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#25720 - 04/12/13 04:56 PM SimCity...why this kind of release?
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
SimCity is a game I always liked, and was sorry when it didn't keep up with Mac systems. Therefore I was elated on hearing that it was to be released again for Mac.

The joy was short-lived. Apparently you cannot buy it and build cities on your own machine but instead have to log into a common server somewhere. For me, that's a deal-breaker. There is no way I'm going to log-in to any site for the amount of time that would be required to play this or any other game.

What I don't understand is why the publisher would want to have all purchasers on a central server with the attendant management and cost implications. I have to assume that the publisher has a self-interest reason for taking on the additional load when it would be easier simply to distribute through downloads.

What is the reason?


Edited by ryck (04/12/13 04:57 PM)
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ryck

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#25721 - 04/13/13 05:58 AM Re: SimCity...why this kind of release? [Re: ryck]
roger Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Vermont
I don't play, but perhaps it allows it to be more of an MMORPG like World of Warcraft? Players can interact with people all over, not just with their own systems?
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#25722 - 04/13/13 06:46 AM Re: SimCity...why this kind of release? [Re: roger]
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Quote:
What I don't understand is why the publisher would want to have all purchasers on a central server with the attendant management and cost implications. I have to assume that the publisher has a self-interest reason for taking on the additional load when it would be easier simply to distribute through downloads.

Advertising opportunities, Money, Product placement opportunities, Money, MMORPG cachet, Money, "New and Improved", Money, Ran out of new ideas, Money, Capitalize on player competitiveness (even my favorite solitaire app wants to submit my scores to their internet community), Money, Capitalize on virtual community, Money, it is "the thing to do", Money…

I could go on, but the bottom line for the changes will always be money and more money. In all likelihood you, and I, are not the primary target audience so whether people in our demographic like the change or not is of little or no consequence in the design and marketing decisions.
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#25723 - 04/14/13 09:06 AM Re: SimCity...why this kind of release? [Re: joemikeb]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
Money, Product placement opportunities, Money, MMORPG cachet, Money, "New and Improved", Money, Ran out of new ideas, Money, Capitalize on player competitiveness (even my favorite solitaire app wants to submit my scores to their internet community), Money, Capitalize on virtual community, Money, it is "the thing to do", Money

Okay....just so I'm clear....the motivation is greed. wink It figures.
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ryck

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#25724 - 04/14/13 09:34 AM Re: SimCity...why this kind of release? [Re: ryck]
joemikeb Offline
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Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: ryck
Okay....just so I'm clear....the motivation is greed. wink It figures.

Just like they say on all the procedural police dramas on television — "follow the money". But whether you think of it as greed or milking the cash cow, the end result is the same. We all like the changes when we are the target market the developers are focusing on, but very few of us like it when we realize we have aged out of the target market.
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#25727 - 04/14/13 01:20 PM Re: SimCity...why this kind of release? [Re: joemikeb]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Of course, the people who ARE the target demographic didn't much like it either:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/03/07/amazon_pulls_simcity_after_server_woes/

In an industry where greed is the norm, Electronic Arts has still managed to acquire a reputation for grasping and overreaching.
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#25758 - 04/17/13 11:41 AM Re: SimCity...why this kind of release? [Re: ryck]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: ryck
What I don't understand is why the publisher would want to have all purchasers on a central server with the attendant management and cost implications. I have to assume that the publisher has a self-interest reason for taking on the additional load when it would be easier simply to distribute through downloads.

What is the reason?


It's very simple really. CONTROL. It seems to be all the rage nowadays in big business. Take the customer's money, give them something, but retain control over it. Copyright control. License control. Persistent connection control.

Imagine if you bought a new Escape and found that you didn't actually buy it. You licensed it. So you're driving your car to grandma's house and turn onto the gravel road that goes her way, and the car slows down to 5mph. It won't go faster. what the? Call the dealer. "You're not allowed to drive on gravel roads. proceed immediately to a paved road." no? It's MY CAR. "No it's not. And the license you agreed to specifically states you are not allowed to drive on gravel roads. The car will slow to 5mph until you return to a paved surface."

Oh, and if you give them your credit card and pay $500, they'll sell you an "offroad license" so the car stops driving slow on gravel. It's a digital download even. Better decide quick, that potroast is gonna get cold.

Ain't licenses just great? Maintaining many models in your product line is expensive. Imagine if Ford could manufacture ONE model of car. Just one. And sell it with a variety of different specs. Some have more horsepower. Or higher top speed. Or advanced traction control. Or auto park. You could order it a'la'carte. The "problem" here is that, what if you "hack your car". Buy the cheap model, and get in there and turn on features you didn't buy? That would be a huge problem. (for Ford) So.... the solition is simple. Don't sell you the car. License it. That way, they stay in control of it. Not physically. legally. And if you "hack your car" they will pull a DMCA or some such nonsense on you.

It's all about control. Control that helps them get more money from you.

Anyway, it's not that tinfoil-hatish. They already do it with software. 15 years ago the above scenario for software would appear just as absurd as the Ford example appears to you now. Just as intolerable. Just today I read that EA bigwigs were quote as saying "the public is 'ready' for always-on". What he really means is "the public has finally grown tolerant enough of it for us to get away with and start implementing on a large scale".

and oh, my Ford example is preposterous? no one would tolerate that? We already do! It's called a "car lease"! (blow your mind did I?)
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