EA Australia wins Choice’s Shonky Award for unfair play over SimCity launch debacle

SimCity

By on October 29, 2013 at 11:54 am

Australian consumer protection group Choice have given an award to EA Australia in their annual Shonky Awards for this year, slamming them over the $2.48 per minute cost to call their support line in Australia and complain about SimCity being an unplayable mess.

“Australian gamers, however, were even more unhappy when they discovered that the telephone support line was a 1900 number attracting a $2.48 per minute fee,” says Choice. “That’s right – after forking out up to $100 for the game, you’re then expected to cough up for after-sales support that’s normally free – as it should be.”

“And this shonkosity is even worse when you consider it’s their fault you’re ringing in the first place!”

Damningly, Choice concludes with “our US counterparts pay nothing – a fact exploited by canny Aussie gamers who use Skype to ring the US helpline for free”.

Source: Choice via Kotaku AU

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21 comments (Leave your own)

Wait, shonkosity is a word now?

 

$2.50 a min is shocking, can’t believe EA would do that. Well actually I could, but still, not cool.
Glad they’re picking up more awards for being a dodgy company with poor business practices.

 

thats it… no cattlefield 4. im buying cod ghosts,

 

sirgriggles,

Not sure if that was serious or not but I’m abandoning the BF series for cod as well, playing the beta just tipped the scales.

 

I didn’t really like COD after MW2, wasn’t a fan of the Black ops or MW3. I also don’t like that EA’s just pumping out another Battlefield that seems like it’s what they should have released the first time around with BF3.

One thing I do like is the sound effects engine they have going on with the BF series. I would pick a game with great sound over graphics, but that’s just me :P

 

Makes me glad I didn’t buy SimCity… Can’t say I’m planning on getting it anytime soon either

 

I don’t like how EA is pumping out Battlefields. BF4 is what they should have released the first time with BF2, or even BF1942.

 

shuth,

BF3 was a cod competitor something they pretty much had to do to stay alive. To be recognised. So no one forgets who they are.

Dice have shown themselves to be a competent developer who works well with short times to do things in. BF4 is again looking to be a proper battlefield game. The BC series had a good campaign and in BF3 I had good times. But they were never really “battlefield” enough.

 

shuth:
I don’t like how EA is pumping out Battlefields. BF4 is what they should have released the first time with BF2, or even BF1942.

The sarcasm is strong in this one.

 

matthewdev:
Makes me glad I didn’t buy SimCity… Can’t say I’m planning on getting it anytime soon either

Seeing as they confirmed plot size will never be increased Sim City is off limits to me now. Buggy excuse for DRM labelled as a game.

Have got BF4 though as it’s what BF3 should have been. I did get BF3, but I certainly didn’t pay top dollar for it. $50 all up for everything including Premium ;)

 

Does nobody remember the old sonic games on Sega? they were 3.50 per minute for cheats and support. I dont see what the big deal is.

 

narcarsiss,

Yea but SEGA released their games in a complete working state…

 

somexspec:
sirgriggles,

Not sure if that was serious or not but I’m abandoning the BF series for cod as well, playing the beta just tipped the scales.

Judging a game based on the beta, smart move.

But you’re probably right, it will likely be buggy on launch. It will be playable, and enjoyable, but buggy.

Just like BF1942, BF2, BF:BC2 and BF3.

It’s to be expected for DICE now. But I’ll be buggered if I haven’t had fun in every single one of them.

Protest non sale? Sure, but not buying on the basis that it might suffer the same fate as a game developed by a different studio? Doesn’t make much sense.

 

I had an issue recently where EA/Bioware were still charging me for a SWTOR account that I’d forgotten to cancel. And rather than being able to cancel it via email or local free-call, I had to purchase $15 of Skype credit and ring their call center in the UK.

There’s absolutely no support for Oceania by the big companies, and something needs to be done about it.

Needs to be done, but won’t be.

 

mindsnare,

I’m not solely judging it on the beta and I probably should have made it more clear.

The others are right they are just pumping out more of the same thing to generate funds, the only differences are new maps, new game modes, “levolution” (which isn’t ground breaking) and a more destructible environment.

For me the absolute pinnacle of the battlefield series was 2142 in first place and bf2 in second. I still remember and miss the hours and hours of fun I had in 2142 with the titans and walkers.

But when I think about the bf4 beta or back to bf3 they just weren’t fun it felt more like a chore to go into a server and play or waste time.

EA/Dice need to bring back their experimental side and change things up not just same thing little differences each time.

Anyway that’s just my opinion.

 

Anyone else check out the other ‘nominees’ for the Shonky awards? Personally my money is on the so called free range eggs…

 

ralphwiggum:
Anyone else check out the other ‘nominees’ for the Shonky awards? Personally my money is on the so called free range eggs…

I think that will win.

EA deserves this sort of award especially for its lack of customer service. I heard that EB games got nominated but that might have been misreported earlier today and was in fact EA games (As they actually make the games that people had issues with).

 

somexspec,

mindsnare,

i wasnt being sarcastic, neither was a basing the fact im not buying it on the beta! im sick of being burnt by EA… its a long story, but i bought MOH warfighter (thats not the worst part). played it solidly for a month. online and offline. suddenly one day i go to start mp through battlelog and its not recognising the games installed. no problem. google, right? no answer. so i call EA support. $18 lighter and they said email support. i email.

they removed the game from my account because they said i hadnt paid for it so i showed them my bank account statement. no deal. “we cant help you with this issue, call your bank”

FUCK EA. my only consolation is, warfighter was freaking crap.

 

InAUGral: I think that will win.

EA deserves this sort of award especially for its lack of customer service. I heard that EB games got nominated but that might have been misreported earlier today and was in fact EA games (As they actually make the games that people had issues with).

I thought EB games came in 3rd after EA and something else. Which made me lol in the car this morning.

 

shuth:
I don’t like how EA is pumping out Battlefields. BF4 is what they should have released the first time with BF2, or even BF1942.

Ok. I get you. You’ve been burned by EA. It’s left a bad taste in your mouth. Fair enough. But don’t you think it’s a little much to say that Battlefield 4 is what a game released 11 years ago should have been? A game that was revolutionary at the time, I might add. Talk about amping the vitriol up to 11. :p

 
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