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New SimCity Only Playable Online

The upcoming continuation of the SimCity series will require a constant internet connection to play, reports Joystiq. They have confirmed that the game will be sold through digital distributors other than Origin, but lead designer Stone Librande tells them players will need to be connected to EA's online service to play, even in single-player. Word is: "The always-on connection becomes necessary with the game's emphasis on multiplayer and regional impact, and the use of a global economy that all players can influence."

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86. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Dec 18, 2012, 18:53 Porn-O-Matic
 
Dmitri_M wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 21:01:
Dades wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 20:46:
Did anyone really want or need multiplayer for this? What an unfortunate waste.

Personally, MP equals stress due to my need to be competitive.

Simcity is the sort of game you play to unwind. Really doesn't need MP.

It's not "multiplayer" in the traditional sense. It's like Spore was, where you don't actually see other players playing on your screen, but certain elements in the game, even in single player mode, are pulled from the online community behind the scenes without you even knowing it, and that's all.
 
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85. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 12:39 Verno
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 09:53:
I don't buy that they don't have another reason. I don't believe that EA decided to make an online DRM experiment with a game like SimCity. I believe that they had something else in mind - it's just a matter of what that "something" is. Could be the social element that has been mentioned, that's plausible.

Whatever floats your boat I guess, EA has a long history of DRM experiments with various titles so I don't really see where your viewpoint originates but you're welcome to think what you like.

Thankfully it appears to be misreported anyway, rendering (most) of it moot.
 
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84. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 10:12 Xoxotl
 
...and with that, any interest I had in the new SimCity game just shot down to zero.

Good job, EA.
 
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Don't start anything you can't finish. Preferably to component atoms.
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83. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 09:53 Bhruic
 
Don't buy what specifically?

I don't buy that they don't have another reason. I don't believe that EA decided to make an online DRM experiment with a game like SimCity. I believe that they had something else in mind - it's just a matter of what that "something" is. Could be the social element that has been mentioned, that's plausible.

Anything with Sim in the name is likely to sell decently and EA needs exclusive properties to fuel the Origin vehicle.

I don't really agree. There's a large market for The Sims, but that doesn't mean anything with "Sim" in it will sell. The fact the rest of the Sim franchise has been effectively dead for so long demonstrates that. If they were really interested in pushing Origin, they'd focus on getting as many sales as possible, rather than extensively burdening the game with more restrictions.

I guess there's nothing to do but what and see what they announce. As I've said, I'm still skeptical about this "announcement" in general - we've only seen 2nd-hand reports.
 
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82. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 09:02 Verno
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 20:42:
I don't buy it. EA has had much bigger games come out (and planning to come out) that have no hint of an "always on" connection requirement.

Don't buy what specifically? Given the absence of any legitimate design related reason for this, we're left with the usual suspects in terms of explanations and they all fit like a glove here. With Diablo 3 leading the way and taking the brunt of criticism I wouldn't be surprised if this is the first of many such announcements from EA.

SimCity is not a big enough franchise that they can count on previous purchasers to buy it regardless. They must have had some reason in mind for an always online requirement (assuming the news is accurate, so far the sites reporting it are the types to report every rumour they come across) beyond simply DRM.

We're in different days now, marketing can make even a mediocre title like Homefront a multi-million mover. Anything with Sim in the name is likely to sell decently and EA needs exclusive properties to fuel the Origin vehicle. This gives them tight platform control and a relative lack of worry about piracy. They can even exert tighter region controls.
 
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81. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 08:04 NKD
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 02:32:
That's my point. I don't assume they are doing this just to be dicks (although it's possible), I believe they think this is a good move. I just don't understand what their reasoning is that lead them to that belief. There wasn't - to my knowledge - a huge cry from people for the ability to play the game online. So unless they can demonstrate a real advantage to playing online (and some reason that you must play online), this seems to be a really bad decision.

Well outside of hardcore fans, there wasn't a huge cry for a new SimCity game to begin with. A game with no fighting? No story? No cinematic experience? Most of the gamers today who want such a thing are very casual. The kind of people who play Facebook games and MMOs. Very social, online-centric gamers.

The idea, from what I can gather, is to put together a game that has the online connectivity and other features that more casual gamers want. Existing SimCity fans might not need these features, but existing SimCity fans aren't that numerous compared to the ravenous hordes of casual gamers.

What remains to be seen are the features that allow these casual players to enjoy SimCity, while still allowing the old school SimCity fans to have the level of complexity they want. Really the success of this game hinges entirely on whether or not it can have both an idiot-friendly mode, and a more hardcore mode.

You and I might not see the needs for an online component, but it's pretty much expected if they want to try and convert some of the existing "Games without murdering everyone" gaming segment.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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80. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 06:12 Dmitri_M
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 29, 2012, 02:32:
There isn't always some evil motive. They simply want to try expanding the game into some multiplayer aspects. They could, in theory, put in an offline mode I'm sure. But if the online component is significant enough they could feel that creating a crippled pure-offline mode that only a few die-hards will use would be a waste of resources.

That's my point. I don't assume they are doing this just to be dicks (although it's possible), I believe they think this is a good move. I just don't understand what their reasoning is that lead them to that belief. There wasn't - to my knowledge - a huge cry from people for the ability to play the game online. So unless they can demonstrate a real advantage to playing online (and some reason that you must play online), this seems to be a really bad decision.

It's social networks. They're trying to graft facebook like features into their titles. Everyone is addicted to their FB profile right? We add similar features and gamers will spend all day in our titles!
 
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79. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 05:19 Thenetcase
 
This just went for a must-buy for me to a definite NO.
If I am required to install Origin for a game, that game goes on my "Avoid at all costs" list. I dispise Origin for its invasiveness and I refuse to touch it.
I also hate online-only games, even for single player. I like multiplayer, but I want to choose when I play multiplayer.

Great job on killing the buzz, EA. Typical.
 
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78. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 02:32 Bhruic
 
There isn't always some evil motive. They simply want to try expanding the game into some multiplayer aspects. They could, in theory, put in an offline mode I'm sure. But if the online component is significant enough they could feel that creating a crippled pure-offline mode that only a few die-hards will use would be a waste of resources.

That's my point. I don't assume they are doing this just to be dicks (although it's possible), I believe they think this is a good move. I just don't understand what their reasoning is that lead them to that belief. There wasn't - to my knowledge - a huge cry from people for the ability to play the game online. So unless they can demonstrate a real advantage to playing online (and some reason that you must play online), this seems to be a really bad decision.
 
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77. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 00:55 D4rkKnight
 
Simcity 4 was developed with multiplayer in mind but it became an afterthought upon release. You could technically play multiplayer by each playing separately, then importing your region to your friends game. The cities would then work together and grow off each other. In fact, you could create an industrial region with no population, then import your friends residential region and watch your industry flourish without polluting your citizens.

And then of course there is Simcity 2000 Network edition, a great game that nobody played. You would purchase sections of land and claim them as your own, and it was true real time Simcity multiplayer. You could even sell water and electricity to other players with payment plans. If done right, multiplayer in Simcity would be a great addition, something I think Simcity 4 sorely lacked. Always on internet required...not so much. Players should have a choice and its a shame if they force it upon you otherwise.
 
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76. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 29, 2012, 00:03 Dev
 
NKD wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 21:30:
EA has much bigger titles in various stages of release or development where they have no intention of using an "always online" requirement. So it can't just be about DRM or they'd be using it for lots of titles.
[...]
Remember that SimCity hasn't shipped a real title in 9 years. They have to try and bring in new blood, and new blood love online metagaming stuff for all their games.
They could change that.

Also maxis is now mostly a studio that pumps out Sims expansions. I think they are up to over 20 of them for sims 3. They just came out with another couple, some deluxe katie parry something or other.
Drezden wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 12:53:
I'm sorry for people who live in the middle of nowhere but it's also not my problem.
And those also aren't the only people who might have issue with always online DRM or requirements.

For instance, when ubi's always on authentication servers go down for more than a few seconds (which seems to happen for DAYS on end whenever they do a new title with it), then EVERYONE can't play, even those with the best internet connections in the heart of a big city.

Also, just because one lives in the middle of a big city, doesn't mean their internet connection is automatically the most reliable.

As well, big city dwellers are more likely to need to take a train or subway to get to work or other places, and those don't always have the most reliable access to internet either. Shouldn't we all be trying to take mass transit more often?

At the very least, the 1st factor could impact you, even if the others don't.

This comment was edited on Mar 29, 2012, 00:14.
 
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75. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 21:57 creatorswhim
 
TurdFergasun wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 18:53:

what conclusion would you arrive at if you spent/wasted a 1/4 of your budget on these stupid measures, and your game was pirated 10x more than if you hadn't?

I really don't understand what you're trying to say. Are you thinking that playing a unlicensed copy of their game makes them stay awake nights trying to think of a way to please you?

I was just saying: Don't be a stowaway on the EA zeppelin, just let them crash and burn.
 
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74. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 21:30 NKD
 
Bhruic wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 20:42:
Control and money. Also it doesn't seem baseless to consider the publishers history when they make current decisions. This way they can also try to stop those cdkey sale sites that have been cropping up and hitting Origin which only has regional restrictions on its actual storefront.

Same story as Diablo 3, protecting their online crap (DLC storefront) from piracy/cheating. That's the excuse anyway.

I don't buy it. EA has had much bigger games come out (and planning to come out) that have no hint of an "always on" connection requirement. SimCity is not a big enough franchise that they can count on previous purchasers to buy it regardless. They must have had some reason in mind for an always online requirement (assuming the news is accurate, so far the sites reporting it are the types to report every rumour they come across) beyond simply DRM.

As you said, EA has much bigger titles in various stages of release or development where they have no intention of using an "always online" requirement. So it can't just be about DRM or they'd be using it for lots of titles.

There isn't always some evil motive. They simply want to try expanding the game into some multiplayer aspects. They could, in theory, put in an offline mode I'm sure. But if the online component is significant enough they could feel that creating a crippled pure-offline mode that only a few die-hards will use would be a waste of resources.

Maybe that's a mistake, but I don't think there's some insidious ulterior motive. They are simply trying something new that may or may not be a good idea. Remember that SimCity hasn't shipped a real title in 9 years. They have to try and bring in new blood, and new blood love online metagaming stuff for all their games.
 
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73. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 21:01 Dmitri_M
 
Dades wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 20:46:
Did anyone really want or need multiplayer for this? What an unfortunate waste.

Personally, MP equals stress due to my need to be competitive.

Simcity is the sort of game you play to unwind. Really doesn't need MP.
 
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72. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 20:46 Dades
 
Did anyone really want or need multiplayer for this? What an unfortunate waste.  
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71. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 20:44 Sepharo
 
I was actually looking forward to what appeared to be a more traditional SimCity but alas I'm not going to be forced online for a game I intend to play SP.

SimCity, meet StarCraft 2 and Diablo 3.
 
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70. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 20:42 Bhruic
 
Control and money. Also it doesn't seem baseless to consider the publishers history when they make current decisions. This way they can also try to stop those cdkey sale sites that have been cropping up and hitting Origin which only has regional restrictions on its actual storefront.

Same story as Diablo 3, protecting their online crap (DLC storefront) from piracy/cheating. That's the excuse anyway.

I don't buy it. EA has had much bigger games come out (and planning to come out) that have no hint of an "always on" connection requirement. SimCity is not a big enough franchise that they can count on previous purchasers to buy it regardless. They must have had some reason in mind for an always online requirement (assuming the news is accurate, so far the sites reporting it are the types to report every rumour they come across) beyond simply DRM.
 
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69. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 20:07 Kitkoan
 
Pretty much sounds like they are using their version of ubisoft always online drm but trying to give a online function or two to hide that it is exactly that, always online drm. This is one of the reasons I won't buy Diablo 3, always online drm trying to hide as something else. And for the one who suggested just naming it "world of..." doesn't work. You can easily tell when a game was made for offline and online gaming. Changing the name isn't what makes it an online or offline designed game.

And who also suggested that all games are going to be online only and we should just get with the times, I can't hear you over the how many straight weeks that Skyrim, an offline single player only game, has been in the what? To five selling games on Steam?
 
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68. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 19:17 deqer
 
I think the corporations are just going to say "our lack of vision is not the cause in the rise of piracy." and therefore simply piracy itself gets even more heat, and then nothing changes except for the fact of the rise in piracy, and thus the Mark of The Beast arrives in several years.
 
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67. Re: New SimCity Only Playable Online Mar 28, 2012, 18:53 TurdFergasun
 
creatorswhim wrote on Mar 28, 2012, 18:47:

Why bother? just treat anything EA makes as poison from now on, and you'll still have too many games to play in one lifetime.

cause if you do that they'll think these dirty tactics are working, and continue hiring these visionless dickbags who lead projects into these woefully stupid positions. i want them to keep trying to sqeeze and squeeze until they have nothing left in their hands but their own blood. poor sales never seem to register as poor product quality with this industry. they need to be brought to heel.

what conclusion would you arrive at if you spent/wasted a 1/4 of your budget on these stupid measures, and your game was pirated 10x more than if you hadn't?
 
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