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66. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 13:30 Porn-O-Matic
I cannot help but wonder if all this wailing and gnashing of teeth over the always online/multiplayer woes of SimCity would have been greatly diminished if the game had always been advertised as an online experience.

I mean, look at the Ultima games. For a long time they were single-player games, then they introduced Ultima Online. Right away, you knew it was Ultima, but NOT a single-player game. No surprises, right?

What if right from the beginning, Maxis would have announced this game as "SimCity Online"? You'd know right then that it was going to be online and muliplayer centric. You might have learned later that there was an option to play in your own private region, but you'd still need to be online.

Look at World of Warcraft or Planetside 2. Both require an always-on internet connection to play. Both require that your in-game progress be saved on the server. That is EXACTLY how SimCity DRM works, but nobody bitches about WoW or PS 2.

Oh right... those are obviously MULTIPLAYER games.

Well, guess what... if we go back to whenever Maxis first made the announcement about SimCity making a comeback... what if they had said, "Hey guys, we're bringing SimCity back, as a MULTIPLAYER game"?

Those who didn't like the idea of taking a popular single-player game like SimCity and turning into a multiplayer game probably would have posted some comments about how they didn't like that idea, but then would have moved on to the next article, knowing RIGHT THEN that they wouldn't buy it. Those who liked the idea of a multiplayer SimCity would have followed it and would have ultimately been the ones who bought it, and there would have been virtually no complaints about the always-online requirements... because they KNEW, long before, that it was a multiplayer game, and we ALL know that multiplayer games NEED to be played... where, children? ONLINE.

(We're going to assume that the launch issues with not having enough servers didn't happen, just for the sake of argument here.)

The ONLY reason people are bitching about the always-online, whether they realize it or not, is because they thought all along that this was going to be a single-player game, and only because the SimCity franchise has traditionally been single-player. So now here it is, and people are like, "Wait, what? It's multiplayer???"

EA went about the whole "always on DRM" thing all wrong. Because if they had said that SimCity was going to be an MMO (sorta) or at least work LIKE an MMO, with server-side asset sharing/tracking, and people all playing cities together in regions... I guaran-fucking-tee you that we wouldn't have even a fraction of the bitching and moaning we're seeing now.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is simply a case of bad marketing. End of story. All EA would have needed to do was add the word "Online" after "SimCity" and this would have been COMPLETELY different.

Don't misunderstand... I'm a hard-core gamer from before color monitors had been invented, and I typically hate anything multiplayer, so BELIEVE ME when I say that I'm vehemently opposed to any always online DRM scheme. My rant here is NOT an attempt to excuse EA from making such a stupid decision... no no NO! BUT, I simply thought it funny how changing the marketing angle of SimCity from the start would probably have changed the entire scenario from what it is now.
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