To do it it right EA really needs to start over and abandon its current game design for SimCity and give their customers what most of them thought they were getting in the first place.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      You said this very well and I think you also explained the split-code (local vs. server) design better than my own attempts.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    One thing I’d say is – there’s quite a few people talking about “as usual, the cracked version will turn up in no time and the pirates will get a better version”

    I don’t think that’s likely. Diablo 3 has gone a similar path, and as far as a cursory search tells me, it seems it’s still not readily crackable. In this instance also, I really think DRM will have “worked”, in so far as its singular hellbent goal is to prevent piracy at any cost.

    That’s the problem though, it’s been at any cost.

    All this demonstrates is that it is indeed possible to make foolproof, fully effective DRM – by allowing it to dictate, and thus compromise the game design itself. If DRM is a driving force in the very design and coding of a game, it’s going to hamper that game design. It’s going to impose pointless arbitrary constraints, and limit creativity. As a byproduct, it’s going to alienate a lot of fans, and cause a lot of backlash. It will produce a game that is very obviously less than it could have been. It’s going to cause a lot of lost sales.

    It works perfectly though. Congratulations EA, you’ve beaten piracy.
    Has it made you any more money?

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<] To make matters worse, a cracked version of the game will almost surely show up on BitTorrent sites before long. [/quote<] This is very likely a misstatement of impossibility. The game is not "only" secured by DRM. Much of the game's processing is done on the back-end servers. You simply cannot "bittorrent" this one because your PC's processing capability is only one part of the requirement. You [u<]cannot[/u<] play the game without being part of the Borg hive. This is one reason that it's so damned eff'd up. I have been seriously considering reinstalling my old SimCity 4 and all the add-ons and user-created buildings to play in pure single-player mode. But this whole scene makes me very sad. I feel that Maxis/EA/Origin has screwed this up so badly that we may never see another SimCity again. And I hold all of them equally responsible for this mess; can't blame just one of them.

    • Kretschmer
    • 7 years ago

    Me? I’m going to Good Old Games and buying a copy of Sim City 2000. Can’t beat the gold standard.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      I didn’t think SC2K or SC3K would run on Windows 7 or Windows 8…

        • thor84no
        • 7 years ago

        Have you never heard of GoG? This is what they do – making old games available to play on modern operating systems without DRM. According to [url<]http://www.gog.com/gamecard/simcity_2000_special_edition[/url<] SC2K can be played on Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and Mac OS X 10.6.8 or newer.

          • BIF
          • 7 years ago

          Holy crap, I didn’t know! And this is all legal?

            • WaltC
            • 7 years ago

            Certainly it is legal…;) GoG secures the license to configure and sell these games, you know–it doesn’t just pirate stuff and slap it out there! (They’d have been shuttered years ago if that had ever been the case.) Don’t tell me you actually had questions about GoG’s legitimacy. But maybe you just didn’t know…which is sort of hard to understand, really. But, now you know! You owe it to yourself to visit [url<]http://www.gog.com[/url<] and check out the site. Some great stuff. The only thing that really can't be fixed are 16-bit Windows games to run on 64-bit versions of Windows (because these OSes don't support 16-bit software at all--has to be 32-bits or better.) The 32-bit versions of Vista, Win7&8, however, still support 16-bit games natively. But, often, as most everyone is doing 64-bit OSes these days, there exists a 16-bit DOS version which runs fine on 64-bit Windows through DOSbox--something that GoG sets up for you and includes in every DOS game it offers! Works great, as I can attest from experience.

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            I truly did not know, so thank you for the infoblurb! I shall go check it out!

            Here’s why: Today’s game concepts mostly bore me and that can’t be saved by framerates or pretty graphics. I would LOVE to find some old games that don’t require DRM.

            • GrimDanfango
            • 7 years ago

            Incidentally, GOG is owned by the same people who develop The Witcher games – CD Projekt RED.
            A jolly nice bunch of people to support, and if you buy the Witcher games on GOG, it means you’re getting DRM free versions *and* 100% of your money is going straight to the developer.

            • bwcbiz
            • 7 years ago

            If you have Windows Pro 7 x64, you can run a 32-bit XP mode virtual machine to run the old 16-bit Windows games. Did that with my old copy of Civ 2. And of course you can do the same with your old XP HD image: create your own VM using a freeware virtualization package like virtual box.

        • CampinCarl
        • 7 years ago

        I have my original copy of SC3K still, and I play it frequently (in fact, I reinstalled it after hearing about this disaster). Works like a charm. No wide-screen support, but that’s not all that disappointing.

    • GrimDanfango
    • 7 years ago

    I’d just like to say, kudos to Gamespot. Metacritic user-score is one thing, but they’re hitting EA where it really hurts – the critic-review average is dropping significantly, and in large part it’s down to a glorious 50% from these guys.

    It appears to be a fair review too, they’ve not made the game out to be anything it’s not, they say that besides small levels it’s a good game, they’re just openly slamming the drm.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 7 years ago

      Wow, they’re disabling features to ease the server load now:
      [url<]http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/03/ea-disables-non-critical-gameplay-features-to-relieve-simcity-servers/[/url<] This brings into question the true reason for the map-size limitations... purportedly because current typical gaming PCs can't handle simulating enough agents simultaneously for larger sizes. Could it actually be because EA knew their servers couldn't handle larger map sizes? If the game speed has an impact on the servers, then it doesn't seem that far fetched that map size would too.

      • GrimDanfango
      • 7 years ago

      Quarter to Three have an interesting review-summary on Metacritic now:
      “If Electronic Arts is going to make a game with the basic premise being that no city is an island, if they’re going to stress the interaction among cities, if they’re going to make playing alongside other people a cornerstone of the design, if they’re going to force my creations into tiny boxes that cannot exist past a certain point without the help of other tiny boxes, they’re going to have to do the hard work of making it actually work. And ideally, that hard work should be done before they sell people the game, not after they’ve been caught flat-footed for botching it so completely.”

      Amusingly, if I follow the link to the full review, it tells me “The text for this review is currently unavailable. Please check back later.”
      Not sure if this is a genuine issue, or an extra sneaky jab at EA.

      This pre-review is an interesting read though:
      [url<]http://www.quartertothree.com/fp/2013/03/05/why-this-is-not-a-one-star-review-of-simcity/[/url<] It does raise the question, why are so many glowing critic reviews out considering they can't have had time to fully evaluate the game - seeing as an intrinsic part of the game is run on EA's live servers and involves interacting with other players. Reviews based on press servers are about as valid as reviews based on pre-release code, which most publications and sites have clear rules against.

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    Not sure if anyone mentioned it, but Amazon apparently pulled the game from their download listings due to all the negative reviews it got…

    [url<]http://www.geek.com/articles/games/following-800-poor-reviews-amazon-stops-selling-download-copies-of-simcity-2013037/[/url<] Looking at some of these reviews, it makes me wonder if this has just become some sort of internet meme. BF3 for instance only has 1,193 reviews and after this article hit the number of reviews for Simcity grew to 1,667.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Good idea!

      [url<]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/35872705.jpg[/url<] [url<]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/35872937.jpg[/url<] [url<]http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/35872732.jpg[/url<]

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 7 years ago

    This is almost as exciting as the launch of Diablo 3!

    • Bensam123
    • 7 years ago

    You’d think this is the one thing they’d get right with Origin. That’s really what this is about, not Simcity. It’s Origin that is unable to handle the content distribution and authentication. Really that’s the entire basis OF Origin. It’s to deliver and authenticate content and they’re currently failing at that.

    I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted how big of a hit Simcity would be though. When you compare other Sim games, Simcity has really out of this world sales for all this to be happening. I preorded my copy, but it wont be here till Saturday… I suppose that’s for the best.

    The game itself was quite fun. I played the extremely limited beta enough to figure that out and I know I’ll thoroughly enjoy the game when I get it (even if I have to wait). Although I know they’re going to microtransaction the shit out of this game. They’re already doing that with the preorder. More so then the Sims and BF3. This game has exponential microtransaction capabilities. There are so many small little things they can add to make things slightly different and/or better and people have so many ways of justifying buying it.

    I don’t think this game will end up on torrent sites anytime soon. It’s gameplay is thoroughly integrated with online functionality. Someone will more then likely have to come up with a offline server that replicates online functionality in order for people to crack it.

    That tornado is a awesome showpiece for this news snippet though. πŸ˜€

    Edit: Holy balls… I think I realized the reason for the always online content (not DRM). Maxis intends on merging the Simcity universe and the Sims universe. In which Sim players will populate Simcity users cities with their Sims… :O

    Deargod, the armageddon is neigh! (also a great idea)

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 7 years ago

      you just realized that? Could of told you that at the reveal.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 7 years ago

    I think many people don’t realize an important fact. On the first week of a games launch, the concurrent number of players is way higher than it will be for the rest of the game’s lifespan.

    You can’t expect a company to build 10x or 100x the infrastructure than they will ever need just to satisfy people who want to play on day 1.

    That isn’t to say that always on DRM is okay, its not… and they should do something like rent extra servers and have many more ready to launch within minutes… but there will never be a flawless launch for an online game where everyone plays at the same time.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      They could rent infrastructure from a hosting company, no need to build it all.

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        But that costs money. They would have to charge $180 for the game!

      • Saber Cherry
      • 7 years ago

      “You can’t expect a company to build 10x or 100x the infrastructure than they will ever need just to satisfy people who want to play on day 1.”

      You should expect a company to build the amount of infrastructure required to fulfill its contracts and promises. That’s pretty basic, no? Anything less is incompetence, fraud, or both – there are no exceptions.

      If a company cannot profitably build the infrastructure required to support a project, they should change the project so that it requires less infrastructure, or cancel it. In this case, the change would be trivial because none of the “infrastructure requirements” were ever necessary or even useful; they were just added by upper-management idiots who know nothing about computer games.

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      Why does a [b<]single-player only[/b<] game need online, constant DRM to function? At best, you only would need it to authentic a legit copy for installation. It does nothing to stop piracy, there's already cracked copies on the internet if you know where to look. It doesn't stop used sales market either. It is poorly though out execution on the part of EA corporate. They probably wasted more energy and resources on trying to prevent piracy on how much they would normally lose to piracy. The only thing that EA corporate has accomplish is killing off another valuable IP in eyes of legit customers via stupidity.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]"there's already cracked copies on the internet if you know where to look."[/quote<] I know where to look, and ordinarily you'd be right, but in the case of SimCity, you appear to be wrong. At least as of now.

          • auxy
          • 7 years ago

          Clearly you don’t know where to look. ( ´◔‿ゝ◔`)

          • BIF
          • 7 years ago

          Probably won’t be either. For the game to work you need to offload certain CPU processes to the mothership server.

          It’s probably done by way of calls for reads, writes, database content, region status updates, marketplace updates, etcetera. Only half the game runs on the client, and the rest runs on the corporate mainframe. You can’t get in unless you’ve bought and authorized the game and the game makes its real-time calls to the server.

          This is the whole reason for the bad experience, it’s BAD DESIGN. A single point of failure always has a chance of becoming a Major Fail. In this case, prophecy became reality.

          So you probably WILL NOT be seeing any cracks. Unless somebody steals a server from the EA datacenter, LOL!

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            Ever heard of running “virtual servers” on the local machine?

            That’s how pirated copies of WoW and Diablo 3 work. The content is already there, it is a matter of fooling the program thinking that you are connect to an authenticity server. The same thing can be done with the new Simcity.

            Streaming doesn’t work either, as you can intercept and reserve engineer the server code from the data stream. It is no simple feat though, but it doesn’t stop hardcore pirates from succeeding.

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            You’re still not “glomming” me.

            Sim City 5 is more than just faking out the mere presence of a server on the back end. There’s executable CODE running over there that makes it work.

            How’s THAT going to be replicated without stealing a server or breaking in and stealing the server-side code?

            • Krogoth
            • 7 years ago

            You can either capture it on the data stream on the client end. (It has to go the client system to make the game work) or good, old sneakernet by somebody who internally steals the code and leaks out to the internet. (It happens more often then you would think).

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            Not in this case.

            The code does not move to the client for execution.

            The code actually RUNS ON the server. Your client calls the server, providing data, and the server responds, providing the answer. Assuming that security is properly configured, the code never leaves the server.

            EDIT: Your second example is unlikely. Have you browsed the SimCity forum? Down to the last man or woman, every EA, Maxis, or Origin person is a “True Believer” in the “Church of the Server”. Internal espionage is not gonna happen here.

            • Meadows
            • 7 years ago

            Do you know how computers work?

      • cphite
      • 7 years ago

      However, we CAN expect them to release a single player game that isn’t completely crippled by the fact that their servers cannot handle the load. In case you missed it, people aren’t complaining about not being able to play online – they’re complaining about not being able to play a single player game that, for no reason other than DRM, needs a constant online connection.

      And as many others have already pointed out, the only people being affected by this are their paying customers.

      I won’t be buying any more games from EA (or any other company) that use this type of DRM, even if it’s not on the games that I’d be interested in buying. Until they abandon it completely, they’re not getting another dime from me.

    • Thresher
    • 7 years ago

    So, any bets on when the first class action suit is filed?

    My bet is Monday, before 12:00pm Eastern.

    We should start a pool.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      If they are offering refunds, then a lawsuit will get zero traction.

      The so-called damaged party would have to demonstrate that he/she was [i<]materially[/i<] damaged. If refunds were given, then the plaintiff would not be really damaged except for some websurfing time lost while waiting for EA servers. Of course, maybe some spouses made gamers clean toilets or take out garbage while waiting and grousing. Oh, oh, I know! Their mommies made them clean their rooms! Yeah, THAT's the ticket!

        • mcnabney
        • 7 years ago

        There are reports out that instead of refunds, EA is deleting Origin accounts – costing the account holder even more money since they would be deprived of previous purchases.

        • GrimDanfango
        • 7 years ago

        That’s the point though isn’t it? They aren’t offering refunds, Origin’s terms specifically deny refunds except at their individual discretion (which is to say, never)

        We couldn’t really get outraged at that fact alone, without being outraged by Steam too. It has exactly the same terms in this regard, but in EA’s case, they’re refusing refunds for a game that is demonstrably unfit-for-purpose.

    • insulin_junkie72
    • 7 years ago

    Geez, and just when I thought, after SimCity Societies, things could only go up for the franchise (still have my original C64 SimCity around somewhere)….

    Wonder if this will end up get price dropped as quickly as SimCity Societies did – that got discounted very quickly.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    Eh, the DRM glitch is going to be a minor blip in what’s ultimately going to be another successful SimCity.

    More importantly though is that cityscape looks so [b<]boring[/b<]! I haven't bought the game and don't intend to but a modern take on Simcity 2000 complete with Arcologies would be great and worth a purchase, IMO.

      • Sam125
      • 7 years ago

      Ha, I take it all back. I just watched a few video reviews and Simcity 5 looks awesome. I might end up buying it despite the troglodyte DRM haters here. πŸ˜€

    • JommGrolos
    • 7 years ago

    Someone made a really funny video spoofing the SimCity server meltdown:

    [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcX0fEL3dUg[/url<] Definitely worth watching.

    • just brew it!
    • 7 years ago

    I believe launch day server fiascos are becoming more common, and not just for games. Two recent non-gaming examples that spring to mind: The web sites for the Chicago Marathon, and for the American Homebrewers’ Association National Homebrew Competition both suffered total meltdowns in the minutes immediately after registration opened.

    This might be a side effect of the trend towards using virtual servers for more stuff. People underestimate the size of the spike in network traffic, and/or overestimate the capabilities of their virtual hosting service. I would not be at all surprised if EA had temporarily leased virtual servers to handle the expected crush of launch day users, and botched the estimate of how much capacity they would need at the peak.

    • destroy.all.monsters
    • 7 years ago

    This is the slippery slope that Steam brought. No one wanted software as a service but since Valve managed to execute people have shrugged it off. Then everyone else wanted a piece of that action so we got GFWL, Origin, Rockstar Social Club, THQ’s mandatory online crap for COH, and all that nonsense.

    This is just the end result and now no one owns their games any more. You can’t even bequeath them to your next of kin. The reason games are so cheap is that for all intents and purposes they no longer have any value since you don’t own them.

    As much as I love companies like Gog.com and DotEmu for having no drm (and in DotEmu’s case amazing customer service) even they don’t allow you to transfer your account to the best of my knowledge.

    EA and Ubi are both publishers I refuse to support for their ongoing erosion of customers’ rights.

    I’m not saying Valve are responsible for the behavior of others – but in opening the door to something that while convenient is ultimately not in the best interest of gamers.

      • kvndoom
      • 7 years ago

      Ok as an alternative, what about refunds if you decide you don’t want/like the game?

      Practically nobody takes refunds on video games anymore. Remember the old fiasco where the EULA said “if you refuse this license, take it back to the retailer”? Ok, fat chance since almost no store under the sun would refund an opened game box.

      But with this always online/access code crap, PLUS the move heavily to a digital-download model, why can’t a consumer have a small amount of time (I’d say 24 hours) to play the game and then request a refund if they don’t like it? Simple… your unique access key is invalidated server-side, and your credit card refunded. You are told plain and clear that if you buy the same game again, you cannot get a refund under any circumstances (to keep people from buying/playing/returning until they beat the game).

      Or just bring back demos. Demos and open betas tell the people that you are confident in your product’s quality.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        I think that’s far too customer – friendly for the major publishes to countenance. Frankly I see the AAA publishers in general (Squeenix is an exception, not sure if Paradox really counts as AAA) as being far too greedy and customer-hating to support.

        Pity I’m broke at the moment I’d love to be able to support more of the indies on Kickstarter and Indiegogo etc.

        This looks like it could be a winner: [url<]http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1584821767/civitas-plan-develop-and-manage-the-city-of-your-d[/url<]

          • jihadjoe
          • 7 years ago

          And I think it’s still not customer-friendly enough.
          Needing the ability to reject your license key means there will still be DRM on your computer.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      I disagree. I’m not sure I see how Steam has anything to do with always-online games that require you to be online to play. Steam gives you an offline mode.

      SimCity and Diablo 3 do not. Diablo 3 is the one that really proved people would be okay with it. EA watched the millions upon millions of unsuspecting saps buying into it and they rubbed their hands together with glee.

      But in truth they are just symptoms of a greater affliction currently running rampant in the digital goods world. That’s the EULA. I think this was begun the day the EULA began its reign of terror. It was given strength when the Courts decided that an EULA could require arbitration clauses, which swiftly was adopted by everyone with an EULA.

      Suddenly, that fine print everyone never reads before they click continue dominates the discourse and controls what you can do with the products you do legally own, strips you of your chance to resell, and tells you how you are meant to handle disagreements with the company who created the clause in the first place.

      If you want to talk to the devil, the devil is not Steam or Origin. It’s really the EULA. The sad part is we all accept they exist and we don’t even bother to read them because we know that if we reject them, we won’t get to install the software we oftentimes need to use the device we just bought.

      Bonus: If we reject it, sometimes it’ll refuse to install and the company who made it will refuse to refund your money. Case in point: SimCity.

        • destroy.all.monsters
        • 7 years ago

        Steam’s offline mode is frequently wonky, but I’m talking about the success of a system where you don’t actually own your games and software as service as opposed to Valve’s own behavior (which, while better than most of their contemporaries you still don’t own your game). I don’t think that you can argue successfully that the competition saw what Valve did and hasn’t copied and expounded upon it.

        I completely agree with you on how problematic the EULA is and I’m still surprised that something that you can’t actually sign (essentially a one-sided contract) is even legal.

          • HisDivineOrder
          • 7 years ago

          I think it’s an escalation of the corporation’s intense desire to limit and slowly kill the consumer’s secondhand market options. You can’t resell a game that you have to create an account for with a one-time-use key that attaches itself to you forever.

          Everything from the EULA to Steam, GfWL, Origin, and Uplay are all about locking that one title to you forever. It’s funny you say you don’t own the game because in these systems, the publisher sure pwns you the consumer.

          • axeman
          • 7 years ago

          Geometry Wars won’t play in Steam Offline mode, or at least not the last time I tried.
          W
          T
          F

      • axeman
      • 7 years ago

      People forget what a gong show Steam was originally too. But I don’t think EA has a good excuse for failing so miserably when lots of other games launch without this kind of nonsense. Plus, since EA decided they are too good for Steam, and have to start up their own POS version of Steam, they get none of my money. People still giving EA money amaze me. They are nothing but a money grubbing whore of a publisher cranking out rehash after rehash of the same garbage. I was going to give Crysis 3 a go. Oh? I need Origin to buy it online? Pass.

    • ClickClick5
    • 7 years ago

    Think this will win the most torrented game? Remember Spore EA? Yeah, you do this to yourselves.

      • lilbuddhaman
      • 7 years ago

      Probably Tomb Raider because no one trusts that IP anymore, and the game is actually pretty good.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    The only way to win is not to play. EA as nefarious as ever.

    • Chrispy_
    • 7 years ago

    I created a Metacritic account to rant about the DRM and give the game a zero.
    I almost did this for Diablo III but actually the issues were mostly fixed within a few hours so I let off steam by actually playing the game.

    Not buying the game doesn’t hurt their sales as much as complaining about their arrogant stupidity on a game-ranking site. Users are unhappy, not because your game is junk, but because your publisher is awful.

    Publishers need to understand that they can’t treat consumers like dirt in an age where consumers have a public voice.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    What’s worse that is even if the DRM issues were fixed, you’d still have a game that is as basic as it gets, with a multitude of pieces that will almost certainly come out as DLC/Expansion pack later. SimCity is now TheSims. I’m sure the game is as fun as many people are saying it is, but I’m also certain that once you get past those first few playthroughs, people will realize there is no depth. That there is only so much you can do with the “base” game. And that’s exactly what EA wants. They want you anxious for that next little piece of the game to be added.

    I’m sure that in about 12-18 months this will be a good purchase (after downloading an offline crack), but it is not one now.

    And that’s ignoring the bugs that may or may not get fixed. EA (and even Maxis as it’s own entity) don’t have the best track record for bug fixes.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 7 years ago

    Oh, I am absolutely shocked that EA would do this to one of their games…

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      If you had added an extra “Shocked, I tell you!” I would have been sure of the sarcasm, as it is, I’m not sure, so no +1/-1.

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    Yet another example of why PC gaming sucks and consoles rule the world.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 7 years ago

      Oh, because consoles would totally never take away your ability to buy and sell used games…

        • derFunkenstein
        • 7 years ago

        that’s so not the problem right here – the problem is not being able to play at all. (also Sony has come out in the affirmative – used games on PS4 are ok – source: [url<]http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-02-21-sony-tells-eurogamer-playstation-4-will-not-block-used-games)[/url<]

          • willyolio
          • 7 years ago

          or, maybe that was a little too hasty… [url<]http://www.nowgamer.com/news/1825112/ps4_secondhand_games_block_back_on_sony_says_stance_isnt_clarified_yet.html[/url<] they're looking for the "best value" and "experience" and "ideas that might be building." They'll answer "as soon as they can." lol. So much PR-speak in such a short article.

          • NeelyCam
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]that's so not the problem right here - the problem is not being able to play at all. [/quote<] Exactly. Even in the rare occasion my FiOS is down, I seem to be able to play my PS3 games without issues. How strange..

          • ThAlEdison
          • 7 years ago

          PS3, EA Games, SSX (2012). Another relaunched title with always-online single player modes. Came out about the same time as the PSN went down for an extended period. Was unplayable during the entirety of that time. Not exactly EA’s fault, but they failed to learn any lessons from the experience.

          • mcnabney
          • 7 years ago

          Okay, so this is like the PSN issue that shut down PS3 gameplay for what, weeks?

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      I got your sarcasm. Have a cursory press of that thumb thing pointing up.

      • rwburnham
      • 7 years ago

      This is a company problem, not a platform problem.

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        I’ll go you one further: It is a company problem that stems from a lack of critical thinking skills, made possible by a pack mentality; like lemmings running to the sea! The sea!

      • willyolio
      • 7 years ago

      exactly! if the game never existed for consoles, they won’t have problems not being able to play it!

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      Be careful. Console gaming has been flirting mighty close to online-required for a while now. It might just be that the next Xbox shows up with no used market. That’ll explicitly be because of online only.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Used market is not the issue is. Not being able to play is.

        I don’t know why people are so up in arms about companies stopping the illegal sale of licenses. You buy the license for the game, you play the game. That’s it. If the EULA clearly states it’s a license, and that you don’t have the right to transfer that license, that’s it then. You don’t like it, don’t play the game.

          • thor84no
          • 7 years ago

          Because the free and open market will totally make sure you have the alternative to buy a real copy games rather than licences if someone wants that, right? Oh wait, most people have little to no idea there is a difference at all and naturally assume they own the copy so there’s no incentive to actually treat people fairly. Carry on then.

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            The game publisher has an absolute right to choose if they want to offer a license, a “real” copy or both. If they choose to offer only licenses, that’s their prerogative. You have the right to not pay for said license and buy something else.

            Obviously, a “real” copy should cost more. If you’re willing to pay more for the right to re-sell and the company is willing to offer that option to you, great. If the nontransferable license costs $60, are you willing to pay $80 for a “real” copy (i.e., $20 extra for the right to re-sell)?

            • thor84no
            • 7 years ago

            And in a world where that was a genuine choice and all consumers were fully informed of all purchases they make that might actually make some kind of sense. As it is however, it’s utter rubbish, just like most free-market proponent arguments. As much as you may think/wish it, the market is not self regulating and benevolent.

      • Bensam123
      • 7 years ago

      Oh Neely, if you had a vagina I’d make sweet love to you solely due to your devious side that makes up stuff like this.

      -1 for effort.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        her name is tiffany…

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          Stripper names sadly do not count.

    • shaurz
    • 7 years ago

    I can still play Sim City 2000 today. Will I still be able to play “Sim City” in 2032?

      • Rand
      • 7 years ago

      Considering you apparently can’t even play it in 2013, my guess is no.

        • ClickClick5
        • 7 years ago

        Ah yes, the ole’ 256 color message that popped up when you were running a higher bit color pallet. Those were the days.

    • hoboGeek
    • 7 years ago

    The thing about the DRM is that it costs money to be placed in the game.
    It does, there are licenses to pay, invest in research, tests, extra programming tasks, etc.
    EA is thinking this investment is worth it, since people will not pirate it (so much), however, they have to deal with two more things now, one is the increased price (without DRM, the price would be just $29 maybe), so some people will find it too expensive, and put up with issues related to connections to the server by the legitimate users.
    I believe that EA would sell a lot more copies of a non-DRM version of the game, that allows online connection with probably a unique key, that would surely sell ten times fold, totally making up for the smaller margin of profit.
    I think we still have the power to vote with our wallets. Let’s ignore this game and all those released with DRM.
    If people at Apple were smart enough to realize this is more lucrative (see iTunes mp3), sooner or later EA should learn this too.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Yep, single player DRM-free, or one-time DRM like Ubisoft now uses along with multiplayer always-on DRM is the way to go, assuming the multiplayer is worthwhile. Requiring an internet connection for single player games is just beyond stupid though, maybe this fiasco will finally make them give it up like Ubisoft did.

        • mcnabney
        • 7 years ago

        Why not just say ‘Steam’?

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 7 years ago

          This isn’t a “steam” thing…

          • moose17145
          • 7 years ago

          I would like to point out that Steam’s Offline Mode does not always work as advertised. On one of my machines it refuses to even start the dang program unless it has a internet connection to try to log into. HELLO I am trying to start you in offline mode for a reason!

            • willmore
            • 7 years ago

            Have you tried turning it off and then on again?

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      Eh. I don’t think DRM costs so much that they charge $59.99 instead of 29.99. I do think there is a cost and I don’t think people normally factor that in, but the thing is the bigger point is one you’re glossing over.

      Piracy exists because the people who are making these games oftentimes leak them to the groups on the scene. Why would they do that, you ask? Well, sometimes games (let’s use Aliens Colonial Marines) suck. I mean, really really suck. I mean suck so bad they make people weep with sorrow at their very existence. And when these games suck, they don’t stay on the market long without people realizing they suck (unless they’re called, “Call of Duty,” in which case they’re called “classic style”). Once a few people have played it, the suck is like a wave that sweeps across the country and then the world. Everyone starts talking and soon the suck makes the game suck badly in sales, too.

      After the preorders and the initial day, the sales tank. The suck has struck.

      However, clever leaker-man has just given the publisher and developer a convenient excuse for why sales tanked. Epic was doing this one for years, for example. It wasn’t that the game sucked or that the game just didn’t live up to the hype or that people had genuine complaints with the game. Nooooo, it’s them damn pirates. Yo ho ho’ing their way with free games and yarrrrr! Shiver me timbers, bucko, walk the plank of malware!

      They leak the game to serve as a backup plan. This is Ubisoft’s entire way of dealing with PC releases that fail. They do it like clockwork. They want you always online, so they leak their own game because they know it’ll leak anyway so might as well do it soon and make the argument for why they MUST have that DRM all the more convincing. Otherwise, how could it be everywhere all at once before the game even releases? A guy on the fabrication line? Really? Honestly? Does anyone really buy that a guy on the fabrication line is always Sam Fisher’ing his way in there and snatching a disc and no one notices? That it’s done repeatedly and no one figures out who the guy is who’s doing it?

      They’re either completely stupid or completely complicit. And I know which one I’m betting on.

      But the DRM companies are rich not because piracy is manufactured by the people who decry it the most. Not just. They’re also a product of an industry that needs not only an excuse for why a game sucks. Because that works for why the sales tanked, but now the Board and the stockholders want to know that what just happened won’t happen again.

      DRM to the rescue! Except of course we all know it won’t make any difference, but hey… this time they’ll make it foolproof! Right? RIGHT? Ha. But the DRM doesn’t have to be foolproof. It doesn’t even have to really work. It just has to be something the CEO or the guy in charge can point to and say with a straight face, “I’m doing something. Here it is.”

      Being an executive is mostly about LOOKING like you’re doing something rather than actually doing something. As long as you LOOK like you’re solving a problem, even if you’re just rejiggering the order of things you’re already doing. As long as you LOOK like you’ve done something new, you’ll get your raise, your golden parachute, and your secretary to bang on the copier during late night “Thought Exercises.” Piracy creates a problem that exec’s have to solve. DRM is the solution that exec’s constantly jiggle around to solve that problem.

      The piracy is a problem of their own design and DRM is a solution that doesn’t really work. It’s a game everyone’s in on, but no one wants to challenge the status quo because to do so would be to admit that in fact there’s nothing that can stop piracy on any platform anywhere. To do that would be to have no one other than yourself to leave to be blamed. It doesn’t matter if we all know that piracy is largely a phantom menace because what really matters is that you always have someone else to blame aloud.

      If you just go with the truth and forego the sleight of hand, you get the real. You get the fact that games sometimes suck and don’t sell well. That’s when you get fired with no golden parachute. You get lambasted. You get ridiculed.

      For these exec’s, it’s better to butter up the lie than admit the truth. That’s Corporate America. And that’s what gaming is right now. Corporations spinning lies into gold and any extraneous matter into piracy lies. Spun into more gold built around DRM.

      Piracy is leaked by the guys who made the game more often than not to provide an excellent excuse for why the game undersold or tanked (ie., The Piracy excuse). DRM doesn’t work (and never has), but so much money is made from doing it and it provides a convenient way for head honchos to look like they’re doing something about the piracy threat. Corporations prefer to deal in how things look rather than how things are.

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        It’s also about keeping gamestop from making an extra buck from resales.

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        Way too long of a post for a consipiracy theory. You had me on your side right up until the accusation of Epic, but now I completely disagree.

        Nobody leaks their software to pirates. Period.

        Why not? It’s simple: [u<]Somebody[/u<] would talk. And then there would be lawsuits and congressional hearings and prison sentences for those engaged in violation of antitrust laws. It's not happening. So there.

    • steelcity_ballin
    • 7 years ago

    The longer and more often you give EA your money, the more they think behavior and policy like those you see in their more recent offerings are acceptable. Stop funding this crap.

    • XorCist
    • 7 years ago

    “To make matters worse, a cracked version of the game will almost surely show up on BitTorrent sites before long.”

    thats the only way this is gonna get played by me….to hell with EA and their half assed “forward” thinking and extra “features” they give in their rehashed games….

    • deathBOB
    • 7 years ago

    Meh. If you preorder a game you deserve whatever you get.

      • kvndoom
      • 7 years ago

      This is so true also. Long, long, ago when we could trust publishers to ship finished products, preorder made sense. But now, I wouldn’t even preorder Half Life 3, and I’ve got half a decade of pent up desire for that title.

    • Forge
    • 7 years ago

    Publisher who screwed up beta testing (opt-out of marketing emails? BANNED FROM FORUMS!) also screws up game launch! FILM AT ELEVENTY!!!

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]opt-out of marketing emails? BANNED FROM FORUMS![/quote<] Seriously...?!

        • Krogoth
        • 7 years ago

        I wouldn’t be surprised at all.

    • Byte Storm
    • 7 years ago

    I played it last night for the first time since release date. Got a task from one of my citizens to let them party, and ensure I collect all their trash. Seemed an easy way to make 25k simoleans, no lie. The task had me collect 250 cans of garbage in 24 hours. I received the quest about an hour before they would collect their garbage for the night. The people only generate garbage twice a day, and only 170 a day at my current population level. So I obviously failed this impossible quest.

    The traffic simulation is awful. The pedestrians on a sidewalk slow down traffic in the street, because they drunkenly wander into it. They also do not cross on a schedule,as there are no lights. They just walk across whenever they feel like it, 9 times out of ten blocking traffic.

    I am severely disappointed in this game.

      • syndicatedragon
      • 7 years ago

      Hmm, no traffic lights? That seems essential if you’re going (stupidly) model individual vehicles. Tropico 3/4 have massive problems with traffic for the same reason; one car that wants to turn left can gridlock the city.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      If it was a real sim they would be run over and die, and natural selection would take care of the rest over time.

    • willmore
    • 7 years ago

    Good review of the game experience:
    [url<]http://www.jonathancresswell.co.uk/2013/03/review-simcity/[/url<]

      • RtFusion
      • 7 years ago

      Thanks, you made me burst into laughter in the office. You made my morning lol.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Hilarious. I almost whitelisted the site for noscript. πŸ˜›

    • Spotpuff
    • 7 years ago

    Is their DRM even stopping pirates?

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      Nope, there’s already cracked copies floating around if you know where to look.

        • albundy
        • 7 years ago

        I am sure it runs even better than what the poor saps have to go through just to download it.

        • Meadows
        • 7 years ago

        -> [url<]https://techreport.com/news/24460/drm-disaster-plagues-simcity-launch?post=714486[/url<]

    • Thresher
    • 7 years ago

    Having been burned by Diablo III, I don’t think I will ever buy a single player game that requires an always on connection. At least not at launch. If I buy it, I’ll wait until they have the kinks worked out.

    But even after they got the kinks worked out, Diablo III was still just a mediocre game.

      • Spotpuff
      • 7 years ago

      I uninstalled it and no one I know has gone back to it. You don’t get a second chance at a first impression.

      • peartart
      • 7 years ago

      Diablo 3 is great when you are on skype with a friend and half drunk.

        • bioware4lyf
        • 7 years ago

        A lot of things are great when you’re with friends in voicechat and drunk!

          • Chandalen
          • 7 years ago

          Beat me to exactly what I was going to say. “fun with friends” does not make a mediocre game become ‘great’. You are simply having a great time with friends playing a mediocre game. Replace diablo 3 with any other mediocre game and you’d still have a great time probably.

        • thor84no
        • 7 years ago

        -1 for encouraging use of one of the worst VoIP clients on the Internet. :p

      • mcnabney
      • 7 years ago

      I skipped Diablo 3 and got Torchwood 2 instead. Saved a lot of money. No DRM hassles. And it was probably just as much fun.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Torchlight?

          • 5150
          • 7 years ago

          Flashlight?

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            Fleshilluminate?

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Fleshwood?

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            MorningWood?

            • squeeb
            • 7 years ago

            Fleshlight.

          • mcnabney
          • 7 years ago

          The Indie Diablo. And they give you a pet that can run errands for you!

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            lol, I know. I played Torchlight 1 a lot, and messed around with 2 some…too many games not enough time to waste on them πŸ™ I was just poking fun at your misnaming it as TorchWOOD.

            • Squeazle
            • 7 years ago

            Fleshblight?

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            A very possible consequence in you aren’t careful about what you do with your Fleshwood.

        • thor84no
        • 7 years ago

        Having played both it was probably more fun. At least it was for me. And cheaper too.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      I didn’t buy Diablo 3 yet. I figure it’s not worth $20. Let alone the $60 it started at, the $50 I regularly see it at, or the $30 I saw it at during the holidays.

      This is coming from a guy who owned Diablo at launch, Diablo 2 on launch day and not just any Diablo 2, but the Collector’s Edition, too.

      They so turned me off the game in the months leading up to it based on what I saw and hugely on the DRM that I’m waiting for it to go to the $20 that Starcraft 2: WOL is at normally now before I buy it. I expect to be underwhelmed and I expect it to be mostly polished, but mostly inferior to Diablo 2.

      I blame Jay Wilson for it. Every bit of it. I am glad Blizzard quietly demoted him out of sight through a “promotion,” which we all know was anything but. He had to be an idiot to screw up a franchise so built to sell out and get critical praise as Diablo. All he really had to do was take Diablo 2, give it a new engine, polish up some of the effects, have a decent story, and bam, make bajillions. Case in point: Starcraft 2: WOL.

      Instead, he reinvented the wheel and got a flat triangle instead. And one of the points is missing.

        • Thresher
        • 7 years ago

        You would be correct, mostly.

        Diablo 3’s biggest sin, beyond the required always on connection, DRM, etc., is that it’s just exceedingly dull. To call it unimaginative doesn’t quite capture just how boring it is.

          • Krogoth
          • 7 years ago

          Because, Diablo 3 hings everything on the auction house and none of the former Blizzard North crew work on it.

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    Is

    BAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    a word?

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      Yes, and it’s a perfectly cromulent one at that.

        • indeego
        • 7 years ago

        Irregardlessly, it’s purporetlessly a decent query.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Even if you do manage to get in, you lose connection while playing and then your city doesn’t save losing hrs of progress.

    • l33t-g4m3r
    • 7 years ago

    So when are people going to learn about buying games with drm? Apparently it isn’t bad enough to cause any long-term trends, as the next version people will likely be buying over Origin. [i<]The sole purpose of DRM is to eliminate your first sale rights, or any rights at all given how draconian some activation schemes are.[/i<] Stop being suckers that are funding your own enslavement. EA's lost a customer here, aside from when there is a good sale and a drm crack is available. Stuff like this makes me wonder why EA is still around and thq is bankrupt, rhetorically speaking. Good products don't offset a bad business model.

      • squeeb
      • 7 years ago

      Total fail. I wish this would further discourage DRM use….but I know it won’t.

      • NeelyCam
      • 7 years ago

      Again with the first sale BS? Give it up already

    • sonofsanta
    • 7 years ago

    And then in two years time, they’ll turn the servers off πŸ™

    Alright, maybe a couple of years longer. But I very much doubt we’ll be playing this two decades down the line as we can with Sim City 2000, especially not with EA’s track record.

      • absurdity
      • 7 years ago

      I think this is my biggest problem with these things. I play more older games than I do new, and unless there’s a play offline patch at some point, the game will be permanently left in the past at some point.

      • Srsly_Bro
      • 7 years ago

      SC3K was released years ago and still works for me. That game is all I need!

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    So wait, how many sp EA titles have had this happen, didn’t spore teach them anything???

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      No, it seems not. I played the Sims games from Sims 1. I bought all of the expansions for the first one. I bought the second one and that required an online account to initially install and a CD in the drive to play. Their DRM killed a CD drive in my machine. I know that because I only used that drive for the Sims 2 CD. The only task it ever did was check the DRM for Sims 2.

      After that, I decided that EA had gone too far. At that point, I swore off their expansions and I have passed up some good prices on Steam for Sims 3. I’m just not going to give them any more money until they realize that they’re punishing the people who pay them.

      Sadly, they’ve not learned any lesson from all of this and they have continued to put worse and worse DRM (from the point of the paying customer) in each new game.

        • Srsly_Bro
        • 7 years ago

        My SimCity 3K CD still works!

      • odizzido
      • 7 years ago

      It did teach them something.They can walk all over people and still they will give them piles of money. Sim city is showing that they can keep doing it, and their next release will just confirm it. EA is just like a prostitute. They screw you and get money for it.

        • kamikaziechameleon
        • 7 years ago

        That is the logical fallacy that baffles me. What focus testing group votes for DRM??? Seriously every other flipping element of every game EA makes is focus tested. Why not Focus test DRM. Steam, the only focus tested DRM, and that is why I like it.

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          They’re probably provided with versions that don’t have it or told not to concern themselves with it. Or, maybe they’re using a decidated DRM server that some IT flunkey is babysitting. Just like they probably do for reviewers.

    • ModernPrimitive
    • 7 years ago

    Well. There went my idea of getting this game and playing it….. I guess I’m a bit of an old stick in the mud but the DRM / being tied to servers is a good part of the reason why I’ve went from a casual gamer to nil.

    • Deanjo
    • 7 years ago

    Oh you silly sims, you actually think that you are trying to play Simcity.

    • kvndoom
    • 7 years ago

    Metacritic: 2.5/10

    Critics: 9/10

    Metacritic: people who paid $60

    Critics: people getting paid to play the game for free, whose sites are partially funded by EA’s ad dollars

    Know the difference- it could save your life!

      • FireGryphon
      • 7 years ago

      Well said.

      • ish718
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, getting robbed for $60 is not cool

      • Price0331
      • 7 years ago

      That’s because every reviewer got a “review build” of the game, and not the actual build the consumer would receive. Every reviewer knew that, and for a reviewer to actually give a score to a game under those stipulations should have their integrity put into serious question.

        • travbrad
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]That's because every reviewer got a "review build" of the game, and not the actual build the consumer would receive.[/quote<] I hate to say it but that is pretty much the norm in games reviewing. It's all about being FIRST, not being the most informative, or even being correct at all. You can't completely blame journalists or their "evil overlords" though. If they waited a couple extra weeks to review the game, their review would probably get a fraction of the page views, and so there would be no review at all. The only way those reviews will stop is if people stop reading them, and that doesn't seem likely any time soon.

      • absurdity
      • 7 years ago

      Aren’t the bad scores mostly due to the game being unavailable? The reviewers didn’t have to deal with that, since they had it earlier.

        • lilbuddhaman
        • 7 years ago

        Ignoring the 0’s and 1’s, you still have a ton of 5-7’s (ie: real reviews) that touch on whats really wrong with the game, usually with the servers mentioned but not focused on.

      • travbrad
      • 7 years ago

      and neither of them is accurate!

      The user scores on metacritic are almost “viral” in that some games will just get tons and tons of negative ratings after a big gaming “scandal”. ME3 is a good example. Yeah the ending sucked, but did it really make the whole game deserving of a 4/10?

        • kvndoom
        • 7 years ago

        Ok I agree, but pick your poison- financial interest or emotional interest?

          • mcnasty72@gmail.com
          • 7 years ago

          Money over feelings.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      The critics also got some time before the servers were hammered into dust. They got to play it when the game was at its most ideal and even then Kotaku was reporting their cities were going missing. That was days before launch.

      Meanwhile, the people listing for metacritic is a little over-inflated in the negative because of how many people are ranting about the DRM and the online-requirement for single player even when they don’t own the game.

      That’s the problem with gaming reviews these days. They’re useless except as a vague sense of how good a game is. I rarely trust them. I look for user reviews on forums and user reviews on Amazon. I can usually suss out how great a game is from how ardent the most ardent fans are and how frothy at the mouth the haters are.

      But Metacritic is rarely of any use to me.

      • ClickClick5
      • 7 years ago

      Come on! +100

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        bumbity bumb bumb

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        This is so awesome! Can we go for +256?

          • jihadjoe
          • 7 years ago

          Highest rated comment ever on TR?

            • NeelyCam
            • 7 years ago

            The highest I’ve ever seen..

            • ClickClick5
            • 7 years ago

            I think it is the highest. First to 100 for sure.

      • stmok
      • 7 years ago

      March 7, 2013…
      Metacritic: 2.5/10
      Critics: 90/100

      March 9, 2013…
      Metacritic: 1.5/10
      Critics: 71/100

      • kuddles
      • 7 years ago

      I’m sorry but user reviews on Metacritic are worthless. Almost every big game gets bombarded by angry people and trolls giving it 1 or 0, and it always happens within seconds of the ability to leave reviews gets activated on Tuesday morning. It’s pretty much a guarantee that 90% of those user reviews on Metacritic aren’t actually “people who paid $60.”

      Also, the notion that every single critic completely lied about their opinion because of advertising money and a free copy is ludicrous for numerous reasons. For starters, if that were the case, I think Medal of Honor Warfighter would have rated much better since so much more money was at stake.

        • bwcbiz
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah the biggest factor in the difference between user and critic scores is that the critics were on the server by themselves for pre-release, so they could get their reviews out. The reviewers didn’t see the crappy performance because the load was maybe 1/10,000 of what hit the servers on release day. They aren’t going to knock a product for a defect that doesn’t show up during their game experience.

        OTOH, it IS true that gaming sites and reviewers have a symbiotic relationship with the publishers. You don’t survive as a gaming site without the early access and info provided by the PR departments of the publishers, because otherwise you’re behind the news curve. This leads to exactly the kind of situation with SC, where the reviewers’ experience pre-release is vastly different from the users’ experience after go-live. And of course, all gaming “news” is really just free publicity for the publishers.

        • mcnasty72@gmail.com
        • 7 years ago

        Funny things is whenever Metacritic bombs a title; time shows that the title sells poorly. Examples of this from the PC side include Rage, Mass Effect 3, Dragon Age II, Aliens vs Colonial Marines. I tend to trust people that had to pay their hard earned money for a title verses someone that is dependent on access to titles provided by game studios to keep their jobs.
        Word of mouth advertising still is the most useful form there is. I know a lot of younger gamers don’t believe it this but I do. I’ve been able to avoid some really awful expensive, non refundable titles (see list above) by trusting in the gaming community verses trusting game review sites. IMO a lot of players could save a ton of money by trusting your peers & not the gaming machines that run gaming now.

        Alot of gamers want to give Maxis a pass on the game not working six days after release. My question is would you wait almost a full week for any other vendor to “fix” their product so you can use it? Or would you seek a refund and move on.

      • ClickClick5
      • 7 years ago

      Another reason to a long growing list of why I wait months before buying a game. This crap right here! Last game I bought at launch was Universe At War, an RTS game back in 2007 or so. Game was so buggy nothing could be completed without it crashing, or your units falling through the map, or not even moving. Now I wait.

      If it is an EA game, then I REALLY wait to buy. Like, when the game is $19.99 kinda wait.

      EDIT: Cause having your customers be the beta (sometimes even alpha) testers is just wrong.

      • mcnasty72@gmail.com
      • 7 years ago

      Or it could save you $59.99.

      • Mr. Eco
      • 7 years ago

      It was similar with Far Cry 2 – excellent reviews, yet the game sucked big.
      If though it did not need online connection.

      • Mightyflapjack
      • 7 years ago

      I like how in the TOP COMMENTS box this comment says “…whose sites are only partially fun…” Only partially fun.. about 1/3 fun, 1/3 ads, 1/6 dramatic, 1/12 cutsie…

    • cjcerny
    • 7 years ago

    “Disaster” is a term best saved for when the battery in your pacemaker dies or when an engine falls off your plane. If you blow a gasket because you can’t start your new game consistently for a few days after it is released, then you probably need to turn off your computer and spend that time kissing more girls.

      • IntelMole
      • 7 years ago

      Sim City has always had disasters (including alien attacks) as part of the game. I figured it was a reference to that.

      • cjcerny
      • 7 years ago

      My point was that it’s important to keep things in perspective. It’s silly to waste energy being upset and angry over something that is supposed to keep you entertained, especially when all you have to due is wait a few weeks for the problems to smooth out. Every large project, software or otherwise, takes time–they are big, complicated undertakings. Even if Sim City had not had any online component at all, some people would have found big bugs that cause other enjoyment killing problems. Relax. Take a deep breath. Look around and appreciate your warm house and nice food. Play another game for a few weeks. There isn’t any reason to lose your cool and rip the Sim City developers a new one because of launch issues–that is to be expected with a project this large.

        • Duck
        • 7 years ago

        Pacifist Β¬.Β¬

        • Spunjji
        • 7 years ago

        In perspective, compared with other single player game launches, this is a disaster. They didn’t *have* to make the game use such a restrictive DRM system and at no point were they *forced* to not put enough servers online to handle the load. That constitutes a cock-up, a boner, SNAFU, whatever you’d like to call it. Are you suggesting that the relevant press entities just shut up about this and let it happen because “it’s only a game”? It’s something people paid money for and it’s broken. That’s worthy of comment.

        But don’t let any of that be an excuse not to continue being a high-and-mighty dick about it, eh?

        • clone
        • 7 years ago

        1st their is no excuse for launch issues, amateur hour is launch issues.

        2nd ppl aren’t interested in paying $60 for a game that doesn’t work, if the game won’t work at launch then perhaps they should hold off the launch until it will.

        3rd if it’s only going to take a few weeks to fix….. then hold off the launch.

        4th their is plenty of reason to lose “your cool”, $60 was paid for something that doesn’t work….. an overabundance of reason especially given refunds aren’t forthcoming.

        5th what does looking around the house have to do with spending $60 on a broken game?….. food?…..playing another game?

        6th if the game doesn’t work why don’t you blame Sim City?

        7th the only thing that is to “be expected” with any product / service / contract is that both sides honor that contract the moment money exchanges hands.

        cjcerny you’ve set the bar so low with regards to acceptable sales practices that ppl buying cars in your view shouldn’t expect them to work….. so what if they are missing tires and maybe a transmission? your position implies that this should be expected so long as those parts eventually get fixed anywhere from a few weeks to a few months later with no chance for a refund….. you know because the process of building a car is far more involved than a video game.

        • ET3D
        • 7 years ago

        I know it’s a good idea to take a deep breath, but it’s hard when you got your excitement up and then have it slammed to the floor.

        Kind of like when I read today that Marvel is giving away 700 #1 digital issues for free and then realised that the sites and apps have all become non-functional. Companies often don’t realise what they’re getting into. It’s natural but annoying.

        • mcnasty72@gmail.com
        • 7 years ago

        @cjcerny
        That is ridiculous to ask paying consumers to sit & wait. If customers could get refunds but wouldn’t be an issue but to ask people that have spent their hard earned money, with no refunds possible to “sit & wait” is ridiculous. Would you sit and wait for any other vendor? Would you wait six hours for a restaurant to get you meal correct? How about a week to use a new Blue Ray player? How about a week to get satellite TV after installation was completed? How about a week for your new car to run?
        We have lost our sense of principles in this country. A service that is to be rendered after time of purchase should be immediately available after the purchase is made. Anything else would lead to a refund. Period.

          • clone
          • 7 years ago

          his point was absurd, I’m pretty sure he didn’t mean it the silly way it came across but it was stupid nonetheless.

          on a side note I don’t believe the gamers consider the issue a disaster, they most likely consider it an annoyance, an aggravation, a losing of faith in pre ordering anything from EA ever again… getting ripped off does that, disaster is likely the feelings being shared by the makers of Sim City and EA which is perfectly appropriate, they can rot AFAIC and deservedly so.

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      Disasters are relative to the current situation, not all situations.

        • cjcerny
        • 7 years ago

        Sure, I accept that. Mostly, I just object to the indignant tone of Geoff’s article. The Internet makes it way too easy to pile on someone when things don’t go smoothly for them. I’ve screwed up lots of time in my life, even when I’m always trying not to. We all do. But, when someone else screws up, we immediately switch into “I can’t believe they screwed up like that–I would never make a mistake that big” mode. Yeah…sure. Geoff would have been a lot better off using a “Lots of launch issues with SimCity reported…staff working to iron them out” tone instead of “botched so spectacularly”.

          • GrimDanfango
          • 7 years ago

          This isn’t really about someone screwing up a launch though. That indignant tone is because this has ramifications for the industry far beyond one game, and I think the tone is entirely justified.
          People are expectedly ready to pounce on the slightest indication that always-on-DRM is a damaging element, as it is so obvious to all concerned that even at its best, it provides zero benefit to anyone except the money-men, and at anything less than its best, it’s actively hostile towards paying customers.

          I think any bad press it gets is completely warranted. Bring it on!

          I personally would have caved and bought it in spite of the DRM, and in spite of not wanting Origin anywhere near my computer, if it wasn’t for the other cumulative factors of being obnoxiously overpriced, and EA’s business model absolutely guaranteeing a protracted drip-feeding of extra premium content that has been harvested from what the game could have been on release. Combined, it all adds up to an absolute no-sale for me.

          • peartart
          • 7 years ago

          Are you a multinational corporation? The people stuck doing customer service for this deserve some sympathy. EA, not so much.

        • GrimDanfango
        • 7 years ago

        Yup, a disastrous launch means something entirely different if you’re talking about about space shuttles…

      • Yeats
      • 7 years ago

      The word you need to learn is “context”.

        • cjcerny
        • 7 years ago

        That’s exactly my point. The folks who went all ballistic and ripped EA a new one and gave the game a 0 score on Metacritic need to understand the context. This isn’t a mission critical app. If it doesn’t work perfectly at launch, you go do something else for a few weeks or months while they iron out the issues. You don’t swear off EA and swear up their support staff. It is just a game.

          • willmore
          • 7 years ago

          And the people reading the metacritic score know they’re looking at the score for a game, so that’s already built into the system. Your point?

          • kvndoom
          • 7 years ago

          Except people don’t pay 60 bucks and get something on release day with the expectation that they can’t use it right away.

          Might as well buy a shrink wrapped book and find out it’s only the front and back covers… we will mail you the pages by the end of the month.

          • Hattig
          • 7 years ago

          They’ve just paid $60 to play the game NOW. Not in “a few weeks or months”.

        • ludi
        • 7 years ago

        I’d be happy if the OP simply figured out how to interpret a simple noun modifier. In this case, it’s a “DRM disaster,” not a “healthcare disaster” or an “airline disaster.”

      • Thresher
      • 7 years ago

      If you want to get pedantic, disaster comes from the latin “dis” meaning bad and “aster” meaning star. So “disaster” means “bad star”. In context, it means a bad portent.

        • UberGerbil
        • 7 years ago

        Which is why [i<]Romeo and Juliet[/i<], that tale of "a pair of star-cross'd lovers," is exactly and precisely categorized as a disaster.

      • Lans
      • 7 years ago

      Fine, if your problem is the wording then how about EA screwed early adopters?

      Just curious, what would you call buying ~$60 gifts to those girls you mentioned and then they won’t let you kiss them and even showing you the door?

        • mcnabney
        • 7 years ago

        He normally has to pay a LOT more than $60 to get close to a girl.

        • way2strong
        • 7 years ago

        Obviously his solution would be to just wait a few weeks or months until they tell him it’s time to play.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      A Krogoth competitor appears!

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        +1, but he’s not quite there yet. He needs to say that there is no real consumer demand or need for games.

          • mcnabney
          • 7 years ago

          He also needs to get back to work. EA isn’t paying him to surf the Net.

      • Aquilino
      • 7 years ago

      One does not simply…

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      I agree that “disaster” is probably an exaggeration, but don’t marginalize legitimate issues. People paid for a game to have it available on a date, but this DRM has prevented legal users from making any use of their purchase.

      I’d like to come up with another term, but all I’m imagining is the Benny Hill theme playing as EA employees work on this and try to spin it into a positive light.

      • LovermanOwens
      • 7 years ago

      You sir are the man. I couldn’t put it better myself. Yes the old SimCity was single player, but this SimCity has a massive multi-player aspect to it. As an added bonus of the online aspect, if EA/Maxis wants to make it harder for players to steal their games, all the power to them.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        But if they end up making it harder for legitimate customers to play the game they paid for, then ‘ef them.

          • LovermanOwens
          • 7 years ago

          agreed.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      Perhaps this is a fiasco.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      Oh man, I vote cjcerny’s post as the most common-sense post of the year. And it’s only March!

      Disaster really is NOT when a game fails; you’re right! And we really DO need to spend more time kissing more girls, dammit! I do not understand how you got a net “-52”. We’re so easily offended. Sigh.

        • GrimDanfango
        • 7 years ago

        Nobody who isn’t kissing girls likes to be reminded that they’re not kissing girls.
        Spewing vitriol about evil corporations and DRM is what we do to keep our minds off of that sort of thing!

        [i<]*lonely, simcityless sigh*[/i<] cjcerny is an evil harbinger of cold cruel reality!

          • BIF
          • 7 years ago

          LOL, a pity upvote for you during your dateless Friday evening, kind sir.

          πŸ˜€

    • dragosmp
    • 7 years ago

    As much as I think this DRM is overkill, the issue is elsewhere. When you launch a game you hope to sell X licenses that require Y bandwidth for Z amount of time on launch day. Then one can put online a server that handles x% of the predicted load with a few % as a backup in case it’s needed. To fail like this either their math is completely screwed up or they didn’t even care to size the servers as to provide good customer experience. If they wanna transform their business from a game retailer to a service provider they have a bit to learn.

      • Darkmage
      • 7 years ago

      There is a third possibility: A bug somewhere in their network code. If they’re not releasing connections or a memory leak somewhere is preventing those servers from operating at capacity, that could explain why this release has been such a Charlie Foxtrot.

      After so many titles have had problematic releases due to volume (BF3, SC2, etc.) you’d think that developers would devise a load test for this sort of thing.

        • Krogoth
        • 7 years ago

        It wouldn’t be so problematic. If it wasn’t a single player only title.

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        This reminds me of the old addage “We Unix programmers have heard that Windows programmers don’t call free() every time they call malloc(). We wish them luck with that.”

      • rwburnham
      • 7 years ago

      EA wants to do what Valve does but they’re not willing to go all in. They should have just left their games on Steam.

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Yeah, I would be interested to see the spreadsheet calculations that showed maintaining their own infrastructure was more cost effective than just letting Valve have a cut of each sale.

    • Krogoth
    • 7 years ago

    Epic failure

    There’s simply no excuse.

      • fyo
      • 7 years ago

      Don’t blame Epic, they have nothing to do with this — although they have been considering this kind of always-on drm for upcoming titles.

      No this is all on EA. Their attitude towards customers is just… unreal.

      • DeadOfKnight
      • 7 years ago

      Sure there is. It’s their game and not yours. Don’t give them your money.

    • Hallucin8
    • 7 years ago

    I found this Kickstarter yesterday. [url<]http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1584821767/civitas-plan-develop-and-manage-the-city-of-your-d[/url<] Combined with all the moaning I've seen about the EA abomination, I gave them some money. I'm not affiliated with this project in any way other then I am an avid SC fan since the dawn of early DOS games.

      • Convert
      • 7 years ago

      More people need to see this. I also ran accross this yesterday and donated, however it looks like this kickstarter may not get off the ground if it doesn’t get more donations soon.

      I would love to play a sim game like this that doesn’t have a fatal flaw.

      • Saber Cherry
      • 7 years ago

      Give til you bleed, people! Let’s kill EA with grass roots!

      …but don’t give EVERYTHING. You need to save some for the other great indy games in progress – Dwarf Fortress, Starbound, Mount and Blade 2, etc.

      • Suspenders
      • 7 years ago

      Awesome; I hope they hit their funding goal.

      • superjawes
      • 7 years ago

      Might be good to drop that [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=81304<]here[/url<] as well.

    • drfish
    • 7 years ago

    Can we get a moment of silence for our fallen comrade? :'(

    • Jigar
    • 7 years ago

    To make matters worse, a cracked version of the game will almost surely show up on BitTorrent sites before long

    WITH OFFLINE GAME PLAY…

      • thor84no
      • 7 years ago

      Honestly, any company that gives me – as a paying customer – a worse experience than people who pirate the game will not get my money. I’ve long been a fan of simcity (I was hooked on simcity 2000 as a kid) but there’s just no way I’m buying this now.

      • trackerben
      • 7 years ago

      crack’d for the upgrade

    • PrincipalSkinner
    • 7 years ago

    The ones who will pay the most are the ones who are getting screwed the most. How handy.

      • killadark
      • 7 years ago

      was gonna buy it just yesterday thank go i dint ill just wait it out a couple of weeks until issues are solved
      PS i totally hate EA DRM it has givin me so many problems in the past some times i had to use the nocd exe to not be botherd πŸ˜›

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        Why reward EA for putting that DRM in?

        Don’t buy it, don’t pirate it, don’t talk about it except for the DRM. That way, they don’t even get the mindshare. That is how you can help kill EA, and teach other software companies a lesson.

          • Chrispy_
          • 7 years ago

          This x1000

            • Duck
            • 7 years ago

            x100 more

            • DeadOfKnight
            • 7 years ago

            x∞-∞

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Uh oh, comment agreement bubble!

            • Duck
            • 7 years ago

            ∞ minus ∞? So… x0 which will equal 0 ?

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            ORDER OF OPERATIONS!

            The result it: This*1000*100*∞-∞
            Or: ∞(This*100000-1)

            • anotherengineer
            • 7 years ago

            then divide by 0!!

          • odizzido
          • 7 years ago

          Buy it for $2 on a steam sale. That way EA will learn that their DRM rental games are worth rental prices.

          Of course, only 1% of the people complaining will stop buying EA games and meanwhile their customer base will increase by like 5% so they will just keep getting worse.

          Whatever, if people want to ruin new games for themselves they can. I will just keep buying patched games with their DLC for super cheap a few years after release, and in the meantime I still have a bunch of games I got on sale that I still haven’t gotten to yet. And since I haven’t been buying new games since this DRM came along I will have a bunch more rental games I can get on sale before I finish all the “new” games I have.

            • squeeb
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t think you’ll ever see it on steam sale..pretty sure EA is keeping all their current/future titles Origin only.

            • odizzido
            • 7 years ago

            That’s fine. If I see if for sale on origin for $2 I will buy it from there.

          • Bensam123
          • 7 years ago

          Why reward game developers for making a good game? There is a difference between what EA does and what Maxis does. People don’t seem to realize there is a line. Maxis is primarily responsible for the game, but has to play bitch to EA. That means they have to do what EA wants if they want funding, which is usually the way it works.

          You hurt both EA and Maxis when you don’t buy their games. Sadly there isn’t a way for a user to separate who they give their money to. There is also no way for EA to know why users aren’t buying their games (especially when ego gets in the way of things). So if you don’t buy this particular game, they’ll just think Simcity, Maxis, and Simulators in general are at fault and then can the likeliness of any simulator getting funding in the future.

          That’s the way consolization worked. Game developers simply thought there was no market for PC gaming, warned everyone of this, and then jumped ship leading to almost a decade of titles being developed mainly for consoles. Really, those PC makers who cried wolf were simply ones that made shitty games and no one bought them. I iterated this each and every time one of those developers made such a assertion (for what that was worth).

          The gameplay for this game is fun and I’ve supported Maxis over the years and I will continue to do so into the future regardless of who they’re in bed with. Sometimes you don’t have a choice besides whore yourself out.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            It’s the catch-22 of game development. Publishers are often the guilty party, but punishing them punishes the developer.

            The best bet is Kickstarter and indie games. We won’t ever rid outselves of publishers (some great projects will require a lot of money), but we can decentralize some of the power and directly fund some developers doing good things.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            Sure, but simply saying ‘EA games are bad, don’t buy EA games, that’ll show’m!’ isn’t always the best course of actions, especially if you enjoy a dying breed of games from a developer that doesn’t always gain much recognition.

            I thoroughly hope Simcity is successful.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            That’s basically exactly what I’m saying…the way of punishing EA for this junk DRM would also hurt Maxis. EA shouldn’t get away with it, but it also isn’t fair to hurt Maxis if you enjoy the game.

            • Bensam123
            • 7 years ago

            So you said what I said after I said it in a argumentative tone and then I got rated down for saying it first? Essentially we’re agreeing, you’re just coming off in a way that makes it seem like we aren’t.

            I don’t understand people sometimes.

            • nanoflower
            • 7 years ago

            There is a way to let them know what you think, but few take advantage of it. Write them a physical letter. Let Maxis know that you like their games but you won’t buy it due to the always on DRM and write EA a letter letting them know the same thing. That way Maxis knows what EA’s DRM is costing them and may work with other publishers in the future. EA may decide to drop the online requirement if enough people complain. Emails help but anyone getting physical letters is going to know many more people are unhappy for every one person that sends a letter.

          • mcnasty72@gmail.com
          • 7 years ago

          One of the few “smart” post I’ve read.

        • Rand
        • 7 years ago

        If your going to buy the game anyway why should EA care if you hate the DRM?
        They get your money regardless.
        If you dislike the DRM refuse to buy, otherwise your actively supporting EA’s DRM. And as such they will continue to do it.

      • HisDivineOrder
      • 7 years ago

      Anyone who preorders a game is playing Russian Roulette. If you keep playing, sooner or later, the chamber WILL have that bullet with your email, billing info, and a poorly encrypted storage of your password on it.

      You’d think EA would know better, but the reality is these are the people most likely to forgive them for the crap. They’re the most dedicated. Everyone else knew better than to buy into a game with a single player that requires you be online with city sizes this small. Everyone else is waiting this storm out to see how long it takes EA to figure out the crap that is just downright unacceptable with this one?

      Oh, and we’re all waiting on more reasonable pricing, too.

      • ET3D
      • 7 years ago

      Impatience has its price.

      • jihadjoe
      • 7 years ago

      > The ones who will pay the most are the ones who are getting screwed the most. How handy.

      If only this worked like hookers…

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