Friday, March 8, 2013


I bought the new SimCity the day it came out.  I had a Target gift card for $15, but it was still a big bite to fork over $45 of a $60 game.  But I really wanted to play it.

You see, Maxis and I have a long history together, even if they aren't aware of it.  I played the first SimCity ("Nah, Nah, Nah Traffic").  And the second.  And Third.  I played all the Sims games.  I played Maxis games before EA came along and bought them.

And EA...don't even get me started here.  All the NHL games.  From Atari on up.  Command&Conquer.  SSX Tricky (one of my all time favorites).  Saints Row.  Tons more.  If it was an EA games, I played it or owned it.

I knew the new SimCity would have bugs to work out.  I've found pretty much all the EA/Maxis games (especially The Sims type games) automatically have a patch, and have one after that and after that and after that.

The thing is...I played the beta, and it was fun.  It was so nice to be back in the SimCity world.  The graphics are so much better, I was happy to be part of the beta, and part of a beta that tested their servers the night before launch.  It doesn't get much more exciting than that.

So I bought the game, and downloaded the obligatory patch.  I played for about an hour, and the server booted me.  It was fine, I had stuff to do after an hour.

Now I have to give a disclaimer here:  I am not a big MMP fan.  I rarely if ever play games with anyone else, much less someone I don't know.  I prefer to play alone.  Even on the XBox, if I forget to shut off the multiplayer feature and someone joins my game, I usually kick them out and shut off the feature.  It's not really that I'm antisocial, I just enjoy games at my own pace, and not relying on someone else's game play.

So imagine my surprise when my husband linked to this article, talking about how Amazon suspended selling of the new SimCity amidst all the server problems.  So I found this link and this link.  People are pissed.  SimCity's newest response is here, that they are going to give registered users a free game.  I'm sure it won't be anything expensive or stellar.  I'm kinda hoping for another expansion for my Sims.

But most people are pissed about the response.  Similar to the Knit Picks debacle, and isn't that it happened (although EA did have Diablo III as a perfect model of how this sort of thing can screw the pooch, and evidently didn't take heed of the warning).  It's that people were told they could get a refund.  Than obviously, they couldn'tNow a free game.

I hate to say, "Well, what do you expect?" but seriously, "What do you expect?"  It's EA/Maxis...known for this kind of problem.  It's frustrating and it sucks.  There is really few things worse in the gaming world as a gamer than buying a new game you looked forward to for WEEKS or MONTHS or sometimes YEARS and not being able to play it.  But this is coming from a company that has a LONG history of problem games.  But saying "They always pull this shit" doesn't excuse the fact that they developed a game that must be played with an online connection, only to have servers crashing constantly and having some people not be able to play at all.  They should have known better, and if they are so concerned about piracy, they need to come up with some other unique method.  Because this online thing isn't working.

It also goes back to a slightly off-topic discussion I had with a student worker at the library.  What happens when these games that rely on digital content--and the internet--cease to be supported?  You're kinda screwed.  And as a person who enjoys playing games over and over, that doesn't bode well for what is coming in the future.

So there is my very off-topic rant on the subject of SimCity.  BTW--I haven't had an issues getting on and staying on this afternoon or evening (knock on wood).  My 10 year old even got to play, and seeing him enjoy a game I enjoyed first when I was slightly older than he is makes me pretty happy. I'm sure Saturday morning will bring an all new can of worms.