back to article Remember when SimCity ABSOLUTELY HAD to be online? Not any more – fancy that!

Gamers will soon be able to play Maxis's SimCity offline – despite the company's earlier insistence that the game absolutely had to be connected to the internet to work. The turnaround was announced by Maxis studio manager Patrick Buechner in a blogpost on Sunday. He said Update 10 for the latest installment of the long- …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Holmes

    "...it was hard to see why Maxis didn't simply lop off the "region play" and "social features" for a less complex, local-only variant..."

    Oh, I don't know about that - it seemed fairly obvious to me from the outset...

    1. LarsG

      They have had a gradual downturn in the number of players and probably want to switch off a few servers. They know most people will just want to play it on their own, less traffic to the server more cost savings.

      1. Blitterbug
        Happy

        "They have had a gradual downturn in the number of players"

        ...not to mention those players, like me, who tried to play the game, couldn't, and shelved it permanently in disgust. However I'm more than happy to give it another go with this patch. Now I can finally enjoy it. 'Bout time!

        1. Boothy

          Re: "They have had a gradual downturn in the number of players"

          @ Blitterbug

          Same here, tried playing for the first week or so, (after leaving it a couple of days so I could actually log in).

          Managed a few sessions, then constantly started hitting issues with having to restore cities to a previous save point, thus loosing sometimes hours of game play. In the end gave up.

          Once the off-line turns up, might have to give it another go.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes but by saying that it COULD NOT BE PLAYED OFF LINE and being adamant it could never be they were lying through their teeth at their customers.

      They'd make the best politicians in the world.....

      1. Johan Bastiaansen
        Angel

        No no, you're wrong

        They have a big budget to explain to people how very ethical they are. So they must be.

  2. asdf Silver badge

    hmm

    Now that the game is starting to head for the bargain bin of course they are going to do everything to keep the price up as long as they can. Oh well credit Maxis's greed with showing the industry how not to do DRM protection online only trojan horse games/systems. Who knows perhaps the Xbox One wouldn't have backed off their stupid online only idea if not for the Simcity epic launch fail.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      Besides knowing what bastards EA are they are adding an offline mode because they are going to shut off the servers soon.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Obitim

        Re: hmm

        At least they are adding an offline mode...unlike other casualties of the great server switch off!

    2. fajensen Silver badge

      Re: hmm

      Naifs, the dog eating his own vomit! Et cetera. People may buy - or reinstall - this game only to learn that EA have invented some other, equally un-working, DRM crapware to infest it with!

      Corporate stupidity and top-level pig-headedness simply demands it!

  3. Allthegoodhandlesaretaken

    So as this is EA whats the betting you will need to buy the new addon pack (if you can call new graphics for the buildings an addon) to get offline mode enabled....

    1. TRT Silver badge

      effectively closing the borders...

      The UKIP add-on pack?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I find it weird that

    1) Idiots give something a 1 star rating because it has temporary foibles and can't be played. That's like slating a tin of beans because you can't locate the can opener. (Or your fingers are too fat to operate the ring pull)

    2) Amazon would retract an item *because* of poor reviews.

    1. asdf Silver badge

      >you can't locate the can opener.

      Big difference between a product not working because of the customer and a product not being fit for purpose and not being able to be used at all by anyone for days. Also Amazon yanked the product not for bad reviews but because at the time it was not fit for purpose. I don't find it weird that this epic fail (and green lighting MoH Warfighter, you know the COD killer hahaha) cost EA a crappy CEO eventually however.

      Bootnote: Woot EA finally got an NBA Live game out the door (not that I care but was a long running joke on them).

    2. Darryl

      1) Probably those 'idiots' were expecting to buy a working, non artificially crippled piece of software. As has been proven by the hack writer (and now by Maxis), the game didn't need to be connected to the servers to run, and because they wrote in locks to disable it when it wasn't connected, it was a useless lump when their servers went down. That's a bad product.

      2) Why wouldn't a retailer halt the sale of a defective item from their inventory? Any retailer is going to pay attention to hundreds of bad reviews by their customers and stop selling the item that is pissing them off. Only seems like good business habits to me.

      1. Zacherynuk

        My point is that only an idiot would 'review' something that he couldn't actually review. I wouldn't give a car a shit review because the chap delivered it to me without the keys.

        According to the article, Amazon pulled the game due to the reviews - not because it was defective. Indeed before being pulled briefly Amazon simply stated that the game may not be workable for a few days. And that's all it was a FEW DAYS. Hundreds of thousand of people still managed to play alright.

        Are you old enough to recall Half Life 2, one of the first steam activated have-to-be-connected to even install it games ? That was also a launch disaster. (Worse was I had to buy it despite it being promised to be shipped at launch because I bought a radeon) Just so happens Half Life 2 is one of the greatest games of all time.

        It's not a shit game because I couldn't play it for 3 days.

        My first DVD players and Bluray players were bricked until I got them firmware for new DRM on the disks. My Samsung TV was hopeless until their servers improved. My projector wouldn't dim properly until it was patched. Almost all the systems and software I buy, I expect to have to do something with them to get a decent experience. That's what early adoption is all about.

        In the end it's a fucking game, not only that it's an incredibly complex piece of interconnected systems and code originating from 100's of developers trying to do their best. The fact that we all got fucked over by the management is nothing new. Giving it 1 star review because you are to immature to wait a few days longer and see how it pans out presumably because you deserve more because they OWE YOU is just so fucking pathetic.

        The only thing more pathetic is the whole DRM / online thing in the first place and perhaps the implementation coming in a second place.

        1. asdf Silver badge

          DRM is usually defective by design

          You do seem to buy an awful lot of beta quality crap. I will agree many products have flaws but very few are defective by design like Simcity's online only lies. Quality of product once/if you get it working is only one part of the customer experience. There are other examples of products that are intentionally gimped to maximize profits and inconvenience the customer and generally even if the product started out high quality they get docked heavily by customers for it.

          1. Zacherynuk

            Re: DRM is usually defective by design

            ^I completely agree with everything you say. But a review is a review and - you simply cannot review something you can't review.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: DRM is usually defective by design

              > But a review is a review and - you simply cannot review something you can't review.

              Then you're mistaking what's being reviewed on these sites. You're arbitrarily limiting the "review" to things like gameplay, graphics, sound, etc., when what is generally being reviewed is what they paid for. Ie. "was I satisfied with my purchase?"

              If a game only runs on 15% of computers, for example (specific hardware combinations or whatever), how is it helpful to prospective purchasers for all the reviews to say it works? It gives a far more accurate picture if 85% of the reviews are 1 star "doesn't work" reviews. "Teething troubles" can be identified by filtering on review date (are all the negatives at the start, or are they spread fairly evenly?).

              How about this analogy: If you bought a hammer, and upon opening the packaging, found it was covered, end to end, with rusty razor blades, nails, and sharp spikes, such that it was completely unusable as a hammer on the grounds that you couldn't safely even touch it, would you feel justified giving that product a 1-star review? Or, since you were unable to use it as a hammer, would you withhold your review?

            2. asdf Silver badge

              Re: DRM is usually defective by design

              > It's like reviewing a restaurant 1 star because you were turned away. It's daft and selfish and doesn't reflect the food or atmosphere in the restaurant.

              How is it selfish to give a bad review to a restaurant that turns you away (especially for a bad reason like you are a minority for example)? Perhaps the reason companies like EA pull this is because especially in the US so many people are pro system and pro corporation that they are glad to erode their own consumer protections like the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose in common law. Also the they have better lawyers excuse doesn't mean they get to do what they want unless you let them. Unfortunately when half the population is more than willing to throw away their rights they can usually get away with it.

            3. dan1980

              @ Zacherynuk

              If I buy a CD, I expect to be able to listen to it when I get home. If I buy a toaster, I expect to be able to toast bread with it when I get home. When I buy a t-shirt, I expect to be able to wear it when I get home.

              So when I buy a game, I expect to be able to play it when I get home.

              It's not a difficult concept and the rest of the (capitalist) world seems to understand that.

              I am not ignoring the fact that an online video game is a more complex beast than a t-shirt or a CD (or a toaster). That's a given. HOWEVER, it is easy to avoid the potential pitfalls of 'always online' - make it not need to be always online*.

              EA/Maxis chose to code in locks to prevent it working offline; that's their prerogative (however unwise). But no one was forcing them to do that and the game didn't really require it, so it is entirely their responsibility to ensure that the parts of their system required for their product to work are up and running and enabling the game to be played.

              And remember, that it's not just one instance of the product that's defective. I wouldn't suggest people steer clear of a CD because mine skipped when I played it, nor would I equate a broken toaster element with a wide-spread issue that is likely to affect others and warn people off the brand. In this instance, however, the negative reviews are completely justified as they tell people that if they buy this product, they are almost certain to have the problems being described.

              * - This is, understandably, impossible for a genuine MMO, but Sim City is far from an MMO - whatever EA and Maxis say.

              1. dan1980

                @ Zacherynuk (pt 2)

                A simpler way to put this all is that EA/Maxis made the 'cloud' servers a required part of the game. That means that the availability of those servers is part of what you are being sold.

                That's their choice so if those required servers don't work, the product is defective.

                You can't have it both ways - if the servers form an integral part of the gameplay (as EA/Maxis had always claimed) then their operation is part of the product you are buying and their failure is a failure of the product you bought.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @ Zacherynuk

                I think your example of a toaster is good - except that THE TOASTER needs to be online to make toast

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: DRM is usually defective by design

              "But a review is a review and - you simply cannot review something you can't review."

              Here's how: "This game didn't play."

              Here's a similar one for a book: "The pages were blank".

              TV programme: "There was no picture or sound".

              etc.

              These are all perfectly valid reviews of a PRODUCT. A blank book is a product which you can review even if you can't read the story that was supposed to be there.

            5. Mag07

              Re: DRM is usually defective by design

              Yes you can, if the product in question is cuffed to a service - while you have no means of objectively reviewing the product, you can and by all means should, review the service - and everything from company reputation, to current attitude are a valid factors in that review. Every time something came out of their corporate mouths it was proved wrong within days - inclusive of demonstration. As a consumer, you have every right to criticize and not accept lies that serve to deprive you of your hard earned money.

              People in the last couple of decades have been trained to accept lack of quality - it doesn't make it right.

              On a site note, I'd love to have you as my customer - how about you give me half a million quid, I'll sell you a house, it's missing a few windows here and there, there are no utilities connected but I'll gladly use your money to make it a fine home, eventually....

              The moment you charge even a pence, for whatever, you create a legal obligation - if you can't afford, or aren't willing to fulfill it, you have no business offering it at all unless you opt to finance your project through crowd-sourcing - which is a whole different story and not an option for a publisher the size of EA - noone in their right mind would willingly donate any money to a company with multi-million profits to which you have contributed over the years already.

            6. Robert Grant

              Re: DRM is usually defective by design

              That's crazy. If I start selling statues (for example) on Amazon, and you pay a huge sum to buy some impressive bit of art, and I just ship you a block of stone saying, "It's in there somewhere" do you:

              a) Say, "Oh well, I guess it's in there somewhere, I just can't get it" and not leave a review

              b) Say, "What the heck? I'm leaving a review to complain!"

              This isn't difficult. Nonetheless, somehow, some of you guys are making it difficult.

        2. asdf Silver badge

          > because you deserve more because they OWE YOU is just so fucking pathetic.

          FYI generally in a capitalist system when you give people or companies resources such as $60 they do owe you something. Sounds like you like giving corporations charity though and don't really mind what they give you in return. In that regard you are different than most people.

        3. Mephistro Silver badge
          Happy

          (@ Zacherynuk)

          I wouldn't give a car a shit review because the chap delivered it to me without the keys.

          And if your car was sent to you without keys, with a one ton anchor welded to the frame and without wheels...*? would you still give a good review?

          * I'll agree that I'm stretching the car analogy a little bit too much, so please allow me to simplify it a bit. Imagine instead that you purchased a bike and they send you instead a monocycle, with the wheel and the saddle missing. It would send a clear message to buyers, wouldn't it?

          1. Zacherynuk

            Re: (@ Zacherynuk)

            I guess I just see the world differently. No harm. I just don't expect things to work, they never do. But as long as I can see progress being made I get on with something else.

            In the case of this game, it would seem that poor server connectivity (for whatever reason) was only the icing on the cake for what is an under achievement anyway.

            I don't understand your analogy at all, sure some aspects of the game were changed from reviews copy to going gold - but not to the extend you imply. Fact is people reviewed an item they couldn't play. Doesn't matter why they couldn't play it or who's fault it was. It's like reviewing a restaurant 1 star because you were turned away. It's daft and selfish and doesn't reflect the food or atmosphere in the restaurant. The beef was about the DRM / Always Online aspect of the game not the game, So why review the game 1 star? Why not lodge a complaint / sign the petition as 35,000 other people did - isn't that the more mature way to go? Just my opinion, that's all.

            1. 's water music Silver badge

              Re: (@ Zacherynuk)

              > It's like reviewing a restaurant 1 star because you were turned away. It's daft and selfish and doesn't reflect the food or atmosphere in the restaurant.

              If a restaurant accepts a booking and takes payment and then on the night says "come back in a few days" then I don't care how good the food was for the people that they /did/ feed that night, nor even how good the food will be a (unknown) number of days after my wife's birthday.

              It would be more informative if my hypothetical review were to state the basis for 1 star though although the star rating still serves a purpose as an avoid/caution warning.

        4. Adam 1 Silver badge

          > I wouldn't give a car a shit review because the chap delivered it to me without the keys.

          I don't think anyone else here would either, but if they weren't able to give keys to any of the purchasers, that goes a bit further don't you think.

        5. tkioz

          My point is that only an idiot would 'review' something that he couldn't actually review.

          I suggest you look up "fit for purpose" in retail law... They sold a product that *didn't work*, people are well within their rights to give a bad review on a product that doesn't work. Simple as that.

          It's suppose to work *out of the box*, not three days after they take your money. Gamers need to stop letting companies get away with this "launch trouble" bollocks.

        6. the spectacularly refined chap

          My point is that only an idiot would 'review' something that he couldn't actually review. I wouldn't give a car a shit review because the chap delivered it to me without the keys.

          It's completely fair. Let's take your overblown example to show precisely how fair it is. The missing keys are not an oversight, they've been withheld because the engineers haven't been able to design keys that correctly deactivate the immobiliser, so they'll send those along when they've been sorted out. That might be next year, but don't worry, we can assure you that we are working on a fix as soon as possible.

          In the mean time you're left with a car that is completely useless and they've already relieved you of your £30,000. Would you be happy with this situation? Of course not, indeed you would be mouthing off to all and sundry, saying "Don't buy this car, this is what will happen if you do". Which is precisely what all those reviewers were doing.

          Sure, more money is involved, and a longer delay (but possibly a similar proportion of the product's useful life span). Those are simply differences of extent: where is the difference in principle between the car and the game?

          1. dan1980

            @ the spectacularly refined chap

            Bravo. I was searching for the correct way to extend that car analogy but gave up.

            1. auburnman

              It's a bit redundant now but with all the technology in cars now it's no great stretch of the imagination to picture an 'always on' automobile'. Imagine if the new Audi Doody* came with a built in mobile that activated the immobiliser and set off the alarm every time it lost connection to the company servers. Would you factor that in to your review?

              *Credit to Lee Mack

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Your response is a bit wierd

          So if the car didn't start, hadn't got an engine and would only open the doors if Ford allowed it you'd not give it a 1* review?

          You are much more forgiving than me. Personally after forking out £40 for a game I'd kind of expected it to

          a) Install (it didn't for the first three hours)

          b) Work (it didn't)

          So it may well have been a briliant game but unless you're allowed to play it it's difficult to give it anything other than a 1* review.

        8. Jess--

          @Zacherynuk

          You may not give a car a bad review if it arrived without the keys, but You probably would give it a bad review if it came with an engine that was unable to start because there were too many other people in the world running a similar engine.

          In my mind not being able to play a game because of a failure of a remote system shows up a fundamental failure of the games design.

        9. teebie

          "doesn't work, 1 star"

          Seems like a reasonable review to me

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Amazon gave me my money back without a quibble because they saw it as not fit for purpose when it came out.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. MrXavia

      1) At the time there was no way to know if they would be temporary problems, and even if they were, a 1 Star rating was appropriate for the game, I got it free with a CPU, played it twice, decided it was not as good as the old games, and un-installed it... if I had paid for it, I would have been pissed off and would have rated it 1 Star..

      2) makes sense, if it had such a bad review, it would be bad idea to keep selling the product, damages your online reputation...

    6. Kane Silver badge
      Stop

      @Anonymous Coward

      I call shill, Amazon or EA.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    DRM is great

    I have to say that from a personal perspective all this DRM stuff has distinict advantages.

    Here is an example;

    Total War comes out, I buy a copy,

    New improved versions of Total War come out, I bought them as well,

    Total War comes out with "must have internet connection to activate", I don't buy it.

    My bank manager really loves DRM, it save money from leaving my account.

    Not so sure it's that good for the games industry.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Isn't technology marvellous

    Isn't technology marvellous? Just last year you had to have whole data centres full of cloud computing power to play the game, and this year you can play it on your home micro with no assistance.

    1. Johan Bastiaansen
      Angel

      Re: Isn't technology marvellous

      Indeed, Zacherynuk and myself call that progress.

  7. despairing citizen
    Big Brother

    The EA Car Sales System

    In the near future EA moves into car sales, and applies it's Sim City logic.......

    You must come to your local distributor every morning to collect your car, no you can't use it at home with out talking to our sales rep first.

    Yes you bought a car for you to use, but you must share it's usage with any randomly selected number of other road users, and tow all their crap as well, even if you have a poor performance figure as a result. If your car has already gone in the morning, then you'll just have to wait until one comes free, some time.

    When we at our sole discretion choose to no longer support cars, your vehicle will imediately disable and become useless, regardless of how much money you spent with us.

    ....er... what do you mean we are not complying with the Sale of Goods Act, Unfair Contract Terms directive, etc., , (all other consumer protection legislation), etc......,

    1. dfgraham
      Devil

      Re: The EA Car Sales System

      But seeing, and interacting with other drivers is the most important reason for having a car! Why do you think we invented rush hour, and the traffic jam!

      1. MrDamage

        Re: The EA Car Sales System

        I thought it was so everyone in LA could show off their marksmanship?

    2. teebie

      Re: The EA Car Sales System

      I think you may have just described buses

  8. Kaltern

    If any other industry tried something like this, there would be multi-million *enter choice of currency here* lawsuits all over the shop.

    But for some reason, gaming seems to be a license to print money, with no real need for the truth.

    I don't understand it, I mean, if you bought say, a TV, that had a 'special' interface for watching say, Sky through, and it HAD to be that particular interface, and you absolutely had to use their cable to use it... and it turns out it was just an HDMI cable with an extra notch on it to ensure 'third party' cables couldn't be used.... that would cause an uproar.

    Wouldn't it?

    1. Jediben
      Devil

      Apple says "Hi!".

  9. David Webb

    Sizes

    Hopefully, now that the limiting factor isn't EA's piss poor servers, we can actually have maps larger than my ex girlfriends tits, you ever tried to build a city on a really small mountain with tiny peaks? Me either, but err, I may have lost track of where I was going, larger city sizes I think was my point till I got distracted by mountains.

    1. MrDamage

      Re: Sizes

      And every one of your cities is somehow called Bristol?

    2. dan1980

      Re: Sizes

      Very crass Mr Webb. Have an upvote.

  10. wolfetone Silver badge

    Fantastic news!

    Now! To get Sim City to play nicely on Linux.

    Oh..... shit.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: Fantastic news!

      I bought simcity4 delux because it cost me less than £5. I didnt think I would be into it but you dont know if you dont give it a chance. The game aint bad even though it occasionally crashes (even after all the parameters you pass to it) and I wanted to put an ISO on my drive so I didnt need to keep looking for the disk. Nope. Apparently I need to download an unofficial patched version called NoCD or something. What rubbish.

      I might install it on my linux system but it too mentions using the noCD thing. However I also hear I can point wine at the CD drive so it might work.

      There is no way I was going to buy the new one after hearing about the always on 'feature'. Other people use the bandwidth here so I expect a single player (no online) option.

      1. MrRtd

        Re: Fantastic news!

        SC4 works incredibly well on Linux nowadays. There are some simple steps you can find by doing a simple Google search to get it installed without the need of a NoCD crack. From what I hear, it's probably easier to install, if you use PlayOnLinux, but I've never tried that myself.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Linux

      Re: Fantastic news!

      SimCity 2000, SimCity 4 (Steam version) and even this version work using Wine. The biggest problem with the 2013 SimCity is that Origin is a steaming pile...

      1. wolfetone Silver badge

        Re: Fantastic news!

        I didn't know there was a steam version of Sim City 4! That'll do for the time being, while they fix Origin and stop it being cack.

        If they ever manage it of course...

  11. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    Eh?

    Dunno about the rest of you, but I remember when there wasn't a line for Sim City to be on. I had hours of fun with it then, but liost interest when they over complicated (and over priced) it.

    1. DiViDeD Silver badge

      Re: Eh?

      True enuff. The early SimCity lost me many an hour back then. And of course you had 'proper' planning problems to deal with, like Alien attacks and Godzilla. Hmmm. I have the discs somewhere - I'm sure it will play OK on DosBox.

      Gotta run

    2. Grikath

      Re: Eh?

      Indeed, which is why I stopped considering buying it as soon as it said "Internet Connection Needed".

      The old versions I have are properly solo-timewasting enough, no need for "Online Content".

  12. mrbawsaq

    Welcome to the end of the games industry

    EA have monetized the games industry in the same way as Microsoft have monetized the desktop.

    Now both are struggling for growth and buying out the competition or market innovators and price gauging customers is their last resort.

    Welcome to the end of games (on all platforms) as a means of entertainment as Take 2 and Activision follow the lead of EA.

    It is sad to see such a vibrant medium of entertainment die as quickly as innovation in the PC marketplace as gaming. But Angry Pigeons on my iPhone does not come close to the experience of Falcon 4 on my Atari ST or the original Medal of Honour from 2001.

    Gaming is dead and EA killed it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to the end of the games industry

      > Gaming is dead and EA killed it.

      No way. If anything gaming is undergoing an indy renaissance. You wont see it if you only shop in the high street, but buy a copy of Edge, browse Steam Greenlight, even look (past this shit) in the Xbox indy section online, or read RockPaperShotgun sometimes. Gaming is alive, well and more vibrant, alternative, varied and exciting than ever.

      If you have really been under a rock for the last 5 years, and are not just trolling, take a look at games like Braid, Amnesia, Don't Starve, LIMBO, Machinarium, Terraria, Torchlight, 'Papers, Please' and The Stanley Parable. And the mainstream eye candy is almost unbelievable now, especially if you remember when a Commodore 64 was the pinnicle of games tech. Treat yourself to Unreal's latest tech demos and try to remember its running in real time.

      1. KPz

        Re: Welcome to the end of the games industry

        Add Kentucky Route Zero, Gone Home and FTL from indieworld.

        And if you're looking at AAA stuff, how about Portal/Portal 2, Skyrim, Far Cry series, the Bioshock games etc.

        Gaming's better than it's ever been.

    2. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Welcome to the end of the games industry

      Nah, gaming is still very much alive, but you have to look harder for them than just the current iteration of Madden or FIFA. There's games like Kerbal Space Program and others put out by small independents that are great fun. Hell, KSP even friggin' runs on my Linux box with plain 'ol Intel graphics.

      I'd say EA is killing the big gaming company, but in reality it's just the shit product that's doing that.

      What does bother me is the huge rise of beta and pre-release stuff. Even the "finished" stuff is coming out with major bugs "because we can just release a patch over the internet" and so developers/QA don't feel the pressure that they used to when you released a game on a physical DVD and distributing a patch was a huge expense.

      1. DiViDeD Silver badge

        Re: Welcome to the end of the games industry

        If I can be allowed to piss on EA's chips for a moment:

        And what about Alice: Madness Returns? That game has been out long enough by now that SOMEONE should have fixed the umbrella/keymap bug by now.

        I know there are plenty of 'I changed this line in that ini file and now it works' posts online, but none of them have worked for me. That leaves me with about 95% of the game unexplored.

        Contact Steam, they say 'Oh it's an EA issue'. Contact EA and it's anything from 'Steam is a 3rd party provider, we cannot support it' to the outrageous 'We have no intention of providing a fix'

        Bar Stewards.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to the end of the games industry

      > Gaming is dead and EA killed it.

      Nope. EA is dead and gaming killed it.

      EA has become a big fat sack of crap. EA sports will be split off (and inexplicably continue to do well) and EA will wither away.

      There will be a few more iterations of MoH and BF maybe, and not a lot else. In the meantime the number of excellent indy games will just grow and grow.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Welcome to the end of the games industry

        "EA sports will be split off (and inexplicably continue to do well)"

        Well, you know... it's in the game.

  13. tkioz

    Honestly the online requirement wasn't even the worst part of the game for me. No, there were problems that stood head and shoulders above that little chestnut. The fact it ran like a three legged retarded chipmunk chief among them, along side the dumbed down gameplay, the terrible traffic AI, and the plainly stupid nature of the "sims" that went to the nearest workplace/house during each cycle and were basically identical NPCs (despite the fact we were promised *individuals*), etc.

    All problems that Haemimont and Kalypso, companies less than a tenth the size of EA solved with Tropico 4.

    I really regret spending my money on the game, and it's soured me on a franchise I've played for over twenty years, and I doubt I'll ever by another Simcity game.

    1. Kane Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      @tkioz

      "The fact it ran like a three legged retarded chipmunk..."

      Bravo sir, have an upvote!

      PS, when will you be sending me a new keyboard?>>>

    2. Matt 58

      Exactly

      Lets ignore the server issues.

      When it was running it was really bad, bad traffic, bad jobs, bad cargo, bad taxes, bad simulation all round. over complicated but with no real control of what goes on. once all the delivery truck went missing and there was nothing I could do about it. City lost to the cloud.

      No subways, no bridges, no underpasses (although thats changed)

      Your hotel has gone bankrupt to to lack of customers - bulldoze - A new hotel springs up! Who is in charge here?

      Much like Spore before it, its been dumbed down for the console market and we lose another game.

  14. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Happy

    "downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without an internet connection"

    OMG! It's the next big thing after the cloud! It's... local storage...!

    1. MrDamage

      Re: "downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without an internet connection"

      Local storage? Pfft, nobody could ever afford that.

  15. Esskay

    I think I've put about 5 hours into the game since I bought it just after launch. Might be time to fire it up again...

  16. Crisp Silver badge

    Maxis Lied.

    It's ok El Reg. I'll say it if you wont.

    1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

      Re: Maxis Lied.

      The saddest thing about this era is even those who can say it do not say it. How can anything function when neither side says the truth?

  17. Eguro
    Happy

    Best thing about publishing under EA

    I think I see one upside for developers who publish under EA - you (almost) never get any blame!

    Anything that goes wrong with an EA published game = EA rushed it, EA doesn't care - etc. etc.

    And the best/worst part is, I don't even think it's wrong!

    I personally swore off EA after they managed to take the grand potential of Mass Effect and slowly but surely ruin it - culminating in the infamous ending. And I do believe that was the greatest gaming related decision I've ever made.

    Now whenever I hear of EA troubles, I can slowly shake my head and laugh.

    I do belive Ubisoft is making a bid to join the ranks of EA soon, but they still have a chance to save themselves.

    The only bad thing I've experienced from my EA boycott is when there's a Bullfrog sale on gog.com. I really want to buy it, but I really don't want to give money to EA, and I also don't want to start down a slippery slope to buying some new EA game.

    Wow this comment sorta got away from me - in conclusion; I think it's peculiar, though perhaps not undeserved, that Maxim is almost getting away without criticism, because they work for EA.

  18. Jeroen Braamhaar
    Mushroom

    Good they took the first step in making it a game that's worth installing and playing.

    Next step to make it really worthwhile is to defenestrate the link to that turd Origin and it might actually be a serviceable release.

  19. KPz

    A Godforsaken Mess

    In years to come, the release of SimCity will go down as a perfect example "How not to release a videogame".

    There was a public beta test, which seemed to indicate that there was a large number of people interested in playing it, and the response from the servers indicated there would potentially be an issue with volume.

    There were a large number of pre-orders.

    There was massive interest in the gaming/IT press, including this site.

    And then....it didn't work. At all. The first few weeks were a disaster, and then when people came to play the game for any length of time, it was obvious that the "Sim" aspect of the game was hopelessly, dreadfully flawed. Traffic didn't go where it should do, the Sims just went to the nearest house or factory to sleep or work, making a mockery of calling it a simulation. The city size was pathetically small, meaning that you could easily fill all available space in a couple of hours. Plus a million smaller bugs and inconsistencies.

    Terrible, terrible game. It seems as though EA/Maxi spent all their time building out a useless "social" aspect and forgot about the actual game, and then tried to DRM it out of existence.

    Looked nice though.

  20. MooseNC

    This is not Maxis.

    This is EA after killing Maxis, cutting it's face off, and finally wearing said face while dancing to "Goodbye Horses"

    "Would you play me??? I'd play me.... I'd play me Hard...."

  21. Ceiling Cat
    Pint

    Ugh... Simcity 2013 :(

    To be perfectly honest....

    The game was crap, and te updates haven't helped. Maxis/EA roped me into a $70 purchase with promises of a decent game, and failed to deliver.

    It looks much too cartoon-y. and yet, for it's lack of detail, it manages to get my video card (Geforce GTX 560 Ti) running so hot that the fan triggers my tinnitus (or a migraine) within an hour or so of starting a session.

    The sound is terrible. The music in particular grates badly on the ears, whilst the older Simcity music was pleasant and somewhat relaxing. So far, the free DLC has all been pretty awful, and having it installed means that you'll always be pestered to put in a Progressive Insurance building, or build a place of worship.

    My last attempt to play the game ended with me running a 4000 person mining town into bankrupcy within about 20 minutes of founding it, then quitting and playing Eufloria HD on my Playstation Vita for about 3 hours.

    Pisses me off no end that a $10 game that I bought on impulse turns out to be better than a game I preordered for $70. Beer, because Beer!

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