SimCity 5 unleashes a random disaster on itself

By Mike on 12:00 am

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Electronic Arts once again has egg on their face. The latest fiasco has to do with SimCity 5 and its always-online functionality. EA had planned to reinvent the game as a multiplayer experience. Instead gamers were met with clogged servers and dropped connections, rendering the game unplayable. It launched without enough servers to meet demand. EA says they plan to add more over the weekend to address customer concerns. This is just the latest PR disaster for the company, who Consumerist named the "worst in America".

For those less technically inclined, the always-on DRM SimCity uses requires a player to be connected to an EA server in order to play. Should the connection be lost on their end or yours, the game is rendered unplayable. This method of copy protection has been met with controversy since its introduction a few years ago. Many gamers feel it's unnecessary for single player games. Aside from that, it has been plagued with technical problems since day one. The issues with SimCity are only the latest in long line of rocky launches. Last year, Diablo III was met with harsh criticism when gamers could not log on to its servers. Prior to that, Ubisoft was met with outrage when the same thing happened to those who had bought Settlers 7.

The definition of insanity is attempting the same thing over and over, yet expecting different results. In the case of always-online copy protection, it has never worked. While Diablo III managed to keep piracy to a minimum, the problems with the system generated a lot of ill will towards Blizzard/Activision from the gaming community.

SimCity Burning - or how gamers really feel buying EA. From

EA has followed the classic corporate model for the entertainment industry. Buy up competition and focus on producing products at low cost in high volumes. Suits with MBAs control the creative process, and most don't even posses a creative molecule in their body. The conglomeration of studios has definitely hurt gaming. PC gaming in particular has taken it on the nose more than other platforms. Gamers are often still treated as pirates even though they legally obtained their games.

So far SimCity's problems have been met with strong backlash from the gaming community. Video game publications are recommending people not buy it, at least not until EA gets their act together. Most companies would freak at this level of negative press. Yet EA seems to blow it off as a lot of whining over spilled milk.

What has happened is inexcusable and rather amateurish  A company that large should anticipate large server demand at launch and prepare accordingly. They didn't and in my opinion, they don't deserve your $60 because of this.

Though I will take the time to take a knock at my fellow gamers. We knew this was coming. EA never hid the fact that SimCity would require a constant server connection to play. We also know that these systems have never worked properly in the past. Why would this time be any different? Yet people still bought the game. People are probably still buying it. That's the fatal flaw. As Forbes columnist Paul Tassi put it, the only way to force EA to change is to vote with your wallet.

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1 comments for this post

Sorry writer, EA was not actually straight with the digital rights management sell. To parapharase, they claimed it would enhance online experience, it was necessary due to our computers not being able to handle the amount of data and other corporate nonsense. Never once did they tell the truth: they wanted to stop piracy, thats why the game I bought sucks so bad, is slow and small.
They should all die at EA games!!!!!

Posted on 9 March 2013 at 14:13