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DRM Games

Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums 386

Posted by timothy
from the please-sir-can-I-have-another? dept.
An anonymous reader writes "EA's latest SimCity game requires users to log on online even for single player. After being unable to log on for three hours, one of its users chimed in with his very polite $0.02 opinion, only to get himself banned by EA admins. Another great victory for DRM." Update: 01/29 18:00 GMT by S : The player's ban has been lifted, and it seems to have happened for an unrelated issue anyway.
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Feedback On Simcity Gets User Banned From EA Forums

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  • It IS a beta, and if you have a problem with it... such as being unable to log on... you're expected to report such problems (unless the devs already clearly know about it, maybe).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:50AM (#42727631)

    STOP buying EA games.

  • by Isca (550291) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:53AM (#42727695)
    This setup is the stupidest thing to come down the pike in a long time. I can understand having the DRM to be able to play online. What I don't understand is why there is not an offline mode that does not allow you to take advantage of all the online only features and who's gameplay doesn't affect the online version. And the article shows just how far they have gone into looney land - no constructive feedback allowed. This will be literally the first Sim City I will not own. I have bought literally every version of it over the years including the original Sim City.
  • Re:beta? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by X0563511 (793323) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:56AM (#42727745) Homepage Journal

    More like beta user submits valid beta feedback and is banned for their trouble.

    That smells the same way asking for someone's opinion then punching them when they give it to you does.

  • Re:My $.02 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by snemarch (1086057) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:58AM (#42727785)

    Unfortunately for folks, this means fans of the game have to give EA the middle finger and pirate it, or simply not buy the game, but at least they've finally released a new version of the game after years.

    There, FTFY.

  • Consider Me Warned (Score:5, Insightful)

    by houbou (1097327) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:59AM (#42727795) Journal
    Feedback is feedback.. the feedback I read, did not warrant getting banned. Worse, it was constructive in many ways. Finally, this is a paying customer. If this is how EA will now do business, consider me warned, I'm not buying their wares. I think it should be illegal to stop a paying customer from being able to provide feedback, especially since this customer is trying to have access to a product which he paid to used in the first place.
  • by Abstrackt (609015) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @11:59AM (#42727809)

    If you must play this game(and you don't) please pirate it. Please.

    Personally, I think it sends a stronger message to tell the company "your product isn't even worth pirating" than to establish that there is in fact demand for it despite the issues.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @12:04PM (#42727879)

    The game doesn't come out until March. Being 'unable to log on' for three hours might be a worthy complaint after that.

    "might be" you say... Is there some mitigating circumstance where it's okay for a released game to arbitrarily not work for some purchasers that puts that "might" in there?

  • by ddxexex (1664191) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @12:08PM (#42727941)

    If you must play this game(and you don't) please pirate it. Please.

    I never like it when people suggest pirating software as a form of protest, if you think the DRM is too intrusive, don't buy the game at all. For the bad car analogy, Let's say you don't like On-Star because you think its too intrusive. You see a car you like, but it only comes with On-Star. So to protest On-Star you steal a car. That's not protesting it's an excuse to steal.

    If you must play the game, buy it, feel guilty about not sticking to your morals, then attempt to forgive yourself by donating to the EFF or something.

  • by brxndxn (461473) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @12:10PM (#42727975)

    I think it would send the strongest message if they could see the following:

    - sales rates go up when games have less DRM
    - piracy goes up when games have more DRM independent of sales rate
    - EA sales would increase if EA stops being assholes
    - EA does not see any of this because EA's head is in its ass

  • Re:Was it EA..... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @12:15PM (#42728031)

    While I do want a Simcity game, as SimCity 4 is 9 years old at this point, I can't see this new product as a Simcity game. There is no local saves. There are preset map sizes (don't mind that that much), but there is a problem here. The player is not able to edit the land. I can't level a mountain to make way for a road. I can't build a system of streams and lakes. They want players to view making a city a puzzle that also takes into account terrain and wondering how to build a road around that mountain. They want the toy (not a game by Will Wright's point of view) to play with the players instead of letting the players play freely with it. Not everyone wants their cities to be compared to the works of others.

    At this rate, I doubt it will have any fun cheat codes as was a staple of the series.

  • by amicusNYCL (1538833) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @12:46PM (#42728509)

    I.E. Nothing to see here, move along.

    I wouldn't go that far. They have a bug in their system that causes people who opted out of email communication to instead get banned. That doesn't exactly inspire confidence that EA knows what they're doing. Regardless of whether the ban was intentional, it's reasons like this that they have such a shitty reputation.

  • Re:Was it EA..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @12:53PM (#42728601) Homepage Journal

    To be fair... This is sort of inevitable with the Civ and SimCity franchises...

    There has been a ton of Civ games, and pretty much all of them have been good. Yes, some were better, some were worse, but all of them were good. So what can you really do to improve it, outside of graphics? Why would I ever move beyond FreeCiv or Civ 4? Civ has pretty much covered everything now, and the only thing I really want is the Near Future stuff that was in Call To Power, along with the Religion stuff in Civ 4 and Civ 5 Gods and Kings.

    SimCity is worse... How exactly do you make a better version of SimCity 4?

    These are OLD franchises, probably among the oldest, if not they oldest gaming franchises that are still being made. Civ came out in 1991, and SimCity in 1989. I still have the original disk for the C64 version.

    The always on bit does suck, though. And makes me mad, I would love to play some SimCity, but sadly SimCity 4 doesn't modern hardware/software, and all the clones are pretty bad or boring (CitiesXL, almost good.). I will probably still buy it, though I will grumble the whole time.

  • by Andrio (2580551) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @01:01PM (#42728761)
    I too am a long time SimCity fan who will not buy this game because of the DRM.

    Perhaps I should send a letter letting EA know that I voted with my wallet. See, that's a problem with "voting with your wallet" in that there's really no way to tell what someone voted with their wallet for/against. If the game sells badly because people voted with their wallets against always-on DRM, it's more likely that the higher-ups at EA conclude "There isn't a big enough market for city simulation games. Let's just not greenlight any such future games, and focus on Medal of Madden XXVI!"

    You could send an email, but realistically, those things will never really be read. An actual paper letter though; that's something someone *will* look at.
  • Re:Was it EA..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stephanruby (542433) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @01:51PM (#42729499)

    Update: 01/29 18:00 GMT by S : The player's ban has been lifted, and it seems to have happened for an unrelated issue anyway.

    Personally, if I had been EA I would have prevented the player from participating in any future *closed* betas (and I wouldn't be surprised if that's what they tried to do in this case). Clearly, that player knew he was in a "closed beta", he mentioned that fact twice at least, but apparently he doesn't seem to understand the meaning of that word "closed".

    In a closed beta, the feedback you provide stays private. That's the entire point of a beta being closed. Either you email the company directly, or you post in a private forum (designated only for closed beta players), but you do not post your feedback in their public forum.

    Sheesh!! The standard is becoming so high, even that word beta doesn't seem to mean anything anymore.

  • by ifrag (984323) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @02:14PM (#42729831)

    Steam will play in offline mode.

    The degree of "play" will depend on the exact title you are using on Steam. For example, some Ubisoft games you'd be out of luck with for offline.

    It would be nice if Steam started to play hard with those companies and mandate Steam's DRM only if the game was to be offered on Steam.

  • by sammyF70 (1154563) on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @02:23PM (#42729943) Homepage Journal

    Steam might play in offline mode. More often than not this is not the case. Believe me, I used to have a very bad internet connection and the times I was not able to play anything from my Steam account when the connection was down and Schteam was telling me to log in far outweighted the times when it happily remembered that I had played just one day before.
    Steam is not nearly as evil as EA, but it still has an intrusive and often obnoxious DRM (Along with an atrocious EULA).

  • Re:Was it EA..... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 29, 2013 @02:35PM (#42730105) Journal

    And ya know what? despite what so many have written poo pooing the idea of a boycott "poo poo they never work poo poo" the fact that EA is on the selling block along with Activision's parent company looking to restructure tells me that boycotts DO work, they just take awhile to be fully felt.

    And if nothing else at the very least you aren't paying to be treated like shit. I refuse to buy any game that has always online DRM and make it clear to the company whose product I'm avoiding not only WHY I'm avoiding them but what competitor got the money earmarked for them. When D3 came out with always online DRM I wrote Blizzard a nice letter telling them that despite buying both of the previous products several times (for myself and for family/friends) this time I would be giving my money to Torchlight II instead which I bought several copies of. While ultimately nobody in a position of power may read my letter at least they know where several sales went and if enough people do the same they can certainly feel it on their bottom line.

    Ultimately even if the corp doesn't hear us we have to make sure the Internet media hears us, so that the corps can't use that old scapegoat piracy as an excuse to demand more draconian copyright laws like DMCA. As it is now if we do not speak up some PHB will be trotting out a PPT and while pointing at the numbers say "If you see here we sold X number of our previous product and our focus groups say X+Y play games of that genre today so the fact that we didn't sell X+Y just proves its those dirty pirates".

    But I make it clear on any discussion of the game/s I'm boycotting that neither me nor my family will have this product as long as its anti-consumer, we won't buy it, download it, it won't be allowed in our home. So make your voice heard, speak up and let the world know when you refuse to buy a game because of shitty practices and no pirating it either, that just gives them more ammo to use against us.

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