EA Won’t Ban For SimCity Bugs, EULA Changes Inbound

By Nathan Grayson on January 23rd, 2013 at 8:00 am.

Left hand, meet right hand. Yesterday, EA armed SimCity with a ticking time bomb of a perma-ban EULA, but today, it decided to vehemently disagree with, er, itself. In short, the not-so-fine print would’ve seen players agreeing to report any and all bugs they encountered in SimCity’s closed beta or risk being locked out of all EA products. Yes, all. That’s what it said. But oh, what a difference a day – and probably a few additional pairs of eyes – makes.

In a statement to Kotaku, an EA rep seemed almost incredulous at the idea that this EULA could even exist. Here’s what they said:

“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.”

Admittedly, the rep didn’t specify exactly how the offending passage is being changed, but I don’t really think it could get any worse than it is now.

Still though, it’s kind of an insane situation, right? I mean, either EA had some nefarious plot to – I don’t know – keep its games all to itself inside some island volcano lair, or EULAs have grown so complicated and unwieldy that even the companies that write them can’t be arsed to look them over. This needs to change, because seriously, who does it even serve at this point? Consumers end up with no idea of what they’re getting themselves into, and companies come away with egg on their face – if not a fresh pair of devilish red horns on their head.

I mean, I’m no lawyer, but a lot of these EULA points strike me as fluff. At worst, they can be super deceptive, but in most cases – like this one – they just end up ballooning into these infernal labyrinths no one actually has the time to navigate. Ugh, the world’s gotten too complicated. I say we just go back to trading pigs, crops, and diseases. No contracts or agreements. Just handshakes and horrifically backward social norms. Ah, wouldn’t that be nice?

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97 Comments »

  1. Darth_Pingu says:

    Oh well, that’s a nice move.
    Now I won’t mentioni other restrictions they gotta clean up, and people will play their game, online… Oops!

  2. Belsameth says:

    Thank god EA doesn’t have a history of making their EULAs overly broad and explaining later.
    Oh wait…

  3. JoeGuy says:

    I only have an Origin account because of ME 3 and the ME / DA DLC’s. It is easily the least used app on my PC anyway. Valve doing that by accident on a DOTA beta for example. Now that would give you a clench moment before deciding to agree or not lol.

    • HadToLogin says:

      But Valve is already doing it – just with much more style and brain. Try to use some exploits in DOTA2, enjoy your VAC ban in all other games using it.
      But since Origin STILL didn’t thought some Anti-Cheat system is in order, all they can do is ban accounts – hopefully one brain in EA (they’ll have to all get in one room to get it) will figure it out.

      • Milky1985 says:

        VAC bans for about 10 years have been engine based, due to the similarities they share exploits in one game may very well work in another.

      • zeroskill says:

        Wow! Bug abuse has never been an banable offense in any Source based game I know of. Recalls epic under-map level engineering and other map-bug based exploits in TF2. Nobody ever gets banned for something like that. The worst that could happen is that you get banned from a server by an server admin, you know, that thing dedicated servers have.

        However I stand corrected if you can provide any solid proof of someone that has been banned by Valve for exploiting bugs in any of their games.

        • Archonsod says:

          That’s not how VAC works. It’ss an automatic anti-cheat, it only picks up modifications to files, not actual behaviour in the game. There’s plenty of people who have been VAC banned for the use of trainers and the like. It’s also kicked in somewhat overzealously on occasion and banned people for using legitimate mods and suffered a few bugs, but in Valve’s favour they’ve usually sorted it out eventually (and of course it only blocks access to VAC enabled servers, so for many games you always have the option of playing on a non-VAC enabled system).

          To be fair though so far I’ve found EA actually have the better support when it comes to repealing bans on your account, last time I had a ticket with Valve it took three days just to get the automated response. EA on the other hand sorted it out in just over half an hour.

      • DerNebel says:

        Okayokayokay:

        Example, just for RPS, you special cupcakes: In the Dota 2 beta, when the hero Templar Assasin was released, she was hugely bugged. First of all, Psi Blades, an ability that lets her attacks “splash” to targets behind the targeted one spread far, far too wide. Second, her ability Refraction, which allows her to block six sources of damage, didn’t deactivate her blink dagger like it was supposed to. These two bugs combined to make Templar Assasin the most powerful pick in the game.

        Now, if EA had published Dota 2 with their SimCity EULA, everyone who bought blink dagger on Templar Assasin and used refraction to blink out of dangerous situation could, by rights of the legalese, be banned from every single EA game forever.

        I think you would agree that the comparison here is apt, since both games are in beta, always online and being published as an integral part of the publishers distribution platform, Origin for Simcity and Steam for Dota2. Gameplaywise, the abuse of bugs is very likely to affect other players, since Simcity has its interconnected cities system and dota is, well, primarily a multiplayer game.

        • JoeGuy says:

          No its not, simply because Valve never threatened to ban your entire Steam account because of lack of reporting bugs. Your example is specific and not applicable just for starters.

          • DerNebel says:

            “Valve is already doing it – just with much more style and brain.”

            This is what I was responding to. Now, is Valve doing anything the like? The EULA EA put out defined “experiencing a bug and not reporting it” as exploiting it and therefore worthy of a ban. Explain to me how Valve is “already doing it”. They are not, I repeat, NOT banning people for exploiting bugs. If the bug is in the game, their solution is to fix that bug, not banning anyone reproducing it without reporting.

            I picked the TA example because the hero was obviously very bugged and even gameruining so. My point was that Valve differentiates between bugs, which is their job to fix, and players explicitly trying to cheat with 3rd party programs, which they will ban. Banning cheaters != Banning people playing a bugged game.

            So, because Valve never threatened to ban me for exploiting bugs, that means they are “doing the same thing” as EA but smarter? Is not doing something dumb and userbase destroying basically doing something dumb and userbase destroying but smarter? Please read my post in the context of what I was replying to, even though I admit that the post was pretty vague in making its point.

          • JoeGuy says:

            Again, no. That EULA was about bug reporting. Not just cheating. Its a beta, not a competitive game. It’s not the same to ban cheaters as it is to ban terrible beta participants. You are looking for parallels in an example that happens everywhere. Everone bans cheaters and exploiters. They don’t ban crappy beta testers.

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          Malibu Stacey says:

          You forgot the multiplied splash damage if you attacked an illusion which was massively OP & shut down any illusion based heroes or heroes which build Manta Style (e.g. Anti-Mage).

  4. Molotova says:

    tldr: EA PR scrambling to try and clear the crap EA legal department shoved together.

    • LionsPhil says:

      Basically. Various departments of any large organisation being in conflict is kind of normal, since they’re all representing different interests of the business.

      • plugmonkey says:

        It’s almost as if someone in legal didn’t quite understand the difference between a “bug” and an “exploit”.

        I mean, if you’re just part of the giant legal team that has nothing to do with development, you might possibly not realise that “exploit” is a specific subset of “bug”, and if you use the wrong word, you might get quoted out of context and have the internet explode.

        It’s an easy mistake to make. And the really depressing thing is that Valve’s lawyers don’t have to worry about such things, because if this was a Valve EULA, nobody would give a shit.

        • MattM says:

          Its not just words in a EULA. EA has actually banned people from single player content for infractions committed in the EA online forums.

          • plugmonkey says:

            Which again is symptomatic, not of a large company where parts of it don’t always know what the other parts are doing, but of some sort of evil conspiracy?

            The issue I have here is that the amount of noise created by complete non-stories like this mean that genuine issues like the one you posted below simply cannot be heard.

            Do you think EA can tell these days when something has genuinely gone wrong? I’d like to know how, seeing as there are howls from all corners whenever they do *anything*.

            It’s one of the main reasons I am so utterly bored of the pantomime.

          • wu wei says:

            Who claimed it was an “evil conspiracy”? No one was so ridiculous to raise such an obvious strawman other than yourself.

            EULAs are potentially legally binding, and not all of us have the capital to challenge these things in court. Being angry at what we see as an excessive curtailing of our consumer rights is, well, our goddamn right as consumers; being a pissy jerk is your privilege, it seems.

            So our behaviour is “pantomime”? Frankly, I’m sick of corporate apologists and/or sockpuppets. Guess different people assess the same situation in different ways…

          • plugmonkey says:

            Go and read the thread. There are plenty of people saying that this has been deliberately inserted to gain EA extra powers. There are more on this thread. There was one chap saying it would be monitored with spy programs! One chap thanked EA for re-affirming that there was no upper level of disgust he could feel for a company. For a slightly badly worded EULA! If that wasn’t you, then I’m not referring to you, but that doesn’t mean they weren’t there.

            Yes, we should question these things, but can’t we do it by saying “Oh, this has come up in the The Elder Scrolls EULA. Read in context, it looks like it should only apply to people using exploits, but we’ve checked to clarify.” ?

            Wouldn’t that be better than this ridiculous, never ending, and largely imaginary crusade?

            Christ, you can’t suggest things might be going a little overboard without being a corporate sock-puppet! Who is supposedly puppeting me? And to what agenda?

          • Parthon says:

            The worst part about such a badly written EULA that if it is incompetency piled upon incompetency, then with all that stupid flying around, you might find yourself banned from the goods you purchased with no legal recourse. because it’s in the EULA.

            We, as the voice of the gaming community, need to show that EA is doing the wrong thing every time. Not just when it’s being Evil, but also when it’s being Stupid. Like teaching a baby not to touch the stove, you don’t wait for them to horribly burn themselves, you start teaching them on a cold stove. EA need to be shown that we don’t stand for such one-sided EULAs, whether it’s by design or mistake.

            Honestly though, I WAS looking forward to Sim City, but I can’t buy it if EA is behind it. Yeah, I’m just one person refusing to buy a game because of a EULA snafu, but like in this situation and every other that’s appeared recently, EA has shown that have no concern for their customers, and when they get bad PR, they do too little, too late.

          • Kadayi says:

            @plugmonkey

            You should really join the forums dude.

        • LionsPhil says:

          No, it’s more like legal have no reason (short of other interests, like PR, being given influence over what are legal documents) to reign in their claims since all that does is make them less effective at their jobs. As noted yesterday, it’s in their best interests to go for the biggest land-grab possible, “just in case”.

          • Archonsod says:

            Call me a cynic, but I suspect it’s far more likely someone in the legal department just did a quick copypasta job using the standard MMO clause.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Probably! I expect drafting and reviewing EULAs is a fair whack of work, so why redo it from scratch each time?

        • Machinations says:

          You’re right – you know why? Because Valve has Pc gamers EARNED respect.

          EA has, through many past actions, shown themselves to be untrustworthy. Valve has not.
          Valve, being privately held, is immune to the shareholder activism that prompts companies as big as EA to become idiotic in their treatment of paying customers.

          To be fair, you seem to be in every thread discussing Steam/Valve, complaining about it. You are a tiny minority; as I am sure you are aware, and the tone of articles reflects the distrust EA has built for themselves.

          Origin is trash and remains trash, Steam is a quality service with reasonable sales all the time.
          EA will never approach Valve’s sucess in the DD market, and primarily because of blowback from all their previous anti-consumer moves.

          In short, EA had made their bed and can lay in it, while Valve has impressed us generally and until they do something flagrantly wrong, they will continue to be well-regarded by gamers.

          So please stop with the incessant Steam is evil posts, thanks.

          • plugmonkey says:

            I’ve made a Steam is evil post? Where was that then?

            I love Steam. I have 148 Steam games and counting.

            I think you might be thinking of a different monkey.

        • Universal Quitter says:

          Do you realize it needlessly takes away from your point when you perpetuate this stupid Valve love-hate thing?

          It’s the closest thing RPS gets to a flame war (in my experience never visiting the forums), and it’s really gotten long past the point where it’s productive, or even funny to laugh at.

    • Shooop says:

      With each passing day it seems like PR and legal departments live on different planets than the rest of us.

  5. plugmonkey says:

    Well, hold the front door! You mean it was just a badly worded bit of EULA, relating to the use of exploits, and not to bug finding? And not the uncovering of a Machiavellian conspiracy that was yet another example of EA’s unassailable position as the Worst Company In The World Ever?

    Well slap my thighs and call me Susan!

    • Neurotic says:

      You should see the bed-wetting that went on in the PCG comments yesterday, it was brilliant.

      • plugmonkey says:

        It was bad enough on here. Seriously, people should go back and read that comments thread again in the light of this, and see if it strikes them as a reasonable response.

        You know that scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail with the witch burners? Once again EA finds itself sitting by the duckpond wearing a fake nose.

        I pointed out that this was just a badly worded bit of EULA stating that they would ban people who used exploits, and reserved the right to ban people who were accessories to people using exploits.

        Ironically, I was told I couldn’t read.

        It’s pure pantomime, and it’s all getting a wee bit embarrassing. I would much rather see RPS rising above this sort of thing and pointing out the stupidity of it, instead of watching Nathan drag the Evil Stepsister out on stage for a quick pie gag to get all the little boys and girls gleefully booing and hissing.

        • Milky1985 says:

          I think the problem is that we as consumers are very used to these little clauses “that are only to be used in special circumstances”, being used for utterly stupid things 6 months down the line to our detriment. So we stand up when we see them to beat them down before they become a problem.

          If EA actually gave a shit they would have the clause written properly the first time, lawyers do not make mistakes such as this in contracts, it is there because EA wanted it and they wanted it that broad, this is not them fixing there contract, this is them backing down.

          But hey we are only consumers, i guess we don’t need to stand together against BS that we find because all companies are happy huggy beings that would never do anything that is anti consumer or something that is to the detriment of our preferred method of entertainment.

          • Optimaximal says:

            The EULA used was probably a standard ‘beta’ one with ‘Sim City’ copy and pasted in placed of the previous game that used it.

          • plugmonkey says:

            Yes, a great and noble victory has been won here today, people. Not an embarrassing over reaction. We FOUGHT! And we WON! Hoouuuuuaaaaaaarggh!

            If I could just interrupt the fist pumping and chest bumping for a moment: No. Oversights like this happen all the time. It’s a badly worded bit of contract, although the meaning is still quite clear to anyone who could be bothered to look for it instead of immediately lighting the torches.

            It is most definitely not a deliberately worded bit of contract designed to steal from you. It just isn’t. Stop it with the ridiculous conspiracy theories. You are seriously suggesting that someone at EA went “Bwahahaha! But if we word it like this we can take all their games away for not reason!”

            If EA wanted the right to withdraw the service from you they would put “We reserve the right to withdraw the Origin service without explanation or notice.”

            In fact, I would be very surprised if both the Origin and Steam EULAs didn’t say exactly that, because otherwise they would be guaranteeing it in perpetuity. And lawyers hate perpetuity. Unless it’s you granting it to them.

          • MattM says:

            @ plugmonkey EA has already uses its crazy EULAs to justify bans for minor (or nonexistent) infractions. If there is a misunderstanding or a case of an improper ban EA doesn’t care. They don’t want to spend any time working problems out so they just leave the ban in place.
            http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2011/12/05/ea-origin-bans-update-edition/

          • Milky1985 says:

            Well plug monkey, since you decided to take part of what i wrote and take it to stupid levels i will do the same

            How much are EA paying you to come on here and be the obvious corporate shill ever, trying to downplay the effects of a utterly stupid decision by them as an “overreaction” form the community. You talk about an evil plan from them but that is not what i said, I said that we fight what we can because its happened before because it has happened before , and a lot of the times it has been EA with the scanning of computers via origin, the bad origin EULA, the banning of games from people who posted on forums and the banning of you form all for an infraction on one.

            That is why people beat on EA, because they have spent a fair bit of time recently beating on us, maybe they didn’t put that in the briefing you got.

            So sod off with your EA defense here, about 1/3 of the comments in this thread are you decrying the people who dared speak up against the glorious corporate overlord so you are either shilling or a really really annoying troll. Either way, door is over there, don’t let it hit you on the way out.

          • plugmonkey says:

            Yes, they’ve been beating on you.

            How exactly? No, never mind.

            You said you were fighting. You said it had been deliberately added. That’s what you said. None of it is true, it’s all in your mind.

            I’m not defending EA, I’m decrying this pathetic, nonstop pillorying of them over EVERYTHING they do. It’s embarrassing. When EA get voted “The worst company in America” for making DLC and delivering a slightly disappointing ending to an RPG, it’s embarrassing. When that happens, I feel embarrassed to be a part of this community.

            So, I say again, look at this story. It’s about a poorly worded EULA. Nothing more, nothing less. Look at the way it has been reported. Look at the responses in the comments thread of the original article.

            It’s embarrassing. I’m not shilling, and I’m not trolling, I’m fucking cringing. RPS should be better than this. Gamers, as a community, should be better than this. We’re acting like the children people think us to be.

            If there’s something in gaming that needs standing up to, it is THIS.

          • tobecooper says:

            Oh, plug, you are incredible. Here’s a couple of pointers:
            EA was voted the worst company in America in The Consumerist poll by the consumers. So maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with consumer relations? They have had various missteps against us. But they are getting better which is visible by this quite prompt response.

            A poorly-worded EULA is still potentially harmful to us, and EA cares only about stuff that is potentially harmful to them. So the outrage was definitely helpful in getting this thing amended. Plus, they have a legal department. Why weren’t they used in the first place?

            The Us vs Them mindset may be childish, but I find your Clunky Giant theory equally strange.

          • plugmonkey says:

            EA was voted the worst company in America in The Consumerist poll by the consumers. So maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with consumer relations?

            Absolutely it does, but don’t you think that might in some way be influenced by the unrelenting, and sometimes completely unwarranted, hate campaign?

            Take this instance. A badly worded paragraph has been found in a EULA. If this was Valve, the tone of the reporting would be “Um, that’s not right. We’ve asked to check.”, and then when the response came back today, it would have been all “Oh, thank you Valve! This is why we love you!”.

            Ask anyone who the worst videogame company is, and they’ll probably say EA. Ask them WHY and they might struggle a bit more. Um, day one DLC and closing down Bullfrog and stuff?

            It is, in my opinion, reporting like this that’s behind that way more than their actual indiscretions. I mean, are we seriously saying that EA’s behaviour is on a par with Phillip Morris lying about the effects of smoking on health? Or Halliburton using war as a means of corporate acquisition? The fact that we are willing to prioritise day one DLC as on a par with human rights violations is exactly what I find embarrassing. It makes us look rather juvenile.

        • zeroskill says:

          “It was bad enough on here. Seriously, people should go back and read that comments thread again in the light of this, and see if it strikes them as a reasonable response.”

          This is mainly because there are a lot of people that don’t really like Electronic Arts™ and their business practices. Some of us are old enough to remember how they treated some of PC gaming’s favorite developers just to move on to make console games and close down the studios. They surely arn’t the only ones that are guilty of this, but Electronic Arts™ excelled at this pretty much.

          So you can’t really be surprised that Electronic Arts™ doesn’t have the best reputation among PC gamers. And Rock Paper Shotgun is a PC gaming site. Since 1873.

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            darkChozo says:

            The issue is more that there’s a rather large difference between disliking and distrusting a company/person/whatever and loudly decrying every potentially negative action they make. There are a lot of people who saw what is really a rather minor issue* and respond in a rather exaggerated manner. A three page circlejerk of “FUCK EA WAHHH” isn’t particularly conducive to rational discussion, and I think that’s what some of the folks above are finding rather disturbing, particularly because there’s a rather contentious issue here that’s far from being EA specific.

            *I feel that I can say that almost objectively, both because it’s relatively minor compared to the “no class action” EULA clause thing, and because it’s basically something that happens now (ie. banning for posting about exploits), and is just something of an issue because it’s EA-wide, which is because of how EA bans work and has nothing to do with the EULA.

        • Jahnz says:

          She also turned out to actually be a witch. Does that mean that EA is actually terrible? =]

        • Jahkaivah says:

          Looking back at the relevant conversation, you didn’t state that it was poorly worded until after you were told you couldn’t read. It initially looked as though you were saying the poorly worded EULA was saying what it meant to say in the first place, which it clearly wasn’t due to it being poorly worded.

    • Land says:

      *SLAP*
      Susan!

    • wu wei says:

      Hey, you can keep living in your little fantasy world of a soft and cuddly EA all you want.

      The rest of us remember incidents like EA banning users from their games for comments made on forums, so no, it didn’t strike those of us with sense & memory that it was “ridiculous”.

      But congrats for “winning” the argument and not looking like a total tool while doing so.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        He’s not claiming that EA is some kind of shining paragon, nor is he writing like a paid EA shill as other posters have claimed.

        I know some of you despise EA and would see them burn to cinders, but all plugmonkey is asking for is a little common sense and accuracy when it comes to these types of sensationalistic new items.

        • Machinations says:

          Uh..the article WAS accurate. The tone reflects the distrust EA has no-one but themselves to blame for.

          And calling Plugmonkey a shill may not be that inaccurate, since the posts I have seen are primarily bemoaning Steam – a service which stands heads and shoulders, both arms and a torso above Origin; or defending EA’s business practices.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            Oh, the original article was about as accurate as it could have gotten with the information available, but most of the responses to it have been nothing but utter speculation and mistranslation.

            As far as accusations of shilling go, I could easily claim the same thing of what you wrote in your last paragraph — did Valve pay you to write that, or did you praise them free of charge?

            plugmonkey wasn’t so much white-knighting EA as he was pointing out the potential hypocrisy of putting one EULA-centric service above the other.

          • plugmonkey says:

            There you go again. When have I bemoaned Steam?

            I’ve suggested that Gabe Newell might not be the messiah some paint him as. (Because I hate these extreme sentiments in both directions. Everything Newell does is no more automatically “good” than everything EA does is automatically “evil”. Everything should be judged on its individual merits.)

            I may have reminded people what when Steam launched, it was a bug infested PoS you were forced to download if you wanted to play Half-Life 2. Which it was.

            I don’t think I have EVER bemoaned its current service, let alone “primarily” spent my time doing so.

            And while the article was factually accurate, it was also hugely sensationalist. It was tabloid journalism. Not factually inaccurate, but certainly making the most the of the facts!

        • socrate says:

          really i just don’t get people defending a company that is in the business just for the $$$ and that ruined a LOAD of awesome title and destroyed title that actually had alots of potential just in the name of more profit and sadly when you think about it they are bad at it since they tend to destroy every big game rep with dumb stuff all the time and then lose on the next sale of the game franchise….if their is a following game that is,they killed so much franchise its actually surprising.

          More surprising even is people still buy their game for some odd dumb ass reason and i know plenty of console gamer that just hate EA as much or more then we do really they didn’t get more fame by going to console just more hatred for destroying good console game with potential the only thing that changed is that there is wayyyy more dumb console player then there is actual PC gamer so the ratio of stupidity is obviously bigger…and PC can get rough sometime compared to console….you might encounter problem for you to solve and learn and spend time researching and learning about your machine instead of putting the cd in and it always working optimally.

          All in all il never like any of these dumb suit filled company that are there just to make $$$ out of the idea of other people just to make more and more profit….i think the same out of Ubisoft with their dumb we won’t put anymore DRM in our game and oh look at that Farcry 3 had it still and was still cracked before its release on PC.

          Anyway this title is just getting worst and worst with each news.

          Anyway one of my friend got in and yes you have to have origin and what i have seen was totally not worth it for a start its just 12gig which is ok and as some nice feature although pretty much identical to City in motion with the resource management which isn’t that well made or fun to play around to tell the truth id rather play anno for that kind of stuff its way more well made and doesn’t seem added just to be there.

          1.The bad part come from it being extremely easy almost making it impossible to bankrupt your city unless pretty much you are the village idiot.

          2.The size of the plot are even WORST then i though they are stupidly small to a point im wondering if some feature are locked because building a city to a point with skyscraper just seems silly to me with such small lots,you tend to have like 10 lot in each….emmm i dunno region i guess?…but still feel stupidly small and really i don’t really care about sharing lot with people even less with this size,this should be called Simtown.

          3.There is some wierd mechanic with alots of thing some do seem awesome while other are just retarded and make next to no sense like for example you can see which way the wind blow for your polluting industry….but do they realise how stupid that is and how it make no sense at all…its just really a way to dodge air pollution completely which just remove feature in the game really instead of giving tool to deal with it,and this is just 1 of the mechanic that was added…some are nice though like the .

          4.There doesn’t seem to be any hope for modding in this wierdly and when asked on the forum they just state that modding will probably not be in this but that they will think about it….looking at the latest 2 The sims 3 expansion/DLC released in less then a week from each other and the last one before this maybe 3 week max before these….im guessing they are going in the same direction with this…its really stupid since The sims 3 is barely playable still and is horribly coded to the point that after 1 days of playing you have to create another character just because the other is just unplayable because of game lag.

          5.For some reason the game suffer from the same disease as The sims 3 the longer you play it and the more stuff you do or stay online longer…the laggier it get and its not like it look as good as anno also…and its not like we we’re running it on a crappy PC also.

          6.Im not a graphic whore i say it all the time but that kind of lag from a game that look that BLOCKY isn’t really acceptable and the people walking around with crappy look and animation…cmon…why does anno look so gorgeous and this look like a bad blocky game with bad animation….i have to say that it just seem unfinished because house look good…well some house…but the worst that is needed to make this look better then this is much more then 3 month.

          7.Same crappy old interface…while some might like that i always hated the need bar from simcity and always hated how the interface was pure crap and the advisor were next to useless.

          8.you still end up Painting the ground and not deciding really what you plant in which place….seriously where does the money invested in this game go?…its 2013 ffs,it feel so impersonal and totally remove me from immersion as a mayor,oh lets not forget that its not fun.

          9.i really loved the idea of upgrade module to building,i love seeing my building “evolve” in any game….but sadly i was really disappointed that its pretty much an illusion and that they have preset placement for upgrade really…so it end up being like Tropico 4 upgrade on building its just that they give you the illusion to place them where you want.

          i could go on and on but as you can see its not really that great and sadly there isn’t much alternative so i guess il stick to simcity 4 modded until clockwork empires which i hope won’t disappoint me aswell..not that i was expecting more out of this Simcity.

          the few stuff that i felt like i interacted whit was stuff like coal delivery and such which is nice the first time you do it but after that meh and the only specialised city you can make seems to be gambling which as been shown and is quite limited…sim society did a better job to make themed town way more then this which isn’t saying much.

          you also can’t deal with problem like you would want to…criminal are rehabilitated and you have no say in it….you can’t decide which kind of police force you want to use or how they are used..i mean there is so much you can do with simcity…yet no improvement and just pure downgrade…horrible,ok il stop now you can judge for yourself in a few days i guess.

          Road were also dumbed down,no more pipe work and electric line work…dumbed down imo to make it more “fun”…piping really was never a problem its wierd…electricity line just worked really in a wierd way before thats basically the only problem i had with them…ok im stopping now

    • Kadayi says:

      Indeed non news is non news. Still no doubt we’re in for another round of EA hatin regardlesss.

  6. Panoptical says:

    This still has me put off getting it asap.

    Starts “Chrono Trigger – Secret Of The Forest” to escape to a better time when games didn’t have a ton of BS before a release. Damn that song goes well with coffee and a nostalgic (whatever it means to you) peace of mind.

    • Panoptical says:

      Ah screw it, I had to throw in a ton of other Chrono Trigger / Cross songs now.

  7. Dave L. says:

    One of the things that the US Consumer Protection Agency did was cleaning up credit card contracts so that weird, misleading shit that could be used to destroy a consumers finances wouldn’t be in them. Somebody should probably propose that EULAs fall under those same guidelines.

  8. mrmalodor says:

    Now to remove the always-online DRM and the game will be almost buyable.

  9. MeestaNob says:

    There’s no other company on earth that hates its customers like EA does.

    • JoeGuy says:

      Dead Space 3 Microtransactions! The forsaken EA loves it’s pre… I mean customers. They let it gorge on their money.

    • plugmonkey says:

      OP Productions, maybe?

  10. tkioz says:

    There has been a push for changing our EULAs work for a while now, it just seems that politicos either don’t seem to care or have been paid off. There was a proposal here in a Australia a few years ago to force all EULA “contracts” to be no more than 2,000 words long and written in a way that someone with a year 7 (that’s 13 years old) education can understand them… it died quietly in it’s bed…

    Honestly I think that’s the only way to get people to start reading them, I mean who wants to read something 10,000+ words long for a website or videogame?

    • LionsPhil says:

      EULAs are long and tedious, but at least long and tedious legalese has the point of (ideally, at least) precisely tying down what you are and are not agreeing to.

      Fuzzy approximations are not really an improvement, because they leave grey areas a mile wide. Legal battles over grey areas are one of those things that people tend to call a “only the lawyers win” situation.

      • Premium User Badge

        jrodman says:

        “We reserve the right to alter this agreement without any notification to you.”

        Or similar is pretty standard boiler plate. So not sure I agree that the agreement is terribly nailed down.

        • chickenhawk says:

          And thats illegal in europe, you can change an EULA whenever you want, but you must warn your customers 15 days before doing it. Also, at least in gamming 99% of EULAs are illegal since they usually are only presented to me after I have made a purchase.

          • Premium User Badge

            Malibu Stacey says:

            Also, at least in gamming 99% of EULAs are illegal since they usually are only presented to me after I have made a purchase.

            Common misconception perpetuated by posts like this.

          • Milky1985 says:

            Funny as if your right about it being a misconception, its a misconception that has at times been spread by people who practice law and have law degrees

            [EDIT] Also its correct as if you buy a product, you own the product and have all the rights of a normal sale

          • chickenhawk says:

            Care to elaborate? Its my understanding that any contract that you are force do sign after any purchase is illegal? Although in this beta you are probably force to sign the EULA before you pay anything, in the majority of games you are only present with the EULA at home. And thats illegal.

          • Machinations says:

            Not a minsonception, exactly accurate.

            In the US, after-sale EULAs have not faced a legal test, something most software vendors, not just game vendors, want to avoid. It is highly likely that a lot of what goes into these ‘agreements’ will be thrown out; further, as stated, how can you buy something and only after be presented with the legal agreement to use it – on a product you CANNOT return? It will not stand in court, these lawyers are just going with a common practice and hoping it works.

            If push comes to shove, it won’t hold.

      • zbeeblebrox says:

        While I agree with the sentiment, EULAs are notorious for being long and convoluted AND fuzzy. They inhabit the worst of both worlds

    • Archonsod says:

      The reason politics won’t get involved is because a EULA has the same legal standing as me writing something on a piece of paper. There’s a reason they’re called ‘agreement’ and not ‘contract’

  11. SanguineAngel says:

    Good on EA for the rapid response. Still, there’s a lot of things they’ve done with this, and other products, that leave a sour taste in my mouth.

    I don’t think the EULA issue in general will even begin to be resolved unless and until the matter of software ownership is clearly settled (hopefully in favour of the consumer). The increasingly bizzaar terms laid out in those things seem to be an attempt by publishers to pin down the terms of ownership (obviously heavily in their own favour)

    • Milky1985 says:

      In the EU it has been settled i believe, software is a product we own as per a recent court case where someone was trying to claim it was a service.

      its just not settled in the US because of all the lawyers and “lobbying” (which i see much the same way as a protection racket i.e something run by a mafia) and most of these are American companies

      • plugmonkey says:

        Well, it’s been settled that software as it stands now is a “product”.

        I suspect the outcome of that will actually be little more than a change in the wording of what you are paying for so that it very definitely does become a “service”.

        • SanguineAngel says:

          Yeah, most likely. I wonder if that’s why the industry big boys have been focusing so heavily on F2P as “the future”?

        • Premium User Badge

          All is Well says:

          I’m not entirely sure you’re saying what I think you’re saying but just in case you are:
          The wording of a contract isn’t what ultimately defines whether or not a product is indeed a product or a service. I could sign a contract saying that I agree to pay $10 for the service of owning a meatball, but me paying for a meatball wouldn’t become a service simply because of that. What a court of law would examine is, in all probability, the nature of what is being performed under the contract (“Is handing over a meatball a service?”).
          So if someone wants to change what they are selling from a product to a service they’d have to change the nature of the product in question, which, as SanguineAngel pointed out, might be exactly what companies are doing by migrating to F2P models, as those are arguably more of a service than retail games.

          Please note that I am a law student in Sweden so I haven’t yet studied British/American/Common law and could be totally off the mark, but I do think what I described is universally adopted. Also, if I misunderstood you, I apologize for this unwarranted comment.

          • plugmonkey says:

            I’m meaning that you could very easily migrate Steam to a subscription model without actually changing anything. All the big publishers have been thinking about games being services rather than products for years now, they just haven’t flipped the switch over.

            You want access to this new game? Well, that’s £2 per hour, or £30 for a lifetime subscription.

            Do subscriptions have to be transferable by law?

          • Milky1985 says:

            According to the EU court, yes they do

          • Premium User Badge

            Llewyn says:

            @Milky: Please don’t make things up, there’s more than enough confusion around this issue already. The issue of transferring subscriptions in relation to software hasn’t been considered by EU courts at all yet. And in relation to your earlier comment, the issue of whether digitally-delivered software is a product or a service is far from settled in the EU; the first blow’s been struck but there’s still a lot of room for interpretation.

            @Plugmonkey: Subscriptions are commonly held to have some combination of certain defining features: recurring payment, fixed duration or a flow of content. Defining something as a subscription while it continued to effectively be a single payment for indefinite use of an unchanging item potentially wouldn’t be enough to make it a subscription. There are of course ways that digital distribution could (and probably will) move towards genuine subscription models, but it would necessitate changes in the way that things are delivered and/or charged.

          • plugmonkey says:

            Yes, but the thing is that a lot of what would be required is already in place. Games like Guild Wars 2, or even Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress, are already run and supported as services. Once you get down to trying to find a black and white, legal definition, how much support is required? I mean, everyone commits to a patching process. Isn’t that a service?

            With the “fire and forget” development model well and truly dead, switching to a “service” model is ready to go. It might not hold water forever, but it’ll probably need proving out in court again.

            I don’t know. I’m not claiming to be any sort of expert on this, but when I read about the case, it felt like the judge was ruling more on the terminology being used, rather than on the practices involved.

        • Machinations says:

          Fine, define them as a service so we can sue when they are not available. Defining games as a service carries a whole lot of baggage, and further, in many cases is not going to work.

          • Premium User Badge

            darkChozo says:

            I’m not at all knowledgeable about relevant law in the area, but to the best of my understanding there’s no guarantee of 100% uptime in any service. Even business critical stuff (ie. ISPs, data centers and such) can’t guarantee 100% uptime, and usually there’s specific clauses providing 99.some number of nines% uptime, with client compensation if the provider drops below that number. Consumer-level contracts usually don’t provide that level of protection, and while I’m sure there’s relevant consumer law on when a lack of services becomes illegal, it doesn’t really apply except in more extreme cases.

      • Archonsod says:

        “In the EU it has been settled i believe, software is a product we own as per a recent court case where someone was trying to claim it was a service.”

        No, it’s merely been determined that licenses are transferable and providing media as a download is no different from providing it on disk.

  12. Milky1985 says:

    In legal terms if something is over broad isn’t it null and void anyway, as its meant to be specific to specific situations.

  13. sabasNL says:

    It’s just one of those too-broad-agreements again. Most of the time nobody uses it and nobody notices it, but when they do use it, it’s like hell.
    Must be one of them ‘Murican hypes.

  14. smeghamr says:

    I don’t give a shit, I still won’t be buying their games.

  15. Garviel Loken says:

    and now look at all your other EULA’s, starting with origin’s.

    • Low Life says:

      It’s an old one, but this proves the point quite well: http://www.pcpitstop.com/spycheck/eula.asp

      Though I guess these days, especially for the more popular releases, there’s always someone reading these just so they can make some noise if they find something as ridiculous as this bit of SimCity EULA.

  16. caddyB says:

    I think this is going to fail spectacularly and EA will get the idea that city builders are a dead genre or something.

    Because they’d never think their corporate ways are wrong.

    • Machinations says:

      of course it is going to fail spectacularly; theyre going for the casuals. have you seen the development videos? its a joke.

      Unfortunately this means no more proper SimCity games; on the plus side, a smaller studio with vision can make a superior product and get us a new franchise.

  17. Hypernetic says:

    The fact that I can be banned at all from a single player game, regardless of why, is reason enough not to buy this game. Seriously, what the fuck has this industry come to? EULAs and microtransactions in single player game news this week, what the fuck is next?

  18. TooNu says:

    EA still make games that people are willing to buy? I guess it’s like a lover returning to an abusive relationship “But they’ve changed”.

    • xenoss says:

      That’s what I always say. But over-sensitive folks over at kotaku get extremely worked up over a comment like that.

  19. Shooop says:

    Common sense prevailed.

    For now.

  20. xenoss says:

    So if 1 thing in the EULA is found to be completely not what they meant… could there be others?

  21. Answermancer says:

    Oh, so you mean they had what was COMPLETELY OBVIOUSLY a mistake in their EULA and you guys made a gigantic deal of it and pretended like it wasn’t going to get fixed as soon as someone pointed it out?

    Got it.