(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Timothy Geigner

Filed Under:
modding, simcity


EA Hates You: SimCity Kneecaps The Modding Community

from the control-hungry dept

Hey, remember SimCity? You know, the game in which its creators botched the release so badly that it essentially became the how-to manual on how not to release a game? The game that the series creator came out against, calling the actions of the publishing company "inexcusable." The game that so pissed off its biggest fans with the online-requirement DRM, locked down platform, and anti-consumer behavior that they once again were voted as the worst company in America? You'd have thought they'd have learned their lesson at this point.

But you'd be wrong. See, SimCity is a PC game, and if PC games have any great advantage over their console competition, it's the ease with which gamers can mod the originals and make them better, more interesting, and even drive sales of the original product. Unless that game is SimCity, that is. Why? Because apparently EA hates you.

The good news is that SimCity will soon be allowing user-generated content. The bad news is that EA is looking to place so many restrictions on what you can actually mod that it seems almost pointless. In reaching out to the game's community with its initial plans, EA has already put its foot down on mods that change the way the game plays. Here are the two key points from its "first draft":

-UGC that effects the simulation for multiplay games and features are not allowed.P
-Examples of acceptable UGC include swapping art assets, like buildings and vehicles.
In other words, EA took one of the greatest sandbox games of all time and is limiting what you can to with it to what color sand you put in that box. This is stupid. You just don't kneecap the expression of your biggest damned fans, of which the modding community for any game is certainly front and center, all for the same already-maligned "vision" you have for how the greater masses play the game. This is the same nonsense that started this whole debacle: EA insisting that the game only operate with everyone's cities to everyone else's, as if the game couldn't function otherwise. Except that it could, making this all stupid.

All they'd really have to do is relinquish an ounce of control and watch whatever community they've managed to retain build up some awesomeness around SimCity, likely driving further sales and/or plays of the original game. But no, instead they'll wave around their iron fist and release some talking points about vision and community and blah blah blah. Going for a "worst company" three-peat, guys?

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  1. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Oct 2013 @ 2:44am

    To be blunt, why should they care?

    Enough suckers... I mean punching-bags... I mean valued customers still bought the thing, even after the outcry over 'online whether you like it or not, and we have no problem lying to your faces and telling you it's not only required to be online to work, but for your own good', that they really have no reason to care what people think.

    Now if those that objected to their practices were willing to put their wallet where their mouth was, and forgo a game or two(or even better, all future releases by them) until EA either shaped up or went under(both being equally unlikely), then they might care what the walking money-bags that are their customers think, but until then, this is hardly a surprise, but just more of the same.

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