If you’re one to follow gaming news, you probably know by now that the new Simcity game is suffering from a few problems. I recommend you check out this article from Rock Paper Shotgun and follow the links to get the full picture. If you’d rather have the short version, the game doesn’t have the same depth as the others, there’s queues up to 3 hours to play what really should be a single player game and there’s pay-to-win cash shop items. And look! Removing features to make the game playable!
Why is this happening? It’s real simple. EA is more interested in figuring out how to monetize their games than in actually making the game. They realize they have to give a game to get you to spend money in the first place but really it’s all a savant calculation about how best to maximise the cash intake. People love to draw parallels between the game industry and Hollywood’s film industry and it does fit well here. Studios have figured out some time ago the formula to make quick, easy, profitable movies and every summer we get a few of those movies. Lots of explosions, a bit of sex and they get our 15 dollars. By the way, the “sexy” scene is found at exactly half the movie run time and there’s something big happening from 10:00 to 15:00 so you forget to get a refund before the 15 minutes mark.
So continuing with the Hollywood comparison, there’s also a limit on how bad a big budget movie can be. The film industry history is littered with the corpse of companies that got too greedy and made one too many awful blockbuster movie. It’s a lesson I hope happens to EA. I hate to say this because there are people careers in play here but seriously… what is happening right now with Simcity is outright customer robbery and this needs to be punished. We need to show EA, and the rest of the game industry, that’s there’s a limit to how greedy they can get. That we do expect a working game at some point and that playing a game shouldn’t be about spending money all the time.
So yeah I’m ranting. But I can’t believe I’m the only one who’s outraged by how EA is conducting business at this moment.