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EA Will "Look Into" Offline SimCity; New Patch Released

EA has updated SimCity to version 1.4, and this forum post has the patch notes. Meanwhile, SimCity Update #2 from Lucy has the latest from Maxis on adding server capacity, apologizing for downtime invoked as original servers are taken offline one by one as part of an upgrade process. Finally, EA's SimCity account tweets about the possibility that they will eventually remove the online requirement for the new SimCity to earn back gamer's trust following its unsuccessful launch, though this won't be right away (thanks nin). Word is:

We have no intention of offlining SimCity any time soon but we'll look into that as part of our earning back your trust efforts.

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76. Re: EA Will Mar 12, 2013, 09:09 Verno
 
Beelzebud wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 16:47:
Verno wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 16:08:
Wait what? Where are you getting the 10k players thing from? I'm totally with you that it experienced a huge drop off (most games do naturally but Blizzard games pedigree was longevity and value) but that seems dubious. Is it that old XFire source? It's a good indicator but a poor value to use as an actual statistic.

I played D3. I go by what the in-game counter said. I su0ppose I should have said "at any time of the day, it averaged around 10k players."

For a game that sold over 6 million copes that is crap. Even if it was something like 240k, that is still a massive drop in players.

Those 10k figures are just for the battle.net hub you're in, think of each one as a big lobby. It's not a centralized thing anymore like with Diablo 2. There are dozens of them so the figure was probably more like 200-300k online.

That said I do totally agree the game experienced a massive drop off in player base as people got bored with its shallow mechanics.
 
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75. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 16:47 Beelzebud
 
Verno wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 16:08:
Wait what? Where are you getting the 10k players thing from? I'm totally with you that it experienced a huge drop off (most games do naturally but Blizzard games pedigree was longevity and value) but that seems dubious. Is it that old XFire source? It's a good indicator but a poor value to use as an actual statistic.

I played D3. I go by what the in-game counter said. I su0ppose I should have said "at any time of the day, it averaged around 10k players."

For a game that sold over 6 million copes that is crap. Even if it was something like 240k, that is still a massive drop in players.
 
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74. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 16:24 Beamer
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 16:21:
Whatever the figure is I am sure it is a big drop from what the sales numbers were, but do you think the publisher really care much about it?
I am sure Blizzard is and I am pretty sure Maxis isn't too happy about how this all turned out, but neither EA or Activision will give 2 shits about it. They got their money back from sales. I am sure they will find another title from the past they can resurrect and cash in on, then drive it in the ground.
They've been doing this for years.

Yes, I'm sure both are angry.
I am sure that there will be fallout at EA. They did not get their sales.
I am sure that, while there may not be fallout at Activision, they're angry, too. Diablo was the gift that kept giving and never went on sale. D2 was the same. These games sold well for years.
 
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73. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 16:21 SpectralMeat
 
Whatever the figure is I am sure it is a big drop from what the sales numbers were, but do you think the publisher really care much about it?
I am sure Blizzard is and I am pretty sure Maxis isn't too happy about how this all turned out, but neither EA or Activision will give 2 shits about it. They got their money back from sales. I am sure they will find another title from the past they can resurrect and cash in on, then drive it in the ground.
They've been doing this for years.
 
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72. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 16:17 Beamer
 
Verno wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 16:08:
Wait what? Where are you getting the 10k players thing from? I'm totally with you that it experienced a huge drop off (most games do naturally but Blizzard games pedigree was longevity and value) but that seems dubious. Is it that old XFire source? It's a good indicator but a poor value to use as an actual statistic.

Even that Xfire stat started at 130k and went down to 40k, so his "10k" is heavily flawed. If you extrapolate that out it would still be 2 million or so.

If you look at Xfire's WoW count, it's about twice it's D3 count. So that would say about 5 million.

Reality is we don't know, but we can guarantee it's over 10k.

 
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71. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 16:08 Verno
 
Wait what? Where are you getting the 10k players thing from? I'm totally with you that it experienced a huge drop off (most games do naturally but Blizzard games pedigree was longevity and value) but that seems dubious. Is it that old XFire source? It's a good indicator but a poor value to use as an actual statistic.  
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70. Re: Im not buy SimCity Online Mar 11, 2013, 15:52 Beelzebud
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 09:03:
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 08:33:
D3 was fail due to terrible itemization and the AH. Though the always on certainly doesn't help. You would think that these publishers would start getting the idea that no one wants forced always on for single player titles.

Diablo 3 sold over 6.3 million copies within the first week.
I am sure a lot of the publishers would love to have a failed title like that.

This right here is an example of the short sightedness that plauges the corporate world. Once upon a time, people built companies to stand the test of time.

6.3 million sales in the first week, was due to the popularity of the previous games. It didn't sell that many copies on its own merit. After the first month, there were less than 10k players. From 6.3 million in sales, to less than 10k players online. That isn't a success, unless you can't see beyond one financial quarter.

Diablo 3 damaged Blizzards reputation. I predict the next Diablo product will not sell 6.3 million units in one week.
 
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69. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 15:22 Beamer
 
Porn-O-Matic wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 13:30:
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.

The teeth gnashing came from two areas:

1) The argument that SC should never have been forced multiplayer. It screamed "casual" to some, right or wrong, and screamed "excuse to force DRM" to others, which seems more right

2) How terrible the launch was. I argued, Day 1, that maybe being more upfront could have remedied this some. A week later it's pretty clear that no amount of up-frontness could have helped that debacle. "This is 100% online and we'll have issues at launch" buys you 12-24 hours. Not 96+.
 
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68. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 14:05 Quboid
 
Sepharo wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 12:26:
Quboid wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 12:19:
Sepharo wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 18:10:
Quboid wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 17:58:
Yes, it was pretty dumb of me. I preordered before the DRM was made public I was aware of the DRM.

It's been known nearly since the announcement and certainly before pre-orders were available.

Possibly. I was aware that it had online features, which I took to mean you can put a screenshot of your city on Facebook or something like that. I didn't realise it was always-on until months after the pre-order. Perhaps I missed something.

A little less than a month after it was announced:
http://www.bluesnews.com/s/131125/new-simcity-only-playable-online

edit: Wait! You're the third damn post in that thread:
"Awwwwww what the fuck EA. Has it come to this? I was just defending you pricks. If this is true, I sincerely hope this utterly bombs and proves me wrong."

I wish you woulda kept that opinion.

Damn I remember that now. WTF. I really messed this all up. EA must be laughing their asses off at people like me

I vaguely remember reading that this had been dispelled but I've no idea where. Evidently it was wrong, if it even existed at all, or more likely I read it wrong. Me dun stoopid.

This comment was edited on Mar 11, 2013, 14:16.
 
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67. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 13:35 Verno
 
Porn-O-Matic wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 13:30:
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.

Err, it was advertised as an online experience though. They started into this months ago and people complained and then ignored all of the feedback.
 
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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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65. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 13:21 ASeven
 
Sepharo wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 12:26:
Quboid wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 12:19:
Sepharo wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 18:10:
Quboid wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 17:58:
Yes, it was pretty dumb of me. I preordered before the DRM was made public I was aware of the DRM.

It's been known nearly since the announcement and certainly before pre-orders were available.

Possibly. I was aware that it had online features, which I took to mean you can put a screenshot of your city on Facebook or something like that. I didn't realise it was always-on until months after the pre-order. Perhaps I missed something.

A little less than a month after it was announced:
http://www.bluesnews.com/s/131125/new-simcity-only-playable-online

edit: Wait! You're the third damn post in that thread:
"Awwwwww what the fuck EA. Has it come to this? I was just defending you pricks. If this is true, I sincerely hope this utterly bombs and proves me wrong."

I wish you woulda kept that opinion.

Take comfort that at least here on Blue a lot of us do stick to our word and don't buy the next crack drug game that has consumer-adverse features.
 
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64. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 13:17 nin
 
Sepharo wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 12:26:
Quboid wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 12:19:
Sepharo wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 18:10:
Quboid wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 17:58:
Yes, it was pretty dumb of me. I preordered before the DRM was made public I was aware of the DRM.

It's been known nearly since the announcement and certainly before pre-orders were available.

Possibly. I was aware that it had online features, which I took to mean you can put a screenshot of your city on Facebook or something like that. I didn't realise it was always-on until months after the pre-order. Perhaps I missed something.

A little less than a month after it was announced:
http://www.bluesnews.com/s/131125/new-simcity-only-playable-online

edit: Wait! You're the third damn post in that thread:
"Awwwwww what the fuck EA. Has it come to this? I was just defending you pricks. If this is true, I sincerely hope this utterly bombs and proves me wrong."

I wish you woulda kept that opinion.


Awwwwwkkkkkwwwwaaaarrrrdddd...

 
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63. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 12:26 Sepharo
 
Quboid wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 12:19:
Sepharo wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 18:10:
Quboid wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 17:58:
Yes, it was pretty dumb of me. I preordered before the DRM was made public I was aware of the DRM.

It's been known nearly since the announcement and certainly before pre-orders were available.

Possibly. I was aware that it had online features, which I took to mean you can put a screenshot of your city on Facebook or something like that. I didn't realise it was always-on until months after the pre-order. Perhaps I missed something.

A little less than a month after it was announced:
http://www.bluesnews.com/s/131125/new-simcity-only-playable-online

edit: Wait! You're the third damn post in that thread:
"Awwwwww what the fuck EA. Has it come to this? I was just defending you pricks. If this is true, I sincerely hope this utterly bombs and proves me wrong."

I wish you woulda kept that opinion.
 
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62. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 12:19 Quboid
 
Sepharo wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 18:10:
Quboid wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 17:58:
Dmitri_M wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 17:42:
Quboid wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 16:47:
There's enough dislike of the online requirement. Even when the anger settles, the hatred of any unnecessary always-on requirement in any game will keep this going.

I'm still annoyed that Anno 2070 has (had?) an always-on requirement. I passed on an Anno game for the first time. I think I heard they were patching the requirement out but I don't know if they delivered.

I'm currently in a queue to get onto my server. Shame, because SimSeveralSmallTowns is actually a really good game. Fix the traffic, fix the population:workers ratio and give us larger cities. For free.

You passed on Anno 2070 but bought this Simcity?

Gamers are funny.


Yes, it was pretty dumb of me. I preordered before the DRM was made public I was aware of the DRM.

It's been known nearly since the announcement and certainly before pre-orders were available.


Possibly. I was aware that it had online features, which I took to mean you can put a screenshot of your city on Facebook or something like that. I didn't realise it was always-on until months after the pre-order. Perhaps I missed something.
 
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61. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 10:23 Creston
 
Flo wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 02:39:
Too lazy to buy / implement some Azure or AWS, EA? This is 2013 - no excuse for that.

I have seen multiple rumors that tracing the SimCity data lead to the EC2 (ie, the Amazon cloud), while several others have said that it runs off Akamai's cloud service.

If either case is true (which I can't say for sure), then this isn't a matter of capacity or not being able to upgrade capacity quickly. (If you need 10000 more servers, one phonecall to Amazon takes care of that.) It's just that EA is slowly upgrading their capacity to try to get people to stop complaining with as minimal cost as possible.

Creston
 
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60. Re: EA Will Mar 11, 2013, 09:47 Kamakazie
 
This quote was taken a bit out of context.

The original question was:
"When SimCity servers are taken down in a few years, will an offline mode patch be distributed? Perhaps before then?"

The community manager's use of the word "offlining" seems to be directed at the question of taking the servers offline.
 
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59. Re: Im not buy SimCity Online Mar 11, 2013, 09:03 SpectralMeat
 
RollinThundr wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 08:33:
D3 was fail due to terrible itemization and the AH. Though the always on certainly doesn't help. You would think that these publishers would start getting the idea that no one wants forced always on for single player titles.

Diablo 3 sold over 6.3 million copies within the first week.
I am sure a lot of the publishers would love to have a failed title like that.
 
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58. Re: EA Will "Look Into" Offline SimCity; New Patch Released Mar 11, 2013, 08:40 yonder
 
I don't know what a "trust effort" is but EA way past something as simple as this in regards to earning it back.  
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57. Re: Im not buy SimCity Online Mar 11, 2013, 08:33 RollinThundr
 
Tim Collins wrote on Mar 11, 2013, 07:23:
d3 was fail because of this, this game is a fail because of this. Watch the dlc flood in lol......

D3 was fail due to terrible itemization and the AH. Though the always on certainly doesn't help. You would think that these publishers would start getting the idea that no one wants forced always on for single player titles.
 
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