Will Wright speaks out about new SimCity, says server issues “inexcusable”

SimCity

By on May 7, 2013 at 4:52 pm

SimCity series creator Will Wright has used an address at the University of California to talk about the latest incarnation of his famous city-simulation game.

“I feel bad for the team. I kind of did predict there’d be a big backlash about the DRM stuff,” he said during his lecture. “It was kind of like, ‘EA is the evil empire, there was a lot of ‘Let’s bash EA over it. That was basically inexcusable, that you charge somebody $60 for a game and they can’t play it. I can understand the outrage. If I was a consumer buying the game and that happened to me, I’d feel the same.”

“I think people care if it doesn’t work. If you can’t play it on planes, stuff like that – I think there are some very valid concerns about it.”

Wright also explained how SimCity‘s always-online approach confused people’s expectations, saying “Also there’s a perception; I don’t expect to play World of Warcraft on the airplane, because my perception is it has to be on the net. Sim City was in this very uncomfortable space, like the uncanny valley, almost; [it was caught] between was it a single player game or was it a multiplayer game?”

Despite this, Wright reiterated that he did, actually, enjoy the game.

“It’s a good game,” he said. “I enjoy playing it a lot.”

Source: GamesIndustry via VG247

24 comments (Leave your own)

Even with out the log in issues the servers are still iffy at best, so many cross city issues that I gave up(like me sending 50mil worth of matts to my great works but it registering nothing).

Got EA to do a refund on my preordered digital deluxe edition yesterday, I’ve honestly lost faith in if they can fix the bugs.

 

He makes some good points it does ride that online/offline divide – it is traditionally an offline game and people wanted it like that, it was fun playing Sim City on your laptop at the airport/when travelling back in the day.

The MP elements of Sim City are quite good and can add a whole new level of intended challenge to the game. That said there is no reason there shouldn’t be an offline experience to the game as well, sometimes you just want to be left alone to craft and create without the overheads of a “forced” MP experience.

People who purchased the game on release/near release have a right to be angry about how it was rolled out, there was a gross underestimation of what would be required making you think the Beta was in fact just a glorified product demo. What is sad is that those who don’t own it, won’t own it who can’t let go of their whole “EA is the devil” mentality which causes them to act all affronted when they have not a single thing to be directly affronted about.

 

like the uncanny valley, almost; [it was caught] between was it a single player game or was it a multiplayer game?”

This. It was expected (for me at least) to be a single play game like the rest. Jammed that square peg into the round hole of online multiplayer space and resulted in compromise everywhere.

simcity is an example of design failure. It can’t be fixed by patches. Sure some people might like it but its not simcity like the latest syndicate fps is not syndicate.

 

I feel for the guy. EA have taken his baby and mutated it in to one of the biggest laughing stocks when it comes to examples of DRM or “always-on” style games. Not to mention disgraced the franchise name in general.

 

I misread this the first time and though that he was saying the EA bashing was inexcusable. Rapid101 will absolutely piss his pants with excitement if he misreads it as I did.

 

dajenko: This. It was expected (for me at least) to be a single play game like the rest. Jammed that square peg into the round hole of online multiplayer space and resulted in compromise everywhere.

simcity is an example of design failure. It can’t be fixed by patches. Sure some people might like it but its not simcity like the latest syndicate fps is not syndicate.

So… most of the prerelease showed an MMORTS.

schrapple:
I misread this the first time and though that he was saying the EA bashing was inexcusable. Rapid101 will absolutely piss his pants with excitement if he misreads it as I did.

God forbid I know how to read like I reiterated last time. I can read WW’s opinions, and disagree with them. The game was always shown to be an mmorts. That’s your opinion if you can’t look at trailers and see that, as I don’t know how they could make it clearer. You’re despising it based on principle, rather than reality.

FYI, if you want to EA bash at least learn to read a financial report for once. It might help give your argument credence.

 

rapid101: So… most of the prerelease showed an MMORTS.

God forbid I know how to read like I reiterated last time. I can read WW’s opinions, and disagree with them. The game was always shown to be an mmorts. That’s your opinion if you can’t look at trailers and see that, as I don’t know how they could make it clearer. You’re despising it based on principle, rather than reality.

FYI, if you want to EA bash at least learn to read a financial report for once. It might help give your argument credence.

If you can supply me with one EA source that describes this game as a MMO prior to it’s release date I will never mention it again. There’s the challenge should you choose to accept it.

 

Once again I ask you Rapid101: why do you feel the need to defend EA? Please do so without a one-line response about financial reports, or just being downright insulting like usual.

 

Its not an MMO.
its less MMO then any MP FPS since I can remember.

BF3 is more MMO then this SC will ever be and they don’t call BF3 an MMO.

 

It’s not just Sim City. It’s EA in general.

I was recently given BACK my ME3 copy on Origin after it was ILLEGALLY banned by EA. It took 11 months for them to reactivate my copy after several thousand words worth of e-mails and serious mistreatment to the point that Victoria Consumer Affairs had organised a Business Tribunal for me.

All I received was an apology for the incorrect, unlawful and unprofessional treatment by some their support staff and the miscommunication by others….

At least the Sim City fans got a free game.

My response? cancelled a UO account of good standing for 13 years and will never purchase an Origin product again. All this DRM and online shit can go fuck itself.

 

There was no need, no need in the world to FORCE this game to be multiplayer. Even the masters of non-conventional multiplayer, FromSoftware, allowed you to play to your hearts content in an offline environment with Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls.

:(…

 

This is very hypocritical of Wright really given he was scrutinized for similar things with Spore. Their DRM policy with that was just as archaic. I don’t see why he should be the one pointing this out, he’s only gone with the majority opinion here and everyone will go “oh yeah I agree with that” when really… Wright has said bugger all on the subject really that hadn’t already been said by more credible people. Spore was equally as big a fuck up as Sim City… what have we learned from this.. that Maxis has some big management problems and EA aren’t helping with their DRM policies.

Also now that Maxis is back on the Sims 4 I’m extremely concerned given Starbreeze did a fantastic job on Sims 3 (before that team became Sims Studios), why take the franchise away from people that did a better job than Maxis..? I really dislike what Maxis has become.

 

vcatkiller: Please do so without a one-line response about financial reports

What does a financial report have to do with the quality of a game ? Thats like saying the russian mafia does good things because they make alot of money :S.

I mean I have no issue jumping to be the Devil’s advocate but if the only defense you can mount is “they make money” then again the mafia is a “good business” .

 

spooler,

What does a financial report have to do with the quality of a game? Absolutely nothing of course! Which is why I asked Rapid to respond to his constant desire to defend EA without referring to them. It seems to be the standard rapid101 response if you’ve noticed: “EA is good you can’t read financial reports.”

Me, I can’t stand EA and their unethical standards and haven’t bought a single EA game in years. Don’t plan on doing so in the immediate future either, and looking at their lineup I’m missing nothing.

Rapid101: still waiting, why do you feel the urge to defend EA? Sans financial report comments of course.

 

vcatkiller: Me, I can’t stand EA and their unethical standards and haven’t bought a single EA game in years. Don’t plan on doing so in the immediate future either, and looking at their lineup I’m missing nothing.

Same, you know with that kind of attitude maybe he’s an investor ? all he seems is numbers :P

 
Nasty Wet Smear

Now, hang on. Didn’t EA go out of their way to say that SimCity’s ‘Always Online’ choice WASN’T DRM??… I seem to recall they did:

http://www.ea.com/news/we-can-do-better

“Many continue to claim the Always-On function in SimCity is a DRM scheme. It’s not. People still want to argue about it. We can’t be any clearer – it’s not. Period.”

Here we are, however, with Will saying that he told them it would be an issue and calling a Pig a Pig before a crowd:

“I feel bad for the team. I kind of did predict there’d be a big backlash about the DRM stuff,”

I’d just like EA to clear the air on this issue. Just let us know if they are liars, telling us their DRM isn’t DRM, or idiots who mistake their DRM for a feature. I spose they could be both.

 

GammaD gotta remember that Will Wright didn’t have control of Spore’s development for the latter half. Lucy Bradshaw had taken over the project which shows exactly the same direction as Sim City (5) does, where she was Project Lead.

Also shows she hasn’t got a friggin clue what she’s doing and shouldn’t be in that role.

 

Regardless of how evil EA May or may not be, I have had countless hours of fun in their games. Bf3 entertained for a good few hundred, SIM city is the best at a lan with a room full of people. I just like playing games that are enjoyable to me. I won’t boycott one because I disagree with the publishers practices. Whether EA is mercilessly milking the cash cow or not, a fun game is still fun. In the words of Ernie Calhoun, Dean of VGHS, It’s all about the game.

 

Wow.

When you have the original creator of a franchise saying those sorts of things about your new installment, you know you’ve dropped the ball big time.

 

RSOblivion,

True that, I hate Lucy more than Will Wright… But Wright could’ve prevented all of this.. and he knows it.

 
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