This latest lie of "needing calculations to be on the server" and having a modder prove them wrong within a couple of weeks is just absolute sweet karma. I'd like to say EA will suffer for this but they won't, They will spin this away and move on.
You know, at this point, I'm not even mad. I'm sad. I mean, genuinely sad. Now I know I'm kind of a depressive person to start with. And I know appealing to people's "feelings" comes off as less righteously indignant and cool than just getting pissed. I've had people call me a hippy and a pansy and worse for that. But I have to be honest. I'm genuinely, profoundly saddened by this.
Sim City, for me, was a quintessential videogame. I mean seriously. Along with things like Space Invaders and Super Mario Bros., this was one of those games. This is a game I would sneak into the PC lab at my school to play as a kid. It was a game I'd want to go to my friend's house (since he had a Commodore) just to play. This is a game that lives in that tapestry of memories from that period of my life, right along side the first time my dad put me on his lap so I could reach the joystick at our arcade. (Can't even remember the game. Some kind of top down SHMUP.)
And Sim City 2000 was incredible for its time. Another game I snuck into my school's PC lab to play lol. (I never had a PC growing up.) This time as a teenager in middle school finally old enough to really appreciate it. I would also play Sim Ant when I could, too. Later I played the somewhat crappy SC 2000 port on the first Playstation, but it wasn't the same.
Sim City 3000 was more of an evolution than a revolution, but despite some of the familiar color coding of zones and so forth changing, it too was a blast. And Sim City 4, well, people continue to play that to this day, ten years on.
This new Sim City fundamentally changes what the game is. It takes it from being a sandbox you can expand and tinker with to your heart's content, to a highly social, "connected" experience where you're limited in size and scope unless you want to juggle multiple cities. That would be fine in and of itself. I could adapt to that, and I can even appreciate and enjoy the idea of having to balance the nature and style of each city. Conceptually, I actually really like the idea and the different sort of challenge it poses. And the bugs, I'm sure those will be fixed in time
What won't ever get fixed is the fact that Maxis has confirmed my worst suspicions about an industry I've been fortunate to experience the benefits of for most of my life, and have passionately loved for most of that time. For the last ten years or so, many - myself included - have watched this crawl toward constant microtransactions, eventual always-online, the transforming of videogames into sales platforms essentially (one review recently described a game in exactly that light, saying, "It's both a game and a platform,") and have watched with suspicion as companies have made claims many of us thought sounded dubious. But on some naive, optimistic level - perhaps the level of my mind where the aforementioned cherished memories live - I, like many I'm sure, didn't want to believe that the industry would simply tell a bold faced lie.
Spin, duplicitous marketing to a degree, sure. We've all been burned by that enough, and that sucks. We've all been told things that could be contorted and construed as "true" that in the final analysis probably weren't. But not lie right to our faces about a design choice many took issue with or in the case of this game, contributed to the inability to play the game at all for many initially.
Yet now Maxis of all companies (yes I know it's not the same company today it was before but that's beside the point) has literally lied directly to the industry. Customers, journalists, and peers alike. I don't know how else to say it. They've lied, plain and simple. I feel Lucy Bradshaw should be ashamed of herself. She has impugned her integrity as a person, and that of her industry as a creative business environment. And by extension, Maxis as a whole, and EA as a whole.
I'm not going to say I want the company to burn down like some people have. I'm not going to hate them and wish ill on them. On the contrary, I actually wish them continued success, even though I won't be contributing to it. I just wish that they could be honest and straightforward. I wish that the naive enthusiasm of my youth could have been rewarded with a confirmation that at least THIS industry, while yes, a profit oriented endeavor like any other business, had some integrity. That at least THIS industry, which started as a niche dependent on people like us, could remember where its lifeblood and very survival in years past lay. That at least THIS industry could reward hope and passion with good faith instead of slight of hand and bullshit.
Instead, like much else in life, it has repaid us with disillusionment and disenfranchisement. And I'm not going to lie. I know I can me melodramatic and over-emotional. But screw it. We now live in the era where these companies feel utterly comfortable lying directly to us and then still expecting us to care so little that we will buy their products. And that HURTS. And that SUCKS.
That's all I can say.