March 13, 2013
EA Offering SimCity Players Free Game
In light of EA’s recent disastrous release of SimCity, free copies of EA published games are being offered to customers as compensation for such a crappy experience. This news comes as a surprise compared to EA’s statement that they would be keeping DRM and Micro-Transactions in every future release of any game that they publish. Casual gamers saw no reason to boil with rage, but gaming enthusiasts took to IGN with complaints and two-bit rants about EA’s apparent lack of care for the customer.
To be fair, we can all understand a publisher’s motives in trying to fight against piracy on the PC platform. Piracy is no to be taken lightly in the video games industry. In fact, Ubisoft announced last year that piracy alone accounted for over 90% of the losses in profits on their PC sector.
Be that as it may, the methods for profiting and keeping a company afloat have come off as disrespectful to the vocal population of gamers. It isn’t as simple as finding a business architecture that “works” for a company; gamers would like to know that they are respected. Such has not been the case with SimCity’s initial first week of release.
Angry gamers took to emails and gaming websites with complaints of server issues, extensive load times, and buggy glitches that rendered the game unplayable. What’s worse is that EA’s only answer to the server issue was that “a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta”.
This predicament visited them years ago when they released Battlefield 1943 for the Xbox Live and PSN arcade. For days, gamers could not get a single game booted. They made the same explanation as they have for SimCity, when the answer to their issues is quite simple; do a better job at predictions of the population. It would be miles high better for the consumer to have more servers than needed than to not have enough with dozens of bugs and glitches.
Other issues with the game involve EA’s strategy of always-online connectivity for access to the game. What this means is that pirates will have a difficult time snagging a copy of SimCity, but will also mean that anyone with a less than impressive connection will have a very hard time with SimCity. The solution seems right in theory, but in reality, poses a real pain in the ass for gamers who have legitimately paid with their hard earned money.
Good job, EA.
Their strategy of the cheapest, safest route in lieu of the most profitable business route is beginning to show in the most obvious of ways. I couldn’t ask them to make a move that would deliberately jeopardize their company. However, I’m much more inclined to say that the respect of gamers is imperative in order to maintain a mutually respectful relationship between consumer and manufacturer.
Regardless, if you’re a SimCity owner and find yourself pissed off at EA’s recent debacle, you can send in an email to EA right now for your choice of a free EA game to purchase from Origin.
Power to the complainers, I suppose.
Image Credit: Electronic Arts