Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter “SimCity”

There’s a great line in a “Sopranos” episode where Tony confronts his long loved crush, and therapist, with the possibility that she may not have taken the chance to truly get to know him.

Forget the way Tony Soprano makes his way in the world. That’s to feed his children. There’s two Tony Sopranos…you’ve never seen that other one…That’s the one I want to show you

EA and Maxis must be relating to that quote now as it pertains to the new “SimCity,” because there are certainly two sides of the game. One is the game that critics have informed players is a brilliant mix of every great thing the series has become up until this point mixed with exciting new evolutions to the formula leading to a title every inch as great as it could be.

The other though is the one that the rest of the world is seeing. It’s the one that is causing the entire internet to roar in fury over the fact that they haven’t even gotten a chance to play the game yet due to server issues so encompassing, it can only be classified as an epidemic. Even if you’re lucky enough to log on to the game, you’ll most likely be booted in an instant for your audacity.

There is no greater example of this dynamic than the astounding difference between the critic review score (82) and the user review score (1.7) on metacritic.

The problem is so bad that Amazon (the world’s largest online retailer it’s worth saying) has refused to sell any more digital copies of the game until the matter is resolved, EA has decided to cut “non-essential” elements of the game to help server clog, and rumors abound that they were banning players that asked for a refund (though these are being denied).

It’s as if EA flipped the disaster option available in the game on in real life, and the name of the chosen catastrophe is “DRM,” as just like “Diablo III” you must be signed in to the internet at all times, even if playing by yourself, and just like that game, the server congestion this causes in unmanageable.

Companies say its a feture that will one day lead to better security in games, and unique social benefits. So far it has only led to catastrophic server issues that break games like Ivan Drago breaks opponents.

It must be stopped.

There can be no room for debate on this topic. Not for now anyway. Putting aside the absurd notion that a gamer can’t play the game they bought and installed without a high quality internet connection available at all times, the cases of “Diablo III” and “SimCity” show that any potential benefits this atrocity of an idea may yield are in no way able to be implemented safely yet.

Actually, let’s not put aside the absurd notion of the idea. Let’s hit it on the head, throw it in a bag, chain the bag, put the bag in the car, and drive the car in the ocean and never speak of it again. It’s a terrible concept that becomes insulting when you consider that the only real explanation of its current existence is that gamers will eventually get used to it.

Yeah well you get used to having your hand on a stove eventually, but you’ve still done permanent damage.

That’s what it boils down to. Even though gamers will one day be able to actually play the game they eagerly waited for and quickly snatched up, much like “Diablo III” and its sales records, “SimCity” will be a game forever tarnished by this incident, that no amount of figures or good will gestures will aid.

At the end of the day gamers just want to play this game, and EA and Maxis (oh who are we kidding, EA) have done the one thing that could prevent them from doing that, and seemingly did it knowingly, as there is no way they could not have seen something like this coming, considering the massive amount of pre-sale orders.

It’s a sick joke that a game years in development and all about effective planning, management, and creation, should be affected by problems that exhibit none of those ideas, and leaves what should be a world of thriving metropolises, into a nothing more than a large ghost town.

If Only They’d Known How Appropriate This Video Would Be

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