Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Obligatory SimCity Rant
Well dear reader you gotta break it down. and look at it from the stand point of a corporate machine:
Point 1. The always online aspect was an immovable benchmark for EA and the Maxis games. The growing trend in the previous sim games was online connectability with growing focus on the origin community and microtransactions i.e. buying outfits and furniture in the Sims 3. To set a standard for "always online" games creates benefits that are at minimum two-fold: all future games will be online and monitored, thus less piracy and less association with the internet swearword "DRM", and secondly to generate a sim-community for milking cash-cow games with standardised sign-up accounts across all games.
Point 2. The quality and technicality of the online experience was BORKED from day one. With most things in life, and especially in the corporate world where things get pipelined, outsourced and micro-productions are multi-managed, there is a standard formulae of Time vs Money vs Quality. And in most cases you can only pic two of these, and unfortunately the corporate strategy is to only care about Budget (Money) and Deadlines (Time) thus sacrificing quality. So the game, as polished as it may be, was papped out, without a viable or solid online test strategy.
Point 3. Marketing, you could probably conspiracy-theorise that the launch was orchestrated to drum up press and awareness of the title. i.e. No such thing as bad advertising.
"Oh dear, look at our game, its so popular and awesome that we cant handle the millions of people who are dying to play such an awesome game"
Where this may have been true in the aspect that Diablo 3 and Blizzard. It was also sorted post launch and relatively speaking swiftly. But at this point in time and technology, the level of online and multiplayer exposure in games there should not have been an outage of this level. More than likely the possibility of launching without rigorous testing of the online experience, was "marketed" to corporate heads.
And there you have it, these are the major reasons for why the big company didnt produce a worthwhile launch experience, hats off to unethical production and gaming.
Love and that was a pretty "grown-up" post, remember the days of discussing Soul Calubur boobies?