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(PC Magazine)   An open letter to EA: I farking told you this would happen   (pcmag.com) divider line 379
    More: Asinine, SimCity, copy protection  
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13312 clicks; posted to Geek » on 08 Mar 2013 at 2:02 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-08 12:46:21 PM  
As usual, attempts at DRM hose the honest customers, and EA refuses to do right by those customers.

And then they wonder why their stuff is pirated so much.
 
2013-03-08 01:18:17 PM  
The best part of this is if you look at the Metacritic reviews, the critics loved it and the users hated it.  The only reason to users hated it was because of the complete inability of EA to make Sim City work on Day 1.  If EA hadn't farked it up, they might have gotten away with their ass hole DRM.  But they did, so they didn't.
 
2013-03-08 01:27:29 PM  
Let EA be the wrecked ship on the rocky, treacherous shores of DRM that show other companies where not to sail.
 
2013-03-08 01:31:00 PM  
This whole thing is absolute proof that people who pirate are getting the better end of the deal than the customers who actually want to support the devs. I sincerely hope EA & Activision go DIAF and part their IPs out to gaming companies that give a shiat about games and not squeezing every extra penny they can from a customer while holding a gun to their head to make sure they aren't stealing.
 
2013-03-08 01:39:49 PM  
See, here's the thing. I'm not much of a gamer, period. I don't do online gaming at all. There are only a few games that I enjoy playing for a long time, and those tend to be games that I can immerse myself in and play a little at a time, by myself, for my own amusement (Civilization, Skyrim, etc etc). Back in the day, SimCity was one of those games. And when I heard there was a new one coming out, I got mildly interested. Not ecstatic...I haven't thought about SimCity in years, after all, and didn't know a new one was coming out. But mildly interested. Like, "Huh. You know, maybe I'll download that from Amazon for $60. I enjoyed it before, it could be fun."

But then I found out that it forces me to play online, and that building a real city requires me to collaborate with other people. I don't want to. Why should I have to do that to enjoy a game I've always enjoyed playing by myself? Multiplayer should be an option, not a requirement.

I don't care if the game wants to check to make sure it has a valid license. Fark all that, it doesn't matter to me. But you're going to make me collaborate in a multi-player game? Fark you. I'll never buy that. And I can't believe I'm all that rare in feeling that way. Why the hell would EA turn off that entire segment of its potential audience?
 
2013-03-08 01:42:59 PM  

kumanoki: Let EA be the wrecked ship on the rocky, treacherous shores of DRM that show other companies where not to sail.


See... I wouldn't really have a problem with EA destroying them self.  Glob knows they've been trying for years.  The problem I have is that they're a black hole of suck, drawing in development studios and franchises... pulling the good parts of the industry deep within their dark maw.  Never to be seen again.

Never.  To be seen.  AGAIN!
 
2013-03-08 01:52:11 PM  
I've come to the compromise that I'll buy games on Steam to support the devs, but I still have a "extra" copy on my external drive if someone ever gets lawsuit happy and forces Steam to take it down.
 
2013-03-08 01:55:45 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-03-08 02:08:25 PM  
Pssssh.  I've been boycotting EA ever since they pulled the plug on Motor World Online, the best racing game of all time.

/they said they needed the server space for Sim City
//they even offered me a free copy of Sim City, I told them to shove it
///get off of my lawn.
 
2013-03-08 02:11:52 PM  
Good letter. I'm not interested in playing this game, but I'm going to pirate it and let the .iso sit on my hard drive, just because fark you, EA.
 
2013-03-08 02:14:52 PM  
Yeah I have no interest in this game.   Off to pirate it!
 
2013-03-08 02:16:04 PM  
I think it goes to show that the gaming industry has become so paranoid about piracy that it's destroying itself.

I very rarely want to give Apple it's due, but they have shown that you can curtail piracy by making the purchasing process less painful than the process to steal the material.
You never will get rid of all thieves, some people are just wired that way. But their numbers can be minimized pretty easily.
 
2013-03-08 02:18:27 PM  
yeah, when you make it too hard for honest customers to play a game, you've farked up.

I would like to play Dead Space 3 (and I wouldn't mind playing a newer version of Sim City) but I hate all this DRM and forced online crap. I already have to play so much shyte with Steam running, why do I need to add an extra layer of BS?

\lookin' at you, Microsoft, for making me jump through hoops just to play Bioshock 2
 
2013-03-08 02:20:26 PM  
Look dude, I hate DRM too. But the problem here isn't DRM, it's that EA is completely incompetent.
 
2013-03-08 02:21:59 PM  
I won't pay a cent for this game until the major issues (reloadable saves, always-on and forced multi-player) are fixed.

I am willing to pirate it, not even to play but just so some EA asshat can watch the number of torrents and downloads sky rocket.
 
2013-03-08 02:23:04 PM  
Also, a prediction for the future: if you release an expansion or paid DLC to make the extremely small city areas bigger (instead of making it a free fix for one of the game's legitimate mechanical flaws), people are going to be unhappy all over again. We're all expecting it, and none of us are going to appreciate it when it happens.

Subway DLC. Book it. Done.
 
2013-03-08 02:25:16 PM  

Virtual Pariah: I think it goes to show that the gaming industry has become so paranoid about piracy that it's destroying itself.

I very rarely want to give Apple it's due, but they have shown that you can curtail piracy by making the purchasing process less painful than the process to steal the material.
You never will get rid of all thieves, some people are just wired that way. But their numbers can be minimized pretty easily.


Valve did the exact same thing.  Which is why it's baffling that nobody else seems willing to learn from that example.

Treat people like what you want them to be.  Treat them as valued customers, and they'll be that.  Treat them as thieves, and they'll be that too.
 
2013-03-08 02:25:45 PM  
i'm so farking sick of people saying DRM
 
2013-03-08 02:26:30 PM  
EA used to be one of the best game companies, now it's one of the worst. Their games reek of them trying to nickle and dime you on anything and everything possible. Unlike most Farkers I am not "DRM OMG!! They will own my soul!!!" But EA is way beyond that. Seems you buy a game for the same price every other game is, it has tons of in game advertising, and to be able to do anything you must by lots of DLC. And on top of that the interfaces are torturous. It feels to me they spend 90% of their time figuring how to make money on a game and about 10$ on trying to make sure the game actually doesn't suck.
 
2013-03-08 02:29:04 PM  

pacified: i'm so farking sick of people saying DRM


Well, I don't see you suggesting any new names!
 
2013-03-08 02:30:30 PM  
The video game industry is about to die, and the problem is the software companies attempts at ending piracy and used gaming that's going to cause it, sadly, they are too stupid to actually realize it, and when the video game industry tanks, they will go down blaming pirates while ignoring failures like this.

How bad is the video game industry doing?  I have friends who work at the Gamestop Corporate office.  Years ago, Gamestop used to be on the Fortune 500.  Gamestop had piles of money and they used it to do upgrade sections of the corporate office, they bought some off site property to expand their refurbishment department, picked up several companies to expand their brand.  Now, in late January they eliminated several positions in the corporate office as well as closed over 80 stores, dissolving several districts.  Right now is annual review time and so far everyone who's gotten their review back has had poor reviews.  Some think that the company might be gearing up for another round of lay offs, others think the poor reviews are Gamestop's way of avoiding payraises that they've already announced that they can not afford.  Part of the problem is that it's been six years since a major console was released and with the next gen consoles not expected to be out until Maybe December of this year, it's going to be a hard year for Gamestop.  Another problem for Gamestop is the software company's war against used gaming, and Gamestop is their target (and gamers the victims).  They argue that Gamestop has made a billion dollar empire off of used games, but gives none of that money to the software companies (which makes as much sense as Carmax selling used cars but not sending any of that money to the auto makers).  There are several rumors about the next Playstation and Xbox not allowing used games by requiring online connection to verify that the disk is a new disk, to activation codes to on line only.  All moves that will ultimately kill the video game industry, at least the console gaming industry.

But, the software publishers aren't the only reason why Gamestop's in trouble.  The rise of mobile platform gaming and Gamestop's inability to compete with iTunes, plus their buying of companies and not really knowing what to do with them after purchasing hasn't made Gamestop look any more responsible than a 17 year old rap star rushing out and buying twenty Ferraris.

EA has been the absolute worst when it comes to video game publisher dickery.  It was announced several years ago that they were charging money for DLCs that weren't actually DLCs, but part of the disk that you already paid for.  Basically, you spend $60 for the disk, then pay more money for more features that only EA can unlock.  Honestly, I think that the only thing that has kept EA in business is their Madden contract.  The Madden series is a big game launch each year.  EA can charge $60 for the disk, then $15 to unlock each team on the disk, and people will still buy those games.  The worst part about it that the software publishers are looking at EA and saying "Yeah, they appear to be screwing over the customers, but they are still buying the games, so if they can do it, so can we."  Meaning that what EA is doing, we can expect to see from other companies in the near future.
 
2013-03-08 02:30:39 PM  
Is it out of the question for game companies to rent servers from Google/Amazon/whoever for a few weeks or months to handle the initial rush of new players for a new game? After the initial demand dips back down to normal levels, scale back server capacity. If that were possible, I would imagine it would be worth avoiding all this bad press and supporting the idea that always on DRM is to be avoided at all costs.
 
2013-03-08 02:31:07 PM  
This really sucks. I don't game much anymore, but Simcity was going to be an insta-purchase until I saw the troubles it was having.

The invisible hand smacks EA yet again. Will they listen? Or will some other company innovate themselves a better solution that the market wants.
 
2013-03-08 02:32:13 PM  
TFA: Let me say this straight off: the DRM and online features in a game are part of a game

A-ha, so your first challenge in the game is to get through the DRM. THIS IS PART OF THE GAME.

Wait, I have an idea for a new game genre. There will be nothing in the games but dozens of DRM algorithms and the goal will be to get through all of them. Sounds good, no? First one wins, others can EABOD.
 
2013-03-08 02:33:45 PM  
I play games when I DONT want to interact with people.  I don't want facebook integration.  Or leaderboards.  Or resource sharing.  I want to be THE hero of the world, not just another guy who clearly isn't the best at whatever.

The only thing online integration does is make my experience less meaningful.  It adds an element of competition where it doesn't belong.  That's not fun.  Games are supposed to be fun.
 
2013-03-08 02:34:28 PM  

JustMatt: Is it out of the question for game companies to rent servers from Google/Amazon/whoever for a few weeks or months to handle the initial rush of new players for a new game?


Shouldn't one of the largest video game companies be able to do this?
 
2013-03-08 02:36:24 PM  

scottydoesntknow: Also, a prediction for the future: if you release an expansion or paid DLC to make the extremely small city areas bigger (instead of making it a free fix for one of the game's legitimate mechanical flaws), people are going to be unhappy all over again. We're all expecting it, and none of us are going to appreciate it when it happens.

Subway DLC. Book it. Done.


Yeah, they're probably going to roll out every feature of SimCity 4, $10 at a time.
 
2013-03-08 02:37:38 PM  

ManRay: This really sucks. I don't game much anymore, but Simcity was going to be an insta-purchase until I saw the troubles it was having.

The invisible hand smacks EA yet again. Will they listen? Or will some other company innovate themselves a better solution that the market wants.


It won't smack them hard enough.  shiat like this is exactly why they push pre-orders so hard; to insulate themselves from things like bad reviews and launch fiascoes.
 
2013-03-08 02:38:19 PM  
So going from the Assassins Creed release, when do EA turn around and blame the outage on the ebil piwates DDOSing them?

Because it's always interesting to watch a master demonstrate putting a fire out by pouring petrol over it.
 
2013-03-08 02:39:31 PM  
This guy (from the Amazon reviews) has a better letter:

Dear EA/Maxis/Origin:

You killed the child inside me.

The one who remembers playing SimCity. The *first* one. Who recalls fondly a childhood of Sim games, spending countless hours on my Compaq 486 sx33 living simulated lives in simulated bliss. I played all the iterations: I built theme parks and zoos and I even went so far as to adore SimAnt. Anyone remember SimAnt? You were a yellow ant. And did... Ant things... Simulated Ant things. I did that.

Over the years, as I grew in to an adult, SimCity grew with me. Through every evolution, I enjoyed it. I bonded with it. I dreamed of living in an Arcology one day, in the distant future. Maxis, you stimulated my impressionable mind and gave me critical thinking skills and a grounded conduit for my creativity.

For all those years, I am thankful. I even played "The Sims" a bit, but became busy being an adult and living a non-simulated life.

When I read about a year ago there would be a new SimCity game, I was ecstatic. I immediately sent links to my childhood friends, started reading every piece I could about it, and gleefully watched sneak previews on YouTube. I was excited.

I Pre-Ordered it on Amazon. Then I ordered it on Origin because I could get it two hours earlier- that's how excited I was to download it.

Now. Listen, EA. You know where this is going. You know what happened. You know what you did. We all know what you did.

You killed a little boy. Metaphorically, of course. I'm fairly sure none of your products have or ever will cause actual death. Unless it's suicide induced by trying to deal with your customer support, online or by phone... Actually yea, I can see someone on the desperate brink of ending their own life as a result of the incomprehensibly atrocious "Help" and "Contact" system you have in place on Origin. I can't even find an email address. AN EMAIL ADDRESS, EA. YOU GET LIKE THIRTY OF THOSE FREE WHEN YOU SIGN UP FOR COMCAST. HELL, I'LL GIVE YOU LIKE 28 OF MINE YOU CAN USE.

I digress. Let's not even talk about how it won't work, at all, right now. How there's not a single player mode. How the only mode is a crippled, severely limited, and quite honestly child-like version of what should be a powerful piece of gaming art.

It was pre-ordered, EA... and no one could download it. At all. You knew how many copies were going to be downloaded. You knew exactly how many downloads would be happening. Who does the math there? Who didn't figure out the server load? Are there koala bears doing math there?

AND if you DID do the math....

WHY IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS GOOD DID YOU NOT ALLOW PRE-DOWNLOADS?

I just... this is just.. unfathomable... you've done it before, with other popular games. I mean, it's not like this is the first game release EA and Origin has had... Right? Were you worried about piracy? Well. It's an online only game. The piracy rate of something like this (Or Diablo 3, or WoW, or whatever) has to be remarkably lower than the old "make a burned copy of CD and get a keygen from your buddy" days.

Online only. No single player version. I hate playing games with people. That's why I want to play a game where I control everyone and everything. To be away from the real world. In MY Sim-World...

And don't think we can't see what you're doing here, Maxis. There's $500 worth of "The Sims 3" add-ons out there. Shoot, even the initial download of this new SimCity tried to squeeze another 20 bucks out of us for.. I don't know, Germany or something?

How man versions would there be?
How much money would it cost to have a complete SimCity? A grand?

No.

No thank you. To any of this. This is, without a doubt, the last PC game I buy. Steam, Origin, whatever non-sense BattleNet decides to use... No more. Not when there are three consoles sitting in front of me, eager to play games immediately, the first time. In fact, my new Mass Effect 3 DLC just installed. Quickly. The first time.

In closing:

You've done terribly. You've ruined it. For everyone. Why? Because money. Because lack of foresight and smug, self-satisfied designs that would ensure we all had a SimLeech bloodsucking us for years to come.

So it wouldn't download. And now it won't play. And now I can't get my money back. Or even talk to anyone related to the game whatsoever.

And even if it did play, the part of me that would enjoy it, he's face down in a wading pool anyhow.

Thanks. You've made my laptop my imagination's Hiroshima.
 
2013-03-08 02:39:58 PM  

Great Janitor: EA can charge $60 for the disk, then $15 to unlock each team on the disk


Wow, I thought it was overpriced to begin with, but this is real? Holy shiat, glad I was never interested in getting it.
 
2013-03-08 02:40:32 PM  
i.imgur.com
 
2013-03-08 02:43:15 PM  

show me: Great Janitor: EA can charge $60 for the disk, then $15 to unlock each team on the disk

Wow, I thought it was overpriced to begin with, but this is real? Holy shiat, glad I was never interested in getting it.


No.  Well, the $60 for the game is real, plus more money for unlocking parts of the disk.  The $15 to unlock each team I made up as an example to show just what EA could do and how the fans would still buy.

EA, if you do this, you're a dick.  Secondly, it was my idea, I expect a cut of the profits.
 
2013-03-08 02:43:22 PM  

rufus-t-firefly: This guy (from the Amazon reviews) has a better letter:

Dear EA/Maxis/Origin:

You killed the child inside me.

The one who remembers playing SimCity. The *first* one. Who recalls fondly a childhood of Sim games, spending countless hours on my Compaq 486 sx33


Ha! I had a 486 DX33! Suck it, dude!
 
2013-03-08 02:44:52 PM  
PCMAG.com has popups.  2 of them in fact.
This is just as annoying as single player games requiring server access.
When will web sites learn?

1. Enter profanities in the questionnaire
2. Enter false, disgusting email address.
3. Avoid the offending web sites.
4.... nothing.
 
2013-03-08 02:45:12 PM  

Great Janitor: Gamestop's inability to compete with iTunes


I don't have the number handy, but I'm pretty sure Steam still makes way more money on game sales than iTunes.
 
2013-03-08 02:45:13 PM  
I'm glad I'm on vacation.  They better have this cleared up by Sunday though.
 
2013-03-08 02:45:51 PM  
 
2013-03-08 02:46:23 PM  

Great Janitor: show me: Great Janitor: EA can charge $60 for the disk, then $15 to unlock each team on the disk

Wow, I thought it was overpriced to begin with, but this is real? Holy shiat, glad I was never interested in getting it.

No.  Well, the $60 for the game is real, plus more money for unlocking parts of the disk.  The $15 to unlock each team I made up as an example to show just what EA could do and how the fans would still buy.

EA, if you do this, you're a dick.  Secondly, it was my idea, I expect a cut of the profits.


Wait till Madden 2014, they'll do it. That is, if it isn't out already. I know they are always ahead on the years. Like, didn't they put Peyton Manning on the cover the year he didn't even play?
 
2013-03-08 02:46:26 PM  
no it isn't real. use your brain
 
2013-03-08 02:46:28 PM  
A botched launch gets more greens than a school shooting and the gun threads or a cop killer hunt.
 
2013-03-08 02:47:44 PM  

palladiate: Great Janitor: Gamestop's inability to compete with iTunes

I don't have the number handy, but I'm pretty sure Steam still makes way more money on game sales than iTunes.


I was referring to mobile gaming, but still, Gamestop hasn't had success against Steam either.
 
2013-03-08 02:49:15 PM  
These companies need to realize that a pirated copy is not a lost sale and move on. Lots of people would gladly take something for free that they would never want if they had to pay for it. The difference here is, you don't actually lose anything when someone pirates a game. They aren't stealing a physical object.

So stop pissing off your paying customers to protect yourself from NOTHING
 
2013-03-08 02:49:34 PM  
the amount of nerd crying in this is the annoying part.   I get it, the servers aren't working right.  But is it worth all the wrist slitting emo bullshiat?  fark.  You nerds need better priority.
 
2013-03-08 02:50:49 PM  

lucksi: A botched launch gets more greens than a school shooting and the gun threads or a cop killer hunt.


But not nearly so many responses as The Wrestlers of Our Lives.
 
2013-03-08 02:51:01 PM  

Great Janitor: How bad is the video game industry doing?  I have friends who work at the Gamestop Corporate office.  Years ago, Gamestop used to be on the Fortune 500.  Gamestop had piles of money and they used it to do upgrade sections of the corporate office, they bought some off site property to expand their refurbishment department, picked up several companies to expand their brand.  Now, in late January they eliminated several positions in the corporate office as well as closed over 80 stores, dissolving several districts.  Right now is annual review time and so far everyone who's gotten their review back has had poor reviews.  Some think that the company might be gearing up for another round of lay offs, others think the poor reviews are Gamestop's way of avoiding payraises that they've already announced that they can not afford.  Part of the problem is that it's been six years since a major console was released and with the next gen consoles not expected to be out until Maybe December of this year, it's going to be a hard year for Gamestop.  Another problem for Gamestop is the software company's war against used gaming, and Gamestop is their target (and gamers the victims).  They argue that Gamestop has made a billion dollar empire off of used games, but gives none of that money to the software companies (which makes as much sense as Carmax selling used cars but not sending any of that money to the auto makers).  There are several rumors about the next Playstation and Xbox not allowing used games by requiring online connection to verify that the disk is a new disk, to activation codes to on line only.  All moves that will ultimately kill the video game industry, at least the console gaming industry.


Gamestop is dying because of digital distribution, Amazon, and the general price point for new video games. End of story.

Gamestop's fate has very little to do with the do with the health of the video game industry as a whole.
 
2013-03-08 02:51:20 PM  

rufus-t-firefly: In fact, my new Mass Effect 3 DLC just installed.


So I know a lot of people felt burned by ME3, and I hated the ending just as much as anyone (more numb to it now), but the "Citadel" DLC is awesome. It's nothing but pure fanservice, and that's what makes it great. It's the ending that people wanted, but at the same time there's no way they could've put it in the main game. This is DLC done right.
 
2013-03-08 02:52:50 PM  

rufus-t-firefly: This guy (from the Amazon reviews) has a better letter:


Well said.
 
2013-03-08 02:54:50 PM  

Dr. Goldshnoz: This whole thing is absolute proof that people who pirate are getting the better end of the deal than the customers who actually want to support the devs.


Yep.

Oldie but goodie:
www.thebuzzmedia.com
 
2013-03-08 02:57:11 PM  

Trollin4Colon: [i.imgur.com image 850x744]


And that's now posted to my FB wall.
 
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