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SimCity EULA to be Fixed

The SimCity Facebook Page has a follow up to the story we helped break on Sunday about worrisome language in the EULA for the upcoming SimCity reboot suggesting beta testers would lose access to all EA games for failing to report bugs in the beta (thanks Joe). Here's word:

Heads up, Mayors – it’s been brought to our attention that there’s been some confusion regarding the bug-reporting policy in the EA beta test agreement for SimCity.

Don’t worry – EA has never taken away access to a player’s games for failing to report a bug. In fact, we’re in the process of updating our agreement to make this point clear before the beta starts this Friday. If you have any more questions, read our FAQ: http://bit.ly/UCpuAA

Hope to see you in the beta Friday!

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33. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 27, 2013, 12:45 Dev
 
Slick wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 14:19:
aww, you got to it first by the way, did you know that EA feeds it's developers with the remains of other failed developers? it's true. they're evil. *roll eyes*
You may have said it as a joke, but its figuratively true. They buy studios and kill them off, and often bits of them get assigned to other devs at EA.
 
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32. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 20:08 Redmask
 
Panickd wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 19:02:
It actually is as easy as saying, "if you don't like it don't buy it". That's how companies take notice of whether people are happy with what they are doing. And you assume an awful lot about the design of this game without being privy to the developers thoughts.

I've worked in the industry and given the buying power lecture to many people. I'm sure you've said your piece about things that you aren't always happy about and other people get to do the same. The assumptions are common sense, none of the design elements require a persistent internet connection. It is no way convenient for a designer to put core functionality like production AI on the server side and I know that from experience. Following the producer on twitter even he seems exasperated by having to put some of this stuff into the game but his hands are tied. I would love to believe that these things were gameplay related but the actual features and evidence seems to point to the contrary.

Does that make SimCity an inherently bad game? I hope not, I actually like the series and want it to be the best game it could be but I think the business side of EA is yet again creeping into another classic. The past results haven't been very kind so I don't think I'm just being cynical here. I guess we will have to agree to disagree and let the game speak for itself.
 
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31. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 19:02 Panickd
 
Redmask wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 18:31:
Panickd wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 18:19:
Just because a developer has designed a game to operate in a way that you don't like doesn't mean that game is broken or in need of being "fixed". No one looks at a game designed to be an MMORPG (Elder Scrolls Online, anyone?) and says, "Always online? Fuck that shit! Remember when you used to be able to play RPGs by yourself? Ah the good old days!"

If you want to play SimCity by yourself SimCity 4 still works (as does SimCity 3000 and SimCity 2000, and hell, even the original with a bit of DOSbox hacking). This SimCity was designed to be played online. If you don't like it, don't buy it and don't play it.

They didn't design it to work with an internet connection, they required it to have an internet connection. There is a difference there, very little of the functionality in the game needs a persistent connection. In fact as far as I can tell none of it does. You don't need a persistent connection for leaderboards and you don't put things like AI on the server side when there is no benefit to doing so and then excuse that as a feature. Those were business decisions related to EA publishing the game, not design features. I would rather see a genuinely new and interesting SimCity game than just replaying my old library to death because I'm a big fan of the series.

So maybe for you as its as easy to say dont buy it then but some of us are pretty torn about these things because we really like the games. I probably won't buy it unless they change it but on the off chance it might make a difference I'll talk about it too.

It actually is as easy as saying, "if you don't like it don't buy it". That's how companies take notice of whether people are happy with what they are doing. People went through the same thing with Diablo III with some die hard fans absolutely bombing the Blizzard forums with how it sucked that it was always online and they would never buy another Blizzard game and what happened? Diablo III was the fastest selling PC game ever and is currently the fifth best selling PC game of all time. I doubt that could have happened if everyone who was pissing and moaning about it didn't buy it.

And you assume an awful lot about the design of this game without being privy to the developers thoughts. I'll grant you it could be that they are designing the game this way to pad the bottom line with microtransactions, but that's pretty cynical. It could also be that they genuinely wanted to try and come up with a way for people to play together and interact in a SimCity game that came down to more than sharing downloadable city layouts online and it was always planned as an online game whether it "needed" to be or not.

I am a huge fan of the series too. I played the original on a C64 and the SNES version was one of the first games I bought for that console. But I'm not going to sit around and bitch vehemently over a game I've never played. I would rather give the developers the benefit of the doubt and see what new ideas they can come up with. And if it turns out to be crap, I'll bitch about it then.
 
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30. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 18:31 Redmask
 
Panickd wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 18:19:
Just because a developer has designed a game to operate in a way that you don't like doesn't mean that game is broken or in need of being "fixed". No one looks at a game designed to be an MMORPG (Elder Scrolls Online, anyone?) and says, "Always online? Fuck that shit! Remember when you used to be able to play RPGs by yourself? Ah the good old days!"

If you want to play SimCity by yourself SimCity 4 still works (as does SimCity 3000 and SimCity 2000, and hell, even the original with a bit of DOSbox hacking). This SimCity was designed to be played online. If you don't like it, don't buy it and don't play it.

They didn't design it to work with an internet connection, they required it to have an internet connection. There is a difference there, very little of the functionality in the game needs a persistent connection. In fact as far as I can tell none of it does. You don't need a persistent connection for leaderboards and you don't put things like AI on the server side when there is no benefit to doing so and then excuse that as a feature. Those were business decisions related to EA publishing the game, not design features. I would rather see a genuinely new and interesting SimCity game than just replaying my old library to death because I'm a big fan of the series.

So maybe for you as its as easy to say dont buy it then but some of us are pretty torn about these things because we really like the games. I probably won't buy it unless they change it but on the off chance it might make a difference I'll talk about it too.
 
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29. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 18:19 Panickd
 
Redmask wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 17:58:
I would much rather they fix the game than the EULA, I really don't want to see SimCity shitted up with microtransactions and permanent connection crap. What happened to game sales just being enough? What happened to making a good product and standing behind it? The pursuit of money is all encompassing, there will never be enough, always another embarassing barrier to bust through.

I get it now, this is how old people feel when they talk about the good old days

Just because a developer has designed a game to operate in a way that you don't like doesn't mean that game is broken or in need of being "fixed". No one looks at a game designed to be an MMORPG (Elder Scrolls Online, anyone?) and says, "Always online? Fuck that shit! Remember when you used to be able to play RPGs by yourself? Ah the good old days!"

If you want to play SimCity by yourself SimCity 4 still works (as does SimCity 3000 and SimCity 2000, and hell, even the original with a bit of DOSbox hacking). This SimCity was designed to be played online. If you don't like it, don't buy it and don't play it.
 
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28. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 17:58 Redmask
 
I would much rather they fix the game than the EULA, I really don't want to see SimCity shitted up with microtransactions and permanent connection crap. What happened to game sales just being enough? What happened to making a good product and standing behind it? The pursuit of money is all encompassing, there will never be enough, always another embarassing barrier to bust through.

I get it now, this is how old people feel when they talk about the good old days
 
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27. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 17:54 RollinThundr
 
Cutter wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 16:38:
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:42:
Verno wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:22:
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:04:
You've been on BN long enough to know that any reason to whine and moan about EA's policies or practices, posters here will jump all over the chance.

That's actually the internet in general and EA's many shitty policies and practices over the years have given people plenty of reason.

While I don't disagree EA does deserve shit tossed their way for things, the constant stream of it, here especially, gets old after awhile.

Fucking lol. Do you ever actually listen to yourself? You do nothing but rant about everyone and everything. I gripe a lot but at least I do have positive shit to say from time to time.


Oh quit your whining and go hug a tree or something. Out of all of the regs who post here you bitch as much if not more than just about anyone. So really take your pretentious holier than thou bull shit and shove it.
 
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26. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 17:42 Julio
 
They haven't done it yet, doesn't mean they won't add it back in later. Don't be a beta tester for EA, its not worth the risk.  
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25. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 16:41 Cutter
 
Love this statement, it's indicative of their spin with this title. They try to make it sound as if EA said you'll get banned for failing to report bugs when they clearly said they'll ban you entirely for exploiting them. To parphrase Willard, the bullshit piles up so fast with this company you need wings to stay above it.
 
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24. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 16:38 Cutter
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:42:
Verno wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:22:
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:04:
You've been on BN long enough to know that any reason to whine and moan about EA's policies or practices, posters here will jump all over the chance.

That's actually the internet in general and EA's many shitty policies and practices over the years have given people plenty of reason.

While I don't disagree EA does deserve shit tossed their way for things, the constant stream of it, here especially, gets old after awhile.

Fucking lol. Do you ever actually listen to yourself? You do nothing but rant about everyone and everything. I gripe a lot but at least I do have positive shit to say from time to time.

 
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23. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 16:36 Flatline
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 09:41:
No. People on this board get worked up incredibly over EULAs. Sometimes with reason. Sometimes not. When they mention restricting access usually not. Here is how EULAs usually go:
Attorney, probably outside counsel, writes it.
Attorney, inside counsel, stamps it.
Developer gets a copy, says "yeah, whatever," ignores it.
It goes out.

Outside counsel is trying to make sure it can't get sued for something that happens, so it includes everything. It wants to make sure that no one that gets banned for exploiting a bug (something that's valid to ban for in a competitive multiplayer game), so they write it in a way that makes it very difficult for someone to argue.

There's never any intent to abuse this, but it's someone covering their ass. And it's fine that people push back to make sure it can never be abused, but the odds of this being EA trying to be abusive is pretty much nil. It's just attorneys being attorneys, and the reason they act that way is to prevent from being sued themselves.

It's like the whole Instagram EULA thing. Again, Nilay Patel on The Verge, probably the only person I trust in analyzing EULAs, says that the one the internet set fire to Instagram for was actually a better EULA than the original. It had MORE rights for users and fewer for Instagram. It also spelled things out in plain English. But the original EULA was more obtuse, and it was there in the first place rather than a change that people looked to compare, so it wasn't something anyone complained about. People complained about the new, easier to read, more user friendly one, so Instagram went back to the old one. The one that gives them more control over your pictures and allows them to pass that extra control on to advertisers.

Again, it was probably just overzealous attorneys, not Instagram being evil. And again, it's ok to make people fight their attorneys rather than rubber stamp. I just want to point out it's probably no one being evil.

Yeah in legal they call it "boilerplate". You should see my release of liability contract when I show up and do work on a system. I could take a leak into a live server and then smash it with a hammer repeatedly and my release of liability says I can't be touched for it. The language is so draconian that I had trouble getting some customers to sign it. The argument went something like:

"WTF? You could intentionally destroy my equipment and not be liable?"

"No, I have no intention of destroying your equipment. But if something breaks while I'm attempting repairs in good faith, you could sue me, accusing me of malicious intent. This gives me legal protection from that argument."

"WTF You're going to piss into my server aren't you?"

"Sigh."

So I had a lawyer change the wording around and removed the "intentional damages" references and had the waiver changed to "the undersigned agrees that all work to be done is done in good faith" or something along those lines and they sign happily.

Still, that being said, whatever you click to agree with on the EULA can at least make a stand in court (if not actually hold up in court). I think the response was perfectly appropriate. It's a contract that hadn't been entered into yet, and we, the potential signors, saw what we felt was an inappropriate clause in the contract, and voiced our opinion. And since the industry *only* listens to wharrgarbl, that's the appropriate response.
 
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22. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 16:31 J
 
Popcorn  
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21. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 15:43 wtf_man
 
Zero interest. They can take their "online only" design and shove it.  
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20. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 14:19 Slick
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 10:04:
Beamer wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 09:41:
No. People on this board get worked up incredibly over EULAs. Sometimes with reason. Sometimes not. When they mention restricting access usually not. Here is how EULAs usually go:
Attorney, probably outside counsel, writes it.
Attorney, inside counsel, stamps it.
Developer gets a copy, says "yeah, whatever," ignores it.
It goes out.

Outside counsel is trying to make sure it can't get sued for something that happens, so it includes everything. It wants to make sure that no one that gets banned for exploiting a bug (something that's valid to ban for in a competitive multiplayer game), so they write it in a way that makes it very difficult for someone to argue.

There's never any intent to abuse this, but it's someone covering their ass. And it's fine that people push back to make sure it can never be abused, but the odds of this being EA trying to be abusive is pretty much nil. It's just attorneys being attorneys, and the reason they act that way is to prevent from being sued themselves.

It's like the whole Instagram EULA thing. Again, Nilay Patel on The Verge, probably the only person I trust in analyzing EULAs, says that the one the internet set fire to Instagram for was actually a better EULA than the original. It had MORE rights for users and fewer for Instagram. It also spelled things out in plain English. But the original EULA was more obtuse, and it was there in the first place rather than a change that people looked to compare, so it wasn't something anyone complained about. People complained about the new, easier to read, more user friendly one, so Instagram went back to the old one. The one that gives them more control over your pictures and allows them to pass that extra control on to advertisers.

Again, it was probably just overzealous attorneys, not Instagram being evil. And again, it's ok to make people fight their attorneys rather than rubber stamp. I just want to point out it's probably no one being evil.

You've been on BN long enough to know that any reason to whine and moan about EA's policies or practices, posters here will jump all over the chance.

aww, you got to it first by the way, did you know that EA feeds it's developers with the remains of other failed developers? it's true. they're evil. *roll eyes*
 
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19. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 13:44 jdreyer
 
@ Beamer

I agree with your general sentiment, that EA wasn't being evil. I'm sure it was just the case of them thinking, "If a bunch of people find and exploit and use it to give their city $100m that would really create a game imbalance. Lawyer, be sure to put some language in the EULA to prevent that." It's just that they were careless with the language and didn't think through the consequences of wording something so vaguely, especially in the context of a beta.

But given EA's history, it's hard to blame people for overreacting or seeing something nefarious behind it.
 
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18. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 12:40 Verno
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 11:42:
I don't think I'm too far off from being spot on. Anytime there's a thread about EA shutting down online for 2+ year old titles and old sports games, people whine and cry. Take Two does this all the time sometimes even less than a year after a sports title has been out. Never a peep.

Maybe they just don't play Take-Two sports titles and have no idea. I don't know to say except I think you're wrong and the way you go about doing it is just going to upset people and get you on ignore lists. Posting in every EA related thread isn't going to change anyones mind, especially when you act so abrasive about it and never actually take into account what other people are saying. I've seen people giving you a detailed explanation and you keep posting as if every time is the first time and no one has ever weighed in. You yourself acknowledge that "EA deserves everything it gets" then a few sentences later ask why people do it and call people hypocrites.

How many publishers (all of em) use DRM, microtransactions and day one dlc? Barely a peep. When it's a post about EA. OMG EA IS THE EVIL BUTTHURT!

This has been exhaustively explained to you a dozen times by myself and other posters. EA does more of it, they do it to more brands/franchises and are generally in the news more, hence more upset people. When Activision fucks with Guitar Hero, people don't like it. When Activision cashwhores CoD, people don't like it and they talk about it. Activision just has less shit in its wheelhouse and is more of a console related company so people don't have as many things to actually talk about.

Put more simply, people disdain other publishers shitty actions too, there are just a lot less of them to mock. A person can literally write an essay on EAs missteps and poor consumer practices over the past decade. They control a massive chunk of the industry and never seem to really learn from their mistakes, yeah people complain about them. The overwhelming majority of the time it's totally warranted.

This comment was edited on Jan 23, 2013, 12:55.
 
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17. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 12:33 ASeven
 
People served some class action lawsuits at EA over Spore because of things of less importance than this. And the people won over EA.

The way publishers keep treating their customers like shit, it's only a matter of time until some well-financed gamers get fed up and repeat the process again.
 
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16. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 12:23 Dev
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 11:42:
Anytime there's a thread about EA shutting down online for 2+ year old titles and old sports games, people whine and cry.
Its not always 2+ year old titles. Sometimes its 1 year old titles.
 
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15. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 12:16 NewMaxx
 
RollinThundr wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 11:42:
Nah you're not really being fair about it. It's not a constant stream of complaints about the same old things, EA is just consistently in the news for this sort of thing. etc. etc.

Welcome to how most of the world treats the United States. What's that? We're held to a higher standard because of our place in the world and often act in hypocritical ways that immediately get condemned? These realities apply to EA, too - they're a massive publishing house that largely guides the gaming industry. It's the role of gamers to make sure they remember that.

The only two gaming companies larger are Nintendo and Activision-Blizzard, and you'll note that the latter gets a lot of play on Blue's News comments, too. However this is only because Blizzard is PC-centric, while Nintendo is not. Therefore, the largest singular PC gaming publisher is EA - so it's pretty reasonable to expect they'd be the most-commented brand on the site.

Not that I disagree with you: EA gets a lot of hate, and I've previously backed them up on lawsuit/EULA moves that got slammed on this site but that are pretty reasonable in the industry (including the fact that other, more beloved publishers also instituted identical terms).

However, I must say that when I went to sign up for this beta several days ago, and as a lover of law, I was sure to read the application agreement, and I ended up NOT signing up because of this AND OTHER clauses that are quite clearly written without due diligence/oversight.

This comment was edited on Jan 23, 2013, 12:22.
 
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14. Re: SimCity EULA to be Fixed Jan 23, 2013, 11:43 theyarecomingforyou
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 09:41:
No. People on this board get worked up incredibly over EULAs. Sometimes with reason. Sometimes not. When they mention restricting access usually not. Here is how EULAs usually go:
Attorney, probably outside counsel, writes it.
Attorney, inside counsel, stamps it.
Developer gets a copy, says "yeah, whatever," ignores it.
It goes out.

Outside counsel is trying to make sure it can't get sued for something that happens, so it includes everything. It wants to make sure that no one that gets banned for exploiting a bug (something that's valid to ban for in a competitive multiplayer game), so they write it in a way that makes it very difficult for someone to argue.

There's never any intent to abuse this, but it's someone covering their ass.
If people let it slide then it means there's potential for it to be abused at a later point. People are right to be outraged. It's one thing for companies to want to cover themselves - it's another entirely when they trample over the rights of users, which EA has a long history of doing.

I don't understand why people are so quick to defend a multi-billion dollar corporation stripping away the rights of customers.

Beamer wrote on Jan 23, 2013, 09:41:
It's like the whole Instagram EULA thing. Again, Nilay Patel on The Verge, probably the only person I trust in analyzing EULAs, says that the one the internet set fire to Instagram for was actually a better EULA than the original. It had MORE rights for users and fewer for Instagram. It also spelled things out in plain English. But the original EULA was more obtuse, and it was there in the first place rather than a change that people looked to compare, so it wasn't something anyone complained about. People complained about the new, easier to read, more user friendly one, so Instagram went back to the old one. The one that gives them more control over your pictures and allows them to pass that extra control on to advertisers.
It wasn't a better EULA - it was simply equally as shit.
 
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