back to article Amazon yanks SimCity download from store

Amazon has stopped selling the downloadable version of SimCity after hundreds of incensed gamers gave the just-launched game one-star reviews. The SimCity – Standard Edition was removed from Amazon's virtual shelves on Thursday. The always-online game has been mostly unplayable since it launched on Tuesday because of problems …

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  1. Bruno Girin

    This this too: http://www.gameranx.com/updates/id/13275/article/sim-city-ea-refuses-refunds-threatens-customer-with-origin-bans/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Damn, that is bad!

      I am pretty sure in teh EU at least EA has to refund, they are not providing the service they were contracted to provide...

      Also my major worry with any online game, is what if I spend ages on my city, then EA go bust? I can't play my game that I have brought!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I can confirm that EU customers can get refunds, as I managed to get one yesterday.

        Unless of course their live chat staff are completely inconsistent in the way they handle customer requests.

        1. Rob Moir

          hmm

          "Unless of course their live chat staff are completely inconsistent in the way they handle customer requests."

          You're saying that the live chat staff don't know what they're doing. As they work for EA what do you think the chances are? I'll take that bet.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Unfortunately, digitally distributed products are broadly exempt from most consumer protection legislation in the EU, notably the Distance Selling Regulations. You basically lose all right to a refund the second the first byte of the file has been downloaded, unless there has been some malice on the part of those responsible for producing/selling the game (e.g. false advertising).

        1. SMabille
          FAIL

          Selling a game / Capacity planning

          Isn't not having a working product and not anywhere close to the capacity required (which can have been anticipated) malicious?

          I'm sorry but isn't capacity planning relatively easy? You know you are going to have a urge surge of demand in the first 30 days that will go down without time (depending on how quickly the game is boring - which without save and reload, sandbox feature is probably going to be pretty quick).

          In the (good) old time you would have to factor the investment cost to cope at the peak (but could recycle it for next game launch) vs the alienation of the user base but now with IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) like AWS, Azure and other clouds the investment is virtually null, you just pay for the capacity you are using. So invest (buy) server farm to cope for use at D+30 and rent capacity for the rest. Build software able to scale up and launch new instances quickly. Not rocket science.

          Ordered the game on DVD, been dispatched but will return it as soon as it gets thru the door. Send a clear signal to EA: Yes I was interested and happy to get a newer SimCity but not in those conditions.

          1. Timfy67
            Happy

            Re: Selling a game / Capacity planning

            "Urge Surge"

            I intend to work this phrase into every phonecall that I have to make today!

          2. Jellied Eel Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Selling a game / Capacity planning- Now with added irony.

            "but now with IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) like AWS, Azure and other clouds the investment is virtually null, you just pay for the capacity you are using. So invest (buy) server farm to cope for use at D+30 and rent capacity for the rest"

            Amusingly the game appears to be relying on AWS, so Amazon's removal from sale may be partly due to self-preservation if Sims are eating the farm(s). I'm guessing due to the removal of iner-city transactions it's an IO problem between cities, especially if they somehow end up on different VMs.

        2. PGregg

          Well no.

          You have no recourse under DSR - but you absolutely have a full right to refund under the Sale of Good Act.

          What you purchase must be fit for purpose. In this instance it has been absolutely demonstrated and proved that the product was faultly and so you are immediately entitled, in law, to a full and complete refund.

          Report them to your local Trading Standards Office.

          1. IT veteran
            Thumb Up

            It gets better

            And if they take the servers down within 6 years you would probably have a good chance of getting a refund under the SGA (the 6 year refund is available if the problem, ie won't work without internet connection, was there from manufacture). But IANAL.

        3. zaax
          FAIL

          Wrong. SOGA (not DSR) applies to faulty good - which this is. Just to a charge back on your debit / credit card.

        4. RRoker

          differs by jurisdiction

          The rules that would apply here will differ a lot between different countries.

          In the UK I would imagine that any customer who has purchased a license of Sim City would be able to say that EA are in breach of an implied term of the contract that the customer will actually be able to play the game.

          If you're affected by this you could do worse than having a look at section 3 of the Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977 which says (amongst other things):

          "...cannot by reference to any contract term—

          (a)when himself in breach of contract, exclude or restrict any liability of his in respect of the breach; or

          (b)claim to be entitled—

          (i)to render a contractual performance substantially different from that which was reasonably expected of him"

          If I'd just paid over the odds for what looks like it's going to be a disappointing game at the best of times and it didn't even work because of some horrible DRM system I would say that any attempt to avoid giving me a refund/say that everything was fine an dandy was probably an attempt to "render a contractual performance substantially different from that which was reasonably expected"

      3. Yag
        Facepalm

        unfortunately

        "Also my major worry with any online game, is what if I spend ages on my city, then EA go bust? I can't play my game that I have brought!"

        You didn't bought a game.

        You bought a license to use a game, which is revokable and modifiable at any time by the seller.

        And that you accepted the terms.

        Terms that were told to you only after you bought the software.

        And you can't be refunded if you refuse those terms.

        Worse is... I'm sure that a cracked version with an included server-side will be out in a few monthes - one year top.

        And will be far more functional than the official bought for version.

        EA can rot in hell, I'll just build my own city in Minecraft.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: unfortunately

          « I'll just build my own city in Minecraft. »

          And I'll build mine on Rock n' Roll

          --- Startship

        2. PGregg

          Re: unfortunately

          > You bought a license to use a game, which is revokable and modifiable at any time by the seller.

          The courts in Europe disagree. EA sold you a license to a game, which in its own right means you now own title to that one game and EA has "patent exhaustion" over that one copy (or license) of the game. Essentially this means that EA can not tell you what to do with it.

          See Oracle v. UsedSoft.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Rather ironic

      That as I read this article I have an advert on the right hand side for the game which leads to.... Amazon to download it

    3. LarsG

      Impossible

      Delivered today, impossible to play as it continually requests that I install the game. After 4 hours of trying I gave up, went back at midnight, still nothing.

      Have decided to return the Game and already printed out the return label to Amazon.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EA is criminal thief, takes money for nothing

    they can go to hell

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Re: EA is criminal thief, takes money for nothing

      But they get their chicks for free.

      1. Richard 81

        Re: EA is criminal thief, takes money for nothing

        Them guys ain't dumb.

        1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: EA is criminal thief, takes money for nothing

          Hehe! Just had a post deleted by a pop-music challenged mod. :)

        3. Danny 14 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: EA is criminal thief, takes money for nothing

          maybe get a blister on your little finger

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Coat

            Re: EA is criminal thief, takes money for nothing

            The thumb is more likely.

  3. Greg J Preece

    Disgusting, abusive business practices from EA? No, surely not!

    What amazes me is that people still bought the fucking thing, especially given the Diablo III saga last year. EA wants to sell you something you neither own nor control, and shut it down when they, not you, get bored of it. But they still want full price for the game, plus microtransactions.

    I could rant all day about EA's horrible attitude toward its customer base, but I have stuff do so, so I'll be more succinct:

    Fuck EA. Fuck them in the ear.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. MrXavia
    WTF?

    WTF? did i read that right? there is NO offline mode??

    I loved sim city as a kid, but the times I am likely to play are those times I have minimal internet connectivity and a laptop....

    Serious fail here...

    1. SMabille
      FAIL

      Exactly my opinion, when can I play? at work, I shouldn't, at home, have no time/better things to do.

      That leaves me with trains/planes (no internet connectivity) and hotel rooms (with patchy connections - how many time an hour do you usually loose AP connection/need to re-authenticate? Probably far too if you loose your town at any small glitch).

  5. OMGROFLSKATES
    FAIL

    Why I Got some WINE

    and CitiesXL

    playing happily offline on my Mac whenever I want to.

    1. reno79

      Re: Why I Got some WINE

      Exactly what I was thinking. I bought a new laptop specifically for Sim City when it got announced (as my battered old integrated graphics monolith would have keeled over and died had I even thought of installing it) but as soon as they announced the parasitic DRM I went and bought Cities XL which I've been loving ever since.

  6. Tony Paulazzo
    Mushroom

    What I find hard to believe is the serious lack of communication from EA to its customers. In three or so days they finally get an ambivalent sorry, didn't realise how many people were going to buy (and want to play at the same time) the game, and we're working hard to resolve the issue. This problem will not affect our European or Australian releases.

    Why don't I believe you EA? oh yea, cause you're lying sacks of shit!

    1. reno79

      Well that's not true, I know 2 people (UK) so far who bought it this morning and have exactly the same issue.

      1. LaeMing Silver badge
        Meh

        Won't effect the /timing/ of the AU, EU. releases.

        Not referring to the playability.

  7. MrT

    Too many...

    ...nostalgic ElReg readers following the article series on this game's predecessors? Maybe EA are trying for the full old skool experience and are using an Amiga cluster to create the server...

    1. Katie Saucey
      Happy

      Re: Too many...using an Amiga cluster

      Doubt it, if they'd have gone with the Amiga cluster, it'd probably be working.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Too many...using an Amiga cluster

        Actually they are using C64's. There's one running as a web server here:

        http://www.c64web.com

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Too many...

      "using an Amiga cluster to create the server"

      And just what exactly would be wrong with that, please?

      1. MrT

        Re: Too many...

        From what I understood it's not something that is easily done - lots of custom bits etc (see link) - even the legendary Babylon5 render farm was a dedicated job. Unless someone has ported Tinc to AmigaOS... ;-)

        http://eab.abime.net/archive/index.php/t-44845.html

        There's nothing wrong with Amigas and it wasn't a skit on their steadiness, but if EA have had anything to do with writing any customized business-critical code then it'll be as crap as their commercial exploits.

        They don't use that platform of course. They use a ZX81 supercomputer, last seen running a nuclear power station ( as per the Sinclair adverts ). The real problem is the 2400baud modem, stuck trying to connect to Prestel.

  8. zemerick

    Looks like it's just a UK thing ( possibly EU? )

    amazon.com shows all of the versions are in stock and available.

    Still not going to buy it. I saw the storm coming with Diablo 3 and made sure not to buy that game. I new we were looking at the same thing with Simcity.

    It's very simple: I will NOT buy a single player game that requires internet access. Period.

    1. IT veteran
      Headmaster

      Possible legal issue

      If Amazon are selling a defective item in the EU, they can be hauled in front of the courts. Says a lot that this doesn't apply in the US...

  9. mickey mouse the fith
    FAIL

    Vote with the old wallet, theyll learn (probably)

    "While we continue to do everything we can to fix server issues, we're currently in the process of deploying a Hotfix to all servers. This includes various improvements,"

    Apparently these `improvements` include removing features like cheetah mode, what a farce.

    A single player game that needs an always on internet connection in order to play it is a default non purchase for me as i often want to play a game on my lappy away from the old wifi. A once every now and again verification system like windows does (3 months isnt it?) is just about acceptable, but if my flaky internet disconnects i dont expect my newly purchased SINGLE PLAYER game to stop working.

    I really, really hope that the new xbox doesnt pull something like this, as is rumoured. They wouldnt be that stupid, would they?

    1. Tom 35 Silver badge

      Re: Vote with the old wallet, theyll learn (probably)

      No, they will say... Our stuff is not selling, piracy is taking all our money, need more DRM!.

    2. Shrimpling

      Re: Vote with the old wallet, theyll learn (probably)

      "I really, really hope that the new xbox doesnt pull something like this, as is rumoured. They wouldnt be that stupid, would they?"

      You mean like needing to be connected to Xbox Live to play Arcade games if you had to get a new console after the old one had the rrod?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Windows

        Re: Vote with the old wallet, theyll learn (probably)

        Thats what RGH is for...

        ;-)

    3. Just a geek
      FAIL

      Re: Vote with the old wallet, theyll learn (probably)

      One reason I'll never buy this game is the requirement to use someone else's server. What happens when EA decide to close the servers down? In five years time you'll own a game you can't play.

  10. Andrew Macrobie

    EA

    Face it chaps and chapesses, EA have consistently rolled out unfinished crap for years now and we, as consumers, have been only too happy to vote with our wallets and say "Yeah, that's okay, stiff me for £40 now for the beta and £30 later on for the DLC that finishes it off".

    Terrible attitude, terrible customer service, terrible company.

    1. pixl97
      Devil

      Re: EA

      EA has missed a opportunity to profit.

      "Error cannot connect; standard servers are busy." "If you would like instant service please purchase the premium server package for £25 now."

      They just aren't milking their cows hard enough.

      1. g e
        Joke

        Re: EA

        But first EA would need to be able to tell the difference between cow and bull

        1. handlesnot
          Pirate

          Re: EA

          Or a donkey.

          1. Mycho Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: EA

            "Anyone who installs Origin is basically asking for it."

            "Or a donkey"

            Oh, reg forums, your simplistic approach to comment threading just made my day.

    2. Piro

      Re: EA

      Er, no, I wouldn't purchase a product that requires Origin.

      Anyone who installs Origin is basically asking for it.

  11. Rattus Rattus
    Facepalm

    Why...

    ...are people still giving EA money? They're a bunch of cocks, they have proved that over and over again. For years. Just don't buy their shit!

    "Oh, but they're releasing this new game in a series I love, I have to have it!"

    No. No you don't. If you keep accepting their shit and giving them good money for it, EA are going to keep bending you over and making you squeal.

    1. handlesnot

      Re: Why...

      And they'll charge extra for the vaseline

      1. Rattus Rattus

        Re: And they'll charge extra for the vaseline

        Because "Consumers love microtransactions!"

      2. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Why...

        And they won't even leave you money for cab fair in the morning...

    2. Pet Peeve
      Mushroom

      Re: Why...

      EA gets money because they bought up all the game studios that put out the stuff we want to play, or have nailed down distribution rights for the games we want to play. It's sad - the world did not need Origin when Steam already exists and is well liked.

      These things have a way of working themselves out. Mess up too many A titles, and you won't be in business anymore.

      1. Greg J Preece

        Re: Why...

        Downloaded Gatling Gears off Steam the other day. No Steam integration for achievements, no hub....hmm....I wonder who published this, then?

        "Please log in to your EA account to continue."

        Ah, that explains it. Wonder what happens if I put the licence key into Origin...

        "Thank you for registering Gatling Gears! Your product is ready for download."

        .........Fuck's sake.

    3. aaronj2906_01

      Re: Why...

      Far too many consumers out there keeping this wreck of a company afloat.

      I gave up on EA long ago. But I'm just one person with some business connections. Not enough to hurt EA.

      The whole idea of 'must be connected in order to use' carries a default 'no money from me' response. Unfortunately, there are all to many folks out there that don't pick up on this until AFTER the money has been spent.

  12. Rombizio
    FAIL

    Fuck EA

    I have been boycotting them for years. I am so happy to see those money grabbing BASTARDS getting screwed. Now if only we could have similar news about Activision-Blizzard....I would fucking love it.

    1. zemerick

      Re: Fuck EA

      Already did. Same exact situation happened with Diablo 3. Online only, massive rush clogged and tore apart their server. People still threw money at them. A few got refunds, but plenty just let it go.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Fuck EA

        I got to play D3 at launch time (30 mins of pasting passwords though) and to be fair im sure that D3 had FAR more people logging on at launch than simcity. Plus it was working about 3 hours after launch (consistently).

        Doesnt excuse the DRM method though (for EA or blizzard) - there should be an offline mode after authenticating (which wont help if the authentication servers are AWOL to begin with!)

        1. aaronj2906_01
          Boffin

          Re: Fuck EA

          "to be fair im sure that D3 had FAR more people logging on"

          No. Not fair at all.

          They should have been using a round-robin-DNS that spread the IP requests for a login to several back-end servers that all up-streamed to the same place... resulting in successful logins. They could have done it right the first time. They CHOSE not to... to save costs.

          I kid you not, they KNEW this was going to happen... And I'm certain that their risk management dept. basically said it would be cheaper to absorb the short-term PR problem (the public has very short term memory) than properly invest (money spent) in server-side architecture to handle what could otherwise be considered a DDoS.

    2. Piro

      Re: Fuck EA

      WoW has been vastly less reliable than GW2, with longer outages and so on, yet which one do you have to pay for? Exactly.

      But Activision-Blizzard gives no fucks, as people will always throw money at them, even if it means grinding dailies. Paying to do menial tasks, fuck! Mindless..

  13. Eddy Ito Silver badge
    Devil

    Wonderful news

    I think it's time to short me some EA stock.

  14. DF118

    At the time of writing neither Amazon or EA had responded to El Reg's requests for comment.

    Either... or

    Neither... nor

    Splendid, that's easily a while day's worth of pedantry in one fell swoop. I can get on to other things; like pretending I know what I'm talking about in pointless meetings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      '...neither Amazon or EA had responded to El Reg's requests...' I am sure is correct.

      '...neither Amazon nor EA had responded to...' is incorrect.

      '...neither Amazon nor EA responded to...' is correct.

      Just saying...

      1. Silverburn
        Headmaster

        It's sentences like this that get deleted three or four times for just these reasons. Only to be replaced with:

        "Both Amazon and EA have not responded at this time."

        You can never have enough pedantry. It's self-perpetuating in most cases. Including mine, probably.

    2. Martin
      Happy

      First rule of corrections - you will make an error in your correction.

      ....a WHOLE day's worth of pedantry....

      1. DF118

        Re: First rule of corrections - you will make an error in your correction.

        Indeed. Muphry's Law in action :)

  15. Busby
    FAIL

    I find it amusing

    Currently El Reg is plastered (Top of page and both sides) in adverts for this game. Already seen about 10 similar stories yesterday and today in my RSS feeds about this.

    Really stunning way to screw up a game at launch and perfectly predictable after similar debacles. Did they really have no accurate estimate on pre orders or how many people were likely to buy this in the early days? If the servers weren't ready why didn't they dealy the launch untill they were? Oh that's why it's EA who don't give a shit about customers and just want to wring every penny possible out of them.

    I wasn't planning on buying them anyway got pissed off with the crap they pull a while ago. Main thing that did it for me was buying Fifa for the PS3 I like to play it so does my son but if we both want to play online it's an extra £10 neither of us play it enough to justify that so instead of spending the extra ten I just don't bother spending the £40 on the game now.

    Sim City no thanks haven't bothered with the series in well over a decade but all this publicity doesn't exactly make me want to check it out. No thanks I'll stick with Civ 5.

    1. Uncle Siggy
      Pirate

      Re: I find it amusing

      "Currently El Reg is plastered (Top of page and both sides) in adverts for this game. Already seen about 10 similar stories yesterday and today in my RSS feeds about this."

      You can see adverts? I haven't seen one in years thanks to Adblock and NoScript. Unless you are talking about the articles themselves. That's a different kettle of fish.

  16. tin 2
    FAIL

    Stick with Civ 5?

    Does Civ 5 work? Civ revolution marked the end of me as a EA customer, as the endgame was bugged to hell to the extent it ruined most games and despite releasing updates that updated *something* they never fixed that.

    I also find it amusing that el Reg is plastered with SimCity ads, and the recent articles going through the old Sim Citys. Fair enough it has to make money somehow, but it's amusing nonetheless.

    I'm no genius because there will be plenty of other people will be saying I told you so, but this SimCity disaster was completely predictable from the start. Everything EA release these days is full of bugs and has something to extract more money out of the player. There's also no way a small amount of back-of-fag-packet maths would not have calculated the server capacity required, the software will just be bugged to hell.

    An enormous shame as I'd love to waste the next 6 months of my life playing SimCity or perhaps Civ something, but perhaps fortunately EA have ensured I actually do something constructive with my time :(

    +1 for running the servers on Amigas too. It's true that it would work, if only because the code would have to be debugged fully to avoid continually bringing down the whole OS (no memory protection is a blessing sometimes)

    1. Greg J Preece

      Re: Stick with Civ 5?

      Does Civ 5 work? Civ revolution marked the end of me as a EA customer, as the endgame was bugged to hell to the extent it ruined most games and despite releasing updates that updated *something* they never fixed that.

      Revolution nearly cured me of my Civ addiction, the console-cuddling piece of shit. Civ 5, however, has reaffirmed it, and as far as I can tell, it has nothing to do with EA. Registers on Steam, has full integration with it, and works perfectly - it *can't* be an EA game.

      Every EA game I've bought in recent years has had major bugs that have never been patched. Alice: Madness Returns illustrated their disgusting customer attitude perfectly for me. It had several game breaking bugs reported in chorus in their customer forums. Did they patch the game? No, they shut the forums!

      Scumbags.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Online for single player is BS

    As a Mac user, if you want to get any recent and decent games, you usually have to get them from Steam. The problem is that if you want to play these while your internet connection is down, you're boned!

    They have an 'offline' mode to play your games without an internet connection but you must first go online and login to your account to then activate 'offline' mode. What kinda crazy logic is that?

    1. Babbit55

      Re: Online for single player is BS

      Actually, if you have your password saved and it cannot connect it will ask if you want to start in offline mode

      1. Stephen 2

        Re: Online for single player is BS

        As I said, it will ask you if you want to start in offline mode but it will NOT work unless you previously set your Steam to 'Offline mode' while you were ONLINE.

        If you search the steam forums you'll find numerous mac users complaining that it's a roundabout way of doing it because it means you need to KNOW that you wont have a connection beforehand in order to set it to Offline mode.

        1. Babbit55

          Re: Online for single player is BS

          Funny, while my steam was in online mode and I don't have a internet connection it asks me if i wish to boot in offline mode, sure if you don't have your login saved you do need to login first.

          1. Not That Andrew

            Re: Re: Online for single player is BS

            It didn't work for many until fairly recently and still works inconsistently in my experience. Recently my Internet connection went down so I decided to play a game for a while, forgetting it required Steam. Steam spent 5 minutes (I timed it) looking for a connection, before giving up and asking if I wasted to restart in offline mode. Incidenttaly, that is one area where Origin has Steam beat. Offline mode just works, whether you invoke it intentionally or not.

        2. Danny 14 Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Online for single player is BS

          Stephen. If you have your password SAVED in the steam logon (it has to be saved) if you exit steam (not log out) then pull ethernet/disable network/piss on your router then reopen steam it gives you blurb about not being able to connect but then offers to open up in offline mode (or try again). Or (as you said) you can go into offline mode before you exit steam (which is useless to those with unexpected outages of course). If you password isnt saved then you dont get the option of logging in offline - only to try again.

          Not sure if you have to have had offline enabled at some point in the past or if it was a hangup from the beta client test - it just worked for me.

          1. Stephen 2

            Re: Online for single player is BS

            Thanks Danny 14 but it really doesn't work for me. My password IS saved and it does offer my the option of Offline mode but then it still tries to connect anyway. If I follow the instructions in the steam forums then it works. Those instructions are to login with a connection and then set steam to offline mode. I can then open steam in the future with or without an internet connection and it will work. But obviously I wont get any updates, the steam browser wont work etc.

            Are you using using OS X?

    2. davidp231
      Happy

      Re: Online for single player is BS

      I know on the windows version there's a funky setting in the registry so you can tell it to launch in offline mode - I can't speak for the Mac version though, but I'm sure if one poke around in the settings file (wherever it lives) the same thing could be done.

    3. Greg J Preece

      Re: Online for single player is BS

      On the Windows and Linux versions, I don't have my login saved, and it still boots to offline mode just fine if I don't have a connection. People tell me all about this necessary voodoo of logging in, booting a game once, etc, but it never seems necessary. I got on a ten hour flight the other week, and right before it I downloaded Civ 5 to my laptop. Never booted it, never fiddled with Steam at all. Got on the plane, started Steam in offline mode, played the game.

      It just works. Ironically, unlike your Mac. :-p

    4. Daniel B.
      Boffin

      Steam works offline in Mac

      If you have saved your login/pwd on the Steam login screen, it will ask you if you want to go "offline mode" if you're w/o internet. Just tested it.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Steam works offline in Mac

        NNo, windows sorry. Not sure why it doesn't work for you sorry. My office and laptops are permanently on offline for lunch time games. Mobe tethering is good enough to get offline in a pinch (I did that at a lan party once)

  18. Ian Emery Silver badge
    FAIL

    I stopped buying games when they started insisting on an internet connection, most of my games get recycled onto the childrens computers at work when I am finished with them, but the boss wont allow them to be connected to the internet.

    I dont think I have bought an EA game this century.

  19. Darkwolf

    hmm

    I will buy a multiplayer only game with the full knowledge that I can not play it online if I have no internet connection, and that eventually the company producing may eventually no longer support the multiplayer component. That is a risk you take.

    I will buy a single player/multiplayer game and pay good money knowing that eventually the company may eventually no longer support the multiplayer component. In this case, I expect to be able to still play the single player version locally.

    I will NOT pay good money for a single player or single player/multiplayer game, if the single player component requires an always on internet connection, as if they shut down the servers then the single player component is no longer playable.

    I was going to buy this game until I found that out.

  20. LordBrian
    Facepalm

    Again and again....

    EA are the crack dealing boyfriend and it's customers are the dirty bitch crack whore who gets slapped about and black eyed but keeps going back for more because "EA loves me girlfriend...."

    When will these bitches ever learn !!!!

  21. Quinch
    Mushroom

    I've got no sympathy.

    EA has pulled this crap again and again in the past {and again, and again, and again, and again}.

    Those who do not learn from history and all that.

  22. Johan Bastiaansen
    Devil

    It's the new economy stupid

    It's not about you, the client. It's about self declared smart and important people, upper management.

  23. Rob Moss
    Stop

    It already exists!

    You can play SimCity offline no problem. It's called Sim City 2000. And it's still better than this.

    1. Piro

      Re: It already exists!

      SimCity 4 with a sprinking of mods and fixes is no doubt going to prove to be the end game for SimCity.

      10 years and they couldn't come up with something better.

      SimCity 2000 is of course also a classic and a great game.

    2. davidp231

      Re: It already exists!

      And the original install was on 2 HD floppies! Installed it took up about 4 meg.

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. Piro

        Re: It already exists!

        Cities XL looks far better than the new SimCity, it must be said - far more epic scale

  24. Select * From Handle

    All games with hype that require an internet connection.

    Fail bad on the first day/week (WOW, D3, Guildwars 2, COD and prolly alot more...) The accountants should just follow this rule.

    What ever predictions they crunch from data times that by 10 and get the bandwidth/servers to account for that. Surely overkill is better than this much bad press..

    1. Piro

      Re: All games with hype that require an internet connection.

      Diablo 3 and SimCity fall into a different category than the others though:

      WoW - MMO, online only, Guild Wars 2 - ditto.. CoD - online play is basically all people buy it for.

      However, Diablo 3 and SimCity represent a newer and more sinister trend, essentially forcing you permanantly online even if you wanted to play a single player game.

      There's no need for that. Online modes are all well and good, desirable to many, even; but there's no reason both of those games couldn't offer you offline, locally stored games.

    2. Greg J Preece

      Re: All games with hype that require an internet connection.

      Fail bad on the first day/week (WOW, D3, Guildwars 2, COD and prolly alot more...) The accountants should just follow this rule.

      In defence of Guild Wars 2, they removed the game from sale while they set up more servers, in order to maintain quality of service for the customers who had already bought it. While it frustrated me slightly, I had to give them props for being honest and caring more about their paid customers than getting more sales in.

      1. Piro

        Re: All games with hype that require an internet connection.

        yup, that was ballsy and respectable

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I recall seeing a smug EA or Ubisoft executive telling the BBC we don't have the same problems as the Movie or Music industry... Because we have DRM! Yeah well compliments of a Cloudy Swiss cheese web you now have a whole new set of problems...

  26. nuclearstar

    They are not threatening to ban, that is a rumor, they posted on twitter on their official account that they are not banning people requesting refunds.

    The game however is stupid, I was one of the 1 star reviews on amazon, I havnt been able to play at all. I have been using a US VPN to activate the game because of having to wait until Friday to play in the UK is stupid. The simple fact is, they never made enough servers, every one of them is basically full now, and thats still with the whole of the gamers in the UK not even having the game released yet. If it wasnt for battlefield3 i wouldnt touch origin or EA games, I only got simcity because I have to have origin installed anyway for BF3.

    1. Pet Peeve
      FAIL

      Dude, did you read the chat in the article? That's not a rumor.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EA & Ubisoft DRM vs. Developing a Blake's 7 Video Game....

    Article: "My first city that I spent some time on was lost forever due to server issues at EA."

    I have my own story. I bought Ubisoft's Driver-SF. I was really looking forward to it because I had played the offline Xbox version and felt the online PC version would be heart pounding action. The game has the most eye-watering racing graphics and is less rigid than the Forza sims.

    Big Mistake! I spend months playing from Level 0 to 38! Then I start-up the game one day and crash! Turns out the gamer profiles on Ubisoft's servers had become corrupt. Wrote to customer service. They said all we can do is give you a new serial, so start all over again. I enquired why they couldn't' get the programmers to copy over a working profile at the same level? But the front-line staff said they have no access to any actual tech people! This is where I learnt the hard way that EA and Ubisoft only do fire and forget. They release games and then move on instantly. They don't care about gamers, we are just numbers to bean counters....

    This isn't a world I want to switch into. I had been prepping for a move to Montreal as I'm learning game development as of writing. But now I hope to write smaller games for cult followers, so modest work with modest earnings, but with no working for bean counters!

    People on here were recently chatting about wanting space sims being tired of FPS... last time there was a similar post... I would like to do a version of Blake's 7 and believe its possible. Although The Elite guys could do it better, I don't believe they will as theirs will be more like EVE Online I suspect. Whereas I want to do something more akin to the B7 TV series with character development as I come from film / screenwriting. I think an era with the founding of the Federation would be especially interesting... Any comments?

    1. MartinBZM
      Thumb Up

      Re: EA & Ubisoft DRM vs. Developing a Blake's 7 Video Game....

      Hi,

      Have a look at this : http://www.robertsspaceindustries.com

      They are creating a new space-game a la Frontier, Wingcommander, etc.

      They started out with crowd-funding and it reached 4x the goal set.

      Cheers!

      1. McToo
        Thumb Up

        Yay!

        Thanks for the info on that. Made my Friday lunch hour finding out Chris Roberts is making a space game again!

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: EA & Ubisoft DRM vs. Developing a Blake's 7 Video Game....

        Thanks for the encouragement - MartinBZM!

  28. psycho.hose.beast
    FAIL

    Disappointed

    Regardless of the botched launch, its disappointing to see games like this with a single player aspect being released with no offline mode at all. I frequently find myself away from home on business in some boring hotel in the middle of nowhere and my gaming laptop goes with me to keep me entertained. The number of hotel networks (wireless or wired) that either don't work reliably, cost too much or block access to online games is frustratingly high. It wouldn't be so bad if you could just connect, start the game and then disconnect (I can usually get a connection long enough to do that by resorting to the mobile), but to have to be online 100% of the time? I only expect that from MMO games and there is clearly a single player element to this and many other games. I can no longer rely on these online-only games to work when I'm away and this will stop me from buying some games - including SimCity. Its a shame that some game studios don't understand (or don't care) that Internet access isn't ubiquitous, 100% reliable or free as they are alienating potential customers.

    1. Jeroen Braamhaar
      Unhappy

      Re: Disappointed

      It's not the studio that makes this decision but the publisher, who wants to have their cake and eat it, as well.

      Foolish me, if I'd taken 5 seconds to read the packaging before I plunked down my money I'd have cancelled my reservation .. (yes I fell for it too)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disappointed

      Constant connectivity defeats gaming. When you're travelling on a long haul flight or train journey, that's exactly when you want to be able to game! You also pay for a game because it gives you ownership. Its a total Achilles heel for gameplay to depend on the uptime or availability of EA's or Ubisoft's servers.

      Their DRM executives over-stepped the mark here, yet again, and I hope their wrists get a good smack. Amazon will have helped by removing the game, thus hurting the publisher in the only way they really understand-- their bottom line!

  29. Brandon 2
    Coat

    If you want to blame anyone, blame the freetards that steal software. They're the only reason EA has done this. Sure it's a terrible implementation of DRM, and I own the game, well sort of, if you count not being able to play it owning it... but the real culprit, which no one wants to talk about are the idiots that think they can get something for free, and the other idiots that don't care, but still show up to vote and complain on forums, amazon, etc.

    flame away... mine's the downvote proof coat...

    1. LordBrian

      No no no

      There are millions of companies that make money and have to deal with freetards but don't f***k with their customers like EA.

      Imagine Tesco employing armed guards at every store and only allowing 10 people in per hour to "stop those pesky freetard shoplifters". No they simply price their goods to account for theft.

      I would be interested to see how much EA think they lose from theft as opposed to how much they will lose in sales from people like me who would only get this now if it was pirated.

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Oh, for the avoidance of doubt

        I don't pirate music or software. I just do without it if I don't agree. So, a lost sale not accounted for by piracy.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Re: Oh, for the avoidance of doubt

          "Our crap game was pirated and nobody bought it!"

          or

          "Nobody bought our crap game when customers were unable to play it for days after release."

          Occam's Razor. All these indie developers don't seem to be suffering with their constant £1m+ humble bundles on games that are usually several years old already. Or Steam Greenlight titles. Or any number of other games studios.

          If you graph "amount we say we lose by piracy" with "amount of DRM we use", it's pretty much a straight correlation. Copy protection and DRM has been around since the 1980's, at least, in the home video game market. There isn't a single example of it working perfectly. So if these unstoppable pirates are truly to blame, nobody would be able to afford to put out a second title at all, since the 80's when games companies were two boys in their back bedroom with no funds (which went on to become Codemasters). Compare and contrast with the franchise-draining that goes on on a regular basis and see if you still think that's the cause.

          Piracy doesn't *help* sales. But blaming it for putting out crap games is really dredging the river looking for explanations while the answer is staring you in the face.

          I don't pirate. I have an extensive Steam catalogue, not to mention back-catalogue of disk-games that go back many years (and, in some cases, own games several times over). I don't have enough time to even get through the games I have bought because I wanted them, so getting more "for free" at the risk of prosecution (and my job, which relies on myself correctly managing software licensing!) holds no interest for me.

          But I haven't bought an EA game in years. I've avoided most of the big name games for the last 5-10 years because they aren't what I want to play. I wait until a month after release before I buy and then look and see what people think. This has saved me TEN TIMES what I've actually spent on games, or what I could have spent on games. Just in the last 12 months: Syndicate. Diablo III. Carrier Command. XCOM. Aliens. Sim City. I own the originals STILL to all of those (yes, I have Aliens on Spectrum tape!). They were all complete flops.

          Blaming "everyone else but me" is just a childish way to do things. When all fingers point at the junk you produce, if you can't buck your ideas up, then the only thing you can do is blame piracy, users, servers, etc. Fact is, you just can't write a game I want to buy. So I give my money to indie games, bundles, smaller Steam games, all those titles I never noticed at the time and which I actually would enjoy (Mirror's Edge was a recent discovery for me and I thought it was great), etc.

          It's like a car manufacturer making a car that stops if it can't "talk home" to the manufacturer (not that far away from reality, some would say!). When all your cars (and nobody else's) start to just stop in the middle of the motorway, you can blame the roads, the users, the kids with a £5 radio jammer that causes it to happen, or any number of things. But the reality is that needing to connect to a central server for constant operation is stupid, especially when it doesn't actually DO that much or offer anything to the customers. And when that happens, how many people do you think are going to be asking for a refund, trading that car in, or just avoiding your brand entirely?

          But, no, blame the pirates, it's obviously their fault we can't put out a decent game.

          1. Piro

            Re: Oh, for the avoidance of doubt

            Wait, X-COM? Referring to XCOM: Enemy Unknown? Wasn't that an absolutely fantastic game? I haven't played it, but I'd like to...

            1. Lee D Silver badge

              Re: Oh, for the avoidance of doubt

              Played a demo. Got bored during the tutorial. Very "leading" to the player from my quick playthrough and the reviews I've seen - you have to do what it wants or die. Anything you can "choose" in terms of equipment, etc. makes virtually no difference to the outcome at all. The tutorial was deathly slow in terms of pacing and - from what I saw - vastly unfair in terms of trying to play it properly. I played the original (and still do from my Steam account) but my squad was wiped out one-shot-per-person on the only places I could stand to comply with the tutorial and still be behind some sort of cover. It wasn't one of those "Whoop, you died, but here's someone to help to introduce a new game element that will help you" kind of deaths - I just got wiped out and told I'd failed after having - literally - about 10-12 "grid squares" of choice per move that could comply with the tutorial. Most of my units weren't even able to return fire.

              And I had a bad technical experience - the demo of the first level was enough to annoy the hell out of me and after being "promoted" on completion, I got stuck in the menu with no way to get out. Literally pressed every key on the keyboard in sequence, but two menus were overlaid on top of each other by the looks of it and there was no way to select either (even if one would "light up" when you hovered or moved the cursors, it wouldn't do anything when you clicked, pressed Enter, Esc, etc.). I spent ten minutes trying my best not to kill the app and couldn't get anywhere. In the end, I had to kill it. Brand new install of Windows 7 with latest patches just a week before, as well - never had any other problems before or since with 500 Steam games.

              Ran it again and had to redo everything all over again going through the boring paced tutorial. Sod that when I'm missions-deep into a game. Go read the Metacritic reviews - it might be your sort of thing and my experience may be a one-off, but there's at least 10% of people just saying it's bad - most of them experienced XCOM players, most of them complaining of the dumbing-down and limited options.

        2. GregC

          Re: Oh, for the avoidance of doubt

          I just do without it if I don't agree. So, a lost sale not accounted for by piracy.

          This. This x several thousand.

          I would have bought the new Sim City, I loved the previous incarnations and an up to date version is very appealing, but as many others have said if the single player game requires me to be online then they can forget it.

          So no, I won't be getting the cracked version when it inevitably appears. I'll find a copy of SC 3000 or 4 at CEX or somewhere for a couple of quid and play that instead.

    2. Yet Another Commentard

      Actually, I disagree

      Home taping didn't kill music, so let's start there.

      Now I have a choice. I pay fifty quid (or whatever). I install Origin. Which persistently throws ads at me every boot up (now turned off in startup). The ads cannot be stopped, despite me paying for the bloody thing. I install my game, which won't work because the servers are overcrowded. If like Ubisoft you then DRM it so I can't move it when I rebuild my PC I have to buy it again. Then EA gets bored, turns its servers off and I can't play any more. Not only do I not have a printed manual to read, I also don't have control over the thing I bought. Sorry, leased.

      OR

      I get a cracked version which skips all of that crap.

      Same for DVDs, I paid for the darn thing I don't want to sit through unskippable adverts for other films, endless bloody knock-off Nigel adverts I can't skip to get to thing I bought. Well, hired.

      This behaviour ENCOURAGES cracking and pirating, and actively DISCOURAGES purchases. Both Ubi and EA are my "never buy from" list, no matter how good the game looks. It's not piracy that's killing them, it's slow suicide.

    3. Minophis

      I'm sorry are you saying that video game piracy has rendered the offline single player game business model obsolete? If so it will come as a surprise to the many companies producing great games that operate offline and still make a profit.

      EA has a well established history of screwing over their customers and not because of freetards but rather because they can.

      Also if someone has a bad experience of a product and says so on Amazon, etc they are not idiots, they are doing the right thing. It assists other people in making what I like to call an 'informed decision' when choosing whether or not to buy. However if you want to to spend your money on items with a rose tinted set of reviews from corporate shills go right ahead

    4. Tom 38 Silver badge
      WTF?

      Valve have shown that DRM on games doesn't need to be intrusive like that. Valve's DRM is easily defeated, and yet they don't have issues with mass piracy, they sell games for reasonable amounts in an easy to use store.

      EA just continually try to fuck with you. There is no need for a game like Sim City to offload game logic to a client/server architecture, it's sole purpose is to control people using the game.

    5. Busby
      Facepalm

      So you see the solution to piracy as punish paying customers and release a deliberately crippled product?

      Can you let me know who you work for so I can be sure to avoid at all costs?

      Not my quote can't remember where I saw it originally "DRM manages digital rights in the same way that Prison manages freedom".

      This sort of behaviour is only getting worse from the big media companies and at some point it's bound to bite them in the ass theres only so many times people will put up with this sort of experience before deciding future games aren't worth it. At that point expect EA executives to start shouting about how piracy killed the company.

      1. ShadowedOne

        @Busby

        That doesn't quite work, ostensibly if you are in prison you're there because you deserve to have your freedom curtailed. Whereas DRM is, in effect, a prison for the innocent.

    6. Greg J Preece

      May I point you to the success of GoG.com, and then ask you to STFU?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Glad I read the reviews!

    So glad I checked out the reviews!

    I don't play games anymore - except SimCity! Absolutely love this game. My all time favourite!!!!

    But reading how badly EA treat people and the game basically doesn't work!?!?!!! I'm not buying it now.

    Thanks people - you saved me a bit of dosh (Gutted that I'm not playing it though)

    1. pPPPP

      Re: Glad I read the reviews!

      As others have said, get yourself a copy of Cities XL. It's very cheap nowadays. It's limited in many ways, like the only transport networks you have are roads (which are good with the unofficial addon), a poor subway implementation, and an equally poor bus implementation. It's been keeping me occupied though.

      Or there's always Sim City 4, with the NAM and thousands of other unofficial mods and addons, which has kept the game alive for more than a decade without needing any internet connection (other than to download the mods, obviously). I could count the time I've spent playing SC4 in months I expect. Train and plane journeys disappear. As do conference calls, admittedly.

  31. Crisp Silver badge

    Maybe a friendly prirate has come up with a "Fix" for it.

    I own plenty of legitimate games.

    But sometimes a 3rd party software update is the only way to get the software working properly.

    1. M Gale

      Re: Maybe a friendly prirate has come up with a "Fix" for it.

      "But sometimes a 3rd party software update is the only way to get the software working properly."

      Too damned right.

      Especially when the DVD case mentions absolutely nothing about requiring a not-necessarily-existant Internet connection in order to work.

      I'm looking at you, BI Studios. I've been playing Arma and Arma 2 since it was called Operation Flashpoint. I have the full X Anniversary edition now, on top of two copies of the original, all paid for. You have multiple purchases out of me. I thought you'd managed to resist the tendency of game dev firms to infect peoples' computers with malware, hence the £30 purchase of Carrier Command. Ironically, the DRM remover was virus free and works very well.

      You won't be getting any more money though. In fact you're lucky I didn't get a refund AND keep the cracked game copy. Shop says no refunds on PC games? I say Trade Descriptions Act.

      1. pPPPP

        Re: Maybe a friendly prirate has come up with a "Fix" for it.

        I use a "fix" for Sim City 4 as it happens. I do own it, but you need to put the CD in to play it, which isn't much use when you have a laptop without a CD-ROM. And even when I did have one, I didn't want to carry the CD around with me.

  32. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. pepper

      Re: Get a games company to do an enterprise system...

      Actually, any gamedevelopre worth its money would have specialized people on staff for such things. Or they would get them in from the outside. Plenty of companies have shown that they can manage such a release just fine. Remember, this is EA, beancounter run gamedevelopment.

      1. M Gale

        Re: Get a games company to do an enterprise system...

        Indeed. I'm sure the game devs will be too busy trying to manage scenegraphs, build shader materials, figure out where to squeeze that extra few FPS out of a massively complex scene and worrying about how to optimise collision routines to be spending effort on moving account details around a server.

        Something tells me the OP is slighting game developers without a damned clue about what games development involves.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Mushroom

    Even the 'offline' games..

    Even EAs 'offline' games are as bad. Pretty much the only EA game I buy now is FIFA for my xbox (i know, I know downvotes imminent!).

    I don't use my xbox online, I'm busy so it gets used for short, 30-60 min bursts of escapism. FIFA 2013 is by a long stretch the buggiest, most prone to falling over version of this game i've ever seen. So eve my, offline only, one game only view of EA is awful.

    Let's face it of all the games to make a good football game must be amongst the most straight forward. We footy fans are simple creatures, and just want to play a simulated game or three. They don't have to make any leaps of innovation, no scripts, storylines etc. It's awful. It's maybe 10% more graphically pleasing than last years offering, retains the same controls, menus,modes etc but somehow completely sh*ts itself during almost each and every gameplay session, something which only occasionally occured in prior versions.

    /rant

  34. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    DOSBox + Simcity Classic.

  35. El Presidente
    Holmes

    Ninety Quid

    From this household will not be going to EA because of EA.

  36. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Servers

    If I want to play my original boxed copy of Sim City or Sim City 2000, I can. But with this new game, when they turn the servers off that may well be it. A game with built in obsolescence. That's rather scary.

  37. M Gale

    Valve, EA, Ubisoft... and now BI Studios.

    You can all kiss my winnets. By the way, the crack to make Carrier Command work without "Activation" is quite readily available if you know where to look.

  38. OliverJ
    FAIL

    What can the industry learn from this epic fail?

    I see a lot of glee in this thread, and I totally understand that many people are very disappointed that they can't play SimCity right away. And I totally agree that this kind of DRM is like shooting yourself into your knee - through your own back - with a .50 magic bullet. And I wanted to buy the game myself, and still really want to like it. Well, perhaps in a few weeks...

    But is there anything to learn from this disaster for the IT industry in general? I would say, yes, definitely. If you look at this from an engineering point of view, SimCity is now using a client-server architecture, with the server being off-premise in a public cloud offering. For many enterprises, this is a technology into which are looking for many of their core application stacks and workflow processes.

    While this still makes a lot of sense, not only commercially, but also from a technological point of view, what happened here to EA is illustrating in a very painful way the drawbacks of such an architecture if you do not have a SLA in place protecting you against reckless or negligent behavior of your Cloud provider.

    Let's hope that EA did not manage to kill off the SimCity brand - that would be quite a shame ...

    1. Ben Holmes
      Stop

      @OliverJ

      I think this is the point. Client-Server works exceptionally well as a business model when:

      A) The application is a distributed business app, possibly bespoke, serving a specific set of needs.

      B) Is not architected, developed, and deployed by a bunch of numpties.

      C) Is not a 'single player game'.

      I think C is the most important point here. There is absolutely zero need for something that is ostensibly a single player game with a multi-player element (which you're not even forced to look at) to be using such an architecture. EA / Maxis say that this thing is about the epic number crunching the servers do in the background. Bullshit. If the average home PC these days is capable of searching the night sky for habitable planets in it's spare time, then it can cope with some complex number crunching. That's why we have multi-core architectures. that's why we have bucketloads of RAM.

      If this was about DRM, then what the hell is the point in Origin? This is about control, and built in obsolescence.

      For the record, I was absolutely 100% going to go out and buy this, because I love SimCity. Happily, I didn't pre-order, so will be voting with my wallet.

  39. phr0g
    FAIL

    a rock and a hard place

    I'd love to give up EA, but just about the only game I play these days is Fifa on the PS3, and I need to buy it once a year.

    I'd go to PES, but they don't have all the naming licenses. ;(

    It does suck though. It sucks Donkey balls.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. M Gale

      Re: a rock and a hard place

      Query: What difference does it make if your player is called "Ryan Giggs", or "Ronnie Biggs"?

  40. Avatar of They
    Mushroom

    No one has the right to complain, they should read the EULA for EA.

    Anyone whos buys EA games after reading 'Origin T&C's' deserve everything they get, Sorry but you need to start reading your EULA? Having read it, its the biggest form of DRM data rape and makes Phorm look almost innocent.

    They have told you by signing up that you waive the right to sue them

    Waived the legal protection of the DPA, AND told you your data is to be taken OUTSIDE the DPA zone (mexico amongst others)

    Told you if you use a mobile device to install, it will grab your phone number and personal data (contacts)

    If you login to facebook with an EA account that they can grab what they want from you including contacts and details. (but I bet none of you told your friends that their details were going to end up an an EA spam list?)

    Told you if you use this on a console (it clearly states the Xbox and PS3) you give them the right to grab what they want from the console. (including contacts and friends details)

    Told you that if you install it on your PC you give them the right to grab what they want from the PC.

    Told you that you cannot take part in a class action against them.

    Told you that they have the right to revoke at any time (no refunds as per the above sue comment)

    I believe it applies to Masseffect 3, dead space 3, sims 3, sim city, battlefield 3, crysis 3 and a few other big name titles. So sorry but if you still buy any game from them that uses origin, you get what you deserve.

    Nuclear because it is the only way to be sure you can remove EA.

    1. Red Bren
      Stop

      An EULA is not the LAW

      IANAL but my understanding is that regardless of what a company puts in an EULA, you cannot sign away your statutory legal rights. And a contract isn't legally enforceable if the terms are unfair.

    2. Wardy01

      Re: No one has the right to complain, they should read the EULA for EA.

      Everyone has the right to complain.

      An EULA may be a legally binding contract between you and EA but a contract has 2 sides and if EA fails to live up to their end as a product / service provider you have the right as a consumer to cancel the contract which may include refund of charges.

      Failing to provide a suitable solution / alternative to the given "breach" in the contract puts EA in a legal minefield, by effectively failing so badly they are making themselves a legal target dispite the EULA.

      I've this time and time again, the big company says stuff like "you can't sue us when we suck and we will do what we want so suck it up", but the loophole states that when the contract itself is in question the terms are determined by the courts (in the EU anyway).

      Big american companies tend to put clauses like this in an EULA as a deterrent as it works for the most part and saves them a lot of cases, but it can still be challenged and a court can still give the consumer the right to compensation for their actions.

      An EULA is not the last word when it comes to law, a judge is!

    3. Fiddler on the roof

      Re: No one has the right to complain, they should read the EULA for EA.

      It didn't say they were going to sleep with my GF! Bar stewards!

    4. IT veteran
      Headmaster

      Re: No one has the right to complain, they should read the EULA for EA.

      AFAIK, you can't waive your rights under the DPA. If the company uses your data for purposes for which it was not provided, then the executive responsible for Data Protection can be sent to prison, and unlimited fines imposed. An EA customer in the UK could make a Data Protection request to EA, and report them to the Information Commissioner if they do not respond, or refuse to remove data when requested. Where the data is held is irrelevant. The EA subsidiary in the UK operates under UK/EU law. That is why UK companies off-shoring operations which involve storing or processing UK data outside the EU have to make sure the outsourcee abides by the DPA.

      Also grabbing information from a PC or console would be covered by the Misuse of Computers Act, would it not?

      Finally, the Sale of Goods Act applies in the UK, and allows a refund or replacement within 30 days from the point of purchase or manufacturer. Or within 6 years if the defect was there when the item was bought.

      But IANAL

  41. Nick Ryan Silver badge
    Stop

    Only one thing worse than this.

    UPLAY

  42. Wardy01
    Mushroom

    Been there, done that ...

    I had problems getting connected to EA servers for battlefield 3 (everything from random drops to excessive lag) and put a string of tickets in to their support team.

    They wait a week then auto close them regardless of state because it looks good on some call center stats.

    I then bought Need for speed (cant remember which one) which has this "autolog" thing in it which is basically another EA product.

    EA has (in my opinion) never been able to produce a good quality reliable server connection in any game that I've played and I should also point out that origin is still in beta.

    I currently have a ticket open with EA that I have repeatedly forced them to reopen to fix my problems in need for speed, I have also told them that until they cant fix this problem thus proving to me that they can actually provide a working server I will not be buying another EA product no matter (which is a shame because i'm a big fan of Assassins Creed).

    The funny thing is, when I told EA that they said "i'm sorry to hear about your ongoing problems, would you like a 20% discount on another EA product while we investigate?" ... why would I want that idiots?

    EA deny there is there is a problem and yet in my current trail of problem solving they gave me a tool to trace the route between my house and their server which clearly shows 100% packet loss at the point of which their server is connected to the internet.

    They advised me to "consult with my ISP" because of my poor quality internet connection.

    Yeh its so poor I have a thinkbroadband monitor on it showing no loss ever of any packet and AVERAGE ping times of 20ms to 30ms to which EA clearly states i need to be at least less than 200ms.

    At one point an EA rep complained that my connection was too slow hense the problem ... yeh i guess my fibre optic 120mb/s is a bit poor these days aint it?

    Until EA grow up and learn how to employ developers that can actually write code that works i'm not buying another EA product and I would advise anyone that asked me to do the same.

    Big shame because EA do bring some really good games ... if they worked of course!!!

    <--- nuclear because of the rage I feel for EA.

  43. Lord Zedd

    Wow

    $60 for a 23 year old video game!? I bought it over 20 years ago, why should I pay for the same game again?

    1. LaeMing Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Wow

      It isn't the same game - it now has gigabytes of non-functional DRM bundled in. Surely that is worth $60 bucks?

  44. Minophis
    Happy

    Is it just me

    or did anyone else enjoy the irony of reading this story on a page plastered with Sim City ads?

  45. reno79
    Trollface

    Anyone else still waiting eagerly for Command & Conquer coming later this year/next year?

  46. thomas k.

    trying for Golden Poo again this year?

    "an example on how a company can both rip off AND alienate its fanbase"

    And a hallmark of EA since, well, forever.

  47. Fiddler on the roof

    Awful

    I hate this you cant play without a connection. I downloaded a theme park SIM to play over Christmas when I was due to be at my parents (they have boradband but no wifi) I was really annoyed to find I couldnt play because I had no connection. SIM city asnd all these sort of games where you build and manage stuff become quite involved so that you often want to play for just a few minutes to sweep the street or collect tax or revenue. If you cant do that it would be immsensely frsutrating. Full refunds should be offered to all.

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If MS doesn't force constant live connections for Win7 or Office, why do games publishers?

    The need for a hybrid solution is screamingly obvious. Can someone enlighten me:

    ...if MS doesn't constantly need a live connection to operate Win7 or Office, why does a games publisher...?

    Surely something like this would be best:

    1. You install the game.

    2. There is an option for immediate activation but only if you are connected.

    3. You get to test-drive the game without nags or catches for a fixed period of time before activation is required to further progress in the game...

    4. If something changes about the configuration of the computer, as with Win7, reactivation is then required.

  49. I Like Heckling
    FAIL

    Voting with my wallet

    I've been burned before by some of this DRM crap masquerading as 'good for the consumer' when legit customers are penalised whilst people who download it for free can play hassle free.

    Anyone remember the starforce cluster f*ck of the early 2000's... the one that killed dvd burners. Because of that I vowed never to legitimately purchase another codemasters or ubisoft game again unless it was free from such drm/protections.

    The ubisoft went along the always online drm route a few years ago, and had to backtrack due to that being a clusterf*ck too.

    Now ea want to try the cluster f*ck approach... and when it affects sales and a drm free version becomes available online... they'll use that as an excuse for the poor sales.

    I like Valves approach to it though... they have a 'city sim sale' going on as I type this and the excellent Cities XL is part of it... Been playing it for a few weeks now and it's great.

    F*ck ea and their crappy business practices... it's why I've not legitimately bought an ea game in years... Yet I will gladly buy games from companies that don't treat their customers like crap.

  50. Stuart 39
    Stop

    There is a kickstart project that looks like a better bet.

    Hi,

    Just to say that I am one of the geeks that loves SC games and this one got all my juices tingling. However I NEVER play online, on any game. It's just not for me. Then the DRM, so I decided I had to skip it. However i happened upon Civitas on kickstarted. Looks almost as awesome, but it is a) Cheaper b) DRM free c) Indie studio developed. I signed up for $25 worth. A bargain me thinks. I would put a linkie in here but I am at work, and for some bizarre reason they block kickstarter!

    Anyhow, go, search and hopefully sign up and get a good alternative (oh it has bendy roads too ;) )

    1. GregC
      Happy

      Re: There is a kickstart project that looks like a better bet.

      Here be the linky - Civitas

      Does look promising, one to keep an eye on.

    2. SleepGuy

      Re: There is a kickstart project that looks like a better bet.

      I pledged $30 for 2 copies of Civitas on Kickstarter last night...no way it can be worse than this POS EA is trying to sell!

  51. Stephen 11
    Thumb Up

    Over 2000 1 star ratings on Amazon now!

    I smile at EA's clusterf*ck!

  52. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Mushroom

    Just tried to play

    All I wanted was a quick game to get at least a feel for it.

    - First having to click away 2 completely useless Origin screens that popped up

    - Having to wait for the game to very. slowly. check. for. updates. and. authenticate. itself.

    - All region servers except Oceanic 1: Busy

    - Login wait time on Oceanic 1: 20 minutes

    - No option to play game otherwise

    I want a licensed BOFH toolkit and a site visit to EA.

    1. Yet Another Commentard

      Re: Just tried to play

      A mystery to me is why anyone would sell a game you download that immediately has to update itself with another massive download. Why not just keep the most up to date version as the original download?

      How can a firm fail to recognise the demand from presales? I mean, most of the players yesterday would have been presales, which, being already sold, means EA knows they will want to play ASAP, so the servers need to be ready for more than the number of presales.

      <sigh>

  53. MissingSecurity
    Devil

    Gamespot

    On twitch.tv last night or so were show how you create parks in other players cities, essentially destroying there city. It was both hilarious and sad. The one guy also writing the review was trying to eloquently say, don't by this piece of shit.

  54. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its the sneaky and stupid way they force DRM on us that irks me...

    Ubisosft's UPlay is forcibly inserted into browsers as an add-on even if all previous versions are disabled.

    The add-on isn't necessary for online multiplayer. At a guess its for tying Facebook into your gaming account.

    Why aren't these game companies forced to provide a CUSTOM install option to exclude this muck?

    UPlay was slated last year for a bug which allowed an attacker to completely take over your PC.

  55. g7rp0
    FAIL

    Untrustworthy Bastards

    Lets face it EA are shit, they have been shit for a long time and since the inception of their 'must be online to play' piss poor attempt to DRM games they have got worse.

    I remember the days of the sims and the original sim citys, these were excellent games (for the most part) and it didnt matter to players who made them cos once they had bought the game that was pretty much where the involvment with the publishers ended with the possible exception of patches

    Wasnt one of their early attempts to use this crap DRM a game like spawn or possiblly spore? I had a few friends that bought this game and then used 3rd party cracks to open up the game.

    Will never buy from EA again and I would advise everyone to follow suit

  56. Tony Paulazzo
    Gimp

    delicious schadenfreude*

    British and European players experiencing the same problems and EA are having to spend (utter guesswork here), shitloads on more servers they were too cheap to implement to ensure their customers satisfaction in the first place (including chopping out bits of gameplay) and the multiplayer components deemed so necessary..

    Plus, I'm assuming (praying), the thousands of refund demands, Amazon withdrawing their product (if only temporarily), it's even hit the BBC.

    The silence from EA is now deafening.

  57. Someone Else Silver badge
    FAIL

    Who cares if the fix the damn servers?

    That you have to have an internet connection to play the damn game in the fist place takes it off my "to have" list permanently.

    Epic Fail, EA (and why am I not surprised?)

  58. dougal83
    Thumb Down

    Order cancelled

    Steam games are bad enough... Origin based & requiring always online is too far. I cancelled my order and will not buy until it can be played offline. Too bad SimCity 2000 is on floppy discs as I have no drive! :(

    1. Jeroen Braamhaar
      Meh

      Re: Order cancelled

      Well I've just dusted off the deliciously enjoyable Simcity Societies -- sure it's not the real Simcity experience ... but enjoyable and close enough to at least make me (temporarily) forget the pain.

  59. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Mushroom

    Maxis producer has posted a fairly profuse and teary-eyed apology for the mess.

    And what compensation/remedy is being offered ?

    A fix to remove online requirement ? No.

    A fix to relieve people from the horrid system ? No.

    More server capacity and a 'game voucher' on March 18.

    Like I want another Origin-infected/only piece of crap preselected for me by EA.

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    And yet, they wonder

    why people are so willing to pirate copies of this and others with the DRM stripped.

    Dear EA. It's because you make the life of the paying punters a fucking nightmare.

    I mean, its not just the fact is clearly a crock 'o shite but the hoops you have to jump through with EA paying lip service to you...

    If 10,000 people download it on launch, then a few days later, demand a refund, EA still have YOUR money in THEIR account accruing interest on all those paying punters...Until they decide to refund..

    (Yeah, i know this is about amazon but they aren't the only re-sellers.

    Me, i'm one of the 5% freetards for the very reasons stated above......

  61. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They're still running Ads on the tele..

    .. I'm tempted to try it out...

    On second thoughts... Maybe not.

  62. Roadkill
    Pirate

    I am waiting for the version with offline mode

    This game sounds like it wouldn't be suitable for my purposes. I have been playing the franchise since 1995, but I won't accept always-on DRM or play a game that won't work in 10 years when they decide the servers are too expensive to keep running.

    As a nice bonus, the version with offline mode will be made available for free and will have no DRM!

  63. Ceiling Cat
    Pint

    Actually, the game is fairly good....

    Really good, although let me be perfectly clear that it's NOT the same as the old simcity games. It feels like a cross between The Sims Freeplay, Simcity, Simcity Societies, and Cities XL. As such, even though I'm quite enjoying it, I still have no idea what I'm doing, and am constantly having to restart my cities/regions. With the way things are going right now, I may never have a city that I'm happy with, but at least I can play.

    Don't get me wrong - I wasn't happy about the release-day problems (actually it was only on Thursday, March 7 that I got to properly try the game, and the release was on Tuesday, march 5). It is blatantly obvious that EA tried to go cheap with server provisioning. To be fair to them, two limited closed betas is NOT the same thing as real load testing - it also doesn't take into account that not everyone plays SimCity the way it was designed to be played. Still, it's no excuse. I'm just glad that I have other games (on PC and PS3) to keep me entertained while stuff like this is driving other people batsh*t mental.

    Not a fan of Always on DRM, but considering the number of people I see saying they'll just wait and pirate it when the inevitable (and extremely buggy) crack comes out, I don't really see people offering any other alternative to the piracy problem that the studios believe is running rampant.

    After all, what better way to "stick it to the man" than to do exactly what it is they're trying to stop.

    No AC, because I really don't care what you lot think of "ceiling cat". It's a lame throw-away alias I only ever use on this forum anyways.

    Beer - Because everyone knows the best way to design a city is drunk.

  64. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not even a better game..

    It's not even worth the trouble if you do connect.

    Smaller cities, more limited sandbox tools (landscaping), no fun cheats because they'd have an impact on other connected cities (and fuck up the game for the other players) Gameplay is dumbed down / made easier as a consequence too.

    If you took everything that made SimCity good, stripped it out, turned it on it's head you'd have something like this except still better. There is no reason to buy or play this over Sim City 4 Deluxe unless your main interest is the graphics rather than an in depth and challenging simulation. You'll still have to pay EA for that one though, so try not to feel too dirty, at least you'll be sending the right message.

    This was a big chance for EA to prove it could still be involved in a big serious game for hardcore audiences after the joke that Spore turned out to be. People have waited 10 years for this thinking it couldn't possibly fail, thinking that the game was too big to inflict senseless corporate policy and DRM on when sales were guaranteed. EA blew it big time.

    Never again.

  65. IT veteran
    Happy

    Paradox Interactive

    The Swedish games company Paradox Interactive manage to survive with NO DRM in their games - you don't even need the DVD in the drive. They even make it easy for their players to mod their games :-).

  66. BryanM
    Mushroom

    Dear El Reg...

    Owing to the stupid dumbassed adverts for this worthless piece of trash I'm no longer able to read your website at work.

    So long for a few months.

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