EA’s vision of always-online SimCity isn’t aligning with consumers’

SimCity Coal HQ

It’s been two weeks now since the launch of SimCity and the horror stories of gamers not being able to play because of the servers being down. Yes, players will need to be connected online to play the game, and if the servers are down, that means players can’t play at all. Gamers are a vocal bunch, so you can expect them to put in their two cents if they’re not happy, especially if they won’t be able to play the game on launch day.

EA has taken notice. Instead of trying to make the customers happy by giving them what they want, they decided that their vision isn’t the same as the consumer’s vision. Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw was lucky enough to be the person representing and speaking for EA and Maxis.

“It didn’t come down as an order from corporate and it isn’t a clandestine strategy to control players,” Bradshaw said. “It’s fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity.”

Wait, what’s the vision here exactly? Their reasoning is that it’ll help with keeping simulation state current, handle cloud saves, enables social features, and protects the integrity of features like achievements and leaderboards.

“So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes,” Bradshaw admitted. “But we rejected that idea because it didn’t fit with our vision…The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology.”

The fans have fired back, including Lokiliesmith:

“So, when you said that SimCity required ‘significant computations’ from your servers, and ‘significant engineering’ to make even single cities playable offline, those were bold faced lies, right? Your servers handle data transfers between cities that could EASILY be handled via LAN, or for single players in their own computers, right? There is a delay of several hours before these features sync across regions being managed by your servers. Doing it locally would actually speed this process up!”
Hey, but at least you can get a free EA game on Origin if you’ve activated your SimCity copy. You’ll need to register your game before March 26, 2013, and claim it by March 31, 2013.

Check out the games you can choose from below.

  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

Source: EA

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John Nguyen
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