Saturday, March 16, 2013

Wonderful Disaster

As a long-time gamer, I greeted the news of the terrible launch of SimCity with…glee! I’m sorry for all those people who bought the games but could not play due to the game servers being down but I love the fact that it happened.

I love it because maybe now gaming companies will think twice before tacking on an “always-on” label on their games. SimCity require players to be always connected to the EA servers in order to play the game but as demand outstrip supply, players found that the servers were always full and they were unable to play the game they just bought.

The non-playable state of SimCity had caused EA tremendous problems as even major news agencies like CNN were reporting on it. All this embarrassment for a system that might not even be needed for the game to work! Gaming sites on the internet has posted claims that several industry insiders, including some from EA itself, admitting that the “always-on” state of SimCity is not needed for the game to function. It is a tool used primarily to prevent cheating, hacking, and video game piracy.

Talk about stupid!

Mind you, SimCity isn’t the first game with this problem. Remember Diablo 3 and its launch? I also have no idea why that game requires you to be connected to a server. It is a very playable single-player game. As a gamer of many MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games, I have no problem with the idea of connecting to the internet to play games but if games like SimCity and Diablo 3 do not require an internet connection, then there must be an option for us to have off-line play.

Having an internet connection should NOT be a requirement to play games if the game does not need it. It’s that simple and I hope the SimCity disaster will teach gaming companies a hard lesson on that. 

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