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Op Ed

GamesIndustry International - We're not always online; games shouldn't be either.
Always-online approaches to singleplayer have an extraordinary appeal for game creators, but they are a terrible idea, exemplifying all of the worst characteristics lambasted by the "defective by design" argument. This is only magnified when the approach is applied to a much-loved franchise like Diablo or Sim City, where players have a completely reasonable expectation of singleplayer functionality which the developer has rashly chosen to ignore. "This will be fine for the majority of players," I'm sure they thought - and they're right, but only in a narrow sense. I could play Sim City most of the time, certainly, so the always- online component should be fine for me - but at many times when I'd like to play it (trains, flights, hotel rooms, Christmas at home, etc.) I won't be able to, and that fact looms large on any purchase decision. I'm in the majority whom EA probably consider to be unaffected by their always-online strategy, but they're wrong; always-online means I won't buy their game, and sadly, it also means that what looks like a genuinely excellent update of the franchise is doomed to be remembered for its aggressive unpleasantness towards players

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