Maxis admits SimCity could have had an offline mode

By Shawn Knight · 22 replies
Mar 18, 2013
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  1. Not long after a modder discovered that it was possible to play SimCity offline indefinitely, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw authored a post on EA’s website that tackles the question head on. Simply put, could they have built an offline...

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  2. Sarcasm

    Sarcasm TS Guru Posts: 367   +46

    They should have just called it Simcity Online
    m4a4 and ghasmanjr like this.
  3. Wow....just...c'mon Maxis...

    It's pretty obvious you only process multiplayer aspects on your server.
    It's already proven we can play the game without that crap, AND we can edit highways much to your dislike.

    It seems once this game is cracked there will be a lot of potential as far as modding goes, and maybe, just maybe we can get large enough cities.
    hammer2085 likes this.
  4. TorturedChaos

    TorturedChaos TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 839   +29

    I almost bought this game right out of the shoot, so I could play it with my brother - but now I'm rather glad I didn't. If I do play get it, it will be after a MAJOR price drop. Then I would consider it.
    m4a4 and T Schroder like this.
  5. I like how she goes full-middle-school and was unable to resist the urge to belittle the litany of concerns that have been expressed as "trying to control the player".

    The issue is not one of DRM really, because preventing piracy is a secondary goal of the always-on requirement. The always-on requirement is implemented as a means of leveraging continued access in exchange for receiving ongoing sales pitches for DLC, custom content, their constant pleas that you list you awesome new sewer system on facebook or tweet about it; basic social-media-as-a-market bullshit.

    What they intended was to create a subscription-like ongoing revenue stream. Ever since corporate gaming execs realized that WoW pulled in $150m/month in revenues, they have been obsessed with trying to replicate the model, but without the annoying requirement for actualy continued development of meaningful content.

    This is jsut the most recent game be shoehorned into this ill-fitting mold. We have seen subscription-like map packs on shooters for over a year now.

    This is why they are fighting so hard on this one, because every person they persuade to accept the arrangement is thought to represent some forecasted amount of free money. Ongoing receipts associated with simplistic non-technical retexturing of buildings and such (custom content) is big money, and all profit.

    That is why the views of their customers are secondary, because in their minds they are "transitioning" you from a one-time buyer, to a source of continuing revenue. that is worth the bad publicity and all the lost fans, because it is free money for a long time.
    hammer2085 and BlueDrake like this.
  6. The only way to tell publishers that this is the wrong approach is NOT buy the game. Buying it and then complaining DOES NOT work. Having made millions, they don't care if players are then unhappy.

    Want to fix this sort of thing?

    Stop buying games from EA. It really is that simple.
    m4a4, SantistaUSA and T Schroder like this.
  7. killeriii

    killeriii TS Enthusiast Posts: 213   +14

    I almost bought it before reading reviews too. Glad I didn't.
    I enjoyed Simcity 4, it's a shame this one strays from that model so much.
    That offline mod looks intriguing tho...
  8. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    totally agree..... do not buy it.
  9. T Schroder

    T Schroder TS Rookie

    This is why I didn't buy the game, EX/Maxis seemed to be trying to a lot, almost to much with this version of SIMcity, and also because its $80.00 to buy the full version. Not worth it in my book, considering Cities XL is half that price. The price of this game alone makes people want to hack and torrent it. Good job EA. Not coming to my computer anytime soon.
  10. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,887   +1,223

    'Having made millions?' Is that just a guess? I looked on Yahoo Finance and for the quarter ending 12/31/2012, EA lost $45 million. For the 3 months before that they lost $381 million. Going back a few years, they've lost money some years and made money some years, but they're not exactly some huge profitable company. Their entire company is only worth 5.62 billion. Activision/Blizzard (just for comparison) is valued at over $14 billion and they've made over a billion/year for the last few years.

    Why does everyone always assume a company makes money when they sell games. They only make money once they make back what they spent making the game. Considering EA's bumpy financial history, it looks like they lose money on games pretty regularly.
  11. I was really looking forward to buying this game, but from what I read its hard to log on, cities are small , and things that should be in the game are not, but will be available as dlc or cash shop.
    Ill just continue passing on EA titles.
  12. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,713   +855

    That's some real arrogance there. The first 4 SimCity games were wildly popular STAND ALONE games. So their "vision" was to completely do away with that, didn't matter that the gamers wanted a souped up version of what they had played in the past.

    Guess it would have been too much effort to conduct a poll as to what gamers were really interested in.
    Adhmuz likes this.
  13. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    I'm guessing it was a poorly worded comment, meant to convey a need to boycott. Not that they "made millions" in a profit sense of the words, but that they potentially experience millions in sales. If sales are low, or even better if no copies of the game are sold, they definitely won't be recouping the development costs. That's not the only way to get their attention, but it's one of the more effective methods.

    If there is zero revenue from a product, a smart company will go out and try to figure out why that happened. Once they swim through the buzz of DRM pushers blaming rampant piracy as the root of all evil, and start actually looking at consumer feedback, they can actually learn from their mistakes.

    But, as that Guest indicated, if they put out a crap product and people still buy it, they don't care that it's crap since they got some money for it. Developers rarely learn to better themselves when the cash flow keeps churning.
  14. Mbloof

    Mbloof TS Rookie Posts: 56   +7

    This game is clearly mislabeled. If they created 'simcity online' they could of called it that.

    What is frustrating is that it is becoming more and more difficult to find a game to play that does not require in one way or other a connection to the internet.

    "kids make sure you bring your laptop and you can entertain yourselves playing games during the trip"... "but MOM!!! The publisher/developer requires an internet connection and none of my games will work..."

    The developers/publishers take long train/bus/plane rides or have power outages much?
    BlueDrake likes this.
  15. Sniped_Ash

    Sniped_Ash TS Maniac Posts: 253   +108

    Well John Riccitiello is out at EA and Larry Probst will take over (again). Hold on to your butts.
  16. It is not that hard to find games legally that are DRM Free. (Even newer Games)
    If you like old Games is great.
    if you want newer Games try (Even thought you have to read carefully if a game will be DRM free or not since it varies). Best Part about that side you are responsible for what you help fund yourself.

    I am sure there are more sites like that..

    As a last resort there is always youtube with letsplayer that bring your atention to games that are listed nowhere because they do not bring any money and thus have no marketplace whatsoever
    (I.e. Dwarf fortress, Rpg maker games if you speak German "Vampires Dawn" for example))

    there are so much options out there but they are hard to find because big publishers give money(advertisement) and "special attentions" to online magazines and magazines thus leading to the overshadowing of other games.

    Plus since they mostly have a lower budget the graphis are not top notch which leads to mainstream people not liking them. Well the whole ea debacle which happens every year was really funny to watch (if you did not buy the game) , thus I hope some more people learned their lesson, I learned mine long ago..
  17. TS-56336

    TS-56336 TS Addict Posts: 609   +109

    Fine, keep your "Artistic Vision". I'll keep my money.
  18. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +112

    This whole reason of having always-on kind of connectivity is crap. They have to come up with some creative spin, otherwise it will look bad with the serious negativity everyone gives it. Anyone who has some common sense with DRM, thinking this is A-OK must be pretty much dense.

    The magical crap they spew forth to cover themselves, is so terrible that people must know this is just a cover story. If they wanted to properly label it "online" as others said, then go ahead and do that to justify the reasons. Flat out come forward with any possible DRM, including always-on and give your justifications for it. Don't just slap it in there either in secret, or such because people won't want your game.

    Also listen to your customers and actually be reasonable, this is how you keep fans of your games from leaving. If you can actually come to some compromise, that would actually have some "online" and "offline" aspects or versions then so be it. We hate having these kinds of DRM stuffed in, and then using the typical PR spin tactic to defend your justification.

    If you're seriously losing money on things, don't you think the whole listening to customers might help? You'll eventually find things to milk for money I'm sure, like DLC or other such crap that people pay for like "cosmetic" items upwards to bypassing limits. That's just a flat out insult honestly to customers, and reasons people get really irate over such terrible tactics.

    The whole F2P market banks on these cosmetics and such, but a full fledged $60 game or more needing that also? That's where I'd draw the line honestly, and F2P is just fine so long as players properly limit themselves. Sadly it's all more P2W in the long run, I can see EA eventually shifting into that strategy also. Likely to happen in the next BF or something, just to make extra cash from players.
  19. coppersloane

    coppersloane TS Enthusiast Posts: 108   +33

    People, seriously. Stop buying EA's products.

    I was done with EA when I realized they destroyed Star Wars: The Old Republic, effectively ruining BioWare's reputation.

    Never again.
  20. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,651   +1,092

    trust they aren't loosing money. the annual financial reports aren't everything.
  21. avoidz

    avoidz TS Guru Posts: 460   +56

    The "patch" can't come quickly enough for this game. The developers need to have their vision checked.
  22. HiDDeNMisT

    HiDDeNMisT TS Booster Posts: 231   +14

    Thank god I didnt buy the game when it first came out. I am going to wait for all the bugs and controversial stuff is done with so I can finally play the game.
  23. gingerbill

    gingerbill TS Addict Posts: 233   +59

    Is it just me but every time lucy bradshaw speaks it annoys you more ?, if she kept quite I probably would have got over my anger of the release by now.

    I'm still having some fun in the game but not playing it anywhere near as much as I hoped , RCI needs fixed before it can be a good game.

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