A Sorry Tale: EA Offering SimCity 4 To SimCity 5 Buyers!

By John Walker on March 18th, 2013 at 4:52 pm.

EA wants to say “sooorweeeee”. For pretending the game had to be online for server computations, and then ignoring us when we pointed out this wasn’t the case? No, not because of that! But for launching SimCity in the most extraordinarily inept fashion, with barely functioning servers, massive queues, frequent crashes, and the rest of the mess everyone in the whole world except EA and that one reviews editor predicted would happen. To make this up to everyone who’s activated a copy of the game, and rather madly to people who buy one any time up to the 25th March, there is a free game available. And they’re proper good ones, too. One of them is a rather fine city building game, called SimCity 4.

That EA is apologising to customers who’ve yet to even buy SimCity is pretty extraordinary. “We’re sorry you’re about to buy our broken game.” I’m sure they’re hoping this might boost some new sales too, but it’s still a fairly odd situation.

So what can you get? Here’s the list:

Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
Bejeweled 3
Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
MOHW (Standard Edition)
NFS Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
Plants vs. Zombies
SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

If you want to gouge them for the maximum amount, Dead Space 3 still costs £40 on Origin. And you’d be mad to opt for Plants Vs. Zombies, which is only £7. Well, unless you want it, and this isn’t just about the graph EA execs will have to look at in a month’s time.

But best of all is the SimCity 4 Deluxe edition, usually £20, that offers a fantastically detailed city building sim, along with an option for an offline regional game, where you can build multiple cities into one region, and have them share resources. The Deluxe version includes the Rush Hour expansion, and both let you terraform the land, design your own building types, and all sorts of other excellent features that you’d expect to find in a modern city-building simulation.

If you’ve bought the game, or feel like you’re about to against your own will, you’ll get an email telling you when you can claim your game. You’ll need to do that before the 30th March, or it will be lost like a SimCity game on a crashing server.

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257 Comments »

  1. HilariousCow says:

    Is it mean, now that they are trying to make amends, to go back to my previous grievance on the stack: that I really don’t want to install Origin? Because I really, really don’t.

    So… thanks but no thanks?

    • aliksy says:

      Heh. It’s sad that there’s a stack of grievances against EA.

      I’ll continue to not buy their products. EA can go to hell.

    • waltC says:

      I actually installed this once. Tested it thoroughly for viruses and Trojans–it passed! I have yet to use it, though. Thought you might like to know that just installing it seems to be harmless. Now, *using it,* well, that’s another story…;)

    • Calneon says:

      Origin isn’t actually all that bad. It gets a lot of needless hate just because it’s EA. It does it’s job as a download manager and doesn’t really impose anything else on you as a user.

      • jezcentral says:

        Also, working offline mode. *stares at Steam*

        • aliksy says:

          Steam’s offline mode worked fine for me last time I needed it. Played Dark Souls on 3 hour bus ride in offline mode just fine. (Think I got up to Anor Londo, but I can’t remember). But I did put it in offline mode ahead of time.

          • Low Life says:

            I honestly don’t get it. For years I’ve been reading complaints about Steam’s offline mode, and I’ve never had any problems with it. Any time I’m out of the reach of internet (or my net’s down) I keep playing my Steam games like nothing happened.

            I’m starting to think that the problem is at my end!

          • rockman29 says:

            You need a connection to switch to offline mode, I think that’s the major gripe with Steam’s offline mode. It has put me in a bind more than a few times.

          • Jeremy says:

            I’ve never had issues with it either. If I start my PC and my connection is down, it gives me an option to start in Offline Mode if I want to. Seems like a pretty easy situation; is that not a normal experience for other people?

          • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

            Steam’s Offline mode has been plagued with bugs for a long time. It would work for some people all the time, for others just some of the time, and for a lucky few, never at all. Ironically, it was most reliable if you turned on Offline mode while you were still online.

            Valve did push out a bunch of bug fixes for it last year (after a long time of nothing), and I’ve heard anecdotally that it’s much better since.

          • The Random One says:

            @ Low Life: That’s like saying “I’ve been hearing that the job market is bad for a few years now, but I’ve never lost my job.” Just because it never happened to you doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened to other people, and it’s a common enough complaint that it gets brought up often.

            I’ve had Steam stop working when I unexpectedly go offline a few times. It hasn’t happened lately, but it still doesn’t work if the computer is offline when I boot it up. I imagine getting it to work on a wonky wi-fi connection would be a nightmare for me.

          • Hahaha says:

            Lets see

            cat5 pulled
            http://i.imgur.com/vYfCjS8.jpg

            cat5 connected
            auto login is on so it just loads

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            Never had this problem. I can switch the Internet off while online with steam, and I can restart steam, let it tell me it can’t find a connection, and it happily restarts in offline. My dad briefly had a problem with it, so I told him to let it update and it was fine. We both run Windows 7 64 bit, may make a difference

          • Low Life says:

            @rockman29:
            Just like Jeremy said (and I just tried this a minute ago), for me starting Steam without connection just prompts me if I want to go retry connecting or start Steam in offline mode. This is how it’s always worked for me, I’ve never specifically set it in offline mode.

            @The Random One:
            That’s why I added the last sentence :)

          • WrenBoy says:

            Every single time I lose my internet connection in Steam while Steam is in online mode I have had to wait to get it back to switch modes. And when Steam itself goes down I have to wait for it to come back up before I can switch modes.

            Would honestly love to know what percentage of users have the desirable Steam behaviour.

          • Ruffian says:

            shit certainly is odd, Mine used to work fine, then for a while it made me be online to switch, and now it works fine again.

          • roryok says:

            I actually tend to have the opposite problem lately. If steam is in offline mode, I’m fine. If I go online, its usually been long enough since I played a game that I have to download some kind of update and end up entirely missing my window of opportunity to game.

          • Cinek says:

            Try to install Steam-slave game when internet goes down.
            It’s NOT possible. (regardless if you have a game on CD or local backup)

            So much for offline mode.

            STEAM DOES NOT HAVE FULL OFFLINE MODE
            we’ve been through this like 500 times and people still insist that Steam works perfectly fine offline.

          • Hahaha says:

            bloody valve apologists

            ;) lmfao

          • Low Life says:

            Oh my bad, I didn’t know people were expecting Valve to provide the most effortless piracy system for full-priced games ever (installing games offline) or to store the entire Steam database on everyone’s computer (logging in while being offline with no login information saved on the computer). Apologies for any confusion.

          • Hahaha says:

            HAHAHAHA

            So it auto logs in when I’m connected but as soon as I pull the cat5 is gives me some shit about login info not being stored? you also need to read SuicideKings comment

          • Low Life says:

            @Hahaha:
            This might come out wrong but trust me, I’m honestly trying to be helpful here. Have you tried deleting the temporary files Steam creates when you log in? Like this: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=3134-TIAL-4638

          • Hahaha says:

            Nothing wrong with that, Might try out what you linked but upgrading to win7 soon so may just stick with suicidekings workaround.

          • sophof says:

            It appears Steam’s originally horrible offline mode is ‘stuck’ in the public’s mind. A lot of the issues mentioned in the topics usually haven’t been issues for a long time (hell, a lot of games can even run without steam running).

            I’m sure there’s people out there having actual problems with it, but strangely enough, most of the claims you’ll read are verifiably untrue. Kinda weird actually…

            I think it goes back to the fact that steam is also DRM usually and people don’t want to think themselves a hypocrite. But I don’t know why they don’t just say that, instead of making up stuff.

          • El_Emmental says:

            *sigh*

            @rockman29
            “You need a connection to switch to offline mode”
            You need to store login information to login in offline mode. It requires being connected once and checking the “Remember my password” option.

            It is only required for games who decided, on purpose, to use the Steam DRM (Steamworks CEG), in addition to using Steam as a distribution platform.

            @Hahaha
            “because there is no Steam login information stored on this computer”
            Self-explanatory.
            Without that “Steam login information”, the games using Steamworks as a DRM/piracy protection solution won’t launch, because their publishers decided to use DRMs.

            All the games not using Steamworks as a DRM/piracy protection (and still sold and distributed on Steam) will launch (if their own DRM – or lack of DRM – allows such a thing).

            @Cinek
            “Try to install Steam-slave game when internet goes down.
            It’s NOT possible. (regardless if you have a game on CD or local backup)
            So much for offline mode.
            STEAM DOES NOT HAVE FULL OFFLINE MODE
            we’ve been through this like 500 times and people still insist that Steam works perfectly fine offline.”

            You’re confusing the Steam DRM solution (Steamworks CEG) and the Steam client Offline mode.

            - The Steam DRM solution is not mandatory for publishers or developers (several indie devs selling their games on Steam are not using it).
            If they’re using it’s because they wanted it. It is an anti-piracy policy decision by the developers/publishers, NOT Steam.

            - The Steam client Offline mode allow users to still play DRM-bound games while not being online, by generating a form of “certification” that guarantee (to the publishers/developers) that the user is NOT pirating these games.

            If you are against DRM (nb: I am against all form of DRM), you can go on defectivebydesign.org (a major anti-DRM website) and see what you can do about it.

            If you want DRM-less games, you can get them:
            - on the developers’ website (if they’re indie)
            - on gog.com
            - in Humble Indie Bundle (when there’s one running)

          • Bhazor says:

            … why does no one remember Gamersgate when they talk about DRM free stores?

          • El_Emmental says:

            aw, knew it ! I had to run and couldn’t be arsed to check if they were selling DRM-less games (same with Desura).

            … I totally did it on purpose, so you could mention it ! totally ! :U

          • cjb110 says:

            @Cinek what? That goes completely against what Steam is (a digital store/rights management system), why on earth would anybody have any expectations that installing a steam game offline would work.

            How is it supposed to validate and confirm your the legal owner if it can’t check online? Even if you have the physical cd, that just saves download time, it has nothing to do with confirming if the key is a valid key for a steam product.

            Sorry, but if this affects you that’s your own bad planning, install the game when your online then go offline to play.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Problem with Steam’s offline mode is this:

          Disconnect from your network to get it to work. (the network tray icon should show a cross X and not a warning /!\ , otherwise Steam sees a working network, but it can’t connect due to whatever reason (your router can’t connect to your ISP), and so it fails).

          Or, log in (assuming your network is working fine), then say, go offline. But obviously this defeats the point of offline mode. :|

          • trinka00 says:

            i wonder if maybe it has to do with what game you’re playing.
            i started playing Borderlands 2 recently, never had a problem, but i did notice that it seems like it’s going thru some other company too.

          • Punchbowled says:

            I have one pc, computer (a), which behaves as you describe, and another which seems to be just fine about being online or offline or whatever, without having to change the settings, which we will call computer (b).

            Annoyingly, computer (a) is my laptop, and computer (b) is an immovable block of metal and plastic I like to call that thing under the table.

          • Apocalypse says:

            @03 trinka00 Some games just start fine without ever checking if steam is online, offline or even running. Mass Effect comes to my mind, which runs complettly without checking anything with steam.

            So yes, the offline mode implementation is up to the developer just like about all steamwork features offered from steam.

          • mondomau says:

            I used to swear by this mode as well, but a short time ago my internet was struck down and even the ‘pull the network cable out’ trick didn’t cut it. There is some indication that if Steam somehow knows it has an update to download, or it wants to validate it’s install for whatever reason (blob corruption, missing dll or file), it will simply refuse to boot in offline mode at all. What’s really frustrating is that they should just make that clearer to you, rather than insisting it works all the time and then saying ‘huh, must be your computer’ when it doesn’t.

          • Low Life says:

            Even an existing network connection with no internet access (I set up faulty DNS server addresses) doesn’t prevent me from going offline.

          • El_Emmental says:

            “Or, log in (assuming your network is working fine), then say, go offline. But obviously this defeats the point of offline mode. :|
            The point of the Steam Offline Mode is allowing the user to generate a “DRM certificate”, allowing him/her to, then, with that certificate, launch games using the Steam anti-piracy DRM, without having to be online to certify that the current user isn’t pirating that game.

            You need to build that certificate one day, otherwise the developers/publishers have no way to know you’re a legitimate user and not a pirate.

            All other form of DRMs showed they weren’t working and could become a security issue for the users: CD keys very rapidly became a joke with keygens (at least since the mid-90s), and more intrusive DRMs (like Starforce, Securom) wouldn’t work (depending your CD/DVD drive) or could cause damage (to your CD/DVD drive or open a security breach in your computer).

            With that in mind, the only thing left for DRM/anti-piracy is online checks.

            It can be:
            - a simple “check on install” (like the Steam games not using Steamworks CEG)
            - a “check on launch” (like the Steam games using Steamworks*/most other DRM systems)
            - a “constant check” (UbiDRM, some EA DRMs, etc)

            * The Steam Offline Mode allow you to launch games using the Steamworks DRM, without doing that “check on launch” more than once (= only when you generate that Steam Offline “certification”). It is an “Offline Mode” DRM.

            It’s a lesser evil, a makeshift solution to the paranoid, DRM-filled, anti-piracy views of the developers/publishers using DRMs.

            If the developers/publishers weren’t using online-check DRMs, we wouldn’t need an Offline Mode: we could just launch the game by directly clicking on its .exe (like we can already do with several indie titles on Steam).

            Blame the developers/publishers for using DRMs – Steam is only providing a compromise (Offline Mode users are pretty rare, they could have just ignored it).

            If you want to play AAA games without *any* online-check DRMs, there’s only two ways: consoles or piracy.

        • oldfart says:

          Steam has a lot of quirks and problems (for example, in my desktop the in game overlay provokes audio loop in TF2 frequently), but TBH never saw this offline issue people describes. And I just tested to pull the network cable and switch from/to offline/online mode seamlessly.

          • strangeloup says:

            The audio loop glitch has been present in TF2 (and, as far as I can tell, other Source-based games) for absolutely forever, to a greater or lesser extent. I get the feeling it’s actually some kind of issue with the engine itself; I seem to remember having the same problem with the original Half-Life, so perhaps it’s some legacy code from then.

        • Bramman111 says:

          Steam’s offline mode was fixed a short time ago. And it works really seamlessly, too.

          • Hahaha says:

            Why are you lying for valve? they don’t need you to talk for them they are a massive company.

            LMFAO

            SuicideKing cheers works like a charm, why the fuck they chose to only make it work like that is beyond me.

      • TillEulenspiegel says:

        It’s not Origin itself so much as the Origin exclusives it brought with it. Like, Steam is cool, but Steamworks is pure unadulterated evil.

      • Zeewolf says:

        Origin will also let you play games without forcing you to update.

        Steam won’t let you do that, because it is the law that you must always use the latest version even if you’re only playing single player and there’s no important singleplayer fixes in that 1 GB patch they just rolled out (the patch, btw, that is just as large as the game itself because apparently that is acceptable now). For someone with a slow internet connection, this can be really, really annoying.

        • InternetBatman says:

          Steam has the option to disable patches in preferences. It’s not as reliable as it should be, but I use it to stop L4D2 and Dota 2 from downloading a million updates.

          • trinka00 says:

            yeah, there was a while when TF2 was constantly updating and i spent a night doing random stuff people said until it seemed to stop around the same time.
            if Steam didn’t have TF2, i’d probably think it was some evil bully like a lot of people do also.
            but that’s how they got me. i am a shameless hussy for Steam now. and all for TF2

        • El_Emmental says:

          +1, the ability to properly control the games updates is one of the most requested feature for the Steam “downloader”.

          Sure, you can already “right-click, Proprieties, Updates, Do not automatically update the game”, but that’s way too cumbersome: you never know there’s a new update (no alerts), you never know its size, and you have to do that for every single games, once started an update can’t be stopped, etc.

          Even if I don’t have any issues regarding that (900 kb/s broadband, no cap), I always supported such suggestions on the SPUF, and I think the Steam development team is currently aware of that. We still need to get them to actually code it.

      • tstapp1026 says:

        Please, correct me if I’m wrong, but did you HAVE to have Origin actively running to play BF3? I seem to call hating it vehemently because of the “I’m playing BF3 in a virtual browser” feeling I got from it. Regardless, I started boycotting EA then and so far I’ve managed to keep that promise to myself.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          As far as I’m aware you need to have Origin running in the background. I’ve never tried closing Origin while Battlelog or Battlefield 3 are active, so I may not be correct.

          • darkChozo says:

            The actually BF3 executable launches through Origin, I think. You can do whatever on Battlelog without Origin running, but as soon as you try to join a game, Origin has to start up. Not sure if you can kill Origin while BF3′s running, though.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Yes you do need origin running, i’ve tried…

          Origin calls battlelog which calls origin which calls BF3 in whichever mode you’ve chosen from battlelog.

          It’s stupid.

      • Continuum says:

        Yep. I’ve never had a problem with Steam’s offline mode. I’ve also never had a particular problem with Origin, although I only run it when ME3 insists on opening it and I don’t play multiplayer in it. Steam offers me all sorts of useful benefits in sales, community, workshop, game organization, et al. Origin makes it take a long time to start ME3 and I would strongly prefer not to run it, but it works fine once it’s running.

    • DJ0JJ says:

      Man, every time people talk about Origin I just think “I don’t want to ever touch that thing”.

      What I always forget its what Origins read inside your PC that they can send to their servers. Can somebody remember for me?

      edit: Its supposed to be list of installed software and your hardware. But they had problems with privacy before

  2. Soulstrider says:

    There is a certain irony in this

  3. Hahaha says:

    simcity 4 deluxe for 20 quid? lmao if people are paying that then they are getting ripped off and if people buy the new simcity to get an old simcity then just kill me.

  4. Desmolas says:

    If you are suddenly thinking this is a good deal, especially to get one of the games with a 3 in the title, it isnt.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Seems to be a 3 tier apology. ”We, EA, are sorry to the extent of either:”

      +The SimCity game you Sim fans probably already own
      +The cheap browser games we don’t care about giving away
      +The AAA titles with a boat load of expensive DLC, not included

  5. cherbert says:

    They have jedi mind tricked you. That list of games is shit. They know most of us own all those games already except for Plants vs Zombies or Bejeweled so they are counting on those being our only choice.

    Keep the pressure going on them. Don’t let EA get away with this.

    • John Walker says:

      Yes, if there was one thing I was doing in this post, it was letting EA off the hook…

      • lordcooper says:

        You damnable corporate shill.

      • Cerzi says:

        How much traffic has SimCity generated for RPS? Lots?

        • lordcooper says:

          Absolutely, it just takes a massively convoluted route in order to get here.

          • MacTheGeek says:

            This explains why I’ve had so many recent run-ins with Horace the Endless Server Technician.

          • SuicideKing says:

            RPS needs a better path finding algorithm for all the data packets. After all data packets have more individuality than Sims.

        • John Walker says:

          You’re aware we don’t make more money by having a spike of readers in a week, right? Ads are sold ages in advance, based on long-term audience figures.

          • 00000 says:

            Then RPS should set prices according to EA’s release schedule. ;)

          • lijenstina says:

            But the good people at the NCP Car Parks will happily pay the ads. You can even see your names in lights. :)

          • Kamos says:

            I wasn’t aware of that. Actually, an article about how RPS works would be cool. An insider look of sorts, answering important questions such as: which RPS writer always turns in stories late? Do you punish him by having him cover stuff nobody wants to? Etc.

    • acheron says:

      What kind of crazy person doesn’t already own Plants vs Zombies?

      I mean, don’t go buying Simcity 5 to get it, but come on.

    • Phantoon says:

      WHY did people buy Dead Space 3? It has BUILT IN microtransactions!

      • Continuity says:

        Because only 0.01% of gamers give even the slightest of fucks, most you’d have to explain this to 2 or 3 time before they understand why there would be a problem.

        • darkChozo says:

          I’d imagine there’s also a fair number of people who knew about the issue and didn’t feel it had enough of an impact on the game to be worth not picking it up. Not everyone has a strong ideological stance on the issue of microtransactions, and those who don’t aren’t necessarily doing so out of ignorance.

    • sinister agent says:

      They know most of us own all those games already

      I don’t think I know anyone who will have even half those games, let alone most of them. Does everyone else who reads RPS have an infinite money life hack or something?

    • shutter says:

      The list of games is (unless I’m forgetting something) every AAA EA title of the last 1-2 years that wasn’t developed by a third party, plus a few E rated games for folks who are underage. What, exactly, did you want them to put on the list? It’s not like they can magic up a free AAA title out of the air to give you.

  6. Hoaxfish says:

    Here‘s something fun for the pile:

    Now, players have uncovered the code that governs this, proving that Maxis set a 20 minute time limit of offline play after which the game kicks the player out.

    The code for this shutdown time is below, posted to NeoGAF by EmCeeGramr. For modders, removing this always-online code is a simple job. EA, Maxis and Bradshaw will be holding their breath as they wonder how their city simulation will be tweaked next.

    kNoRepeatNetworkAlertSeconds : 15,
    kNetDownForceQuitAfterMinutes : 20,

    • John Walker says:

      I’ve not posted that separately, because that’s basically how Azzer did it, which we reported on last week. But yes, more hilarity ensues.

      • Hoaxfish says:

        yeap, the linked article basically bundled the thing into one, while RPS covered the main bit already.

        It’s a few words away from

        “offlineEnabled = false”.

        • TechnicalBen says:

          “Hoaxfish says:

          yeap, the linked article basically bundled the thing into one, while RPS covered the main bit already.

          It’s a few words away from

          “offlineEnabled = false”.”

          Or as EA PR states it “Extensive engineering”. :D

      • Hahaha says:

        Is RPS moving away from always online being DRM then?

        • John Walker says:

          How did you get there?

        • Guvornator says:

          Ironic, because to read RPS you HAVE TO BE ONLINE!!! What a bunch of hypocrites…

          • Phantoon says:

            I am not sure about that, and RPS is a free product.

            I’m not sure about that because subscribers might get the stories downloaded or something.

          • thegooseking says:

            No, you only have to be online to access it. If your internet cuts out halfway through reading, you can still carry on reading.

          • darkChozo says:

            BS, I read RPS cached on my phone all the time. You haters should do your research, you just look dumb otherwise.

            <insecure irony tag/>

          • Brun says:

            Yeah, but people “expect” to have to be online to access RPS. So it’s okay, amirite?

          • Guvornator says:

            “No, you only have to be online to access it. If your internet cuts out halfway through reading, you can still carry on reading.”

            But only the article you were reading. It’s disgraceful.

          • HothMonster says:

            So is this comment section an MMO then?

          • ResonanceCascade says:

            I refuse to continue reading these articles until John Walker removes the vicious always-on DRM from his website and allows me to browse at my leisure without an internet connection.

          • Berzee says:

            You guys aren’t subscribed to the print magazine?

          • Guvornator says:

            “I refuse to continue reading these articles until John Walker removes the vicious always-on DRM from his website and allows me to browse at my leisure without an internet connection.”

            Exactly. I suggest he posts every new article as a letter to every free local paper near to RPS readers. They can then read them at their leisure. For example:

            “Dear Olso Report,

            SimCity 5 has terrible online DRM as well as gameplay features which do not work as advertised. Just thought you should know.
            Your sincerely,

            John Walker”

          • John Walker says:

            HothMonster is the winner.

  7. Hardtarget says:

    god nobody get sim city 4, it’s a 5 dollar game

    some decent new stuff on the list though, I was hoping for Crysis 3 but alas

  8. Haplo says:

    *dusts hands*

    Welp, we’re done here. The point at which you offer your current game’s precursor game to customers for free because you screwed up your current one is pretty much just throwing one’s hands in the air…

  9. sonofsanta says:

    Doesn’t Sim City 4 have problems running on Windows 7? At least, every time I ponder buying it on Steam I seem to find forum threads to that effect.

    Which would be a hilarious situation of
    1) Buy Sim City
    2) Doesn’t work
    3) Get Sim City 4 as apology
    4) …doesn’t work

    By hilarious, I mean “slow erosion of all you ought to expect in a product sold to you by a company for good money in times of financial hardship and woe”

    • DrGonzo says:

      I’ve had no problems in Windows 8, and Windows Vista. I wouldn’t think there’d be a problem in 7.

    • Lanfranc says:

      It works perfectly for me, running Win7 in Bootcamp on a MacBook Pro.

    • iucounu says:

      I bought it the other day for a tenner. Runs fine on Win 7 so far, no bother at all.

    • Durkonkell says:

      I am quite able to play my Steam bought copy on Windows 7.

    • Magnetude says:

      I’ve been playing it on an imac. Not without problems, of course.

    • lordcooper says:

      Works fine on Windows 7 for me.

      Almost every game’s Steam forum is full of people with (often hilariously simple to fix) issues.

    • UberMonkey says:

      You basically have to turn the shadows off or it will scroll at 5 FPS. That’s in hardware mode, which looks better. Or you can just run in software mode. Either way, the shadows don’t add much and with them off the game runs well enough.

      It does crash occasionally, so make sure you save now and then.

      • TechnicalBen says:

        Hardware mode does not look better. It’s entirely about using hardware acceleration. Now that CPUs and GPUs are around 10x faster than 10 years ago (hyperbole), it runs really fast in software. The shadow buffer can be disabled manually and set to software mode if you want to tweak the ini your self. I think it might only effect AMD/ATI cards.

        Other than the shadow settings I’ve had no problems with it (occasional crash, but even console games do that these days :P ).

    • Guvornator says:

      Not sure whether this is what you’re talking about, but there is an issue with DVD versions not recognizing the DVD. Obviously, it then won’t play. However, it’s only happened to me with Vista, and was easily worked around – I think it was something like having to restart the computer after install but before running it, though I might be wrong.

    • DickSocrates says:

      SimCity 4 does have problems with Windows 7, but they can very easily be solved by setting the options up right. Something to do with running it in software mode. Or turning the shadows off, which personally I wouldn’t do as they make the game look better.

      Software mode looks exactly like whatever the ‘normal’ mode is and runs just as well.

    • wastelanderone says:

      16 hours of the Steam version since the new one came out and I’ve had one crash on my Quad Core 64bit Win 7 machine without any faffing with options so I’d say it’s pretty stable to be honest.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      5. EA profits?

    • sonofsanta says:

      Well that’s me proven wrong in the happiest way possible. One more game to add to my mountainous Steam backlog come the Summer Sale :)

  10. WoundedBum says:

    I have very little interest in this (I like SimCity 4 however!), but is it good enough to warrant buying, so I can get Dead Space 3 as well ( have someone who wants to co-op with me). I can get it for about 35 pounds. That doesn’t seem too awful?

    Hmm, but always online. Argh.

    • Phantoon says:

      No, it’s not. Worth it, I mean. Dead Space was turned into a space marine game with the third one. If you want that, play the game literally titled “Space Marine”. You’ll enjoy it more.

  11. WarThunder says:

    This extended ‘due date’ (now 25th March) simply smacks of cynical marketing (as implied by the article). By extending the date EA are basically trying to sell more copies of SC5. I’d have a little more respect for them if the due date was still today, March 18th.

    However, seeing as many people are greedy suckers, they’ll fall for it hook, line and sinker and buy more copies of SC5 in order to claim their free game.

    EA has just sunk even lower in my estimation.

    • Hahaha says:

      Yep definitely not on the gamers shoulders at all, bad EA doing the best thing in this situation.

    • darkChozo says:

      To be fair, a surprise “sale” that’s purely retroactive usually draws a lot of hate from people who might have bought had they known about it in advance.

      Besides, how is giving out free stuff in any way cynical? I could maybe understand if it were like a 10% off coupon or something, but this is giving people free stuff that they likely otherwise would not have gotten, at “cost” to EA (digital magic aside). Seems like a fairly straightforward way to engender some goodwill. Sure, it might drive some sales, but do you think EA makes more money on this in the long run? I doubt it; there’s a fairly good reason why games aren’t heavily discounted two weeks after release.

      • PopeRatzo says:

        The cynical part is not giving away free games by way of an apology.

        The cynical part is that it doesn’t do anything to fix the problem for which they are apologizing in the first place.

        It’s like an abusive husband smacking his wife around and then buying her flowers to make it all better.

        • darkChozo says:

          But how does this prevent them from fixing SimCity’s issues? It’s not like the devs took two weeks off to craft this apology/sale/whatever. Would it be better if they never gave anyone free games and then released a (hypothetical) fix-everything patch at the same time they would have otherwise? I mean, sure, if they leave the game half-broken for 6 months, then jump right on them. But I don’t really see how this is objectionable.

          This is a band-aid at best, but it’s not like they’re being particularly underhanded about it. To me, “cynical marketing” suggests that there’s some psychological subterfuge going on, some perceived good act that’s being exploited to sell something. This is about the opposite of subterfuge; they’re giving out free stuff, and people like free stuff, because free stuff (and/or value for money).

    • tungstenHead says:

      Cheetah speed is still disabled. As such, if anyone were to buy the game today, they would still be getting in on the hobbled post-launch version of SimCity 5. Extending the window for this offer until all of the launch features are reactivated is the proper thing to do.

    • Hdfisise says:

      I would say if you bought the game from somewhere like Amazon yesterday you would miss out on this because of the short deadline while you were waiting for delivery, so in that respect an extra week is totally fair I think.

  12. Brosepholis says:

    Jesus Christ, they offer a bunch of free games and John Walker still manages to write a negative article? For someone who says his coverage is ‘not personal’, this has an awfully bitter and petulant tone.

    • WarThunder says:

      Not at all – John is simply seeing this for the cynical marketing ploy that it is (due to the extended deadline date a week hence).

      • Brosepholis says:

        I find it extraordinary that conspiracy theories like this that used to be confined to /v/ are now espoused by respected gaming sites.

        I feel like the constant hostility and paranoia on this site has changed the readership for the worse. The comments sections of these articles are even more hostile than Reddit at the moment, which is saying something.

        • Hahaha says:

          The frog never felt a thing…… ;)

        • Vorphalack says:

          It’s not a conspiracy theory if it’s actually happening.

        • John Walker says:

          Let us know what conspiracy theories we’ve published, and I’ll look into it.

          • lordcooper says:

            I seem to recall an awful lot of writing about Templar conspiracies not too long ago.

          • Brosepholis says:

            Implying that EA have given a generous cutoff date in order to sell more of the game, and that that’s in any way a bad thing, has a definite air of conspiracy to it. It reads as a more carefully worded version of the angry comments circling around in this very thread.

            Maybe they know the servers are still not fully operational, and want to extend the gesture to anyone who picks up the game in its current state? You don’t have to jump to the most negative conclusion.

          • Guvornator says:

            “Maybe they know the servers are still not fully operational, and want to extend the gesture to anyone who picks up the game in its current state? You don’t have to jump to the most negative conclusion.”

            Surely the server’s not being fully operation IS the most negative conclusion?

          • JabbleWok says:

            Well, you do look a bit like a lizardman…

          • John Walker says:

            S’funny, cos the conspiracies are all your own! I had that thought after I’d written the sentence, commenting on how plain odd it is to apologise to future customers. It occurred that maybe they’re hoping it might inspire some more sales. Which isn’t an unreasonable conclusion – they’ve essentially made SimCity part of a buy-one-get-one-free deal for a week, haven’t they?

          • Phantoon says:

            Stop attempting to greentext outside of /v/, you colossal troll.

          • Splynter says:

            For those of us who avoid 4chan at all costs, what does “greentext” mean?

          • Brosepholis says:

            Phantoon: I don’t see how starting a sentence with implying is a greentext attempt. It has a verb, you know. The last time I visited /v/ was 6 months ago, and I saw no reason to stay for long.

            JW: Call it what you will, I think the word Conspiracy fits. You’re the guy who’s encouraging everyone to look a gift horse in the mouth because of the deadline extension.

            EDIT: And lest I forget, your claim over the weekend that EA were employing astroturfers (because any opinions contrary to your own are just incorrect, right?)

          • Kamos says:

            A free game as an apology that also extends into future sales is a bizarre apology. You’re skewing this at least as much by pretending it is not.

          • jrodman says:

            Do you even know what conspiracy means?

            How can one person making a statement you don’t happen to agree with (due to your stupidity) constitute a conspiracy? A conspiracy to disagree with you!!

      • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

        Cynical? Perhaps.

        It makes good sense though: EA offers a free game to help recompense the players who had problems, and (believing they’ve got the server problems fixed) an enticement to potential new buyers, to help make up for the lost sales from negative publicity.

        I don’t see that that is doing a disservice to either group of customers, and see no reason to complain about it..

    • mouton says:

      Frankly, while John’s post was not very enthusiastic, the comments are much worse. Seriously, at least EA is trying to make amends and yet people will settle for nothing less than burning their HQ down. Feels like reading typical newspaper comment section, heh

      • Brun says:

        Seriously, at least EA is trying to make amends and yet people will settle for nothing less than burning their HQ down.

        I’ll take “Why Mob Justice is Bad” for $400, Alex.

      • WarThunder says:

        I would be more than happy to give EA a small pat on the back if they had announced this list with the cutoff date still being today (as originally announced). Surely people can see that this new 1 week extension is a way to get more people to buy copies of SC5 so that they can claim their ‘free’ game?

        • Hahaha says:

          And your point? why is it bad they have extended it?

          • Kamos says:

            The value of an apology depends on how much you believe it to be sincere as much as it depends on the gesture itself. Surely it is not difficult to see that, by having the apology look like a marketing plan to increase sales, it doesn’t sound nearly as sincere as it would otherwise?

          • Hahaha says:

            That’s your problem you think the faceless corporation is actually sorry.

      • iucounu says:

        I dunno if a free game is quite what’s required here. It’s a gesture, not a solution.

        1. SimCity shouldn’t be always-online. It clearly doesn’t need to be, and EA should just admit that it doesn’t, patch it for proper offline single-player, and be done with it.

        2. In order to force multiple-city play, each city is tiny and arbitrarily crippled in some way. This is SimCity, not CityVille; EA should allow cities on the scale of previous versions.

        3. The underlying simulation seems to be worryingly simplistic in some ways and worryingly bugged in others, leading to outcomes that don’t seem to really simulate credible cities or people. EA need to fix the bugs and the oddness.

        4. The game has a bunch of DLC-shaped gaps in it (no subways, really?) I don’t expect EA to do anything about that, other than release a bunch of DLC, but it’s aggravating.

        5. EA appear to have been somewhat less than transparent and straightforward about all this stuff and now won’t talk to RPS. I think a certain amount of grumpiness is called for.

      • bleeters says:

        Perhaps, but this still follows a solid couple of weeks of being fed fabricated justifications about design vision and intrinsinc functionalisty whilst people have been digging through their game code and discovering, to nobody’s surprise, what a load of cobblers all the above is. I’m finding it hard not to be bitter.

        Besides which, I’m not especially interested in them making amends. I’m interested in them not doing this again. EA are frustratingly stubborn at acknowleding that they screwed up, and have a tendancy to proceed to screw up in exactly the same way a few months down the line.

    • Uthred says:

      Its part of his new “Hero of the People” persona, gotta keep it angry to keep those fans. Also the free games thing was announced well over a week ago, this feels like an excuse to keep the “momentum” going

      • John Walker says:

        What a strange perception of me you have. I’m cross about a thing, which is exhibited on the website I own and write for.

        And yes, we knew that there would be an offer of free games a few days ago. However, the games were announced today, the means of getting them announced today, and the news that it wasn’t only for those who had been directly affected by server issues, and indeed not only for those who already bought it, was announced today. Hence today’s news.

        • Brosepholis says:

          You assume the worst possible motive for all Maxis/EA’s actions.

          Surely you can see that applying the same thought process you’ve exhibited in these articles to your own behaviour inevitably leads to the conclusion that you’re linkbaiting?

          • John Walker says:

            I assume a profit-based motive behind the corporation’s actions. I do that because I’m not deranged.

          • thegooseking says:

            Are you really accusing John of jumping to conclusions and then saying that? Is that really what you’re doing here? And you don’t see any irony whatsoever in that position, at all?

          • Phantoon says:

            I’d be mad about your shitposting here, but it means you’re not on my board. Hell, /v/ has one less mouthbreather posting on it right now too, so it gets an improvement as well. A win/win.

          • Brosepholis says:

            Except the corporation is made entirely up of people, most of whom probably feel guilty at having royally fucked up the launch and would like to make amends for a constellation of reasons, genuine consternation among them. I’m going to assume you’ve worked in a corporation before, and thus you know it’s not as cut-and-dry as you imply.

            Applying Walker’s rule, you also have a profit-motive and are thus trying to keep the scandal rolling. See how it works?

          • JabbleWok says:

            Don’t the revealed facts which directly contradict EA/Maxis’ own claims speak for themselves? It’s one thing to speculate on motivation; quite another to present facts.

          • Brun says:

            While you’re correct that most large corporations are far from the homogenous bastions of evil that the internet wants them to be, the people making the decisions at EA haven’t exactly shown sincere regret over this situation (though they do appear to be trying, at least).

          • Phantoon says:

            HOLD ON, GUYS! I speak his language! Let me just think for a second. Okay.

            LEL 11/10 SHITPOST MASTER RUSEMAN NEVR SAW IT COMIG B<U TEARS DELICSHUS

            Sorry if my accent is coarse, I haven't visited that nation in a while.

          • SkittleDiddler says:

            What’s there to assume about EA’s motives? They don’t do this shit out of the kindness in their hearts.

            Clinical psychopaths are drawn to corporate management positions. You know, the same positions filled by the guys at EA that have been making all of the silly decisions that led up to this mess.

            You can’t honestly be so naive, can you?

          • John Walker says:

            @Brosepholis I’m fairly sure I don’t work for a corporation. /checks RPS’s finances.

          • Brosepholis says:

            You should try it sometime. It’ll help you understand that people actually don’t become soulless profit-drones the moment they walk through the revolving door.

          • Vorphalack says:

            That is actually true. Most people at least make it to their cubicle before the last of their common sense free will leaves the body.

          • Kamos says:

            “Except the corporation is made entirely up of people, most of whom probably feel guilty at having royally fucked up the launch and would like to make amends for a constellation of reasons, genuine consternation among them.”

            Oh wow. It must be nice to live in your imaginary world.

            EA doesn’t feel bad about crippling its own product and lying about it (they don’t think they did those things). They feel bad about getting caught red-handed!

          • MacTheGeek says:

            It’ll help you understand that people actually don’t become soulless profit-drones the moment they walk through the revolving door.

            The stockholders ARE soulless profit-drones, and they’ll sack any executive who doesn’t bring enough profit. It’s brown-trousers time in the front office, and that stuff is going to roll downhill in a hurry. Anyone caught not behaving in a manner pleasing to the soulless profit-drone overlords is going to have their name on a highly undesirable list.

          • guygodbois00 says:

            I am utterly convinced this Brosepholis person works for EA or similar corporation.

        • Uthred says:

          “And yes, we knew that there would be an offer of free games a few days ago. However, the games were announced today, the means of getting them announced today, and the news that it wasn’t only for those who had been directly affected by server issues, and indeed not only for those who already bought it, was announced today. Hence today’s news.”

          Sorry to nitpick, it wasnt a “few days ago”, it was the same day the game was released (well over here anyhow). It was in fact EA’s first response to the entire server debacle. I dont think its a “conspiracy” that you waited until now to cover it. I just found it a bit odd that it wasnt mentioned before hand, because its hard to spin “We’re sorry, heres a free game” negative? Or because at the time there wasnt as much known about how much of a fuck up the game was so it wasnt as newsworthy? It just seems a little odd that the last/most recent thing the site has to say about the game was also more or less the first offical response about the game.

          Also of the things that were “announced today” only the actual list of games is new news, the means of obtaining them has been clarified from “email” to “email with a link to origin”, a shock to no-one I imagine. The initial news article also made it clear that the offer was open to anyone who registered the game before the 18th, not just those who already owned the game or who were directly effected by server issues.

      • Lacero says:

        No, this just came out. The date on EA’s post is today.
        The list wasn’t known before now.

        • Phantoon says:

          He’s admitted he’s from the video games board of 4chan, which is full of idiots that do nothing but hate video games and everything video games related. It used to be a joke about having high standards. Now it’s just people that hate video games because the joke was too avant garde, or something.

    • Burning Man says:

      While John may be nursing a grouse for whatever reason, absolutely nothing EA does is out of the goodness of their hearts and every step is a calculated method of making more money.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they were actually pleased by all the extra publicity.

    • jalf says:

      Free game? Oh boy, where?

      This article only mentioned you could get another game as well *if you bought SimCity*.

      If they’re actually offering genuinely free games, that’s something I certainly won’t criticize them for. Got a link, perhaps?

  13. bleeters says:

    I can’t help but be slightly amused by the inclusion of Medal of Honour: Warfighter, a game so terrible the response to it involved incapacitating the franchise.

    • Hoaxfish says:

      Hey, they’re “sorry” not, you know, actually sorry.

      You’ll take your bad and/or cheap games and you’ll like it!

  14. Guvornator says:

    “But best of all is the SimCity 4 Deluxe edition, usually £20″

    Unless you buy it from Amazon for 24p less than £7. EA can’t seriously be asking £20 for a 10 year old game, surely*?

    *Go ahead, you know you want to…
    EDIT: here’s the link http://www.amazon.co.uk/City-Deluxe-Edition-Game-Classics/dp/B0017DE4HY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1363626410&sr=8-2

  15. Connor Magee says:

    I don’t think it counts as an apology if you claim it’s “As a token of our appreciation for all the support we’ve received from SimCity fans over the past week” and is also used to incentivise more purchases.

    • Durkonkell says:

      Of course not. EA’s official line on this whole thing is “We’ve done everything right and the vast, vast majority of gamers prefer connected singleplayer”. Using the word ‘apology’ would be an admission that actually they have screwed it up.

      Nevertheless, this IS an apology whether they call it one or not. It’s not a pre-order or early bird incentive – it was introduced in response to the discontent over SimCity’s many and varied brokennesses. No-one can actually say that though without deviating from the official corporate line, thus this is a reward for the support of their fans instead.

      EDIT: This is what I get for not actually reading what they said. See beloowww. Assumptions make an ass out of u. And mptions.

      • WarThunder says:

        True, it’s a reward so kudos to EA for that, but it’s also a damn cynical reward due to the 1 week extension to the cutoff date.

  16. FurryLippedSquid says:

    “We sincerely apologize for the difficulties at launch and hope to make it up to you with a free PC game download from Origin.”

    That’s quite a clear apology.

    /Devil’s advocate

    • elfbarf says:

      All of the free games (minus SimCity 4) are “standard” edition, without any of the DLC included. EA hopes to make more money off of this.

      • FurryLippedSquid says:

        I have no doubt they do, no such thing as a free lunch, I was just correcting the view that no one from Maxis/EA had actually apologised yet.

    • Phantoon says:

      “I am sorry you took it that way” is not the same apology as “I am sorry I set your dog on fire and crashed your car into a ravine”. Hyperbole aside, it’s not the apology anyone needs.

  17. woodsey says:

    “and that one reviews editor”

    Who was that, or am I missing a joke?

  18. Kinth says:

    They could have at least made it BF3 premium. I already own 3 of the DLC’s for it and I would have still picked that option. Even better they should have just made it a voucher for a certain amount.

    Most of these games are either dead in the water (MoH) Not very popular (Dead Space 3) Full of DLC and Micro transactions so EA can make even more money out of this supposed apology (BF3, ME3, DS3) or really old version of the game they just bought that ironically doesn’t work on a lot of modern machines either. Most people already own (BF3, ME3) Two games that aren’t worth a lot they are hoping to catch people out with (Plants v Zombies, Bejeweled 3)

    The only one that doesn’t seem like a way of cheating people is NFS:MW but then that likely isn’t selling anymore anyway.

  19. Chaomancer says:

    Actually, I can see a reasonable reason for extending the deadline – there is a possibility that there are people out there who have the game but haven’t activated it yet. Someone bought it as a present, say, for a birthday that’s not yet quite been.

    This lets everyone have a few days to know about the offer and get the game activated, so that they can get their free game. It doesn’t have to be nefarious.

  20. Moni says:

    It’d be funny if SimCity 5 does really well off the back of this and BOGOF becomes the new thing for publishers.

  21. Calabi says:

    This is how you know their sales figures are fucked.

  22. jalf says:

    If you want to gouge them for the maximum amount, Dead Space 3 still costs £40 on Origin. And you’d be mad to opt for Plants Vs. Zombies, which is only £7. Well, unless you want it, and this isn’t just about the graph EA execs will have to look at in a month’s time.

    Er… Giving them $60 is not “gouging” in any meaningful sense of the word.

    This stunt costs them *nothing*. If you didn’t already have the games on that list, you weren’t going to buy them anyway (certainly not at full price, anyway).

    And on the other hand, it almost certainly generates extra sales for them.

    So yeah, if you want to gouge them, don’t buy SimCity in the first place. (If you have already bought it, eh, pick whichever game from the list you like more, but don’t pretend for a second that you are in any way “hurting” them. No matter which you pick, you’re not costing them a cent.)

    • darkChozo says:

      Oh, man, every digital distribution channel ever is gouging the hell out of us! Why does Steam charge me $60 for new games when it costs them cents to distribute?

      More seriously, getting Dead Space 3 (or whatever) does cost EA if you would’ve bought it later for cheaper. It probably doesn’t cost them list price (after all, if you would’ve bought it at list price, you, um, would’ve bought it), but it might cost them $30 or $20 or $10 or whatever your acceptable price is. Of course, if you don’t want any of the games on the list, then it’s a wash; while it doesn’t cost EA anything, it also doesn’t cost you anything, so it’s identical to buying the game normally.

      That’s not to advocate buying this to spite EA – that’s just dumb. But to say this is free for EA is a bit silly, there’s significant opportunity cost involved.

  23. Buemba says:

    Here’s a box quote for you, EA: “Sim City is the most fun I’ve had with a game I never played.”

    I hope the cavalcade of misery keeps on truckin’ for a few more weeks because man, it’s been one hell of a ride so far.

  24. Giuseppe says:

    The only thing I can say to this news is: AHAHAHAHAHA!!!

  25. honky mcgee says:

    As a loyal RPS reader since 2010, this link pretty much sums up my impression of a certain poster.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ZIcmOEXaQbM/Tz15gfwAwLI/AAAAAAAAAEE/CjWsWl4S_HQ/s1600/comic-book-guy-worst-post-ever.jpg

    Hint: Their name rhymes with Shivaun Hawker

  26. Fallorn says:

    I wonder if I could trade this “free” SimCity 4 on Origin, for a steam code for the same game…. Oh what a wonderful world that would be…

  27. Splynter says:

    How’s ME3 for somebody who never played the first two?

    • Phantoon says:

      Cover shooting.

      I hate cover shooting so I didn’t play it.

      • Splynter says:

        Ah. I’m not the biggest fan of cover shooting either, but this list of games is heavy on the sequels, and a sci-fi pseudo RPG falls within my interests while also not being something I already own. I’m more concerned that having missed out on the stories of the first games I’ll be utterly lost.

        • Vorphalack says:

          I vastly preferred ME1 to 2 (and what i’ve seen of 3, did not buy). In ME1, the story missions felt like you were progressing through a believable environment, enemies populating the right places, less strict cover zones, etc. The sequels, 2 and 3, look like a high fidelity version of Duck Hunt. Shooting galleries with waves of spawning enemies between conversation sections got a bit monotonous.

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        It’s not even good cover shooting. The shooty parts of the ME games were by far the worst parts.

    • x1501 says:

      Probably not unlike watching The Return of the King without ever seeing or reading the first two installments of the LOTR trilogy.

    • Koozer says:

      3 is better than 2, but nowhere near as good an RPG as 1. It tries to involve elements from the previous games quite a lot too, which may be a bit confusing/boring if you haven’t played the first two.

      But if you like shooting soldiers from behind tiny walls, knock yourself out!

  28. Drake Sigar says:

    I want to give props to EA but… why the hell is SimCity 4 normally £20? It’s ten years old. Freakin’ Mass Effect 3 is cheaper.

  29. FurryLippedSquid says:

    Just read on PCG that the game shifted 1.1 million units in two weeks. Christ that’s depressing. I hope the vast majority of those were pre-orders.

  30. Artista says:

    The only acceptable apology would be Mirror’s Edge 2.

    • TechnicalBen says:

      After what they did with the impossible to loose opportunities in SimCity franchise? Please no. Let ME die gracefully with Mirrors Edge. I’ll then go on to imagine EA died long ago. Perhaps one day to come back, but currently “stone cold”.

  31. satsui says:

    Go fork yourselves, EA/Maxis. Thanks.

  32. ass wasp says:

    please don’t forget about this like you guys did with aliens colonial marines, something needs to change in the industry

  33. Panda Powered says:

    http://i.imgur.com/xdWPYjC.jpg

    “Fantastic game worth every penny! Oh SHIT!”

  34. WarThunder says:

    If EA are reading this they must be rubbing their hands with glee – divide and conquer, mission accomplished and all that.

    • Giuseppe says:

      Yeah. It appears some people want to seem more enlightened than the hateful rabble by either playing the devil’s advocate, or by insisting that the latest news from EA should somehow be accepted as some sort of honest apology.

  35. sabasNL says:

    British Petrol, anyone?
    http://youtu.be/rDqatJPvOfk

    Gotta love Tony Hayward / SouthPark / Electronic Arts Maxis

  36. Lemming says:

    Dead Space 3 being on there is a kick in the crotch, isn’t it? It’s still £40 on the 360 on Amazon.

  37. Blizniak says:

    They’re actually offering SimCity 4 to SimCity 6 buyers…technically.

  38. Brun says:

    In other news, John Riccitello just resigned as CEO of EA.

  39. nimzy says:

    It seemed like just yesterday Riccitiello took his post with a fresh new plan of focusing on “quality over quantity.”

  40. Fiatil says:

    I hate posting just to complain because yeah yeah just don’t read the article and I really love you guys and I love this site, but come on. The game isn’t broken; maybe they lied about the necessity of an online component, but the game is a good city simulator. The only “broken” things about the core game are that sims change bodies and the traffic is funky but easily fixable if you just watch it and see how your city is behaving. All of your headlines on this subject have been ridiculously sensational and for the most part not true. “Modder stays offline and can place half of a building outside of the city limits and can’t use any region features at all” becomes “ONLINE SERVERS FOR SIMCITY A SHAM!”

    The launch wasn’t good, everyone who’s done this thing before knew it wasn’t going to be good, and yeah it really sucks that companies still haven’t figured out how to do this thing. The game, right now as is, is completely playable and fun with really neat multiplayer features, and I’m excited for whatever patches and hack-wackery is going to appear on the horizon to see how it changes.

    If the internets had spent 10% of this much energy deconstructing the state of Simcity 4′s gameplay at launch it would be even worse. They released a $30 expansion to fix traffic and you still need a fan mod for it to work! Even though neo-SimCity has wonky traffic it’s a lot easier to deal with and fix than Simcity 4′s is even today.

  41. Kittim says:

    Get real, the free game thing costs EA bugger all in real money. Compared to the deservedly bad press they are getting and the fear EA have of their share price dropping, it’s a crappy little exercise to mollify the masses with shiny objects.

    Your think EA give a toss about you? Come on, they and others like them force you to install what amounts to malware and create an account just for you to have the privilege of playing one of their games. They use the fear of disabling your account and a EULA that basically states your kidneys belong to them to keep you in line and ensure that you don’t complain too loudly.

    You’re a commodity to these companies; the only thing that they care about is how to separate you from more of your income and how to increase the amount of profit you make them. You think that software client is just to prevent piracy?

    You don’t owe them anything, they treat their paying customers with contempt, they deserve to be treated the same.

    Free game? Pfft, whatever EA, as long as it all goes away soon so you can get back to treating your customers like criminals again.

  42. captain nemo says:

    Lol – Now Origin has been hacked :
    http://arstechnica.com/security/2013/03/bug-on-eas-origin-game-platform-allows-attackers-to-hijack-player-pcs/

    (and, it must be said, Steam was also found to be vulnerable to this attack in October)

  43. RakeShark says:

    It’s funny that they aren’t offering Sims 3.

  44. zacharygordon703 says:

    until I looked at the check four $5877, I did not believe that…my… brother woz actualy erning money in there spare time at there labtop.. there dads buddy had bean doing this for only about six months and just repayed the loans on their cottage and bought a new Mazda. we looked here, http://www.fly38.com

  45. popedoo says:

    Just noticed there is a 50% sale currently on at the Origin store.

    Could this be related? :D

  46. ChromeXu says:

    I got Simcity 4, just in case I need some good Simcity single-player time.

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