Hmm: EA’s Holding Back A Lot For SimCity Deluxe

By Nathan Grayson on January 30th, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

Ah, deluxe editions. I do not, by any means, think they’re inherently bad, but they can certainly enter murky territory with a quickness. Maybe even two quicknesses. Three might be pushing it, though. Sometimes, that means we end up getting lost in a snowblind forest of different versions, ala Assassin’s Creed III, but others are a bit more cut-and-dry. Or at least, it seems that way on paper. And yet, even so, there’s always reason to approach these things with caution. Case in point: SimCity’s digital deluxe edition. It’s got a small country’s worth of bonuses themed after a few particularly large countries, but is it worth all the extra simoleons? Perhaps answers lie after the break.

Obviously, the likes of Big Ben and the Eiffel Tower would make for some pretty fine additions to any aspiring concrete jungle, but they’re only the tip of the iceberg.

“Get three European city sets at a great value with the SimCity Digital Deluxe, available exclusively at Origin. Recreate a European inspired neighborhood in the center of your city! Place world renowned landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Brandenburg Gate or Big Ben to help your tourism business in your city. Receive challenging missions, complete unique achievements and earn big bucks as waves of Sims visit the landmarks. Watch as the businesses, homes and vehicles around your landmarks start to take on the flavor, style, and architecture of those countries. The Digital Deluxe Edition also includes the SimCity Heroes and Villains set.”

The aforementioned super heroes serve as a holdover from the less impressive limited edition, but everything else is digital deluxe specific.

The entire package will run you $80/£65, and that’s one of many reasons I’m of multiple minds about this. On one hand, none of this content sounds particularly essential (not, like, say, the ability to construct larger cities or anything along those lines), so I don’t think mayors with shallow pockets and emaciated piggy banks should feel particularly slighted. But the separation of these perks from other editions feels arbitrary at best, and honestly, are they worth an extra $20? I mean, I don’t think I’d even give them a second glance if they were sold separately as DLC for that kind of money.

So really, what practical purpose does this edition serve? The way I see it, no one really wins. The bonuses don’t seem strong enough to build EA a meticulously planned and maintained path into our wallets, but some fans may still feel like they’re being coerced into spending extra for the “complete” package. So it doesn’t strike me as an entirely “evil” deluxe version, but I wouldn’t exactly call it good either.

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167 Comments »

  1. Zanchito says:

    Am I the only one old enough to remember when this kind of thing was included for free in the game (or patch updates). I certainly fall in the “feel coerced” camp. And if I vote with my wallet and say “no sell for you until you start charging a reasonable price for this sort of thing”, what they’re going to understand is “people are not interested in SimCity. Bury it!”. :/

    • DonJefe says:

      that’s is probably (and unfortunately) very true. But buying the game without the DLC would be meeting them halfway, no?

    • InternetBatman says:

      Eh. If it’s good enough it will sell regardless of their business practices, and then you can get the collectors edition in a Steam sale four years from now.

      • GreatGreyBeast says:

        Except it’s Origin exclusive and Origin no likey the sales.

        • Hoaxfish says:

          and EA will have probably shut down the only DRM servers by then

        • HadToLogin says:

          Wow. That’s hating at highest level. Yes, EA-stupid-head said (while being totally right) that sales are making games cheaper (if you don’t believe him, think if you never thought/wrote “game good enough to buy when it will be on -75% sale…), but while head says one thing, hands do another and put sales on Origin in large numbers (lately, few games for 5 euro, at least in Europe).

          • Stromko says:

            Yes it does make games cheaper because people will buy it when it’s cheap enough to be worthwhile to them. That’s called adjusting prices to market conditions. The alternative is pricefixing (which, IMO, was extremely rampant from certain publishers in the physical media days). This is why EA has its own online store now, in the vain hope that it can attract a captive audience and then charge them whatever they want for years-old games. They quickly found this doesn’t work and that’s why there’s sales on Origin now.

            In short their CEO is just mad that other companies are selling games for what people are willing to pay for them. Given that online distribution has almost no cost per copy, he’s on the wrong side of history.

          • MrLebanon says:

            @Stromko, I think you missed the point…

            EA’s head was going after steam for “devaluing intellectual property” by runinng sales. Saying that sales unecessarily “cheapen” the work of hard working devs and it is unfair blah blah blah.

            HadtoLogin is pointing out the fact that despite criticizing steam and other distributors on this front – they are now doing it as well. Hypocrisy 101

          • Generico says:

            Valve doesn’t do steam sales out of the kindness of its heart. They do it because it makes more money than not doing it, for them AND the developers. EA started doing it because they finally pulled their head out of their ass long enough to realize that if units sold goes up at a higher rate than the price goes down, you make more money.

            EA’s CEO was just mad because Valve is breaking the unwritten pact between game publishers that all AAA titles arbitrarily sell at the same price point. If the sale price of a game was actually based on anything real, they wouldn’t all have the same price. But for decades now, that price has pretty much been pulled directly from the arse of some marketing guy who then crosses his fingers and performs a pagan blood ritual so the economy gods will grant sufficient sales to at least cover development costs.

          • c71483 says:

            Films? The things that get a bazillion (exaggeration) special editions released?
            http://www.nintendoservicecentre.co.uk/support/3ds/my-nintendo-3ds-xl-doesnt-have-a-charger

    • Deadly Habit says:

      Some devs still do this, take CD Projekt Red with all the extra content and patches they added for free with The Witcher 1 & 2.
      EA is at a point where they’re trying to see how much blood they can get from a stone before it hurts their brand to the point people boycott them or sales fall in the shitter.
      Wasn’t it EA’s CEO who said he’d love to see microtransactions on full commercially released games in an interview?
      edit: here we go http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR6-u8OIJTE

      • Delusibeta says:

        Suddenly the microtransactions in Dead Space 3 make a lot more sense.

      • gladius2metal says:

        interesting!!! Was there an article on RPS or somewhere else with a link to that video?

        • Deadly Habit says:

          It’s an excerpt from an EA’s 2011 shareholder’s meeting. There is this article http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/07/23/its-alive-its-alive-its-alive-pc-gaming/ that echo’s the same sentiment as from that audio clip.

          • Zlarp says:

            I would just *love* to pay you for saving my game, loading an old game (“it’s a roguelike with premium features!), reloading my weapon (it’s a skill your character doesn’t possess, but there’s a chip in the brain where he can rent a reload function) walking (you’re an elderly person with an exoskeleton and you’re paying for extended movement privileges)
            And, of course, vision. (It’s a horror game, you can play the entire game in complete darkness or pay for your character’s eye surgery)

      • AaronLee says:

        Gotta’ love emperor palpetine’s theme in the background there. Really drives the feel home XD

      • Amun says:

        Oh my god he actually thinks that every person who plays games makes CEO money and can afford to waste $5,000 a year paying a computer to make a number go up. I’d like to hear what he would think if he only made $20,000 a year instead of 20 million.

        Now I need to lie down because I feel like puking.

    • Tyrmot says:

      I really want to play this, but really don’t want to support this kind of business model (plus the always-on malarkey). What’s a man to do?

      • Ross Angus says:

        Find a competing product, and buy that instead?

        • ichigo2862 says:

          point me to a worthy rival good man, and i will shower them with my attentions.

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          • FKD says:

            Well, I kind of think the charger that Knameidna is talking about is prooobably not what you’re looking for. However, a guy I used to work with got really into Cities XL. I’ve heard conflicting things about it and never actually tried it myself, but I know a second version (Cities 2012 I think?) came out. Not sure if you were aware of that one already so just figured I’d throw that out there! :D

          • Dark Malady says:

            Well… I bought the original XL, and it was good but I never got into the multiplayer, mostly because it was subscription based. the 2011 revision was really good and i got it quite cheap for already owning the first game, and by then the multiplayer aspect had been turned into a resource trading with yourself kinda thing, which was better in my opinion, but it was more like… take-two at the same thing, but i got it for like 10 or 15 as an “upgrade”. I then got the 2012 version in a steam sale, and it’s not really a new game from the 2011 one either, but again had revisions, improvements and general smoothing.
            It is a good City-Sim, not a Sim-City game mind, but still a decent game with some very interesting Ideas (love the curved roads)
            And it has a Mod community, which really pumped my enthusiasm.
            http://xlnation.net/xlex

      • Mctittles says:

        If you haven’t played Sim City 4, I’d say it has more depth and detail than this one. You can take a look at the steam community screenshots to get an idea:
        http://steamcommunity.com/app/24780/screenshots/?p=1&browsefilter=toprated

        Less flat textures and more high detailed buildings, plus larger areas and actual strategy. I see little reason to upgrade.

    • MondSemmel says:

      It’s not just DLC; this is Day 1 DLC. I have no idea how Nathan (or anyone on RPS, for that matter) could possibly be of two minds about this. It’s very simple: Day 1 DLC is always wrong, no exceptions. No exceptions: It’s no better when the indie devs of Desktop Dungeons do it than when EA does it.

    • Hazzard65 says:

      And this is why I am planning on buying and then pirating.

      • Lev Astov says:

        Now there’s an interesting idea. Give them some money, then take the whole thing like it should be, sans garbage.

      • SaVi says:

        Good idea. Except it isn’t.
        Piracy isn’t less piracy just because you didn’t pirate the whole thing. You are still not paying for stuff you are enjoying.
        Voting with your wallet is even more true when it comes to DLC and deluxe editions.

    • yurusei says:

      I’d rather they bury the SimCity series than change it into the cash cow that was The Sims. Better six feet under than six more expansions titled SimCity : More Buildings,SimCity : Vacation in the Solomon Islands, Simcity : Realistic Weather or SimCity : Medieval.

  2. BobbyDylan says:

    £20 DLC. That’s EA for you.

    • Ridnarhtim says:

      You might as well call it that, except it’s worse – you can’t buy the base game, then decide “I want that stuff, I’ll buy it for £20.” (unless they actually do release it as DLC) No, you have to make up your mind BEFORE buying the game.

      It’s pretty disgusting, but I guess it’s what most (big) companies are doing now.

  3. DonJefe says:

    The concept does seem a bit shallow. If it was possible to build an entire city in a European style instead of the typical American city design, then that would be something. But from what I can understand it is only the look of the buildings surrounding the city wonder (Eiffeltower, Brandenburger Tor and so on) that gets a european “flavour”. That seems a bit weak.

    • SanguineAngel says:

      Is that confirmed? If so, it’s not such a big deal since I don’t particularly want the world famous real landmarks in my city. BUT the varied and culturally distinct architectural styles and the different transit systems seem like actually pretty basic concepts. I’m disappointed that they’re not in the base game and I am disappointed (but also relieved as I feel less like I’m missing out) if it’s true that building styles can’t apply where you choose.

      • DonJefe says:

        It is by no means confirmed, but when you read about it on Origin’s site, it sure sounds that way. I would paste a quote from the site but Origin won’t let me enter anything but the Danish site. I says something about “neighbourhoods” getting a “fresh look”. Doesn’t sound like the whole city.

        • Bent Wooden Spoon says:

          Might be some vernacular lost in translation. The concept of ‘neighbourhood’ in the US generally tends to be broader in scope than in much of Europe, and the ‘cities’ in this aren’t all that big.

          Don’t know if it’s one way or another, and they could definitely do with clarifying that, but I wouldn’t be so quick to jump to assumptions based on what is basically marketing blah.

          • MrLebanon says:

            I remember reading (or perhaps watching a dev play SC) and hearing it the way it is… only the buildings around the “wonder” will be changed

          • DonJefe says:

            I hope you are right. The Danish word for “neighbourhood” is “bydel” litterally meaning “a part of town/city”. So it may be that EA have translated it incorrectly but in the Danish wording it definitely means that only a part of the city will change to a European look.

            But with that being said I am still very excited for the full game. The beta/demo was very convincing.

        • Mana_Garmr says:

          The version in English says
          “Change in the Streets

          Watch the streets, homes, businesses, and vehicles around your landmarks start to take on the flavor of those countries. ”

          Certainly sounds like it’s restricted to the nearby buildings. I wonder if the vehicles will change as they leave the landmark radius.

      • battles_atlas says:

        What Sanguine said. If it just alters a block around the Wonder then its a horrible addition that will give you a theme neighbour like one of those god-awful Chinese mock-ups of New York or London. Even worse than Celebration, Florida. At least that was consistent in its horror.

        This is supposed to be SimCity, not SimThemePark.

        What I’d like, and be willing to pay a sensible additional cost for (like a fiver on top of a £30 game), was a complete city re-theme. This isn’t that, the price is insane, and EA can fuck right off.

    • Gap Gen says:

      If it weren’t EA I’d suggest that this’d be the perfect use case for Steamworks, with users building architecture styled around their own cities. I remember that the Sim City 2000 add-on did this.

  4. SpiderLoot says:

    I find it rather odd how poorly ‘consumers’ are treated by computer game publishers, as opposed to other industries. DVD’s may benefit from deleted scenes, and certain overseas editions of albums will often contain special tracks. But making a film, shooting a large chunk of backstory, and only releasing it to people who have payed extra on their ticket would hopefully be something moviegoers would utterly condemn. The gamers that would condemn or express concern over the same thing happening in a game are labelled entitled.

    Then again, as you say, it’s not like any of this will be missed if you never knew it was there. But it still feels ‘aggressive’, and somehow degrades the final product. Almost like you’re paying more for a cheaper experience..

    • Hahaha says:

      Films? The things that get a bazillion (exaggeration) special editions released?

      • Baines says:

        I can spend $15 for the DVD, $20 for the DVD+Bluray combo, $30 for the Collectors edition fancy packaging, $40 for the Limited Collectors edition with fancy packaging, a directors cut, and a bonus “making of” disc… Or I can wait a year. At that point the film will be budget priced, but it may or may not include any of the bonus material.

        I’ve got to agree that it is a lot like videogame DLC. It even had the equivalent of GOTY/Complete releases.

        Movies also match the derided Capcom “Super” editions of fighting games, with re-releases that are the same base movie, but have added more extras or features to get the same people to re-buy it.

  5. hbarsquared says:

    My enthusiasm for this game is nearly unlimited, but EA is doing a phenomenal job of crushing it anyway.

  6. Theodoric says:

    I pre-ordered it a week ago, before this video was up, but it was already an option. (Yeah, I know pre-ordering is against the RPS code, but my inner nine year old is an impatient brat). I chose the regular ‘Digital Deluxe’ edition, because this extra stuff would cost me €20 more, over the already not-too-cheap base game, for not all that much more of a game.

    Importantly, I wouldn’t buy this as extra DLC at such a price, so no way on earth am I going to spend that for a small amount of extra stuff before I even have the game.

    • Squirrelfanatic says:

      Although I can relate to your decision I must say that there is no such thing as an RPS code that says “You mustn’t EVER preorder!!”. There are tons of posts that inform you of games being available on pre-order. It’s just that you should be wary if you find yourself tempted to buy something before you can get informed opinion of. Case in point, I was very much looking forward to “The Cave” and nearly pre-ordered, just because I longed for the game the trailers and pre-release info promised it would be. I am very happy I didn’t after reading the WIT and other reviews.

  7. Brun says:

    but some fans may still feel like they’re being coerced into spending extra for the “complete” package

    Completeness is a matter of perception only. To me, the “complete” package is the base game, and the European packs are “extra.” You’re assuming that content like this would exist and be packaged with the base game were DLC never invented, or if it were outlawed tomorrow. I assume differently, and posit that these extras would *never* exist (as in, never modeled by the artists) in the first place if DLC never existed.

    As such DLC has never really bothered me. I don’t know what kind of mental block is in place for so many people that keeps them from wrapping their heads around that notion.

    • Vorphalack says:

      I think in this case there is no good argument to justify the price tag.

    • D3xter says:

      “Complete” is a game with all its content on the day of Release.
      “Not complete” is cutting out features to sell them separately on the day of Release.

      The usual arguments about the dev time while a game is in “console certification” to justify this kind of greed do not apply at all on the PC, even less so on EAs very own platform.

      Cutting up a game to sell it piece-meal trying to tell people that something is “Extra” like they did with Mass Effect 3 or are doing with Sim City (aside from all the other reasons to not buy it) is not something I have the intention of ever supporting.

      • Brun says:

        I think in this case there is no good argument to justify the price tag.

        Whether the extras are priced accordingly is a different argument, and I agree that $20 is way too much for what is essentially a skin pack.

        “Complete” is a game with all its content on the day of Release.
        “Not complete” is cutting out features to sell them separately on the day of Release.

        You have no idea if those cut features would even have been made in the first place if the option to monetize them as DLC weren’t available. If the Great Overlord of Video Games suddenly issued an edict saying “No more DLC, ever,” you really think EA would include this stuff out of the goodness of their hearts? Hell no they wouldn’t. They wouldn’t spend the money to make it in the first place. But hey, since you’re now none the wiser, the game is “complete,” and it’s suddenly okay?

        • D3xter says:

          Internal budget decisions of publishers are of no concern to the end consumer, they could cut out any one part or system of the game a team worked on and arbitrarily call it “DLC” or in your case “Extra” (like they for instance did with the Dead Space 3 Crafting system if you look on Page 3, they generally also cut out systems that don’t work and replace them and don’t send a bill to every customer for them), just as development time (if it is 1, 2 or 5 years) or the amount of people who worked on a game are not a direct concern for the customer. The only conclusion one can come to is that the game comes out March 5 and it *is not complete*.

          • Brun says:

            My point was that you don’t know whether a piece of DLC was cut content or was purpose-developed as DLC from the get-go. You’re just assuming that all DLC is cut content.

    • P.Funk says:

      SimCity4 had it as default content, so really I don’t think your logic follows. Its not as if this is the launch title for the franchise, its a very very late iteration of a long standing product. SimCity4 shipped with 4 different building types and numerous landmarks, some of which I’m pretty sure were the same as are in this Deluxe edition.

      The most important thing to ask yourself is, how different is the “base” model today from what you would have received before the days of DLC?

  8. Turquoise Days says:

    Eh, I’ll get it in a sale in a couple of years when (if Sim City 4 was anything to go by) they might have it properly patched.

    • Swanny says:

      Same here. I’ve got about a one year backlog of games on steam, i’ll wait till the Game of the Year edition goes on sale. I don’t need to drop an extra 20 so i can build parking garages.

  9. DickSocrates says:

    I waited years for SimCity 5. Then EA did a big EA-style, shareholder first (consumer a distant last), dump all over it. I wil honestly, 100% guaranteed, never play this game. I have other things to do, I am not so empty headed that I MUST have the latest game. Fortunately for EA, most people can’t control themselves in our glorious capitalist machine. Seriously, when was the last time you ever thought “hmmm, no, I don’t actually need this so I won’t buy it.”? You need your smartphone do you? So you can play Super Hexagon on the toilet or in a queue so you don’t accidentally start thinking about your life. Always stay distracted, you won’t even notice when you die.

    The customer is the enemy to EA. We are an inconvenience, a necessary evil. If they could somehow take our money while we were asleep without telling us or giving us anything in exchange for it, they’d be right on it.

    • Groove says:

      Actually, after the steam sales beast, most of the gamers I know are saying no all the time, even to stuff they want.

      Watching a game I’ve bought and that I was really interested in fall from ‘excited about’ to ‘should play’ to ‘will probably never get the chance to play’ is a sad experience, but unavoidable with the amount of free time I have. I’ve got must-have games from 2 years ago sitting idley on my to play pile, I’m not going to buy anything new unless it’s occupying my every waking moment.

  10. mrmalodor says:

    I bet all of that DLC will be included on day one with all versions, waiting to be unlocked.

  11. JBantha says:

    I think it’s fine. At the end is only a lot of re-skins. All the core game-play is in the “Standard” edition already. This is just for that extra sparkling stuff. Like in Roller Coaster Tycoon when all the basis were on the original edition, but the Deluxe edition had like 6-Flag themed attractions. It changed game-play in almost-no-way at all, but it was cutesy non the less. I’ll might be getting this version.

  12. Groove says:

    This seems to serve the purpose of fleecing people for completionist instincts. I want the FULL game, so I need to spend £20 on some skins I don’t want, that kind of reasoning.

    On the other hand, maybe EA are trying to train people to dismiss their completionist instincts, in a long-term effort to stop people buying Pokemon games. Personally, they’ve broken my need to have it all with their wanton money grabs.

    On the third hand, maybe this is just to make DLC look reasonably priced. I’ve already paid £20 for some skins, so a handful of actual content for a tenner MUST be good.

  13. Smi says:

    I’m a bit disappointed with the whole pricing thing for SimCity anyway – I loved the beta to the extent where it went from an “I’m excited but can wait” to “Flip, I want this game” – but to be honest, even £45 is too expensive. I’m a bit of a completist, too, and I’d love that extra content. But £65 is a real no-go for me!

    Look, EA – price the game more sensibly and we might buy it. As it stands, I’m going to be waiting for that price to drop. I’m not made of money!

  14. Felixader says:

    Well, that is in tune withe the Dead Space 3 BS.

    I think this is Bullshit, and i wished people wouldn’t support that crap.
    I am not one to play Sim City, but ever sine the Dead Space 3 Details came out i am in a inner debate if i should get that or not.

  15. Bhazor says:

    London, Berlin and Paris. Meh, they’re so played out.
    Where the hell is Prague or Venice? Those cities are sexy as fuck.

    Side note: I’m not buying this game due to the bullshit.

  16. TormDK says:

    Find a website that sells the Limited Edition cheap.

    Then buy the Deluxe upgrade from the Origin Store if you want the DLC.

    Then you can get the best of both worlds at at reduced price. Don’t be a sucker and purchase directly through Origin at that price.

  17. caddyB says:

    I would like the German pack, if only to recreate the town I was born in.
    Oh well, they’ll probably sell it later.

  18. mehteh says:

    I would usually say “another reason to pirate”, but what is the point. The older Sim City games can do more than this game not to mention they can also save progress and make bigger cities.

    • Gnoupi says:

      They do not simulate a city on the citizen/car level, though.

      Opening SimCity 4 after trying the new SimCity made me realize that the way it was managing traffic and population was only by a different animation on individual tiles, based on their “traffic” internal figure. Cars which go to the end of the road and disappear., same for pedestrians.

      • MrLebanon says:

        As cool as a visual feature that is…. I like to play sim city.. If I wanted to watch cars dirve and people walk I would look out the window

      • Dark Malady says:

        Yeah, you can’t see the little Sims driving from place to place realistically, but there was an info pane that showed where citizens worked/lived, and that determined the traffic flow along streets. and the stupid “my sim” feature had a persistent (ugly) little car that they drove to work in and back, so I think the “ground up” thing that they have been advertising isn’t as revolutionary as they would have us believe, they were obviously messing around with similar ideas in the past.
        I really want this game, but the Digital deluxe is $100 AUD… which is stupidly expensive. I wish the game well, So i can either buy a GOTY type next year/ buy the infinitely improved sequel in 2-3 years time. I don’t think that the small city size, DRM, Lack of public transport (but seriously, towns that small don’t really need much as you could just walk wherever.) and the Lack of any sort of Community Content are doing much to sell this game to the people who have grown attached SimCity4. I would reconsider my stance perhaps if they released something like the world editor they released for the Sims3, as I would take that as a sign of good faith from the company that aren’t TOTALLY trying to keep us reliant on drip fed DLC maps, once we get sick of the ones the game ships with.

  19. Milky1985 says:

    “complete unique achievements and earn big bucks as waves of Sims visit the landmarks. ”

    So you get an advantage over people who do not have this (as you get more tourism money as there’s more buildings you can plonk down) and you can get achievements that others cannot, if you spend extra money. This is how i read this :(

  20. Gnoupi says:

    There can be a reason to buy this. Buy this edition on Origin, and get 50€ back to buy other games. (Yeah, it’s actually 5 x 10€).

    If you plan to buy a lot more EA games directly from Origin (or if you have a family member who is anyway buying all Sims expansion packs, those which almost never go for a sale), it could have a point.

    • RedViv says:

      I don’t know if that is such a good deal when most of the games on Origin are at least ten quid more anyway.

    • Vodos says:

      That coupon offer is a load of BS. In theory you get 10€ off your next 5 purchases on Origin. The fine-print changes slightly from country to country, but in Germany you can’t use the coupons on: pre-orders, new games (<1 month old), DLC including BF3 Premium, virtual currencies (Bioware or Sim points), MMO game time cards, Valve games, "select titles" from third-party publishers (probably everything non-EA on Origin) or anything SWTOR. You have to use the coupons within the next couple of months and your order has to be 20€+ in value. Try and find something you can use these stupid coupons on. Older EA games cost 19.99 (1 cent below the coupon treshold), really old games cost 9.99.

  21. IncredibleBulk92 says:

    Sim City is just going to get dozens and dozens of DLC’s isn’t it. The Sims is going to feel neglected next to it. Buy the Taj Mahal, Vegas tileset and tourism buildings only £10 each.

    How long before we start calling the standard edition of games the limited edition?

    • SanguineAngel says:

      I saw the Sims 3 catalogue on sale recently and thought I might pick it up for the girlfriend. Holy shite, even at massive discount off we were looking at hundreds of ££s

      I actually felt physically ill at the sight of it. Regardless, although I dismissed the idea outright, I did notice that I was largely of the mind of all or nothing. There are tonnes of expansions for the sims and I would consider picking up all of them to be the “complete” package and without them, knowing they are out there, I would feel like the base game alone was incomplete.

      The same applies here with SimCity. Some aspects of the additional content in particular feel like they ought to be in the base game anyway – culturally distinct architectural styles and full transit options (although I don’t know what they classify as “more” transport options. Underground rail etc?).

      I’m still very dubious about the game in general, but I saw the digital deluxe version on sale the other day – £65 is a LOT of money – and it just put me off buying it in general. It also feel very much as if they are setting the tone – I would expect to see reems of expensive expansions for simcity as well.

  22. Tei says:

    Price don’t make a game better, I have paid $60 for a few games, and where shit. And I have paid less than 30$ for a lot of games that where incredible good.

    Is a mistake that I am trying to not make again.

  23. JackDandy says:

    I have a question- “Is it really that good? Seriously?”

    It’s just a watered down sequel. Over-charging for such petty things. I mean.. who cares? Is this game even worth the base price?

  24. Zephro says:

    It doesn’t even look like London :-S There’s not that many red brick mock tudor houses.

    Also last I checked Big Ben was attached to something,…

    • RedViv says:

      See, it’s a blatant attempt at subconscious indoctrination. No palace, no symbolism, no rebellion of people in masks of Guy Fawkes, no Anon, no uproar against The Man. It’s all in there! WHY DON’T PEOPLE SEE? WHAT IS IN THE WATER????!?

  25. Soapeh says:

    If EA are treating this like The Sims, everyone should be expecting a relentless DLC cavalcade over the next 6 years. Reskinned buildings (1930′s New York Booster Pack! Invididual landmarks from around the world that you will probably need to buy separately! Futuristic building and transport systems pack!) that ultimately won’t change the gameplay very much but will wring money out of gullible players..

    • Hahaha says:

      Didn’t play the beta? first thing I thought was….”I’ve loaded the sims”. Hopefully in the next few years they will merge the two together.

  26. mrmalodor says:

    I’ll be over here holding back my money. Call me once you get your shit straight, EA.

  27. stoopiduk says:

    This expansion could cost 20p and print winning lottery tickets on a weekly basis and I still wouldn’t install the festering turd that is EA Origin.

    On the wider issue, I see no problem with paying for more content, questions will have to be raised if the game is buggy at release though. If EA have spent their time polishing one other’s Big Ben ends instead of polishing their game, consumers will have a right to question the allocation of resources on added extras before there’s something worth adding them to.

  28. Bishop149 says:

    One of the best things about SimCity4 was the modding community with many things like what is being offered here as DLC being offered free by a hard working excellent community.

    If they wanna sell this stuff I fear the modding will be HEAVILY restricted.

  29. Ridnarhtim says:

    How much do you want to bet all the buildings/scenarios etc. will be in the game, but with a little padlock symbol and a “buy it now” button, taunting you mercilessly.

  30. SexualHarassmentPanda says:

    Forget about the DLC

    Where are the transit systems? Subways? Trains?

    What about water piping, why is that not in the game?

    I won’t be buying SimCity until it is a COMPLETE game, and if they are taking time to add DLC instead of finish the fucking game, I won’t ever be buying it.

    • Brun says:

      True, I guess it wouldn’t be London without the lady saying “Mind the Gap” over the speakers in the Tube.

    • Zephro says:

      Hang on, there’s also no Underground? What the hell?!?!?

      • smg77 says:

        Why give you a complete game when they can give you a super basic platform of a game and then gouge you for years with endless DLC?

    • Lanfranc says:

      I must admit I do not consider the presence of water piping particularly essential for a Simcity game.

      On the contrary, they way they have reconstructed the modelling of utilities to follow the new agent model does seem like one of the more interesting parts of the game.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Until you realize only transport should be modeled that way, with water and electric not using “packets”. I’m all for removing zones or areas of effect for other types of building, but electric and water tend to be on a “flow” bases, not a packeted one.

    • tehfish says:

      - Where are the transit systems? Subways? Trains?
      Trains were there in the closed beta game menus, as was buses and tramways. (though all three greyed out at the time)
      I don’t remember subways admittedly, but that may have been me not paying attention.

      What about water piping, why is that not in the game?
      -As a long-term simcity fan, i do not mind this change too much. It removes a lot of tedious micro-management from the game.
      The only issue i can see is if you were to try to make a roadless city, i feel this won’t be at all possible in this game.

  31. Shooop says:

    I’m guessing it’s another test. This one to see how much already-developed content EA can withhold from people unless they pay extra for it.

    If history is anything to go by it’ll be a resounding success.

  32. Domino says:

    I’ll be sitting over here playing my steam catalogue.

    I’m not affraid to say no to something I want, guaranteed sales within the next year because the game won’t be as popular as they had hoped.

    ‘Small towns’ and no local saves, I don’t care what people say – Always online DRM does not curb piracy – it will only encourage it and hurt those that do buy games legitimately. It’s happened before and it will happen again, those that want to pirate will do so anyway and have a better time than those that bought the game with limitations.

    I’m all for voting with my wallet, but its a shame that the gaming industry is going in the direction that it is. Bring back the times where DLC and content patches were free.

    I still have my collection of burned CDRs and floppy discs with mods, patches and updates for games that my friends had but they had no internet connection at the time.

    • Shooop says:

      Your argument about DRM falls apart right when you mention Steam.

      Steam doubles as DRM. Not intrusive DRM, but still DRM.

      • Domino says:

        Because using offline mode impedes gameplay? Not the last time I checked, and if you look a lot of Steam games that are third party and don’t use steamworks do not require steam to be running to play.

        Ignoring the fact I’m not always home so playing games while on the move has what affect on me mentioning steam? None. You seem to be one of those that jump the gun by making a conclusion without all the facts. Yes steam is a ‘DRM’ but only for ‘Steamworks’ games that need the network for online play, which is totally ignored in Offline mode.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          This. Show me an Origin game that can be played without Origin open (and without any other launcher).
          I’ll honestly be surprised if there is one. I’m not against Origin, I just would like more features that I can use, and more room to “play” with it before I’d risk sinking my cash into a purchase.

          • Tayh says:

            Sims 3, Mass Effect 2 and Dragon Age 2.
            All bought through Origin, none require Origin to be running in order to play.
            Also, Origin’s offline mode actually works without any hassle.

        • Shooop says:

          You explicitly brought up DRM as being a reason not to play it. I’m pointing out Steam is also DRM.

          No it isn’t intrusive like always-on DRM, but it’s still DRM and that’s like discovering the shirt you bought was made in a sweatshop where all the workers are orphans instead of discovering your jacket was made from the skin of orphans who died in a sweatshop.

          It’s a bad comparison because neither are good. One is definitely worse, but neither are good.

          • Narzhul says:

            He specifically said “Always online DRM.” There is no comparison between always online and a brief authentication method.

  33. krisanto says:

    Whether we buy the game or not, we gamers still lose.
    Buy it = Riccitiello: “$80 with bundled DRM and DLC works! Let’s do this on every game from now on”
    Don’t buy it = Riccitiello: “Sim City failed. Oh well, let this be the last Sim City ever produced. The genre’s past it’s prime”

  34. Agent00Funk says:

    I am of the mind that this sort of Deluxe Edition is crap, and the Origin exclusivity is even more crap.

    In point to Origin exclusivity, I have nothing against Origin, but I dislike that I am able to buy the limited edition from other retailers, such as Amazon, but would be forced to go to Origin to get the full package. I know it may seem petty, and certainly this sort of criticism also applies to Valve, but doing exclusive distribution deals does not make consumers happy. Maybe I have a gift card, or membership card to a retailer, and I would feel cheated if I was unable to get the “full monty” because of these exclusive deals. But that really is just a minor quibble, something I could overlook if it weren’t for the second part of the problem.

    The big problem, and the reason I will not be buying this game until the inevitable “complete collection” package comes out is probability for absurdly priced DLC. If the price-to-content ratio of the difference between the “limited edition” and the “digital deluxe edition” is any indication, we can expect $20 DLC being thrown at us that adds very little meaningful content. I dislike the always-online DRM/service/PR jargon, but in reality I do have a stable internet connection and so it is unlikely to really negatively affect me, although the inability to load saved games is, in my opinion, completely stupid. While I dislike the inevitable push to involve social media and “share with your friends” BS, I can ignore it…lord knows we already are bombed by that sort of crap in our everyday lives and ignoring yet another attempt won’t be too difficult. I am a long SimCity player, and what I always enjoyed about the games was that they gave you a complete kit. Even if there were expansions packs, those packs were reasonably priced for the amount of content that they offered. But if you look at the Sims3, you see that a lot of the stuff that was part of 1 and 2 or was created through the modding community has now been monetized. Want your Sims to have new clothes? $20 please. You want a pet? $40 please. If you wanted to have everything the Sims 3 offered, you would be in the hole a couple of hundred dollars, and all you’d get in return basically amounts to virtual clothes and furniture, which should have been included from the start, or at least in more complete, and reasonably priced expansion packs. While I would still grumble, I’d be willing to sink $5-1$0
    on a DLC pack that interests me, but when I can get a new game for the price of virtual clothes…well, I’ll be playing a new game.

    I see the same thing happening with SimCity. If you want to have the full experience, then be prepared to sink hundreds of dollars into the game. And that is what pisses me off, and why I won’t be buying the game. I don’t have hundreds of dollars to get an experience which has traditionally costed less than $100. Why would I spend money on a game that promises me to “build the city I’ve always wanted” if building that city involves getting nickled and dimed along the way? If I buy a city builder, I’d hope that my money would unlock all of the options available to build that city in any manner I choose, but in the case of this SimCity, it simply won’t. Instead we’ll get $20-$40 dollar DLC that will allow you to add landmarks, and cultural themes. Want Asian style buildings? $20 dollars please. More world landmarks? $30 dollars please. Hey, we got subways now, but they’ll cost you $40! No thanks. I’ll wait until all the DLC has been squeezed and I’ll buy the game when I can get the complete package.

    I am not opposed to DLC, but EA has horrific pricing and prolific DLC creation. Either that, or let me get a season pass like BF3 for a single, reasonable price, and thereby guarantee that I’ll end up with the full package, because there is nothing I dislike more in a game than feeling like I am missing out on something that should already be included, especially in a game like SimCity where the things you would be missing are the tools to build your perfect city. If the Sims3 DLC history is any indication of what will happen to SimCity, then that more than the always online-DRM, retail exclusiveness, and silly “social media” foists will be why I won’t buy the game, nor pirate it. I simply won’t spend money on a game that keeps asking me for more money, and then delivers things that should have been free or already included in the purchase price.

  35. TimMc says:

    Back in my day, Deluxe editions came out year or two later, with all the DLC and expansions. Sort of a goodbye edition, no more content to come.

    Now we get games cut into pieces for DLC, and these ‘deluxe’ editions on launch. Then we have these new ‘complete’ editions that are exactly what Deluxe used to be.

  36. Keymonk says:

    ‘Exclusively on Origin’. Of course. So they can demand hilariously high prices for them.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      I just noticed that Origin is an anagram of iGroin, which I presume would be an electronic place to keep things that itch and smell of gouda

  37. vexytube says:

    They missed “More Money” at the end there

  38. angel831han says:

    Another crazy building games that keeps me awake. another game is launched and this gonna be fun making my own city. hahaha

    Dragon Nest Blogger.

  39. D3xter says:

    I am simply baffled at people still wanting to buy this or Dead Space 3:

    Sim City:
    - Always Online DRM (expect more of this come Launch: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130127/19023721799/redditor-points-out-flaws-simcitys-online-only-drm-gets-banned-ea-his-troubles.shtml )
    - Day1 DLC
    - Exclusive to Origin
    - The possibility of being banned for anything they may deem an “exploit”

    Dead Space 3:
    - Day1 DLC (and “announced” DLC)
    - Microtransactions in SinglePlayer
    - Exclusive to Origin
    - They also fucked it up with the CoOp and other design choices, that it doesn’t seem to be much like the Prequels anymore

    There’s a full list for the Microtransaction crap over here for what they want to charge people aside from the main game: http://www.destructoid.com/dead-space-3-microtransaction-prices-revealed-243522.phtml

    Bot Capacity Upgrade $4.99
    Bot Personality Pack $4.99
    First Contact Pack Free (OMG, THERE’S STILL FREE PARTS TO A GAME I AM SUPPOSED TO BUY FULL PRICE, THANK YOU SO MUCH EA!)
    Marauder Pack $4.99
    Sharpshooter Pack $4.99
    Tundra Recon Pack $4.99
    Witness the Truth Pack $4.99
    Bot Accelerator $4.99
    Epic Weapon & Resource Pack $2.99
    Online Pass $9.99
    Ultra Weapon & Resource Pack $1.99
    Resource Pack $0.99

  40. P.Funk says:

    Simcity 4 Had all of this stuff built into it btw. Literally all of it, except the heroes nonsense.

    • solymer89 says:

      This Sim City may epitomize what the gaming industry has become over the past five to six years. Great advancements in graphics, but an incomplete and shortened production of the entire game, relative to previous attempts. The mechanics are functional and there is enough initial content to hold you over through that first week or two of newness, anything beyond that and your gonna have to pay more.

      Other examples:
      The Heroes of Might and Magic series. Peaked at the third installment then went downhill from there.

      The Civilization series. Civ IV is one of the most complete games ever made. The previous games led up to it. It wasn’t that way when it was released and did require a couple of expansions that took a few years to bang out, but all for the better. I am still playing Civ IV to this day and learning new things about it all. That doesn’t even include all the mods out there.

      There are more but I can only type so much while at work :)

      • P.Funk says:

        Well thats why they had to reboot it isn’t it? You can’t go making what should be a seminal iteration of a progressively more “perfect” title and try and tack on a DLC microtrans model… not if you want to really dig your claws in.

        People often talk about presentation being a key aspect of new iterations of games, especially in the sports series on consoles. Its pretty sad if the only way you can really deck something out with its full boat of personality through buying stuff.

        This is why I like TF2′s F2P policy (even if I still think F2P killed that game’s teamwork). In TF2 every perk you get in items for pre ordering a game, or every item you can buy in a store you can also craft with metal you acquire in game or will just randomly drop over time. You’re not missing out because you can burn all your extra weapons and have enough metal to get that hat you always wanted, or hope that you get a hat drop eventually and trade it 1:1 for most hats, etc. Most of the aspects of item value is subjective and has no value to gameplay, or even to most of its visual appeal. Some people like low crafting numbers (meaning its one of the first 100 crafted) which really… is pointlessly anal and is something that only exists as a value within a small sect of the item community.

        Overall, the DLC model of “this game really isn’t complete without spending more than normal” annoys me endlessly. TF2 at least offers me the chance to work towards getting the thing I want, as do all good F2P games. Games that are normal pay model but add this aspect that Sim City has… its in my opinion the absolute worst balance for consumer value.

        I think the better option would be to make it so that all these things are unlocks for absurdly difficult achievements in the game, but you can unlock them instantly with a Deluxe edition. I just wonder if this game isn’t hard enough to be able to have these kinds of achievements.

  41. solymer89 says:

    Well I won’t be getting any of the extra’s. I’m actually still up in the air about buying the game at all, even after playing about 5-6 hours worth of the beta. I don’t usually go for the extra stuff on releases anyways.

    I let a couple of buddies try the beta as well and both were really concerned with the scale… or lack thereof. Even though the game looks great and plays great, the lack of any expansion space, real or perceived, is a detriment right now. They aren’t completely familiar with the regions concept, but I am siding with them on this. The city plots “seem” to be too small.

  42. BlackAlpha says:

    The game looks underwhelming. This Day-0 DLC nonsense is not right. I haven’t boycotted a game in a while, but I’m considering to take up the practice again. Either way, no buy from me. Disappointed…

  43. BrettW says:

    You think that’s steep? Australians pay $80 AUD (roughly $83 USD) for the non Deluxe version, via Origin no less. It’s $100 AUD for the Deluxe version.

    In short: Australians get a 25% bonus outrage.

  44. kibble-n-bullets says:

    Offering a categorically better version of a game alongside a lesser version is deeply troubling to me. I believe that the customer should always experience the very best base experience you can offer them. There are many other things that fans will be happy to pay more for such as digital artwork, behind the scenes videos, design documents, developer diaries, and the equivalent of digital flair.

    I would ask that RPS review the basic version alone in the inevitable ‘Wot I Think’ feature as a means of communicating the following: If the publisher has a financially walled of version of a game that is simply more fleshed out than another, than it is the publisher who should be responsible to communicate the merits of that version to the public and not RPS.

    - Cheers.

  45. DRoseDARs says:

    I miss Maxis. :-(

  46. Dachannien says:

    Wake me up when they have bigger cities, highways, and better mass transit. Maybe by that time, the core game will be ten bucks, even if the DLC is still overpriced.

  47. sharkh20 says:

    I haven’t pirated a game in so long, but EA makes it so very tempting.

    • JaminBob says:

      Yep. Not since i got my first proper job.

      But i would feel zero guilt stealing this over-priced, always on, origin only, drm infested, so-so game.

    • Narzhul says:

      I haven’t pirated in a billion years either, but they couldn’t pay me to play this. Simtown does not look worth pirating.

  48. kaloth says:

    As I said over at kotaku on this exact same subject:

    If you’re THAT grouchy about paying US$80 for it, use a VPN to make your IP come from Singapore and buy it like that. It’s on sale at S$73.71 almost permanently and that equates to, at the current rate of exchange, US$59.09. Instant $21 saving.

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