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SimCity Update: Straight Answers from Lucy

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I read that ... EA wants to take this game in a new direction and I say let them. I have SC4 (and 3000, 2000, and original) at my disposal to play any time without needing servers or the approval of EA.

As a Libertarian... I say let the free market ride on this issue.

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Whether she expected it or not, she's got a rather intimidating wall of comments below it running about 97% negative. It wasn't really much of a defense of "always-on" that hasn't been said by them many times before. Oh look, we'll keep track of other cities for you, oh look you can load your cloud-saved cities on other machines, etc. (if they're not lost or corrupted). At least she admitted what they were striving for all along, SimCity the MMO.

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She's simply saying that they have their own development vision and philosophy, and that they are entitled to it, while you're not entitled to dictate it. Sorry if this burst a bubble, but as much as some armchair developers misguidedly think they'd do much better than actual developers, game development is not a democracy, nor it should be. 

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You're right they have to make a game with broad appeal, not just appease us hardcore fans. Whoops! 

http://www.metacritic.com/game/pc/simcity

 

I understand your point that it's easier to criticize a game than to make one yourself, but the same thing could be said about music, movies, books etc. Other people are making great games, why can't EA? I'm really heartbroken with what they did with the series and am glad I decided not to pre-order after playing the beta. 

 

Serious question, after all the lies from EA does anyone still believe that SC2013 will support modding "eventually"? 

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EA can make plenty great games, has made plenty in the past, and will most probably continue to make plenty. Simcity *is* a great and definitely quite addictive game, and is getting better by the day. 

 

 


Well they clearly failed with their vision. So it's more than justified they should have listened more to what the SimCity fans wanted and what not.

 

Did they? I'm personally having a blast with the game, after patiently waiting the first week out (because you know, the word "patience" is still part of my vocabulary), and it seems that hundreds of thousands of others are from what i'm seeing in game. 

 

So maybe the "clear failure" is more subjective than you think.

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People like this Simcity.  I get that.  I liked Simcity Societies too.  That doesn't change the fact that in both cases the game has been against the grain of public opinion it seems and for what really boils down to the same reasons.  Both tried to take the game in new directions.  Both didn't really pan out as well as they had hoped.

 

As it is, right now Simcity has a score of 64  which is only one higher than that of Simcity Societies score of 63 for professional critics.

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The internet teaches that most people happy with a game will spend their time playing it, while those that aren't will spend their time bitching on forums and spamming negative reviews. 

 

Oh, and don't get me started about "Professional critics". A large percentage of them decide scores on what will bring their sites the most hits. Pandering to the rage is the perfect way to enable a healthy influx of revenue-generating hits. 

 

That's why Gamespot trotted out a 5.0 while sites like Polygon (who should learn now not to use pre-release code for reviews) only lowered theirs to 4.0 later once the true scale of the launch issues became apparent?

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That's why Gamespot trotted out a 5.0 while sites like Polygon (who should learn now not to use pre-release code for reviews) only lowered theirs to 4.0 later once the true scale of the launch issues became apparent?

 

Polygon actually lowered the score before Gamespot published their review AFAIK, but that doesn't matter. Both review scores are pretty ridiculous, especially because they're both based on a very temporary condition. They both aren't relevant to the state of the game now, and will be even less in a week. 

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Reviews are reviews.  They are subjective.  The reviewers job is to give an impression of the game so that other people can decided if they want to buy it or not.  Whatever is written in a review completely depends on the reviewer.  One reviewer might rate one part of the game higher than another and let that part have more weight, another reviewer might not.  You said these temporal circumstances are 'ridiculous'.  I disagree, so does many players as well as many reviewers.   You can't really ask reviewers to change score whenever something in a game changes.  Reviews should reflect the state of the game when the review is made, not the most current state of the game.  And yes I would agree that many reviewers have been pulled by the rage and have changed the scores.  To be fair a lot of the reviews did only rate the game before launch and before users discover all the bugs and problems in the game that the reviewers did not.  After finding out the problems they decided to lower the score.  Yes they changed it.  Yes EA might fix it, than again so can any company with any game.  Does this mean that all review scores should be withheld until a company says 'ok we won't make changes anymore, go ahead'.  No, the review should reflect the current state of the game since when reviewers do get to review something it's usually when a company deemed it quality enough for reviewing or is already out in the hands of the consumers.  If at the point it is still nigh-unplayable, there's serious problems with the game or the company that released the game and the reviewer should warn the players about it.

 

I personally like playing games than deciding for myself.  SimCity itself had potential to be great, still does in fact.  But it's being gimped by so many bugs and problems that made me sad.  I always think of how the game could have been, instead of how it currently is.  Yes, it is playable.  Yes, it is enjoyable.  Yes, it still is addicting.  But if you realize the bugs and design flaws and the problems with some basic mechanics to the game, you have to stop and wonder, is this truly a finished product?  Did Maxis and EA truly wanted this released in this state?

 

When ratings across multiple sites are bad.  When the amazon reviews are all mostly bad, including the hilarious 5 star troll ones.  You have to stop and wonder about it. This also isn't the first time this has happened, look at Spore, look at Diablo III. All had high exceptations. All ruined by coporate decisions and game design decisions.  There is a point when it really is the companies fault and not just because the users are selfish.

 

TL;DR - The rage and anger behind SimCity is, for the most part, the fault of EA and Maxis.

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A review is a persistent entity that people use as a credible source of information about the game. A review based on just an eminently temporary condition for a game is a complete disservice to the many readers that won't get there on day one, but will read it later when browsing for information on a game they are considering. 

 

A journalist's or a critic's first duty is not to be misinformative, and those reviews, as they stand, are little else than misinformation, as they depict a situation that doesn't exist anymore and has existed for a very limited amount of time. It's even more laughable for instance that Eurogamer's review has been published today when  most of what it describes is no more valid (and some of what it describes has never been valid mind you).

 

When a situation is rather obviously extremely temporary (and in this case it was and it is), between posting a review as early as possible to be "first!", but having a misinformative piece on your site as soon as that situation passes (which means for the vast majority of that game's lifetime and presence on the shelves), and witholding the review for a week, maybe with a fair notice to your readers, it's pretty obvious which course of action shows the more professionalism. Too bad professionalism isn't exactly widespread in this area of the press. Which is no journalist worth his salt would never post a review of a MMORPG on day one or even near, and SimCity is definitely akin to a MMORPG in structure and server dependency.  

 

The rage and anger behind simcity is, for the most part, the fruit of people refusing the idea of change, unprofessional press pandering to the rage itself and fanning it to get more hits on their site, and of a generation of entitlement in which waiting for a week is seen as a personal slight that must be punished with endless bitching and moaning even long past that wait has ended. 


 

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Reviews are subject by nature.  A reviewer can say "I like this feature x" That statement is subject.  Or things like "I think ...", "I feel ...", or whatever else.  Those are all subjective opinions.  Sure there might be some objective facts like "Doing this thing leads to that other thing happening" but the conclusion from that fact, such as "which I think is neat" is subjective.  I cannot think of a situation where something a reviewer praise or denounce can be objective.  I may be wrong, in which case you are free to correct me and show me a situation that is not so.

 

You realize most of the reviews during press beta gave the game rather high scores right?  With the caveat that they did warn users that they cannot guarantee the same play experience due to it's online nature.  Scores were lowered after it was discovered that indeed, launch week sucks.

 

With regards to the temporary nature, the servers themselves are temporary.  Very few game companies keep their servers up for a long time for games (Blizzard Entertainment being one of them), EA is not one of them.  EA is known for taking down their game servers a year or two down the line.  Does that mean since the state of the playable game currently is temporary, we have to wait for reviewers to rate the game after EA took down the server?  At which point the score would be 0 since it can't be played at all.  At what point do you draw the line?  At what point should reviewers review the game.  Sure reviews are persistent but does that mean that reviewers have to constantly go back and update their reviews?  I think not.  Reviewers should judge on a personal level on what they think the players and the viewers what to see, they should review it as such.  Each reviewer has different primary audiences, different personalities, and different approaches.  As such they should all judge what to review, at what state, by themselves.

 

MMORPG reviewers don't post reviews on day one because generally MMOs are too big and too massive to explore all the content within the first day.  Escpically since a lot of the more exciting content are at end game and with a group of people no less.

 

 

Did you just say SimCity is akin to a MMORPG in structure and server dependency?  Really?  It is not.  The structure is more akin to that of a single player game with a chat client on the side that constantly updates chats from a server, where the company insists that the entire game has a lot of multiplayer components despite only the chat program requiring the connection.  I can elaborate on the design and how my conclusion came to be if you want.

 

You also seems to be under the impression that the rage and anger is only from the server problems.  It's not.  As I've said before, the game itself have major flaws, bugs, and problems that make people wonder why this game got released.  If you do not know these problems I can list some of them for you as well as link to threads and discussions that involve these problems.  It's not only limited to the server, and indeed most of the server issues are behind us.  Right now it's the core game under scrutiny, and it's not faring well.

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Just wanted to repeat this part for massive amounts of truth, which the few EA/SC defenders remaining seem to be ignoring:

 

You also seems to be under the impression that the rage and anger is only from the server problems.  It's not.  As I've said before, the game itself have major flaws, bugs, and problems that make people wonder why this game got released.  If you do not know these problems I can list some of them for you as well as link to threads and discussions that involve these problems.  It's not only limited to the server, and indeed most of the server issues are behind us.  Right now it's the core game under scrutiny, and it's not faring well.

 

Its not just the server problems! The issues hindering this game are not a bunch of temporary quick-fix problems! And its stupidly fanboyish at this point to be slagging reviewers for hitting this game with scores like 5.0 or whatever.... you can say that me, and zades and board marshall and people like us are just giving our opinions and that we dont speak for the majority, but dude, LOOK AROUND! This is exactly what the majority is saying! Look at any review site or forum about the game if you dont believe me.

 

If you're enjoying the game, good for you. Honestly I'm happy for you.

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Hope this isn't a duplicate thread. Simtropolis is running extremely slowly for me right now....

 

 

http://www.ea.com/news/simcity-update-straight-answers-from-lucy?sourceid=Origin_AFF_LS315&c=TnL5HPStwNw&LSsiteID=TnL5HPStwNw-HoApnB_TQ2vpPl_Xvy2R4w

 

As I posted elsewhere: 

 

 

To be brutally honest, it's time to look at it from the angle of EA's strategic business development. What this is, really is nothing more than a clear affirmation of the desire to cut off and not serve those market segments which do not serve EA's strategic goals, and an affirmation of venture development focus through the investment format on those projects that target strictly what is know as the accessible volume markets of leisure and casual gameplay of interest for profiling and data mining. 

 

In simple terms, it makes clear beyond a doubt that EA is not willing to care about so called core user types of franchise markets existing. Fully willing to cut those off even from serving as enablement points. 

 

Incidentally, the statement "in many ways we built an MMO" is extremely interesting. Particularly for those people who still think that EA is going to lift any finger and expend resources to cater to those who prefer a single play format.

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The arrogance, and total dis-regard for Customer feedback and apathy towards the core issues are disgusting. Never will spend another dime on EA or maxis.  This statement is one of the most ignoranct things I have seen a  company release, totally ignoring the fanbase. Sad day when after all thast been said EA and maxis still don't realise games are made for gamers, not what they want to make. Many of her statement are so easily rebutted it makes  me wonder if EA has the worst PR people in the business.

 

They built an mmo? Smallest mmo I've ever seen, with limited mmo features. We are not stupid and see through that BS, Ea and maxis thinks we are stupid



That's why Gamespot trotted out a 5.0 while sites like Polygon (who should learn now not to use pre-release code for reviews) only lowered theirs to 4.0 later once the true scale of the launch issues became apparent?

 

Polygon actually lowered the score before Gamespot published their review AFAIK, but that doesn't matter. Both review scores are pretty ridiculous, especially because they're both based on a very temporary condition. They both aren't relevant to the state of the game now, and will be even less in a week. 

Yeah except many reviews site major core issues not even related to the online fiasco. There goes your entire argument. Eurogamer goes into detail on whats wrong with the game that has NOTHING to do with the shoe horned anti consumer drm.

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@Macvirt: What is your opinion about the end user fan base of a series and their relationship with the developer of the game in question? I see your point with the "reality of things" but I am struggling to understand if you are suggesting something or simply making a statement and why.

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I personally don't mind the Always Online, at all. What I mind is their failure to provide a GOOD SERVICE. They have proven they can not do it. Nearly everyone who plays at some point loses their entire city! What is the point in playing if you're going to lose all your work. Maybe it's better the maps are 2kx2k so we don't lose more than 20-30 hours of work. Imagine having an 8kx8k city going down the dumps.

They are providing an online service with

 

  1. No ticket support system
  2. No recognition of lost game saves
  3. No time table on recovering game saves
  4. No reasonable explanation as to why there are no local backups
  5. Piss poor server management. Taking down servers for 7 hours to update hardware. In the hosting world you would lose your clients fast enough to spin your head around. But given we can't refunds I guess that's okay.
  6. No written guarantee of services

 

I don't know what she expected with this post, as if everyone is going to say "OH! I see now! Well then, everything is perfect in SC world! Excellent work!"

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as I reread this thing from bradshaw, the point that irks me the most is right at the end, where she says yes we could have made an offline mode as well, but we rejected it because we didn't want to focus on a single city in isolation.

 

Uh... why the hell couldn't you have made the game EXACTLY THE SAME AS IT IS NOW with different cities interacting with each other, sharing services, gifting and trading etc, but have it offline? Since when does an offline mode automatically equate to "single city in isolation?"  Even SC4 had region play and some interaction between cities. And she goes on to say that many of the old fans of the series were asking for that. Again... whaaat? Nobody's asking for just one giant city in isolation with no region play at all... people just want to play the game without being tied to your $%&^! servers. 

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Sad. Online co-op on a game of this type is a broken concept. Lucy's vision is one of failure I believe, and nothing anyone says will convince her otherwise. I'd be willing to bet the 'thousands' of players she speaks of are consumers that are stuck with a flawed $60 game and are trying to get the most out of their purchase. Time will tell. EA can monitor server load, I suspect the player count will drop steadily over the next month. If Simcity Online lasts 6 months I'll be surprised. Guess with this middle finger to the player base I can stop waiting for EA to make a game I would spend money on. Surely there is a developer out there that can do this genre the right way and make a lot of money (and good will) doing so. For now I'll dust off my old copy of SC4 and even share some of the content I created for that game. Something I can’t do with this lesser version and likely never will be able to do.

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They're censoring their customer service number.

 

Anyone wanna join me in making a sequel to The Simpsons Game that's a parody of Dante's Inferno where the plot is to free Lucifer and replace him with Gibeau?

 

Also, Sims 3 Tropical Island will be EA's last game. Just saiyan.

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I am getting old what does yuuretsu stand for... i get why you, you are ... the etsu doesn't make sense,,,, help me youngins

 

The username yuuretsu actually has meaning?  Its an abbreviation or acronym?  I'm not old and you've made more sense of it than I had so it's got nothing to do with your age.  I figured that half the time people just mashed their keyboard and hit enter to select their usernames.  lolz.

 

Yuuretsu, more acturately Yū retsu (hiranga: ゆうれつ, kanji: 優劣) is a Japanese pharse meaning superiority.

 

Man, I have far too many interest and hobbies to know stuff like that at hand.

 

Yeah, we all got access to google too bro.

 

The game isn't SimCity, it's too far detached.  News flash Lucy, you're not as good a game designer as those that made SimCity 4.  You tried to make your own vision of the game and completely ignored what people actually wanted even though what the fans wanted was clearly document all over the forums on this site (your biggest fan site) with "What we want in SimCity 5" posts.  What made you think your vision was better than the people that actually play the game?  You're terrible at your job and you ripped me off $60 with lies.  

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I am getting old what does yuuretsu stand for... i get why you, you are ... the etsu doesn't make sense,,,, help me youngins

 

The username yuuretsu actually has meaning?  Its an abbreviation or acronym?  I'm not old and you've made more sense of it than I had so it's got nothing to do with your age.  I figured that half the time people just mashed their keyboard and hit enter to select their usernames.  lolz.

 

Yuuretsu, more acturately Yū retsu (hiranga: ゆうれつ, kanji: 優劣) is a Japanese pharse meaning superiority.

 

Man, I have far too many interest and hobbies to know stuff like that at hand.

 

Yeah, we all got access to google too bro.

 

The game isn't SimCity, it's too far detached.  News flash Lucy, you're not as good a game designer as those that made SimCity 4.  You tried to make your own vision of the game and completely ignored what people actually wanted even though what the fans wanted was clearly document all over the forums on this site (your biggest fan site) with "What we want in SimCity 5" posts.  What made you think your vision was better than the people that actually play the game?  You're terrible at your job and you ripped me off $60 with lies.  

lol i wont argue the fact that lucy's time at the head of the wheel has passed but umm lucy was an integral part of sc4 she has a commercial building named after her lol

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As a student of Japanese I can tell you you're right about the meaning. But that can be instantly found on Google Translate... so long as you at least know the Hiragana for the word. Thanks for sparing us the trouble of going to Google ourselves. 

 

Aside from that, the lot of comments from Lucy not to mention the development of this entire fiasco has made me happy I didn't buy the game at all. In fact, I removed Origin from my PC. If I can I might do a charge-back on BF3. Since that's all I bought off it.

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Clean up... Off topic, rude, and name-calling comments have been removed. It is pointless for those who don't like something to argue with those that do. It's a matter of taste and preference. There is no need to "defend" or "prove" anything when it comes to these personal preferences. The topic of this thread is the article. If you don't want to comment on it, don't post. Directing antagonistic comments toward posters is not an option - as per site rules.

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The way these people treat their customers sometimes is just absolutely disgusting. Hearing this causes me to want to see this thing go down in flames faster than a Jap plane in the Marianas (thats a wwII reference before anyone gets too excited).

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@Macvirt: What is your opinion about the end user fan base of a series and their relationship with the developer of the game in question? I see your point with the "reality of things" but I am struggling to understand if you are suggesting something or simply making a statement and why.

 

They're in the same boat. Though that is something developers very often do not realise. Both are resources. Devs tend to work in the trenches, so to speak, immersed in a well crafted corporate culture that is largely designed to keep noses pointing the same way with a guided creative flow so that energy is focused on that work in those trenches without any awareness of what is happening on or planned for the field between trenches.

 

Both are used very similarly in the interactions used for creating exposure. Look at insertions in forums and communities, consider the various interviews but also visits of community sites to a studio (even though the studio is no longer the Studio but just an office of the publisher). All basic examples of generating messaging.

 

But it is there where we have to make an important observation, there are different types and categories of end users. There are limits to the practical use of end users and developers as resources for generating messaging, largely determined by the strategic objectives for projects or ventures. Look at for example how a marketing officer tends to take the upper hand in guiding messaging (or attempting to) after a release. But also consider how particularly in niche franchises (which says nothing about the volumes of markets attached in potential to a niche franchise) the "core" user types (those - for example - linked to nurturing a previous title or those who enhance an existing title, but also those who are entrenched in communities for long enough so they represent communication platforms) tend to be utilised (similar to developers) as enablers for creating exposure and instigating messaging. And as always, up to a point. 

 

Pretty much up to a point because there are risks attached to the execution according to that mindset of using people as resources. One risk which we talked about several weeks ago here is that of developers creating leaks, but also that of developers making statements which are right on the edge of creating risks for (or shifting risks from themselves to) the publisher interests. In this and last week we saw a developer leak to RPS and one of the lead devs stating that nobody is going to get banned from Origin or the game for modifying the game packages. Another risk is that of end users taking a release or the circumstances of a release on as a challenge and a puzzle alike. Something which is particularly likely to happen anyway depending on what franchise or genre the title is a part of. An FPS is going to get a lot less "puzzle" scrutiny as a simulation game, for obvious reasons (we've had a few decades of research on these matters in our industry by now, don't ask me why EA continues to ignore such simple things, it could just as much be stupidity as it could be stubborness or fear of communicating internally or even desdain for customers and developers). And what have we seen, impressive amounts of people all over the globe, especially those from existing hubs and the end user types related to "core" gaming of the franchise, picking everything apart from the studio level and the publisher level messaging to the functional capabilities and workings of the release. 

 

It is very much a shame that most people who work in the trenches of our industry tend to not realise how much their positions have changed and how much the perspectives on their work has changed within the larger view of "it ain't games folks, it's investment management". It is something which for example the movie industry should have alerted them to, even if the signs within the games industry had not been so clear the past two decades. Movie making used to be a grand art, something which was impressive and awesome no matter whether you were the director or the guy coordinating logistics. It was awesome, you were needed, you were wanted. Then over time, you became expendable, and only those closests to the investment level interaction continued as names and functions part of a feeding system. The games industry has been going through the same evolution of being managed and utilised as an industry, like every other industry. 

 

Developers and customers are in the same boat. They need each other, and they need to learn how to use the art of presentations and communications to safeguard the shared interests against those interests becoming secondary to those of the publisher. In truth, that will be a struggle to turn back time, so to speak, but it is quite worthwhile to do so. 

 

It is a clash between the struggle of perspectives. Look at EA's latest marketing plug from Lucy. It could not be more clear than that. It is not about what gamers want, it is not about what developers want, it is strictly about what the publisher wants. Developers only have a role in that if they stick to the derived targets and customers only have a role in that of buying and preferably buying quietly. The central question is always "who benefits". 

 

As always when divided it is easily conquered and put to hard labour and slavery alike. Add to that the distinct and deliberate instrumentation for both the development and management of corporate cultures (applied to devs) and the creation and continuation of the basic human needs of wanting to believe, wanting to be valued and wanting to be engaged for purpose (applied to users) in manners that use very specific concepts of psychology (among others, stockholm syndrome has been a very strong point of interest in industry studies, but also moral positioning stimuli and even cultism) and what you see is that neither customers nor developers are in a favorable position to figure out the differences between their perceived position and functioning and the reality. 

 

I realise it is quite blunt to put it this way, it is however as it is. Those reading this who work in the industry can dig up the presentation talks in the GDC Vault on these topics, or call up the relevant issues GD Research or the Edge Industry Briefs, and so forth). It's business, nothing personal. That is how these things work after all. 

 

But as I said, both end users and developers are in the same boat, on purpose, and purposely sideblinded. It is a result of a school of thinking in economics and business development which today virtually dominates our societies, but which we as humans have a hard time recognising or even accepting because its primary functional requirement is to treat human beings as resources calculable as, for example, lumps of coal or pieces of meat. We think we are different because of our brains and hearts, our souls even, unfortunately the systems we have in place of concentrating wealth require that we remain ignorant and that we remain engaged in the systems as a resource.

 

It does not have to be that way though. In our industry two examples spring to mind of how to recover as customers and developers from such a conflict (if you will) with the publisher / investment level by means of finding each other in those trenches and realising that it is there where the primary vision should be developed. After all, to make something great it has to be about uniting the visions of the customers with those of the developers - the visions of the investment level are after all by default never about the actual product or service, only about what is desired to be achieved with them (which is financially but also for example in terms of guiding the development of markets according to targets - not the other way around). 

 

One example is that of Firaxis after recovering from the issues surrounding the release of Civilization V, a franchise title where the publisher 2K Games went to work by the inspired examples of EA in those days in order to maximise returns on investments but ended up severely destabilising both the core and the volume market potentials by deciding that everything had to be about what the publisher wanted and not about what the developers or the customers wanted. In many ways a case of interest for the people at Maxis, because they did apply some strong lessons from that debacle to the conceptualisation of design & specification of the SC2013 title (which pretty much began with SimVillage at the time) but which - thanks to the corporate culture concepts in place and the role of managers) still became subject to all their efforts being dependant on and derivative of strategic targets and concepts decided upon by EA itself. 

Today Firaxis has done a lot of damage control, and is still busy rebuilding the relationship between them and customer potential. They have expended a lot of effort, but they have done so in an increasingly clever approach where it is shared vision & desire of developers and customers that sets the tone. And thanks to some managers seeing a small light that has also been used in the presentation of information and data to the publisher. In essence the publisher role has decreased, because of the strengthening of the relation between devs and users.

 

Another example in our industry is that of the MMO EVE Online studio CCP Games. Another case where sight was lost on who and what really matters. The desire of the people at the top, or the desire of the people who have to buy and keep buying the service. It is a bit more complex as this is an MMO (for example, the risk of people picking everything apart is even greater than with a general franchise title, something Lucy Bradshaw appears to not have done her homework on when she stated "in many ways we have created an MMO" in the latest marketing blurb). Because of it being a service model dependant on repetitive income streams the resulting clash between customers and executive level (with developers caught in the middle) was brutal. It cost the company several of the stubborn executive oldies, 20% of its workforce, a setback of about 18 months on previously established targets for the EVE Online title, a shelving of the development of a second title (can't remember the exact name, something about a vampire MMO) and a heavy delay in the plans to take the company public. Not to mention the undermining of the brand value of the company so very needed for building reputation and attracting investors. 

Today CCP Games has found out that while guided development is important, there has to be a strong realisation that while anyone can have a vision it is ultimately about what the customer wants and not about what someone high up in a food chain wants. A lot of decision points have shifted incredibly to the developer level, a level which collaborates in both messaging and conceptualisation impressively with the customer level. Ofcourse still working within targets set for the business and service development, but those are no longer arbitrary constraints imposed on the dev and customer level. Increasingly the MMO service is stabilising, and once again regaining its potential and again working in service of brand development. 

 

From time to time there are such clashes, it is however rare to see them succeed positively for developers and customers. When it does, it is generally because they find each other, and influence the dependancies imposed upon them by the investment level. Most of the time the developers are oblivious to the realities of dependancies, the constraints and their positions. The results of that tends to be scenarios where a few smart manager types cash in, studios are sold, and so forth. It is what publishers like to encourage in our industry, because it makes the resource management easier and cheaper. 

 

So yeah, end users and developers really have very little actual idea of their position, and their strengths, and the benefits of finding each other and working together. The ventures where they do find each other are just as commercially attractive and profitable as those where they are kept seperate by the investment level. There is no financial or organisational validity in maintaining the separation. In truth, if anything finding each other increases control over direction of industry as much as it increases stability of their respective positions, and value. 

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