News

Will Wright regards SimCity's launch as "basically inexcusable"
Posted: 07.05.2013 13:16 by Simon Priest Comments: 5
Original Mayor of all things Sim - Will Wright - says he can "understand the outrage" for those who've paid $60 for something they couldn't play. SimCity is a "good game" but DRM caused backlash.

Wright touches of the problem of how people view the game, saying it occupies a "very uncomfortable space" between MMO and singleplayer. Maxis have announced another major update due this week.

"I feel bad for the team," said Will Wright. The approach to how this SimCity would function was poorly conveyed, and ultimately people didn't want an MMO experience.

"I could have predicted - I kind of did predict there'd be a big backlash about the DRM stuff. It's a good game; I enjoy playing it a lot," he continued. "It was kind of like, 'EA is the evil empire, there was a lot of 'Let's bash EA over it.'"

"That was basically inexcusable, that you charge somebody $60 for a game and they can't play it. I can understand the outrage. If I was a consumer buying the game and that happened to me, I'd feel the same."

There's a whole problem with always-on: "I think people care if it doesn't work," he said. "If you can't play it on planes, stuff like that... I think there are some very valid concerns about it. Also there's a perception; I don't expect to play World of Warcraft on the airplane, because my perception is it has to be on the 'Net."

"SimCity was in this very uncomfortable space, like the uncanny valley," he added, saying it was caught "between was it a single player game or was it a multiplayer game?" Maxis has now revealed that a new update is imminently due which is said to drastically target the game's traffic AI. The Update 3.0 patch notes have been posted.

EA has just announced The Sims 4 and has been keen to point out it's an offline game.
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Comments

By nocutius (SI Elite) on May 07, 2013
nocutius
It was a SP game with some MMO functionalities forcefully tacked on because "someone" would never sanction another SP game again.
And they're still denying it even after it has already been proven that the game runs offline perfectly fine.
So yea, in this case EA actually was the evil empire that ruined the game.
By Voqar (SI Core Member) on May 07, 2013
Voqar
One problem is that corporate style developers don't ask players what they want, or listen to players who outrage when devs reveal crap they're doing to games that players don't want. Instead they just do "whatever they think is best" and inflict that on players.

The online features in SimCity would've been great as options for the very few who want to play that way.

Players never wanted smaller maps that restrict creativity either. PC tech has moved forward, not backwards, and the game should either be designed for today's beefier computers, or it should be designed to scale so people screwing around on tablets and phones can play tiny maps and PC users can scale monstrocities that match their rigs.

Perhaps if they had spent less time on features and forced online very few wanted (if anybody ever did ask for such nonsense) then they could've spent more time on scaling and making the game actually work.

The game has some good elements that are lost (on me at least) due to the forced online and tiny maps.
By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on May 07, 2013
herodotus
The option to play offline in SP should have been there from the start, as I do like the premise of a persistent world. Patching the traffic AI is not going to help this game's cause, and until it becomes a budget title, it will continue to be bashed.
DRM does not work, and never will. Devs and Pubs need to stop focusing on building good games and not on the redundant anti-piracy features they try desperately to incorporate.
By SiyaenSokol (SI Elite) on May 08, 2013
SiyaenSokol
If they would simply keep the offline play mode, and just add an online feature, then the damn problem will be solved. In the past this worked perfectly, so why changing it to always online now? They can see how Diablo III failed, so why is everyone still going for the same routine?
By FoolWolf (SI Elite) on May 08, 2013
FoolWolf
Because even though the gamers say Diablo3 failed, I'm afraid that in the yearly closure - Diablo3 still comes out as a huge success.
It is no more a business of small companies making things that is as much a passion as it is a hobby. it is business - and business is made on finacial spreadsheets and earnings.

And until gamers learn the harsh lesson that spending money on shit will give the one true message that gamers like shit - we will be stuck with this. Hopefully EA will be another gaming company that learns a humbling lesson in time - but I don't hold my breath.