Redditor Points Out The Flaws In SimCity's Online-Only DRM, Gets Banned By EA For His Troubles [UPDATED]

from the well,-that's-ONE-way-to-handle-a-legitimate-complaint dept

UPDATE:

According to EA's representatives, this ban was the unfortunate result of a gitch in their system which banned several members who had opted out of receiving email from EA. Full response posted below:
Hi Puppier,
I made a post in reply on both imgur and your reddit post, but I just wanted you to know that we've lifted your ban on AHQ. As you know, the system is sending out a lot of emails and it looks like you opted out of receiving mails from us, which for some reason is banning users. There's a few posts on it, for example here http://answers.ea.com/t5/Technical-Problems/Problem-with-Answer-HQ-banned-because-I-tried-to-stop-getting/m-p/419214/highlight/true#M1430. It's not the biggest thread, but it's the first I could get to.

The team is working to fix the bug, but in the interim I actually have one member sitting scanning our logs for anyone that opts out, so we can unban them as quickly as possible.

Apologies again - as you mentioned. There's a lot of similar feedback to yours that hasn't been removed from the forums and the authors banned.

Feel free to give me a shout with any other feedback you have. I'll personally make sure it gets to the right people to make up for the annoyance.

Cheers,
Chris.
 

Electronic Arts makes some very popular games and some very respected games, but for the past few years, it's been finding itself at the top of Consumerist's annual "Worst Company in America" list. And for good reason.

A few weeks back, we discussed EA's upcoming SimCity game, which is going to be crippled by an always-on DRM scheme masquerading as online multiplayer. Some unsuspecting SimCity developers fired up an AMA (Ask Me Anything), only to find themselves trying in vain to defend a system that maintains your save state online, rather than locally. In addition to "stopping" piracy, this "feature" helps "extend gameplay" by forcing you to redo your moves should sunspots or whatever occur. The Redditors, needless to say, ate them alive and sent their remains back with a message for their bosses: drop the DRM or you won't be seeing our money.

EA, of course, cares not for little things like angry potential customers or, for that matter, being a company people trust and respect. For every step forward, it has taken giant leaps backwards. Just recently, it held a closed beta to do some last-minute bug testing on the new SimCity. All well and good, except that it threatened to ban users from all EA games should they fail to report a bug.
“It is understood and agreed that, as part of your participation in the Beta Program, it is your responsibility to report all known bugs, abuse of ‘bugs’, ‘undocumented features’ or other defects and problems related to the Game and Beta Software to EA as soon as they are found (‘Bugs’). If you know about a Bug or have heard about a Bug and fail to report the Bug to EA, we reserve the right to treat you no differently from someone who abuses the Bug. You acknowledge that EA reserve the right to lock anyone caught abusing a Bug out of all EA products.”
This went over about as well as any banhammer reliant on proving a negative -- the uproar began moments thereafter, leading EA to walk back this threat within 24 hours. EA released this incredulous, self-serving statement that basically said it was shocked (shocked!) that anyone would suggest it would perma-ban its potential customers.
“We have never taken away access to a player’s games for not reporting a bug, and quite simply it’s not something we would ever do… The clause in the EA Beta Agreement for the SimCity beta was intended to prohibit players from using known exploits to their advantage. However, the language as included is too broad. We are now updating the Beta Agreement to remove this point.”
Uh-huh. Nothing you would ever do now that you've been caught.

But EA's not done wielding the banhammer, as one Redditor attempting to login to the beta discovered over the weekend. After waiting over three hours for the software to authenticate, he posted a very valid, very tame and very constructive bit of criticism to their forums. (Original post via Google cache here.)
Back during the Steam Summer Sale, Ubisoft's always-online DRM servers encounter countless errors the inhibited people from playing the game (Story). This is one of several issues game publishers have suffered after having always-online DRM (other than the general player irritation). Although it is annoying that we have to have multiplayer and be online for a single-player game, technical issues also arise, because servers will, inevitably go down at some point.

Frankly, I wouldn't mind being always online if it weren't for all the technical complications, I have purchased the game and as long as I can play it, I'm good. But that is not the case. Instead we wait through countless errors and server delays in order to play the game. If these kind of issues exist during a closed beta, imagine the delays during the actual launch and the days after. Blizzard suffered the same fate after the launch of a Diablo 3 patch (Story).

The repercussions of this? Bad ratings. Although Diablo 3 received generally favorable critic scores, the players rated it at only 3.8/10 (Source). Although you will of course, have buyers, there is always someone dedicated enough to play a game, no matter the costs, bad ratings will turn away even the most dedicated players. And if the issues seen in the closed Beta servers (I've been waiting 45 minutes to log in already and others have been waiting much longer) remain during the official launch, the ratings will undoubtedly suffer. Although I have always been a huge SimCity fan, I am beginning to question whether I will buy this game, and as a result these ratings will decide whether myself and many others will spend our money on SimCity.

As I said, I would be able to tolerate SimCity's always-online DRM if it worked. But from the way it looks right now, it doesn't. If you are not willing to pour enough money into getting large amounts of log in and authentication servers, please remove the always online or add a way for us to play offline in only-offline cities. Other wise, you will turn away large groups of buyers and also large amounts of money.

Although you are trying to prevent piracy, which is something I am firmly am against (piracy), you have caught normal and legal players in the crossfire. The easiest (and best) way to prevent piracy is make a better game. If you make the game accessible and easier to play, you will attract more people into purchasing it. If you don't, you will turn away players and give people "reasons" to pirate your games. I am willing to spend money on SimCity if it is good, many others feel the same way. Don't ruin our dedication by putting us in the crossfire of your "war on piracy".

If you get your authentications servers not simply adequate, but also above and beyond what is necessary, more and more players will buy and enjoy your game. However you must also weigh the benefits. Even if you make a small amount of extra money by instituting an always-online policy, you will have to keep spending money to keep these authentication servers up. This may, in the long run, negate the amount of money you gained from the policy. So make sure you are ready to have servers and keep servers, otherwise you will be in for a lot of trouble.

Thank you,
Puppier
To most people, this would seem like a valid complaint that makes several good points. One, sacrificing your customer base on the altar of piracy prevention seldom makes sense, especially considering the pirated version will be free of all the issues plaguing the paying players. Two, if you can't balance server loads on a closed beta, how on earth are you planning to handle launch day? Considering SimCity will be online only, you'd think EA would have its server issues at a minimum. Paying customers aren't going to be very happy with a $50-60 piece of software that does nothing more than attempt to authenticate for hours on end. All in all, a thoughtful post that highlights what exactly is wrong with the DRM EA has built into the software.

Here's EA's reply. No email. No answer in the forums. Just this.
 


(In case you can't read the fine print, it says "We're sorry, but you have been banned from using this site.")

If EA's wondering how it could have outmaneuvered Bank of America in a race to the bottom, reputation-wise, it needs look no further than this. When an entertainment company is chosen by 64% of 250,000 voters as being worse than an entity that doubled its customers' interest rates for no apparent reason and allegedly cost taxpayers more than $1 billion when it sold toxic mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, there's a serious flaw in that company's relationship with its customers.

Callous actions like this only serve to further cement EA's reputation as one of the worst companies in America. Legitimate complaints should never result in banning. Even if EA isn't interested in hearing the downside of its "always-on" DRM, it should at least have the broad shoulders to take the criticism without behaving like thin-skinned thug.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    silverscarcat (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:29am

    And this is why....

    I never buy anything from EA.

    I don't pirate their stuff either.

    I just find that their stuff is subpar over-all.

     

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      Simon, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:50am

      Re: And this is why....

      Well they certainly have, what most consider, some AAA titles, but nothing that I can't live without given the myriad of other distractions in today's world. I too skip their stuff.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:24am

        Re: Re: And this is why....

        I've been trying this thing where I go outside and/or interact with other people from time to time. Thus far, it's been working fairly well.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:34am

          Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

          Do you tell that to everybody who reads, watches TV or movies and/or does other things inside as their hobbies, or is this scorn only reserved for gamers?

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

            I don't think you quite understand what I'm saying. I've been a gamer for a number of years, I've just refrained from buying EA and Ubisoft titles as of late, and I've been finding going outside more often and interacting with people more often to be more than adequate replacements for buying the next big polished turd from a major studio.

            So yes? No? I do all those things, so I'm not really sure what your point is, unless it's to simply get pissy over nothing.

             

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              ClarkeyBalboa, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:13am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

              I also boycott EA and Ubisoft. Neither of those companies deserves my money or attention, no matter how great a game they publish.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:36am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

                It really hurt to pass up Mass Effect 3.

                 

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                  ChrisB (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:07am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

                  Mass Effect 3 was garbage. It had the most trite, politically correct, idiotic ending of a video game I've seen in a while. ME1 and ME2 were brilliant. They had some of the best sci-fi ever created. The physics was solid. The ME2 Lazarus story line, where you essentially are a pawn for a rich racist corporation, was awesome. ME3 burned all that development for eco-bullsh!t ending. Plus, they had 1st purchaser codes for the PS3 version. It has been difficult, but I have not bought any EA games since then. Which sucks, because I know some of the guys who work at Bioware.

                   

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                    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:49pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

                    "Mass Effect 3 was garbage."

                    Ok...WHAT!?!?!? There were certain aspects of ME3 that were bad (slightly different video as a reward for all those gained assets?!?!?), and the ending sure as hell could have been done better, but to say the game was garbage as a whole is just silly. It was a hell of a game right up to the last ten minutes. Admittedly that's disappointing, but it's only disappointing because everything up until that point was so GOOD.

                    ME1 has it's flaws too. Too many vehicle missions for starters. Vehicles that blow for seconds. An aiming system that felt horribly inaccurate. And ME2 had flaws, like a boringly stupid mineral collection mini-"game", an extreme lack of Ashley (no one can tell me she shouldn't have been a playable character in all 3 games), and the introduction of one of the most terribly named characters in the history of SciFi (The "Illusive Man"? Fuck, just call him Scary McPowerPants or something....).

                    I'd say of the 3 games, ME1 is the worst of them, in fact....

                     

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                      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:20pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

                      Mass Effect was better when it was called Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

                       

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              PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:46am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

              "So yes? No? I do all those things, so I'm not really sure what your point is, unless it's to simply get pissy over nothing."

              You're making an extremely condescending comment that seems to assume that you either game or go outside, a false dichotomy usually pushed by people who think that insular 12 year olds are the major gaming audience.

              I was just wondering if the person who opts to watch a few hours of crappy soap operas gets the same treatment from you as the person who chooses gaming as their platform. If you are actually a gamer, maybe you'd understand that both or options that a person can exercise at the same time, and that there's other gaming options to whatever EA and Ubisoft happen to be pushing. Your tone informed my assumption about your motive, and I apologise if it was incorrect.

               

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            Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

            defensive much?

             

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:34am

          Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

          I hear the resolution is fantastic...

           

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          Jeff (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:55am

          Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

          The points awarded for quest completion leave a lot to be desired... been doing quests for 40 odd years, and still have yet to level up...

           

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            Zos (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

            the drop rates suck, and i'm not wild about the grindiness.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:20am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

              You have to pay, that's how they get you. You can't just use the Free-To-Play content. If you're willing to give out your credit card number to anyone who asks, you can level up VERY fast, with relatively little grinding. Just don't lurk in one place too long.

               

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:54am

      Re: And this is why....

      The problem lies with a management unit that's more dysfunctional than the Simpsons on acid, and about half as coherent as a ranting Homer on acid.

       

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      Jesse (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:55am

      Re: And this is why....

      Stuff like this makes me want to go out of my way to pirate their stuff, even if it's not good or not my taste.

       

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        ClarkeyBalboa, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:15am

        Re: Re: And this is why....

        Pirating their content just adds to their ammunition that pirates are ruining their business and need to be thwarted with DRM.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:27am

          Re: Re: Re: And this is why....

          Which will, in turn, cause them to ramp up DRM and further hasten their decline.

          Sounds like a win, win.

           

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      weneedhelp (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:24am

      Re: And this is why....

       

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      Aaron, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:02pm

      Re: And this is why....

      Tell him about it, please: john.riccitiello@ea.com

       

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    arcan, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:52am

    i have been banned from origin 4 times already for not allowing it to search through my system...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:54am

    Most of the older people I know gave me the advice "Don't do business with Bank of America."

    I've actually heard "Don't buy anything from EA" even more often than that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:54am

    That's great and all, but he got unbanned yesterday. Credit to a bug with the opt-out e-mail option, apparently.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/17e1ap/result_of_my_previous_ea_ahq_ban_post/

     

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      silverscarcat (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:59am

      *Claps*

      Good for EA.

      If they keep this up, they might actually get out of the dog house.

       

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      jupiterkansas (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:02am

      Re:

      FALSE ALARM!

       

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      Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:10am

      Re:

      Instead of a considered decision to ban someone for criticism, they have a system (buggy or not) that can automatically ban someone because they have chosen not to be spammed?

      This is somehow better?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:34am

        Re: Re:

        They also can ban you for not letting their Origin system scan your computer...

         

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        Ninja (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:10am

        Re: Re:

        My guess is that some (brilliant) employee saw the backlash coming and managed to blame a glitch that (probably) never existed.

        Food for thought.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 6:30am

        Re: Re:

        Could'nt agree with you more
        Actions like these will be, what people will look out for, when thinking if a company cares more for profit then providing the best service or product.Get with the free market already, seems a natural fit for the internet

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 6:33am

          Re: Re: Re:

          When i say "seems", i mean, bloody do it or lose my money.
          Theres a contract for you, one id be happy to sign. Not really, the only contract worth a damn is the bill of rights and constitution

           

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      anonymouse, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:11am

      Re:

      Nice how once the attention is gained on a very popular site and there are many many comments about people deciding that they will not buy the game they suddenly come up with a reason it happened that was not their fault but the systems, LOL.,in fact this points to their being more problems with their system.

      This guy really does give valid reasons not to buy their games, for one if i put the game onto my computer and it does not work in 5 years time due to the servers being taken down, or if they go bankrupt in a years time what is the recourse to get your money back for a game you have paid for.

      I suspect a lot of these companies that use drm are looking forward to very bad times when customers start demanding refunds for games that they cannot play.

      DRM does not even stop the pirates, it is just another challenge that they manage to overcome within days of games being released.The only people that suffer from this is the company because now they have to continually pay for a server to be up, not only do they have to pay for the servers and the bandwidth used but also for staff to fix any problems and staff to monitor the system for people causing problems, but the biggest losers are the game players who will most definitely have times where they are not able to play games they purchased.
      Happily for the customers more and more people are not buying these drm games and are actually boycotting the companies that use it as a means to very slightly inconvenience pirates.
      I for one am tempted to pirate the game just to show i can even though i have absolutely no plans on ever playing the game.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:14am

      Re:

      "As you know, the system is sending out a lot of emails and it looks like you opted out of receiving mails from us, which for some reason is banning users."

      Awesome, so instead of a deliberate ban for pointing out problems, their system is in fact so buggy that the notification system they use to communicate with testers is inadvertently banning them. That... doesn't really inspire confidence that the end game will work properly given that many of the "bugs" in issue are there by design...

       

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        silverscarcat (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re:

        Still, at least they apologized for it.

        Who knows? Maybe some malicious programming got into the system...

        Oh wait, sorry, that's just the DRM being DRM again.

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re:

        A few friends of mine once referred to EA as "Masochistic Cthulhu". IT seems highly appropriate.

         

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      Varsil (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:26am

      Re:

      Would you like to invest in a bridge? Perhaps one of our nation's monuments? Some swampland ripe for development?

      These and many other "opportunities" await you if you're credulous enough to believe EA's explanation for the ban.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re:

        Never said I believed it, nor did I imply such. It's not so unbelievable if there's an automated ban system in place, though (and there are legitimate reasons to have an automated system in place).

        The important question isn't whether the bug is credible so much as why an automated ban system is associated with an opt-out e-mail system in the first place. If it is, in fact, a bug, then it gets fixed (theoretically) and the ridiculous bans stop (also theoretical).

        But you go ahead and keep making assumptions since you're just so damn good at them.

         

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        Dreampod, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:56am

        Re: Re:

        Gimme a break and take off the tinfoil hat. EA had an article up on their support site the day before he posted his criticism explaining that they were having issues with false bans on players who opted out of the email notifications. EA is a very problematic company but it isn't a mustache twirling cartoon villain. Given the kinds of much harsher and rude criticism of their products that is left up, I'm inclined to believe their explanation particularly since the individual involved feels that it is legitimate.

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      Bull. EA just noticed the fallout and tried to cover their ass.

       

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:06pm

      Re:

      Post has been updated. Thanks for the tip.

       

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      Jesse (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:39pm

      Re:

      Doesn't really change anything. Their reputation is so bad that everyone immediately assumes it was intentional and probably a good number of people think it's a lie.

      No benefit of the doubt to horrible companies.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:57am

    DRM-stupidity...just when you thought it couldn't get worse. Maybe EA should team up with Razermouse - the company that created the gamemouse that had to stay online too.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:06am

      Re:

      There is no company called 'Razermouse'. The mice developed by Razer didn't have to stay online. They needed to phone home at startup, and even that has been adressed (alas, only half-heartedly). Not that that makes it better in any way, but at least it's more accurate.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:42pm

        Re: Re:

        Razer's synapse 2.0 is no different than your graphics card driver, it just consolidates all razer products into one program. Dunno wtf you're taking about with drm. If you go offline your mouse doesn't suddenly stop working.

         

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      steve, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:46pm

      Re:

      lol is that serious? a mouse that had to be connected to the internet to work?

       

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        Dreampod, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 1:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Well no, he isn't actually correct on the details there but it was a particularly stupid idea on Razer's part. What they did was make it so that in order to use any of the mouses features you first needed to create a Razer account which required internet access. This basically meant that if you didn't have internet access that you just spent $120 dollars for something slightly less functional than the standard $5 two-button laser mouse. This was particularly egregious because there was no reason for it since the mouse has internal memory (and a bigass box they could have put a disk in) that would allow people to install and use those features on laptops or non-internet connected machines.

         

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    Coogan (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:00am

    Another classic PC title that EA has gobbled up and destroyed. I love the SimCity franchise. I bought and played all of them; in fact, due to lost discs and lost cd-keys, I've already bought SimCity 4 Deluxe four times. When they announced this always-online garbage, I dropped any hope of buying it. Of course, I said the same when the Diable III requirement was announced too, but ended up buying that. But any hope of buying SimCity now is gone.

    *sigh* Goodbye, SimCity.

    PS: I really wish EA would commission Bioware to do an Ultima series reboot. My favorite childhood franchise of all time. But there's always GOG

     

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      CoJeff, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      I agree. I've played all the sim cities and even sim earth. I never really had the time for The Sims. I loved playing Sim City but was very disappointed that EA has chosen to use always on DRM. I don't like to multiplayer all the time and don't want to share my cities. I should be able to play offline if I wanted to and save my cities on my own PC. I don't need EA to do this for me. Puppier has it right. It will cost EA more in the long run just to "try" to prevent piracy. I discouraged to hear that they couldn't even keep up with the beta for authenication so this gives me no hope. I guess if I want to play the game I'll find it on a pirate site. Its really a shame EA is doing this to one of my beloved games!!

       

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      CoJeff, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      I agree. I've played all the sim cities and even sim earth. I never really had the time for The Sims. I loved playing Sim City but was very disappointed that EA has chosen to use always on DRM. I don't like to multiplayer all the time and don't want to share my cities. I should be able to play offline if I wanted to and save my cities on my own PC. I don't need EA to do this for me. Puppier has it right. It will cost EA more in the long run just to "try" to prevent piracy. I discouraged to hear that they couldn't even keep up with the beta for authenication so this gives me no hope. I guess if I want to play the game I'll find it on a pirate site. Its really a shame EA is doing this to one of my beloved games!!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:56am

      Re:

      NO! EA WILL NOT BE PERMITTED TO CORRUPT THE LAST BIOWARE FRANCHISE!

       

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      Dread Pirate Rogers, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:36pm

      Re:

      As another fan who grew up on Ultima, and considers it, to this day, the greatest RPG (well, until EA ruined it back around the days of 8, and the less said about the buggy mess that was 9 the better) I have bad news for you. I don't know if you've seen this stupid Ultima iCrap game they're planning. Looks like another typical crap tablet game with Ultima slapped on, and they're trying to ride the coat tails of Ultima 4 and convince everyone that it's going to be great. I do firmly believe, though, that Bioware is the only RPG developer out there that could do the series justice. But its not going to happen, no, we're just going to get crappy tablet games. Sometimes I wish I had never played the far superior older games that I had, cause then the modern offerings that are dumbed down (sorry, meant "streamlined" of course) and made so even a mentally retarded, half-blind monkey could beat them. Fortunately we still have the indie scene, which has been producing some decent stuff. And doesn't want to screw you over like some big name companies I could mention.

       

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    PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:05am

    "We have never taken away access to a player’s games for not reporting a bug, and quite simply it’s not something we would ever do…"

    Yet, from the T&Cs quoted:

    "If you know about a Bug or have heard about a Bug and fail to report the Bug to EA, we reserve the right to treat you no differently from someone who abuses the Bug."

    That clearly states that people who fail to report a bug and those who abuse it will be treated the same. No wonder they have such a problem with Puppier's criticisms if they can't understand the clearly stated terms on their own game. True, they seem to have updated them since, but the shocking revelation that people not only read the T&Cs but spotted mistakes (at the most charitable description) doesn't speak well of how they reacted when their mistake was exposed.

    It's a shame, really. Unless they are actually abusing the bug, someone willing to enter a closed beta is by definition a fan who either genuinely wants to help out, or is willing to put up with numerous potential bugs and issues in return for early access. Not only is such a fan banned for pointing out the bleeding obvious, but it seems to be a sign that EA's staff have the same mindset as the trolls round here ("he mentioned piracy in a nuanced way, he must be a pirate!") rather than listen to what he says.

    Sadly, I have to hope that the game is a flop and that they're actually forced to face the fact that piracy wasn't the problem. I doubt that will happen, but I know at least one potential customer who's gone from "might buy" to "definitely won't buy" in the last 6 months...

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:09am

      Re:

      'Reserving the right to do sth' and 'actually doing it' are two different pairs of shoes. Not that I trust EA in that regard, but 'reserving the right to do sth' still leaves room for application of common sense before deciding wether or not to excercise said right.

      Of course, we're talking about EA here, soooo...

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:20am

        Re: Re:

        "'Reserving the right to do sth' and 'actually doing it' are two different pairs of shoes."

        Indeed, but that's not what they said. They claimed that "it’s not something we would ever do", despite the T&Cs specifically claiming they would. Whatever their actual intentions, they clearly stated it was a possibility before the backlash appeared.

         

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          Doug D (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:32am

          Re: Re: Re:

          They brought in Carmen Ortiz to write the T&C. She never plans to use that ability, just hold it over your head so the week-long ban from the beta test looks totally reasonable.

           

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re:

        'Reserving the right to do sth' and 'actually doing it' are two different pairs of shoes.


        Technically true, but only a fool would rely on that. Any right reserved is a right that is, sooner or later, exercised.

         

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        cjstg (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:24am

        Re: Re: do sth?

        no, you can't say we "reserve the right" to do something and then say "just kidding". by saying that you "reserve the right" indicates that (a) you have thought of it and (b) you have every intention of doing it under some set of circumstances. otherwise, there would be no reason to reserve the right.

         

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    Vidiot (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    It's like magic

    "We are now updating the Beta Agreement to remove this point.”

    Yup. I have a bell I need un-rung, too, if you have a minute.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:07am

    Non-Existent Customer Service

    As a similar experience. A while ago, on impulse I unthinkingly bought CIV5, only to find it to be DRM "crippled". The game gave the user NO option to obtain a refund if the terms-of-service were declined. Obviously, this raises a fundamental question; if DRM is meant to prevent unauthorized use, then the customer should be able to get a refund if they decline to accept the TOS since they can't use the product without the DRM.

    Anyway, I left my complaint on the ??? website, which remained unanswered by the company for several months. After some complaining, one staff person was honest enough to simply say (paraphrased): "my sympathies, but you are screwed.". Without going into a long discussion, my credit card company did give me a courtesy refund. Unfortunately, that does not teach companies such as EA a lesson in customer service.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:25am

      Re: Non-Existent Customer Service

      The publisher can't give you a refund for a game you bought retail?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:00am

        Re: Re: Non-Existent Customer Service

        No, they refused to give a refund for a game you bought digitally, because apparently, adding "on the Internet" automagically means that laws in favour of consumers don't apply.

         

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:57am

      Re: Non-Existent Customer Service

      if DRM is meant to prevent unauthorized use, then the customer should be able to get a refund if they decline to accept the TOS since they can't use the product without the DRM.


      I rather suspect that if you took this argument to small claims court, you'd win.

       

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      bond, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 2:10pm

      Re: Non-Existent Customer Service

      Civ5 isn't drm crippled. Run steam in offline mode. Double bonus: These days, if steam ever fails to connect to its servers, it automatically defaults to offline mode. I've never had trouble with Civ5.

       

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      Mike, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:15am

      Re: Non-Existent Customer Service

      I play CivV and am a big fan of the series. I've never heard about it being DRM crippled though. Out of curiosity, how is it crippled?

       

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    Shadow Dragon (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:12am

    Another Reason to buy games like Minecraft instead

    Another Reason to buy games like Minecraft instead.Minecraft has noDRM bullshit to began with.

     

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      jackn, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:39am

      Re: Another Reason to buy games like Minecraft instead

      Well, actually it does. A little.

       

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:17am

        Re: Re: Another Reason to buy games like Minecraft instead

        It works offline, it also can connect to servers if they have authentication disabled.

         

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      MrSlow (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 6:31pm

      Re: Another Reason to buy games like Minecraft instead

      Take Natural Selection 2 as another example: Open Source, dev tools included, constant communication between devs and fans for years, polls about upcoming features and balancing issues... the list goes on.

      Sorry if this comes across as spam! It's just that Unknown Worlds Entertainment sets an example for other companies to follow.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:20pm

      Re: Another Reason to buy games like Minecraft instead

      here here!

      or, better yet, contribute to an open source project that you like. Fund someone who wants to improve the commons instead of tear it down.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:20am

    you have caught normal and legal players in the crossfire.

    he is a beta tester, that IS NOT a NORMAL player, although a legal one.

    This guy went as far away from 'reporting bugs' that you possibly could get !!!

    It's advising EA about policy, and making big complains about login issues ON A FREAKING BETA SERVER.. Is it at all possible the beta test rig is being used to determine the required capacity of the various log-on server.

    Having a real time, MMORPG with all your specs and details held on in house servers and not as files on your home pc is standard practice. It simply stop people 'gaming' the system by working out how to modify and edit these files for your own games.

    WoW does the same thing, and has done so for years and years, but I don't see you crying about Blizard.

    Also in WoW even on live servers, not beta's if you are aware of a bug, and use that bug to gain advantage it is considered cheating, and you will get banned for a period of time.

    So make sure you are ready to have servers and keep servers, otherwise you will be in for a lot of trouble.


    is that reporting a bug ?? or a veiled threat ? or policy advice ?

    The easiest (and best) way to prevent piracy is make a better game. If you make the game accessible and easier to play, you will attract more people into purchasing it.

    Bug report, or policy advice ? or simply just the opinion of someone no one has ever heard of, whining about a beta version of an online game?

    As I said, I would be able to tolerate SimCity's always-online DRM if it worked. But from the way it looks right now, it doesn't

    Possibly because your ON A FREAKING BETA !!!!!! (policy advice or bug report ?? )

    Frankly, I wouldn't mind being always online if it weren't for all the technical complications, I have purchased the game and as long as I can play it, I'm good. But that is not the case. Instead we wait through countless errors and server delays in order to play the game.

    YOUR ON A FREAKING BETA.. IDIOT.....

    I would be able to tolerate SimCity's always-online DRM if it worked.

    YOUR ON A FUCKING BETA... IDIOT..

    Someone should explain to this moron what Beta testing MEANS FFS..

     

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      sehlat (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:29am

      Re:

      EXCUSE me, but anything that interferes with the enjoyment or playability of the game is, from the customer/user's stanpoint, a BUG. Nothing more, but nothing less, either.

      EA has screwed the pooch big time and he quite properly reported a bug.

       

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:31am

      Re:

      So, an AC blaming the victim, pretending that the inherent problems that do nothing to stop piracy don't exist, and launching flailing, childish attacks on someone having the audacity to point out real problems that cause lost sales? Must be another day with a y in it.

      "WoW does the same thing, and has done so for years and years, but I don't see you crying about Blizard."

      If you weren't so busy shouting at other people, maybe you'd understand what the differences between an online multiplayer subscription game and a (mostly) single player game would be that would cause there to be different reactions. Maybe something inherently wrong with an online connection being required for the former, but totally expected with the former.

      Sadly, you're either too stupid or ignorant to actually listen. At least you're not trying to pretend the person complaining is a pirate this time, I suppose...

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:35am

        Re: Re:

        "being required for the latter"

        FTFM...

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:43am

        Re: Re:

        Actually Sim City is designed to work kind of the same way Diablo III works. So while you are playing a single player game, you are still playing on the server - at least partially, not just your local machine.

        I'm not defending their choices, but it's not just always online DRM they're putting in place - there's actually features tied to the online side of things. I know we love to hate EA, but games are valued more and more for their multi-player side than their single player these days. It's just the direction the market is moving.

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:09am

          Re: Re: Re:

          it's not just always online DRM they're putting in place - there's actually features tied to the online side of things.


          The only reason they put features online is that it's part of how the DRM works: they are trying to ensure that you must connect to their servers to play by removing critical content form the software itself. Doing this brings zero benefit to the player. So, yes, it's just about the DRM.

          I know we love to hate EA, but games are valued more and more for their multi-player side than their single player these days. It's just the direction the market is moving.


          For certain genres of games, yes. For other genres, no.

          Regardless, there's still no reason that you can't have both. But the issue isn't really single-player vs multi-player. It's online-only vs offline play.

          I have never, and will never, purchase a game the requires me to be online to play it unless it's something like a MMORPG or costs less than $2.

          Requiring internet connectivity to use reduces the value of most software to almost nothing.

           

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          PaulT (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:40am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Yeah that's what I meant by "mostly" single player. But, it's also part of the problem. If these features were optional, few would complain, just as nobody complains that you have to be online to play CoD to access its multiplayer features. Don't want it? Enjoy the single player campaign. By building them into a dependant component of the game whereby nobody can play what's essentially a single player game without an internet connection, they're inviting both criticism and lost sales, especially on the PC platform where it's more likely that people will wish to play where no internet is available.

          I agree it's not specifically DRM in these cases, but I wouldn't be surprised if the same concept went into it as purely DRM online components. Again, introduce these features but make them optional, and nobody will care...

          "games are valued more and more for their multi-player side than their single player these days. It's just the direction the market is moving."

          It's *a* way the market is moving, but there's room for both. Some single player games are still popular and shoehorning in multiplayer doesn't improve the game - and often devalues it (think of Bioshock with its excellent single player component vs. Bioshock 2, where the story was less satisfying and people didn't really take to the multiplayer either - it's no accident that Infinite will be single player). Not every game needs multiplayer.

          But even if that was the case, updates of classics like Sim City and Diablo which enjoyed their reputations on their single player experience really are just asking for trouble if those aspects are forced onto gamers who don't want them.

           

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            Dreampod, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Online features like those in Diablo 3 and SimCity are intended as DRM by the publishers. I've been in more than one design meeting where we got told that the publisher was insisting that the game be forced to remain permanently connected to their servers to 'prevent piracy' and that nothing they had tried to tell them convinced them that this was a bad idea because 'all those MMOs are popular and have to always be connected and since they are profitable our game will be too'. Then the design team brainstorms what features can be created to generate an illusion of a need for internet connection and which currently existing components can be gutted from the internal build and shifted into external servers. It is a horrifying and horrible experience for the developers when a publisher forces a shit sandwich like this on us and really there is nothing we can do about it despite knowing it is going to hurt our sales and REALLY hurt our reviews (outside of the major mags and sites which have quid-pro-quo agreements with the publishers for certain minimum scores).

             

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              PaulT (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 2:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yeah, I have absolutely no doubt that these features are both forced onto the designers and intended as a form of DRM. When I say they're not specifically DRM, what I mean is that they do add some form of "value" to the player in terms of extra game features, as opposed to normal DRM which offers players nothing except punishment if they're thought to be doing something wrong. I don't doubt that "insert DRM" was one of the orders they had when doing so, though.

              I do feel sorry for the developers caught in the middle of this, but that's what you get for working with those large companies I suppose. At least we seem to be having some innovative indie companies offering non-DRMed successes to use as ammo against the idea that this is the only way to "protect" income, and hopefully there's some more blockbusters on their way (the last year of Kickstarter-funded games look to be promising for this).

              "'all those MMOs are popular and have to always be connected and since they are profitable our game will be too'"

              If that's really their argument, then they're even more clueless than I thought. MMOs are popular because of the community aspect - i.e. the MMO part of the name. They're also built and sold from the ground up as an online, multiplayer and subscription experience, and players get regular value in return for that both in terms of patches/updates and access to the game's community.

              If they think that that's directly translatable not only to what's meant to be a one-off game purchase, but one that's usually experienced as a single player experience, they really haven't got a clue. Sadly, those people will also be the ones most likely to blame "piracy" when their online only aspects drive players away.

               

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          Anonymous Coward, Mar 14th, 2013 @ 9:16am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Well I would gladly buy the game too. But the fact that people are waiting hours, days even to play the game for an hour to then just kicked off by it is stupid. I would have no problem with playing online on a server, aslong as I had an option that would allow me to play alone and single player. But EA simply fucked it up

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:33am

      Re:

      Yep. Devs who are beta testing software and server stability will often set artificially low server caps to test the queue system and what will happen if people are hammering the servers - like on launch day.

      Too many people think beta = free preview.

       

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        John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:09am

        Re: Re:

        You must be talking about alpha testing. If devs are beta testing their own software or if they're using special test configurations for beta testing, then they're doing it painfully wrong and the result will be only slightly better than not doing beta testing at all.

         

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          Dreampod, Jan 31st, 2013 @ 1:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          You are absolutely and completely wrong on this. Deliberately scaling back systems to force bottlenecks is a very important part of load testing along with creating systems like artificial caps so that the queuing system (something that should get little to no use if things are working properly) gets tested to ensure it can handle emergency overloads (like if every player gets disconnected simultaneously and then tries to log back in).

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:55am

      Re:

      "Someone should explain to this moron what Beta testing MEANS FFS.."

      Someone should explain to you how to use proper grammar and punctuation. Sadly, I believe I have numerous times, as well as teachers throughout your life. Some people can't be taught, as you are living proof of.

      Secondly, despite the fact that this is "A FUCKING BETA" to not so eloquently quote you, this person was reporting issues that he had with the Beta. Namely, that logging in was taking an inordinately large amount of time, and if this is happening now, while the software is in beta, hopefully it gets fixed before it goes "live" or exits the beta stage, else it will cause problems and be seen as a big issue when non-beta players attempt to play. Alerting EA to issues with their login servers IS NOT A THREAT YOU FUCKING MORON. It is pointing out one of the largest criticisms and issues with online games, particularly ones with always on DRM requiring a constant internet connection.

      This person was pointing out common issues plaguing most AAA offerings from some of the big game publishers lately. These issues, by and large are fixable, should the publishers wish to fix them. However, these issues arise from the perceived piracy problem and methods to stop it, which has the negative result of largely affecting only paying customers, to the point that many paying customers are choosing to do without. What this means, retard, is that the company loses their biggest fans and their largest revenue stream (those same fans who buy each and every updated version to the same title, Sim City).

      Company policy, advice or other. It doesn't matter if what's being said isn't the player's issue to take up with. It is a customer telling you how you're doing things wrong and causing them to not want to be a customer anymore, and how others like them feel the same way. As a business, it is the job of EA to listen to their customers or lose them entirely.

      SO FUCK YOU DARRYL FOR NOT GETTING THE POINT OF THE GUY'S COMMENTS TO EA. I guess in addition to failing grammar and punctuation usage you probably didn't do too hot in reading comprehension. [shrugs] I guess the world can always use more idiots, just do the world and humanity a favor and try to keep your filth/stupidity from spreading into the gene pool.

       

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        Lee, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:21pm

        Re: Re:

        So if you tell McDonald's they should sell Pepsi, you suddenly speak for others who feel the same way, and McDonalds should listen to you because they risk losing your patronage?

        Its a business, people should stop thinking that their words are piles of gold to CEOs and should be taken as prophecy or the business is doomed. Companies do listen to their customers, just because someone isnt one of the ones being listened to doesnt mean they ignore everyone.

        The guy put in a case about the login taking a while. Good, move on. Until its fixed there's no point in going on about it.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 12:45am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "So if you tell McDonald's they should sell Pepsi, you suddenly speak for others who feel the same way, and McDonalds should listen to you because they risk losing your patronage?"

          No, but (to extend an imperfect analogy) what if McDonalds were demonstrably losing sales? What if they were in the habit of pretending that their lack of Pepsi was beneficial to the consumer, attacking them for cooking their own burgers at home and responding by reducing their drink selection even further rather than simply offering Pepsi to those who wanted it?

          It's a bad analogy but that's more like the situation. Even if not, I don't see why a consumer should not tell McDonalds that their lack of Pepsi is the sole reason why they don't frequent their business. You would hope that a good businessman would take notice of thousands of people doing that, rather than saying "our way only, but you're a thief if you go somewhere else"...

          "Companies do listen to their customers, just because someone isnt one of the ones being listened to doesnt mean they ignore everyone."

          Good. Then hopefully they will look at stories like this if they're unsatisfied with their sales of SimCity rather than demanding more draconian laws and DRM, and forcing similar restrictions on to other games. If they blame piracy for their lost sales, they clearly weren't listening.

          "Until its fixed there's no point in going on about it."

          It is fixed by the look of things. However, the thing people were "going on about" was the appearance that a person had been banned from a service merely for criticising it. You don't think that's something worth addressing?

           

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 2:55am

        Re: Re:

        who's mad !!! :)

         

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        non, Feb 6th, 2013 @ 3:45pm

        Re: Re:

        I'm pretty sure stupid people procreate at a higher rate. If nothing else, it makes sense because they're too dumb to plan ahead (and be responsible).

         

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:01am

      Re:

      Someone should explain to this moron what Beta testing MEANS FFS..


      I'm not sure you understand what "beta" means. If a product is in beta, it means that the company believes that it is done and ready to ship, and is going through a final shakedown.

      If a "beta" is using special test servers rather than the servers that will be used for paying customers, then it's not really a beta.

       

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        The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:21am

        Re: Re:

        Well, actually beta means it's in the bug finding phase. It just means that there will be no new changes (alpha means everything is subject to change), just fixes.

        You're thinking about a Release Candidate.

        Now, banning someone for telling you what's wrong with your beta... that makes no sense (yes, I know he was actually banned because their forum DRM misfired, as they are wont to do).

         

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          John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:29pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Admittedly, what beta means depends on the company. I was going by what these things meant before "beta inflation": Alpha means the developers think it's ready to ship and QA has begun testing. Beta means that QA says it's ready to ship. Beta is actually shipping to a select group of customers for testing in real-world conditions before the full roll-out effort begins.

          In any case, you're right. :)

           

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            The Groove Tiger (profile), Jan 31st, 2013 @ 2:51pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think you're right, Alpha actually means internal testing, Beta means external testing (closed or open). Generally you "feature freeze" before Beta (since you can't just go back and test internally all the new stuff you're added while people outside are testing a version that's going to be obsolete). But in neither case it's considered "ready to ship", just that it cleared that stage of testing. Granted, nowadays everything that ships is probably in alpha or beta quality anyways :P

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:05am

      Re:

      The point of beta is to get FEEDBACK TO MAKE THE GAME BETTER, which he provided. Just because its OMGBETA does not excuse the game company from bull#%#@ policy decisions or broken gameplay/service.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:07am

      Re:

      "YOUR ON A FUCKING BETA... IDIOT.. "

      "YOUR FUCKING BETA... IDIOT.."

      "YOUR IDIOT"


      Irony at it's finest.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:22am

        Re: Re:

        Well, in darryl's defense, it's not like proper spelling or grammar has ever been his strong suit. (But we must forgive him because he's out there designing solar panels and installing them in hospitals and thus saving lives and a plethora of other things that readily make him more intelligent than the rest of us. We'll overlook that he hasn't provided proof for any of his milestone accomplishments. We'll also overlook the fact that someone who can barely spell or use the English language more than likely doesn't have the intelligence or capability to do half the things he listed he's done. But I digress.)

        Aiming this at Darryl. For future reference, when saying "you are", the correct way to conjoin those two words is "you're". Not the importance and placement of that apostrophe. (The ' thing in the middle there, just in case you aren't familiar with the term apostrophe, which is what that symbol is called.)

         

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      hardyharhar, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:40am

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:20am

      Stop defending EA troll.

      The game is shit, EA is shit.

       

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      Jon, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 2:36pm

      Response to: Anonymous Coward on Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:20am

      Your comment makes you look like a moron. None of the other guy's comments were threats. They were suggestions for improving their system or comments about their DRM. Comparing a single player campaign to an MMO is silly. Obviously an MMO is going to be online at all times. If WoW had some kind of single player mode that still required you to be online people would cimplain, too. Just like they did with Diablo III, as has been mentioned by the commenter you tries to tear up and many others that commented.

       

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      Jeff (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:08pm

      Re:

      What happens if my modem breaks?

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 5:51pm

      Re:

      Of course, since Australia hasn't been getting most games until recently you wouldn't understand much about games, would you?

      ZING!

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:23am

    EA isn't only screwing up Sims City.

    It seems that The Sims 3 just keeps getting WORSE instead of better with each expansion pack and patch they release.

    I mean seriously, it's to the point that I need to use a 3rd party mod called the 'error trapper' to avoid having the game (which takes like 10 minutes to load) crashing on me. And even then, I frequently have the game freeze up on me or all my sims suddenly get reset and brought back home because of errors. Without 3rd party mods to fix some of EA's own bugs the game is completely unplayable.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:48am

      Re:

      I too was a "The Sims" addict for years, before I ventured into WoW. After 4 years of losing my soul, I decided to try to break the addiction, and purchased "The Sims 3".

      Back in the day, I was a huge fan of making shirts, walls, floors and community created objects. I had recreated wallpaper that looked straight out of Willy Wonka.

      Having been away from the game for several years, I was looking forward to seeing the new (hopefully simpler) ways of creating skins, wallpapers, art/posters, shirts, etc.

      After spending a couple of days looking for photos to use (which was part of the fun....unending web surfing to find the perfect pic of chocolate truffles that would tile properly) I proceed to fire up the software for creating these packages for importing in.

      Imagine my disappointment that not only is it more difficult to import these packages in, but after only 100 imports, the game crashed and I had to do a full uninstall/reinstall.

      So, to the dev that is fussing here and defending their product, you assholes ruined the game to me. Sure I got it up and running, but now I have no desire to play it. Maybe you got my money this time, but you have lost a customer for life.

      I resubbed back to WoW, both accounts. I am still mad at Blizzard for once again making Resto Druids feel unwelcome, however I'll accept their token 10% buff. At least they are trying to care.

       

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      Aaron, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:29pm

      Re: Is True!

      I've been a Maxis fan since the original SimCity and it's been all downhill since EA bought them. I understand the need to become part of a larger company in order to pay the bills but it is very disheartening. Spore had so much potential and fell flat due to needing to be out the door. Will Wright left and after initially trying Sims 3 I stepped away for 3 years. I just got back into it last month and found that I "needed" Twallan's mods just to keep irreversible game glitches from destroying my save and bloating the game engine to the point of unplayability...I'm so excited about SimCity (5?) and EA is running the worst promotional lead in campaign for a game ever. Viral marketing at its finest...

       

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      Malcontender, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 7:17pm

      Re: par for te course

      Fyi- EA does this will all their older but still popular titles.
      The constant patches and "content" actually destabilize the game more than they ever enrich it.
      I know this to be true for battlefield and knowing EA i Know This is their standard procedure for all titles.

      Usually what happens when you push the development off onto dlc's .
      What of patches and support you ask? Have your team of generic coders try and patch a game they did not make!
      Do this with all your "aging" greats.

      Easier to get everyone onto the next bandwagon, oily snakes.

       

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    sehlat (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:25am

    In Contrast to EA

    There's Good Old Games [gog.com]

    I bought "Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri" from them about five minutes after I found out it was available. (Slow typist I.)
    No DRM, installed in a blink, worked fine.

    Recently, I was checking their site and discovered that the game had been "updated." Downloaded the update and installed it, only to discover that not only had they patched "Alpha Centauri," but the install now included the sequel, "Alien Crossfire," AT NO ADDITIONAL CHARGE.

    Both games played like a dream right out of the download.

    Now, mind you, I would cheerfully have paid another 5.99 for "Alien Crossfire." They would certainly have earned it.

    My next step? I bought a gift copy for my pact brother. EA can go to the devil as far as I'm concerned. So-so gameplay and a "we own our customers" attitude will cost them a hell of a lot more in the long run than piracy ever will.

     

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    The Real Michael, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:27am

    Massive success for a company seems to pave the road to abuse. EA may think they're too big to fail, but they're not. They can be broken just like any other company, when consumers turn their backs on the brand.

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:11am

      Re:

      I wouldn't hold my breath. EA has been a nasty piece of work, screwing their legitimate customers, for at least 10 years now. They're still in business.

       

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    gorehound (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:31am

    Sounds to me like the Gamers really need to send EA a serious message.
    Try doing a Giant Petition............sure you will get 100's of thousands to sign it
    Also do a Boycott of all EA Products
    Use Internet to Post Complaints and try to back any of them up with screen caps and info.

    Hit them where it hurts !

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:36am

    Been following the EA story, & it seems to boil down to just one thing: Just mindlessly throw your money at them to buy their games, put the game in a closet without playing it, & never, EVER tell a company that you found "problems" with their software or infrastructure if you DO happen to play their game. You're insulting the "ingenious mental capacities" of their development teams, & that makes the company look bad when you do. And God forbid if there EVER is a dissatisfied customer. They're so afraid of a public storm of negative comments, that they'll stop short of nothing to do so, because they're SO afraid of losing money if someone out there on the internet...READS that bad comment & decides for himself (or herself) not to buy the game because of a critical flaw that the company wants to cover up at all costs.

    *sigh*

    No good deed... NEVER goes un-punished!

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:05am

      Re:

      Sounds like the opposite needs to happen then. It sounds like the DRM itself needs to be reported as a bug EN MASSE effectively flooding their bug reporting system with complaints.

      Sounds like a job for... 4chan. :)

       

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    makes me miss the old CD key DRM, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:47am

    typhical

    This is what happens when businessmen run game companies instead of gamers.

     

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      Michael, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:10am

      Re: typhical

      No.

      Businessmen would understand that this always online DRM garbage is more trouble than it is worth and dealt with piracy in a more useful way.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:54am

        Re: Re: typhical

        It is insulting to think a self respected game developer would shaft gamers for no reason.

        Indeed it is when business man who run dev studios, become more concerned about the bottom line and profits, rather than player experience, that things go down the drain.

        No dev would make a game that people hate on purpose, if that happens, it is because of a reason, it will make more money that way.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 8:54am

    Sounds like...

    They are racing to join Comcast in the group of companies with customer service ratings lower than Ticketmaster.

     

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    Unanimous Cow Herd (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:05am

    Last thing.

    The last thing I bought from Electronic Arts was for the Sega Genesis. Must've been 18 years ago. I was shocked to hear that they were still around. Doesn't sound like they will for much longer, though.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:10am

    There you go. We buy games we don;t own and still get treated like criminals. We buy computers, we don't own the OS, we buy phones and really don't own them. Now we buy music and books and we don't own it. No resale value. I feel really jerked off and it isn't fun.
    Thanks for the heads up. I would have bought SimCity because I love it and then not been able to return it because I will hate it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:17am

    Definitely not buying the new SimCity, then. Have these companies just never heard of 'customer service', or what?

     

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    Overcast (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:39am

    Dang, and I'm a huge fan of this game series, but with so many games out there now... I'd rather avoid 'required' internet and loss of game time if I have connection issues.

    Dunno why, I even got Sim City societies in spite of how 'easy' it was. I've bought all the SIMS3 expansions too - never had a problem buying their stuff, well.. until this new DRM is packaged with it.

    My internet is on 99% of the time; and usually I don't care. But then I tend to play a lot of REAL multiplayer online stuff - and games like SimCity; are my 'rainy day' games, if I'm having connection issues and such - so this won't work.

    Do what you want EA - no DRM like this and I'll buy it.

    DRM doesn't stop piracy, lol - it just annoys us paying customers, with ONE MORE THING that can break.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:44am

    Here comes the back peddling on their forums...

    Heya everyone,

    We had a minor tech issue which caused a handful of people to be banned who shouldn't have been. This issue is being researched by our tech team to prevent it from occurring again, and our AHQ Staff members are aware and have restored lost access to affected users.

    We apologize for the inconvenience.

    Your Answer HQ Team

     

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    will, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:45am

    Shoddy Journalism here at it's finest. This was resolved by EA and the guy in question posted this Reddit thread up shortly afterwards. http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/17e1ap/result_of_my_previous_ea_ahq_ban_post/

     

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:24pm

      Re:

      Shoddy Journalism here at it's finest.

      Just because this post appeared at Techdirt today doesn't mean it was written today. That update hadn't been posted at the time this article was actually composed (Jan. 27th -- sorry, don't have a more exact time stamp than the date on the Gdoc I used to write the piece).

      Obviously, my downfall was failing to set up some sort of alert system that would send me a message if any separate Reddit posts were created containing information that directly refuted what I had previously written.

      I was alerted today by commenters here and at Reddit about EA's response, which I have posted above.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:53am

    The problem with not buying EA...

    ...Is that you don't often realize that the smaller studio that's made the game has been bought out by EA until it's too late.

    I had no idea Maxis was under EA until now. Likewise, a couple of years ago I didn't realize Bioware was under EA.

    People, who would normally shun EA, are enticed by names like Maxis and Bioware since they're often advertised under the smaller studio division name.

     

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    Jeff, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:08am

    Then do it!

    Piracy is the future it seems. TRY before you BUY! :)

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:10am

    Here's today's EA Fun Fact of the Day:

    Ultima VII was made while Origin Systems was preparing to be assimilated by EA. The programmers (correctly) doubted EA's good intentions, so the game has quite a few subtle anti-EA messages.

    The story of the game centers around a seemingly benevolent organization called "The Fellowship", which is secretly run by a world-destroying monster known as "The Guardian". One of the subplots involves tracking down two of The Fellowship's agents, Elizabeth and Abraham. Also, part of The Fellowship's plans involve three evil artifacts: a cube, a sphere, and a pyramid, the three shapes used in EA's logo at the time.

     

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    Whata Toolsack, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    HAHAHA @ EA

    What a bunch of asshats. They wonder why people:
    A) Don't buy their crap
    B) Turn to cracking and piracy

    Way to go EA! I only congratulate you as it is obvious that you are trying to destroy your company, and you are doing great so far!

    Eff Off.

    WATS

     

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    Gregg, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:19am

    Online DRM

    Can't stand it and won't contribute to it. And I buy games all the time.

    I like to play without an internet connection active for many games, mostly because I like to disable anti-virus, anti-spam, updates and a whole bunch of crap, which means I also have to disconnect from the internet when I play games.

    I also liked being able to host games on a closed intranet or on release dates for our software (different company)we'd play games on the network (which is closed to most game sites). And online DRM just is not an option for us.

    Both Blizzard and EA are off my shopping list for games. They can continue, but really Diablo, SimCity and any of the EA sports games I can easily go without. Also, the bug's are huge! and think about the commitment they are making for themselves. They will have to support these servers and server configuration for a very very long time. People still play Diablo I and StarCraft 13+ years later! Are they planning to keep these servers alive for 20-30 years? I could see a class action law suit if they try to sunset the servers.

    Online DRM won't last very long and anyone who goes for it, shouldn't commit big money to it.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:31am

    I don't have a problem with it. The reason is that EA and it's competition Ubisoft are two of the worst of the breed when it comes to this type of behavior.

    They can play all they want with making their games harder to use for the paying customer but I'm not one. I long ago learned of their behavior and lack of care about their fans and customers.

    These people should have long ago realized how EA was. EA has not backed away from being obnoxious with the idea that their products can somehow stand the disdain of their paying customers and continue to make big bucks. I long ago dropped these two companies from consideration when I buy a game and will probably never again buy another of their games throughout my life.

    Yes, I'm that teed at them.

     

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    SailorDeath, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:41am

    FYI People, he wasn't banned.

    Check out the URL, the person this article mentions that in fact EA was having technical difficulty with their website and that it was falsely telling users they have been banned. Techdirt needs to update the article with the correct information.

    http://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/17e1ap/result_of_my_previous_ea_ahq_ban_post /

     

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    Vaidurya, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    The responses from Snoblitz

    If you check the cached forum page, then double-check the three posts in the guy's history, you'll see that the two posted before the ban--the one quoted here and another that links to this post--both receive the same reply from the same person."Many valid points here - for launch day. Reminder: this is a beta. They want to load test services - guess is that they have sufficiently found their bottlenecks and weak points in their services." I daresay Snoblitz works for EA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 10:55am

    Sim City was one of the two games we got in the late 1990s with our very first PC. The other game was Descent. This makes me very sad, but I can't buy this game in its current state.

    The only consolation I have is knowing that people will be waiting for hours in server queues and venting their anger in the forums once the game launches.

     

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    Enlightend, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:07am

    Ever since the bullocks going on with Mass Effect 3 (Day1 DLC) I quit SW:TOR (which I actually love) and quit buying any and all games from EA/Origin.

    Now, there were 2 games coming out, for which I was reconsidering my boycott.

    These 2 games were SimCity, which I've always loved and Dead Space 3.


    Now, both games have come in the media for extremely negative reasons (always on DRM, shit PC ports and real money microtransactions in a single player game), squarely to blame on EA's shit business practices, that I'm done with EA, no matter what they bring out.

    They are the least consumer friendly company in the damn world and that while they are supposed to provide people with entertainment. All they have left to give us is grief.

     

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    Anonymoose, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:12am

    Sadly, this will be the first SimCity game I don't buy and play. Not in a reactionary or angry sort of way - just zero interest in rewarding a company that treats its customers like criminals. The pirates are actually better at customer service.

     

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    Anony, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    Maybe he shouldn't 'threaten' EA

    "So make sure you are ready to have servers and keep servers, otherwise you will be in for a lot of trouble" comes off as a threat. THIS is why he got banned.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:35pm

      Re: Maybe he shouldn't 'threaten' EA

      A statement of duh-proof inevitability is not a threat.

       

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:34pm

      Re: Maybe he shouldn't 'threaten' EA

      That in no way sounds like a threat. Except, maybe to someone who's predisposed to paranoia.

       

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      get, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 8:32am

      Re: Maybe he shouldn't 'threaten' EA

      That is not a threat as you describe it,does the sun threaten to rise in the morning? does gravity threaten to pull an object towards it? no they do not,they are imutable facts of the physical universe,and pointing out that a game that will not let its paying customers play it will cause problems is not a threat its an observable fact. The suits at EA have to realize that their transaction with the customer lasts longer than credit card transaction approval.

       

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    Patrick, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:15am

    EA Issues

    I have been in the beta for a week and I have not reported any bugs, and I have had no issues logging into the servers. I have noted to friends that EA had server bandwidth issues just like they did with Simpson's Tapped Out, but I was never denied access to the game.

    I do not agree with hidden DRM but I really am confused with this article.

     

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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Better Game

    Have a friend who is pretty into these games. He played the beta some.

    If anyone is looking for a game that is leaps and bounds beyond the Sim City series, give Anno 2070 a try. He says if I get back into them, this is by far the best, and blows Sim City out of the water without trying.

     

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      Killer_Tofu (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:23am

      Re: Better Game

      Having just suggested the game, I decided to look up more info about it. Turns out the game is put out by Ubisoft and has a 3 system activation limit (although you can call them for more, like that somehow makes it better).

      I guess if somebody is going for the lesser of two evils, go with Anno 2070 and its a way better game (says my friend). Personally I will for sure not be getting into either of them.

       

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    Martin, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:21am

    Profit from EA's foolishness

    I'm sure you're all an intelligent bunch – did a solution click for anyone else when they read the line "If EA's wondering how it could have outmaneuvered Bank of America in a race to the bottom, reputation-wise, it needs look no further than this."?

    Short the stock. If just 100,000 gamers (a fraction of the million or so that will want to buy Simcity) each short the stock with a $1000 investment, that $100 million short will send the SHARPEST message to the management and the market that EA's strategies are short-sighted (couldn't resist, sorry). When EA's own buying audience is betting the company will fail, do you think other investors will listen?

    So, short the stock now, wait till the price drops and they remove the DRM features, then buy the stock back later at a profit (that's how shorting works) and use that profit to buy your copy of Simcity.

     

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    Thyrial, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    ...

    I'll just copy my reply from the actual post on Reddit here...

    "I just want to get one thing straight, he absolutely should not have been banned, that said....

    His post was NOT constructive by any means. It was well-worded whining about always on DRM. Now I'm fine with people complaining when they are wronged by a company, but this is a BETA. Servers not working well is what they WANT to see so they know what to fix before release.

    More then that though, his post doesn't tell them anything. Saying "your servers need to work when you release the game" is like saying "your game needs to start", it's not constructive or helpful in the least. It doesn't even give a good reason for them NOT to use always online DRM since obviously the intent of any developer is for their systems to WORK on release though we know that's not always the case.

    I hate EA's practices as much as the next guy and they were definitely wrong for banning him but saying they banned someone trying to help just isn't true."

     

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      John Fenderson (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:47pm

      Re: ...

      Servers not working well is what they WANT to see so they know what to fix before release.


      Which is what he was telling them, in part.

      It was indeed constructive criticism. Mixed in with it was his expression of dismay over the DRM -- which I would still call constructive criticism, as one would think they'd be interested in how their DRM is perceived as a product flaw.

       

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    identicon
    Guy, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    This article is not entirely factual.

    http://answers.ea.com/t5/Technical-Problems/Problem-with-Answer-HQ-banned-because-I-tried-to-stop-ge tting/m-p/419214/highlight/true#M1430

    You should edit your article. I'm not a fan of EA either, but this is not what happened (publicly).

     

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    Brandon Smith, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    I too was banned last weekend for a forum post.

    Here is a video I made containing my issue, I too was banned from the beta for a forum post I made in SEPTEMBER of 2012.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Jw_j9qCfx7w

     

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    Alex P, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    EA is a terrible company. I have only bought one thing from them in the last few years. I hope they learn to get their act together someday.

    The dig at Bank of America is kind of a stretch though.

     

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    Alex P, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:11pm

    EA is a terrible company. I have only bought one thing from them in the last few years. I hope they learn to get their act together someday.

    The dig at Bank of America is kind of a stretch though.

     

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    Steve, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:22pm

    So that you know, you were probably not targeted. There was a technical issue that banned some people from the beta forum. It was quickly addressed and access was restored. They had a message about this in a few different places to let people know what was going on.

     

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    Jay Steezy, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    EA can't take constructive criticism without getting butt hurt. Everyone do yourself a favor and don't support this company by buying their (broken)games.

     

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    Dmitry (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 12:56pm

    Too Sensational

    As a number of users have already pointed out, the user was banned by accident - not to silence his criticisms against DRM:

    - EA's response to the banned account -

    In addition, the attack on Bank of America, is out of place. I understand the point that the author is trying to make, but this is juvenile. Claiming that BoA practices lead to our country's economic downturn and somehow suggesting that EA's practices are comparable in that respect is pure sensationalism.

     

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      Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Too Sensational

      "Claiming that BoA practices lead to our country's economic downturn and somehow suggesting that EA's practices are comparable in that respect is pure sensationalism"

      Either that, or the absurdity of the comparison was meant to be funny. Though, to be fair to you, I guess you'd have to have a sense of humor to get it....

       

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:29pm

      Re: Too Sensational

      In addition, the attack on Bank of America, is out of place. I understand the point that the author is trying to make, but this is juvenile. Claiming that BoA practices lead to our country's economic downturn and somehow suggesting that EA's practices are comparable in that respect is pure sensationalism.

      This comparison is only here because that's who EA beat out for the latest "Worst Company in America" poll. Read that paragraph again and you'll note the use of the word "alleged," which means these claims are still open for dispute.

      And, yeah, as DH pointed out: I was also attempting to inject a little incredulous humor into the fact that consumers hate EA more than they hate big banks with customer service problems.

       

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    NvdHaar, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:15pm

    EA

    i played BF3 for some time now, and I am done playing it because they are not trying to get all those cheaters and hackers away from the game. The second there is a game update that should ban cheaters from the game, there is already a new website where you can pay for new cheat mechanisms. Reporting thousands of ppl to EA the game is still overwhelemd by cheaters on EVERY single server I try to play on. I wrote so many e-mails to them en you wont even get a response. They dont care, you bought the game so they have already won...

     

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    Dresdenbombing, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:18pm

    EA and Battlefield 3

    I buy a high definition TV. I buy a Xbox 360. I buy a HDMI cable. I buy a terabyte sized hard drive. I have 3 gigs open on the 4 gigs available on my Xbox. I buy Battlefield 3.

    Thennnnnn I find out that I didn't buy the right Xbox to download a 1.4 gig HD patch. I have to fork over money for a different Xbox or for a specific hard drive.

    And if I don't I get to play a horrible looking last generation graphics shooter. Thanks EA.

     

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    Shannon, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 1:36pm

    EA/ POGO.com

    EA has some games on their site pogo.com, I owned five of them, yes OWNED. Past tense. It seems they switched who distributed their games for them and now the older versions dont connect with their server, however if you would like the SAME game, just a different background company you may re-buy the game. I wont, Ill just use a torrent thank you. Lesson learned.

     

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    Chaostheory6682, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 2:06pm

    Not purchasing

    Besides the fact that I won't be purchasing this game because of the always online element, it also has unnecessary unlocking of infrastructure, no terrain editing, no zoning, and ridiculously small maps.

    This pails in comparison to EA's new EULA, which covers all of its products and allows the company to root around on your computer looking at programs and files not related to EA products. This is intrusive and unnecessary, and the reason I have decided not to purchase any of their future products.

    I can't and don't support always on DRM for a number of reasons, especially not on a single player game. I also don't support intrusive measures clouded behind meaningless legal jargon.

     

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    Aaron W, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 2:16pm

    This is a terrible blog

    This has to be the worst case of video game journalism I have ever read in my life. This was nothing more than a hate blog. Don't get me wrong, EA in a whole is a poor company, but this was the rant of a small child that had his teddy bear taken away from mom and cried all the way to his room.

     

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    droozilla (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 3:54pm

    We don't believe you, EA.

    Someone called EA out on their bullshit and they turtled after the backlash.

    "Oh, we'd never ever do something like that!"

    Sure you wouldn't.

    I don't care what crap comes spewing out of the mouths or fingers of any EA employee. They're full of shit and they got caught. Backpedal all you want, EA, we're still not buying your crap.

     

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    Zeissmann (profile), Jan 29th, 2013 @ 6:24pm

    God, am I happy I don't play computer games. This is easily the most frustrating pastime ever.

     

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    Aaron, Jan 29th, 2013 @ 9:03pm

    Tell the CEO so he can fix it

    Please politely email EA's CEO how you feel about always online DRM and any DRM that inconveniences paying customers: john.riccitiello@ea.com

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:08am

    world's 3rd largest gaming comany

    and have been established since 1982, and who are YOU again, some nobody who is probably flipping burgers, and still shitting your nappies in 1892, but you think you know better than them..

    So why are you not a major gaming label ?? have you been in business for 30 years ??

    Oh wait, of course not..

     

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      PaulT (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:34am

      Re: world's 3rd largest gaming comany

      Ah, that old chestnut. Nobody can criticise anything unless they're a billionaire, and anyone who does so must be a minimum wage slave. No customer is allowed to question any of their moves, or stop buying while making it clear why, just lie down and consume...

      I hope you're not one of the ACs who comes in here criticising Apple, Google, etc. on a regular basis, otherwise that would make you a blatant hypocrite as well as an obnoxious fool...

      Not to mention your grasp of English is so poor you can't even specify who your rant is directed against. The author of the reddit post (who probably isn't reading this)? The author of the Techdirt post? Some random commenter you forgot to hit the reply button to? Who knows...

       

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      get, Feb 2nd, 2013 @ 8:47am

      Re: world's 3rd largest gaming comany

      So anonymous coward does the money that provides your shelter and food come from EA? I stood on line at the mall waiting for the UPS guy to show up so I could get my copies of M.U.L.E. back in the 80's I watched that company make remarkable games that always pushed the envalope of what was possible,and the company that owns the name EA today is not the same company that started out to make games by gamers for gamers. I know its still the same corperation,but the hands on the reigns are not useing the same thought process that made the company great. Danni Bunton Berri is spinning in his/her grave over what has happened to the once great EA.

       

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    Ninja (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 3:12am

    Well, regardless of bans or whatever I'll not be buying it despite the fact I'm a huge fan of SimCity. I wonder how many more customers they lost for their DRM and how it'd compare to what 'piracy' took from them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 30th, 2013 @ 4:02am

    And the funny thing is, there will be a crack for the game within 72 hours on the piratebay. So much effort for so little. Haven't they learned that not only DRM makes no business sense, their shitty programmers have so far been consistently losing the battle versus crack groups?

    They not only need to get their act together, but get the head out of their asses and realize they haven't made one single step forward into winning the battle versus cracks so far.

    Why do they keep trying? Because a degree on economics that lands you a job as CEO does not automatically make you smart, if anything more likely to make you a mindless drone who only cares about profit these days, who then scratches his head like a moron asking "why no more profits dude?! it must be those pirates fault???".

     

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    jsf (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 6:57am

    EA throws the ban hammer around a lot. Given how many different "bugs" have gotten people banned from all of EA online stuff, it is hard to believe that they are all really bugs.

    On top of that I know multiple people that have gotten ban threats via personal messages from official EA accounts on systems like Twitter simply because they said they didn't like the fact that they needed to install Origin and be logged in, in order to play a game like Mass Effect 3 in single player mode.

    Finally, who the hell designs a system where an email list system can even touch the system that controls account bans? That is either purposely done or EA is employing the dumbest DBAs and programmers in the world.

     

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    vilain (profile), Jan 30th, 2013 @ 8:01pm

    Time to short EA stock

    This response says it all. Let's hope the gamers hear this a vote with their wallets.

     

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    Ian (profile), Feb 6th, 2013 @ 6:26am

    EA Jacks up all the good games

    EA used to make good games. They made/published Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2/Vietname/2142/BC1/BC2/MOH:AA series.
    Then we get to BF3/BF4/New MOH series. They jacked up these games bad. Lets look at BF3. They stated that the game would have enhanced destructibility from BC2. Being able to punch a hole through a building to get from point A to point B. The removed the ability to drop ANY building to the ground and destruct just about anything like you could in BF:BC2. Then come the guns, yes there is bullet drop but the guns keep getting balanced and nerfed or buffed to where they make no sense. Example, the pp-19 drops someone with less bullets than the M98B .338 Lapua Magnum Sniper Rifle at close range unless you get a head shot. Then there is the splash damage from rockets. If you fire an RPG at someone (RPG stands for Rocket Propelled GRENADE), the chances of you killing the player are slim unless you hit them directly. Odd, since an RPG IRL will destroy a vehicle and cause serious damage to bystanders. Granted this is not ArmA II but come on. Then there is the "pay to win" where EA released the ability to buy all the weapon upgrades and weapons in one go without working for them. Next, is the BF4 already coming out soon. Where is BC3?
    Then we can head over to the MOH series that recently came out. It was a nice premise but they botched the Multiplayer and the single player laft much to be desired. What ever happened to the MoH games that took a while to complete the single player missions. The should have followed ArmA II's single player campaign methods as well as their co-op of the entire campaign too. Also, quicktime action scenes are not cool. EA really messed up several series and took alot of the fun out of them. Until EA fixes this, they will not see anymore of my money. Instead Bohemia Interactive will see mine for DayZ standalone and ArmA III. There is real progress and innovation. In ArmA II there was already the ability to drop pretty much any building ingame as well as make craters in the ground.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ARMA_3
    http://www.ign.com/wikis/dayz
    http://translate.google.com/tr anslate?sl=de&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=de&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=ht tp%3A%2F%2Fwww.pcgames.de%2FArma-3-PC-236876%2FNews%2FArma-3-Neue-Screenshots-zeigen-Kriegsgeraet-zu -Land-zu-Wasser-und-in-der-Luft-849838%2F

     

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    Anonymous, Feb 21st, 2013 @ 6:21am

    Dam cheek!

    I personally think E.A. have a bloody cheek to charge someone for a game (£35~ for a recently released game), then charge them almost the exact amount again (£60 for the deluxe) for a measly few files just to make the game look better. Who the hell do they think they are? The funny thing is there will always be idiots that go out and buy this stuff and until that changes E.A. will continue to do it and it will only get worse. It seems like E.A. have control over their customers and can do WTF they like and get away with it.

    Regarding DRM; I have purchased a game. I should chose when and where I wish to play that game and not be dictated how and when I can play it (legitimately, of course). It just appears as though E.A. had got away with virtual murder and the customers were too blind to see their actions. now E.A. know they can do it they take it to the next level.

    The last ea game I purchased was BFBC2, and I don't buy many. It will probably be the last until they change their attitude towards their customers.


    P.S. if anyone has intentions of starting a lobby against E.A. ill sign.

     

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    Squicker (profile), Feb 28th, 2013 @ 2:04pm

    I just cancelled my Simcity preorder at Game after reading about online DRM. I fly a lot, I don't always have Internet connections of good quality. I was looking forward to playing this in 12 hour flight at the end of March.

    Guess I'll just have to find a supplier who provides an 'offline' version of this game. I would have bought it but if it does not meet requirements, someone else will supply one that does.

     

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    spoothead656, Mar 5th, 2013 @ 9:02pm

    This idea that "If you make a better game, more people will buy it instead of pirate it!" is utter bulls***. Seriously. Anyone who tells you they pirate games for any sort of noble cause is a liar. They do it because they are greedy and think they are entitled to something.

    The Witcher 2 is a perfect example. Phenomenal game. One of the best of the generation. No DRM. Had more copies pirated than it sold.

     

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      Squicker (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 12:18am

      Re:

      If that's the case, and I have every reason to believe you, why alienate people like me? I'm in the demographic where I don't tend to pirate anything - the cost of a game is so small compared to my disposable income that I would rather have the product with a manual, box and it be fully updateable etc.

      But people respond to incentives. The pirate supply chain already have a good incentive - all games for free - but they have 'disincentive': your game is crippled (can't be simply patched, multiplay content not working). So if they then go and cripple the paid for version of the game - must be online all the time, which is not feasible for a lot of people, there is very little reason for people to not go for the better incentive of a free version of the game that actually will play offline (assuming it gets cracked of course).

      I do like to be able to play my games on the move, as a business person I spend a lot of time abroad, in airport lounges, on planes, and I cannot be sure of quality Internet access. My desire to play SimCity is high, therefore it's a no brainer that if an offline playable version of the game is available I shall get it. If EA manage to supply it great, if not, then I'll naturally get it from the alternative supply chain. I am surprised no one in EA is sharp enough to work this out.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 12:36am

        Re: Re:

        Yep, same here. I don't buy DRM games other than the occasional cheap game on Steam. I don't buy anything that requires online play or depends absolutely on a 3rd party server. I still pick up my copy of Doom or my copy of Half Life every so often from their original releases, I don't want something that says "oops your net connection is down, you can't play" or "we decided this isn;t profitable any more so nobody can play it".

        DRM only attacks paying customers, and like with Spore and other previous games with stupid DRM restrictions, the value has been reduced for this paying customer to zero. That's what I'll pay. I won't pirate it, but I sure as hell aren't going to buy a copy of a game that actively prevents me from playing it.

         

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      PaulT (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 12:32am

      Re:

      "Had more copies pirated than it sold."

      ...and what does that prove? It still sold 5 million copies. Are you saying that it would have sold 10 million if only it wasn't pirated? That seems extremely unlikely. In fact, the lack of DRM was one of the selling points. If CD Projekt had kept whining about piracy and adopted idiotic techniques that only attacked legally paying customers (as EA have chosen to do), they've have got less sales.

       

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    Midwestern guy, Mar 6th, 2013 @ 5:19pm

    Simcity

    Going back to when EA bought out Ultima Online I have seen this company have serious issues with launches and expansions. Waiting to connect to a server to play in a mode that should require no connectivity is one of the most frustrating and unnecessary experiences I have had in 30 years of gaming. I purchase an EA game about every 5 years to only be reminded why I quit throwing away good money on bad products and company mismanagement. I hope madden can continue to carry you, because this, SWTOR, and several other of your blockbuster failures have to be taking their toll.

     

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    Frank, Mar 7th, 2013 @ 6:57pm

    Bummers! I was looking forward to buying SimCity.

    I wish Rockstar would have been smacked upside the head and pulled their DRM so that I might have been able to buy GTA IV as well. Heck, they could even pull it and re-release it and I'd probably buy it. As it is, it's unusable.

     

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    Joe mamma, Mar 9th, 2013 @ 12:39am

    BUY

    Hahahahahha poor butt hurt game nerds can't play a game for 3 days waaah. Works fine now don't you know? Too bad it's unpirate-able guys, that's why it's server based, so shut up and buy suckers.

     

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    Tonetzu (profile), Mar 14th, 2013 @ 1:44am

    This sucks... i heard about this game coming out like 3 days before it launched..
    I would of pre-ordered it right there but my PC crashed and i needed another one.
    I'm glad that this happened to me as i learned of the DRM from a YouTube video.
    I have a crappy internet connection in my house its OK most times but it drops often...
    Also this is the kinda game that you play in a car or on a plane. you bring the PC to Friends to show what you build

    Just cause Mult-player was something People asked for it didn't mean you should alienate all the people that want offline (or anytime duh!! i mean i payed for it. but whatever

    I would of bought your game EA but now i will boycott all of your games.

    Mass effect was my fav game by bio ware and Microsoft studios. when i played ME2 i knew something was wrong and learned it was EA..
    The greed in this Company is sad. Every game they make now cost more just to get everything we should get.

    How is EA so entitled that they think we will just bend over and take this crap. Its my money if i want to buy your game and lend it to a friend i should be able to.

    I hate to see Simcity die but if it takes down EA i'm all for it

    EA sucks and have ruined every game they get a hold of

     

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    Jaden, Apr 29th, 2013 @ 6:33am

    It's always the glitch. Blame it on the glitch.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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