Need Connection …

So, the latest version of Sim City requires users to be logged on to the EA servers all the time, supposedly so that you can play it multiplayer. The launch of this has been an absolute disaster. And, in fact, is comparable to the launch of Diablo III, which also went to this model, but seemingly for more reason and the Sim City problems seem to be worse. Essentially, EA makes you log into their servers to play the game, even if you really wanted to play it single player, and at launch their servers couldn’t keep up so people who legitimately bought the game couldn’t play them. This is, of course, only a preview for what will happen when EA decides that it doesn’t want to keep the servers up anymore, likely because they’d rather you buy the next version of Sim City to make them more money.

If the gaming world goes to this model, it will likely drive me out of gaming. I do play some games that require a connection, because I play MMOs. But I accept that because of the nature of the games themselves, even if I tend to solo rather than play with people, and those games provide something that I can’t get anywhere else, even from older games. That’s not the case for a game like Sim City. Without this system, I might have picked it up out of idle curiousity at some point, like I did for Tropico and The Sims. But with this annoyance, I’m not going to, and I’m certainly not going to if it means that in a few years I might not be able to play it anymore.

Just recently, I played Star Wars: Demolition. The game was released in 2000. I also muse continually about playing Star Wars: Rebellion again, which was released in 1998. Do you really think that EA will be running any server for this version of Sim City after 15 years? And yet, I am still likely to want to play the game, if it’s good, in 15 years, just like I’d watch 15 year old movies. A system that takes that away from me in order to stop people from pirating the game is not a system I want to participate in. And just as a note to game companies: I am willing to put a decent amount of disposable income into buying and playing games. You might not want to lose that. Just sayin’.

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One Response to “Need Connection …”

  1. Crude Says:

    And, in fact, is comparable to the launch of Diablo III, which also went to this model, but seemingly for more reason and the Sim City problems seem to be worse.

    Yeah, one thing that bothered me about Diablo III’s press over their always-on DRM is that their reasoning superficially made sense. People kept treating it as some kind of reaction against piracy, but’s also an incredible tool for maintaining the economy of a game – it really helps with preventing duping, cheating in general, etc. The problem was that Diablo III also blew it from an economy perspective, and how they failed is just amazing to contemplate.

    With Diablo, it made a little sense – D2 had a major online aspect to it with a corresponding economy situation. With SimCity, the online aspect was hardly ever there as a major component to the series, unless you count SimCity’s facebook iteration. Their concept on paper seemed somewhat neat, but holy hell – the failures that came after the fact are absurd. Threatening people who were demanding refunds? Continuing the launch rollout while knowing their servers couldn’t handle the capacity? This bs with promising ‘a free game’ at some point in the future?

    I think that’s what separates it from Diablo III. D3’s failures, whatever they were, were largely conceptual. They had a plan, they had their justifications, but in practice it failed. The SimCity failures seem to be in large part failures of support in addition to whatever conceptual issues they have going on.

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