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    The Power Of Silence: Why The SimCity Story Went Away

    Why has the SimCity story gone away? It’s a good question. And the answer for it reveals much about how both the games industry, and the games journalism industry, work.

    In March, shortly after SimCity’s disastrous launch (servers couldn’t cope, the game barely ran, features had to be removed, and the always-on DRM was seriously crippling the game), EA and Maxis’ PR went into damage protection mode. And one refrain we saw over and over was a line from Maxis’ studio head, Lucy Bradshaw, that the ‘single-player’ game had to “offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers.”

    On 12th March, RPS revealed that this statement simply wasn’t true. Via a source from inside Maxis, we learned that the server was doing no such thing, and that the calculations were running on the player’s PC. Two days later these claims were confirmed by a modder who had the game running indefinitely offline. It was clear that the message coming from Maxis simply wasn’t true. (There’s no better round-up of the events than the one put together by Kotaku.)

    (One thing that’s important to note here: That the claims weren’t true does not provide room to conclude that Bradshaw was “lying”. Not knowing the circumstances within Maxis at all, there’s no way to know that Bradshaw did not believe what she was saying to be entirely accurate. Miscommunication, deliberate misinformation, we just don’t know, and as such accusations don’t help this discussion.)

    So what to do next? Via RPS, and much of the gaming press, the reality that the servers were not running offline calculations became widely understood. So how did EA or Maxis handle this situation? With silence.

    And if simply telling the truth isn’t considered an available option, silence is by far the most effective response in this industry.

    Full story: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2013/04/22/the-power-of-silence-why-the-simcity-story-went-away/


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    The media and the public also have an incredibly short attention span for anything. A month ago, it was SimCity's launch failure, quickly forgotten and replaced by the horrible bombing in Boston last week, which will soon be replaced by whatever dumb thing Snooki or Lindsay Lohan do next week. We don't seem to stay on one topic for long, no matter how important. (Or unimportant as the case may be)

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    Even those who complain are bound to get bored of doing it eventually, especially if it doesn't get much in the way of results —

    which it largely hasn't.  Until there's something new to complain about, I feel that the story will remain dead.

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    That and banning the most prolific complainers and going after any article, video or blog criticising the game.

    Oh, come on. You say like if we talked of a totalitarian regime, not a company.

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    The media and the public also have an incredibly short attention span for anything. A month ago, it was SimCity's launch failure, quickly forgotten and replaced by the horrible bombing in Boston last week, which will soon be replaced by whatever dumb thing Snooki or Lindsay Lohan do next week. We don't seem to stay on one topic for long, no matter how important. (Or unimportant as the case may be)

    The newspapers already forgot about James Holmes and  Adam Lanza.

     

    They don't seem to forget celebrities.... ever.

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    Some people live only in the moment.  Many of us do not, but tend to be overloaded at times by all the news trivia.

     

    However, EA/Maxis have really fluffed this one.  Who knows, it may be a fatal cancer.  Let us watch for corporate fall out.

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    The story went quiet rather than disappearing. The people most passionate about the franchise came to the conclusion this entry isn't worth fighting for anymore. There are problems (small city sizes, pathfinding issues, an underwhelming Glassbox engine, embarrassing DLC) an offline mode won't fix.

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    The story went quiet rather than disappearing. The people most passionate about the franchise came to the conclusion this entry isn't worth fighting for anymore. There are problems (small city sizes, pathfinding issues, an underwhelming Glassbox engine, embarrassing DLC) an offline mode won't fix.

    And don't forget this game can't be modded.  The main reason SC4 is still popular (probably more popular than it's replacement) is because of the modding community.

     I'm still happy with my SC4 until a real replacement comes along.  Nothing on the horizon yet though.

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    Speaking about silence...

    Why is there no news about the patch 2.0 which is out and changes so few things that the game remains broken ? (things improved a bit, but for exemple, major most visible bugs in traffic are still present, and 100% res city are still doable, even if "a bit harder than before".... And some dumb things such as "My only city in a region with a solar powerplant as superproject can still stop the "Fire at powerplant" event when it triggers, despite the fact I have 0 fire departments :)) Well, short story, this patch is a combo of mostly trivial hotfixes, and does not deserve at all a major version change. numbering it 2.0 is just fooling us, once again.

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