Silence is a powerful weapon in the industry. The mad truth is, when it comes to gaming controversies, if you ignore it it will go away. This article is a fairly futile attempt to not let it, and to make sure our readers know that EA and Maxis never spoke to us, never responded to any of our questions, and never sent so much as a statement [despite promising to do so again and again].
And they got away with it! SimCity sold over a million copies in its first couple of weeks, despite barely working. Many reviews ran before the game had been played properly, giving it huge initial scores, failing to recognise how disastrous its simulations were after the first 10 hours or so. The line about server-side calculations is still being stated as fact, with some major journalists losing their minds on Twitter with anyone who dared to question it. EA and Maxis are still sticking to their utterly ridiculous claims that the game was built as an “MMO”, despite that being patently untrue in every possible interpretation. And incredibly, at GDC last month, they were arguing that their game demonstrated how outdated “DRM” was – as if the always-on weren’t the most destructive form of DRM imaginable!
The principle is if you keep saying the same thing over and over, people will start to accept it. And heck, that couldn’t be more true. Sites reporting the nonsense from GDC showed it, reinforcing this latest angle that the game is an “MMO”, despite it featuring literally none of the identifying features of an MMO, from the “massively” part onward. The reason for this, of course, is because we all accept that an MMO has to be online – of course it does – so if they say “MMO” then they hope that association will be made to their game, despite how comprehensively it’s been shown to not need to be running online at all. Their response, perhaps even impressively, was to double-down on the online nonsense. It worked.