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Op Ed

games.on.net - SimCityís launch woes: Another nail in the DRM coffin, a red flag for games reviewers.
Many games sites, including this one, were offered access to a review event where SimCity could be played in a controlled environment prior to launch. Many sites (although not this one, for reasons detailed here) published their reviews based on these events or, in some cases, on additional playtime on specific dedicated review servers. Some sites waited, played on the live servers ó or tried to! ó and then published their reviews. Thatís fine ó after all, what other options are there?

High-profile site Polygon initially gave the game a glowing 9.5 out of 10. Then, they knocked it down to 8. Then, they knocked it down to 4. Thereís a collective gasp from the crowd. A four out of ten! Thatís a genuinely bad score! That ainít no seven.

No. Itís not. And it doesnít matter, because Metacritic ó which is the only reason publishers actually care about review scores ó never alters a score, once itís been published. So the Metacritic entry for SimCity from Polygon still stands at Ď95í. In fact, according to Metacritic, the critical consensus is sitting at a nice, healthy, 81. The servers could catch fire tomorrow, EA could shut down the servers, fire everyone at Maxis and flood the entire office with venomous snakes, and the Metacritic score would remain unchanged forever. Bonuses for everybody! Or not, as the case may be.

Meanwhile, the average user score is 1.7. Out of ten. Is anybody surprised?

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12. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 11:19 Creston
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:31:
InBlack wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:29:
I wonder what the game is really like though, even those glowing 9.5 reviews are very suspect. My bet is that even if the game was performing 100% as advertised it would still be a buggy mess, with artificial limits on size and terrible AI....

Eurogamer Sweden gave it a 100%, a perfect score, calling it the best game ever made. And people still wonder why nobody thinks gaming journalism is honest anymore.

Yeah, I called those fucking toolbags out on the first day. I guess EA spends a lot of ad money in Sweden. There was another Swedish pos review site that gave it a 95.

Anyway, monkeys will keep buying this shit, and publishers will keep fucking them over, because, well, they're monkeys! It's not like they're clever enough to understand that, hey, maybe I should refuse to be treated like shit by EA and its ilk.

Just keep on lapping up that EA shit, monkeys! You do yourselves proud. Who knows, maybe five years from now, EA will make you one of their shills! Then you too can go on forums everywhere and proclaim that it's ridiculous that people hate EA for this sort of thing.

Creston
 
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11. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 10:31 Silicon Avatar
 
I'm kind of surprised game reviews are still even a thing.

I wait around for the buzz to come up from actual players before I put any money out anymore*. This helped me avoid Diablo 3 (and is pointing me in the direction of PoE). It helped me avoid ME3 too. Now it's helping me avoid Sim City.

Who needs a "pro" reviewer when anyone can look at screen shots and figure out the general consensus of real players via 3rd party forums like Blues?

* Caveat: I have different rules for Kickstarter.
 
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10. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 8, 2013, 10:09 HorrorScope
 
ASeven wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:14:
At this point I have to question why people bought SimCity in the first place because everyone knew this would happen.

I'm not sure everyone knew that, but at least there were plenty of reasons to wait and see. We've been doing this for how long now? Did this game put out enough flags to wait and see? I'm still interested in the game, but it's long term, they'll have the servers settled, but then all the AI issues I'm hearing about. If that all sorts, it should be a fun game and by that time it will be available for $30.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:41 InBlack
 
Im guessing that a lot of people who loved Simcity pre-ordered this. On its IP strength alone (just like D3 & present company notwithsdanding). I would also hazzard a guess that a shitload of people/kids/young adults who dont have a clue what SimCity used to be, but played the SHIT out of the myrad of The Sims games also preordered this on the pure marketing hype and the very similar art direction this game took. (This is not an accident, these games look similar for a damn good reason)

I think they sold a shitload. They probably dont want to release numbers now because it would be embarrasing for them to admit that millions of people worlwide cant log in and even play the damn game.
 
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8. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:38 ASeven
 
Verno wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:34:
It's SimCity. It's a brand name that has the potential to sell millions, though of course it doesn't mean it has.

It's a brand name that hasn't been around in awhile and it's a different market these days. I'll reserve judgment on sales figures for awhile.

Well, so was Diablo. Though in all seriousness there were some ARPGs between D2 and D3 and really nothing like SimCity between SC4 and 5. The Anno series is an economic chain game, it isn't an evolving city game like SC. The only game close to SC that was released in the meantime was CitiesXL but that was a terrible game.
 
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7. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:34 Verno
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:29:
I wonder what the game is really like though, even those glowing 9.5 reviews are very suspect. My bet is that even if the game was performing 100% as advertised it would still be a buggy mess, with artificial limits on size and terrible AI....

Going by the threads at SA and PA from the few who have been able to play at all it's a decent little game but falls apart when you start hitting size limits. There's been a lot of talk of rollbacks, dropped/corrupted cities and other bugginess but it's impossible to sort out whats just bugs and whats server problems.

It's SimCity. It's a brand name that has the potential to sell millions, though of course it doesn't mean it has.

It's a brand name that hasn't been around in awhile and it's a different market these days. I'll reserve judgment on sales figures for awhile.
 
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6. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:31 ASeven
 
InBlack wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:29:
I wonder what the game is really like though, even those glowing 9.5 reviews are very suspect. My bet is that even if the game was performing 100% as advertised it would still be a buggy mess, with artificial limits on size and terrible AI....

Eurogamer Sweden gave it a 100%, a perfect score, calling it the best game ever made. And people still wonder why nobody thinks gaming journalism is honest anymore.
 
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5. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:29 ASeven
 
Verno wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 09:25:
Why do you assume a lot of people did? Everything we've seen from EA so far with this game doesn't exactly scream competency. For all we know they can barely handle 200,000 copies. I'm not assuming Sims 3 numbers or something.

Anyways I did vote with my wallet and I'm glad I waited.

It's SimCity. It's a brand name that has the potential to sell millions, though of course it doesn't mean it has.
 
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4. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:29 InBlack
 
I wonder what the game is really like though, even those glowing 9.5 reviews are very suspect. My bet is that even if the game was performing 100% as advertised it would still be a buggy mess, with artificial limits on size and terrible AI....  
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3. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:25 Verno
 
Why do you assume a lot of people did? Everything we've seen from EA so far with this game doesn't exactly scream competency. For all we know they can barely handle 200,000 copies. I'm not assuming Sims 3 numbers or something.

Anyways I did vote with my wallet and I'm glad I waited.
 
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2. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:14 ASeven
 
Gamespot - 5 out of 10.

At this point I have to question why people bought SimCity in the first place because everyone knew this would happen.

Congrats guys, you ensured more games will suffer from this when you voted with your wallet.
 
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1. Re: Op Ed Mar 8, 2013, 09:13 Verno
 
Even discounting review score bombing by trolls, that's still ludicrously low. I don't think anyone is surprised review sites rushed to judgment and I think the backpedaling is pretty obvious. The excuse that they published their review specifically about the controlled review experience is really stupid, people don't want your impressions of a controlled environment. They want a real world idea of how the product is going to perform.

I don't think anyone expects honesty out of the gaming press anymore though, EAs adbux simply command too much power in the industry.
 
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