Submitted by Kamikaze8 947d ago | news

‘SimCity’ the latest victim of Metacritic user review bombing

StickSkills: "Everyone knew that the launch of SimCity would likely be rocky due to the huge demands placed on the servers of EA and Maxis." (PC, SimCity)

Alternative Sources
Linsolv  +   947d ago
Maybe, if they didn't opt for always-online DRM, then we wouldn't have to worry about stress on the EA servers in a single-player game.

Just sayin.
Cirran  +   947d ago
Yay for cracks...*AHEM* I mean always online DRM.
zeal0us  +   947d ago
Funny how the DRM is doing the opposite of its actual purpose. Its hurting legitimate customers why the pirates are having a field day with no rain clouds in sight.
thesummerofgeorge  +   947d ago
zeal0us - True. It's also likely to turn otherwise honest paying customers to opt for a pirated copy instead. I just can't imagine this kind of DRM doing anything other than damaging a company's reputation, and making pirated games seem more attractive .
Blackdeath_663  +   947d ago
i agree with @zeal0us DRM only hurts the legit users.some pirates go out of their way to purposefully crack always-online DRM games they see it as some kind of challenge. besides if they are able to crack the game and provide a version which can be played offline pirates will end up with a better version of the game than legit users it also provide further incentive to pirate the game for those who have and haven't already bought it. DRM is a lose,lose situation for everyone. the legit user gets screwed over and because of it people are more likely to crack and pirate the game.
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HammadTheBeast  +   947d ago
It's so stupid, single players can't even build large cities because of the stupid focus on multiplayer. Sure, you can make a whole regions worth, but the only city "alive" will be the one you're working on, the rest are frozen in time.
TenkoTAiLS  +   947d ago
I don't even know why they bother trying to "protect" their games anymore. If you can make the DRM you can break the DRM. Most stuff is cracked or has a work around within hours of a release. They may as well give up and use the extra cash on something more useful that isn't just gunna get broken regardless of what they try.

As has been said, all the current DRM ends up hurting the paying customers. Kinda like those annoying anti-piracy ads on DVD and in the cinema. Why do I need to see that? I paid for my ticket/copy!!
Cirran  +   947d ago
Its to tell that one guy, in that one cinema, in that one country whom doesn't even care about piracy anyway... that he's a bad person.
Linsolv  +   947d ago
You wouldn't rip out a beating human heart!
Robotronfiend  +   947d ago
It is also for the people trying to bootleg the movie by recording it in the theater.
Thatlalala  +   947d ago
Games with Hardcore DRM have been proven to be some of the most pirated. Some will do it just to prove the fact, that it can be done.
Kran  +   947d ago
I agree with you, BUT

It just annoys me that people give this game a low score just cause they can't play it. Why the hell do people go to metacritic to rage about it? How about actually going to EA about it instead of a place which hardly matters?

If the DRM wasn't so bad and people could actually play the game, it probably wouldn't be getting the hate it's getting.
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3-4-5  +   947d ago
Common sense...should have been discussed day 1 first meeting.
chrispseuphoria  +   947d ago
SimCity probably isn't that bad of a game...
#2 (Edited 947d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(8) | Report | Reply
Erudito87  +   947d ago
aliens was a insanely crap game despite being in development for like 6 years(red dead redemption took 4 years and that was wow) people deserved to know and it got rightfully bombed on metacritic so does this game for its internet always on drm
Linsolv  +   947d ago
IS it petty to spend $60 on a game and then not be able to play the single player mode because the servers are down? I'm not sure that's the definition of pettiness.

Metacritic user scores are rarely very far off of general opinion in the long-term, because as it turns out buffoonish sycophants are generally there to cancel out buffoonish haters, in approximate proportion to how much most people feel good or bad about the game.

In this case, and in many cases where the score stays low, it's because there's a quality about the game that is indefensible.

If we're to look at an article from Metacritic 2 years ago, listing biggest differences between critic scores and user scores, we see that they can only really point to two massive differences (there are a lot of differences that are notable, but mostly where the critics found the game great and users found it mediocre):

Modern Warfare 2 -- In which the critics got it wrong


Dragon Age 2 -- In which the game is such a massive shift in tone and story from the first game that it's comical to call them the same series

Generally, there's a reason user scores are low, and you can find out what that reason is and decide for yourself.

EDIT: Oh look, the OP of this thread deleted his comments and made them look totally innocent.

For the record, the statement I was responding to was something like:

"Metacritic needs to get rid of user-scores because people are always bombing games for petty reasons."
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KrisButtar  +   947d ago
bubble up

buy a game for 60 bucks and cant play single player!! that reason alone should make the game flop

and what happens if the game does flop and the servers are shut down..you can never play that game again, even single player...
Robotronfiend  +   947d ago
I think it is acceptable to vote a game down since the game and DRM are inseparable. Part of playing the game is being able to log in to the EA servers. If they made a game that froze on the start up screen it would be roasted exactly the same with low score.

I remember something similar happening with Diablo 3... :-)
kevnb  +   947d ago
im pretty sure if they shut the servers down they would patch it first... Not taking sides, but i think thats pretty obvious.
TenkoTAiLS  +   947d ago
What I can never understand is how these multi million (billion?) dollar companies can't afford a truck load of servers to cope with the influx of users for new online games they release. These issues seem to arise every time a big brand online connected game goes on sale, yet the excuses are always the same. "We didn't expect...blah blah blah", how about learning from the past, and perhaps, god forbid, spending some petty cash on some extra servers >.<
FantasticBoss  +   947d ago
Multiple reasons.

The cost of increasing the server capacity becomes exponential the higher up you go. Once you hit a certain point it stops making economical sense. You combine that idea with the fact that the server load will NEVER be anywhere this high again after a week or so and it just becomes not worth the time, effort, and money.

It really does suck but in the end they have to weigh the ups and downs and make a decisions. Combine this with a company which is generally going to be more concerned with it's bottom line than anything else and you get this bottlenecks on launch day.
kevnb  +   947d ago
usually companies rent servers for these purposes.
ThreshStar  +   946d ago
^ What Kevnb said.

I understand the cost issue, however you cannot, as a company that seeks out to make money, justify that by making your game a mess on Day 1 that this is a positive thing.

Most organizations perform a "Risk Assessment" - an analysis as to what has the most risk for being a costly risk as well as what can be deemed "acceptable losses".

If EA thinks that bad PR, angry consumers, and Game review companies actually giving the game low score BECAUSE of this very issue is an "acceptable loss" then they've offically lost their minds.
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aGameDeveloper  +   946d ago
The developer can rent servers from Amazon or Google to balance the load if they have unexpected demand. They can gradually replace the rented servers with their own, if continued demand warrants it. After the heavy demand, they just stop using/renting the external servers. After a big patch, they can always spin them back up if demand spikes again.
WarThunder  +   947d ago
5 words: Only losers care about metacritic.
Kran  +   947d ago
Just to clarify those who don't actually know what they're hating about.

Like Diablo III, they're hating on the fact you have to always be online to play; this can cause problems, as you may d/c and lose progress, or you may not even be able to log in, or there's a giant amount of server lag, or there's a giant server queue

these amongst many things.

They're not really complaining at how bad the gameplay is. Just how bad EA are at publishing a game the correct way
ThatDamnGeordie  +   947d ago
Tbh i think this is all pretty bullshit and people need to grow up... sure always online DRM isnt that great, but the game itself doesnt deserve this.....

I spent around 70 hours in the Dev beta playing (not closed beta) the game and ive gotta say its actually pretty sweet...... i petty maxis for having some pretty pathetic followers.
2pacalypsenow  +   947d ago
So they should just ignore the fact that they spent money on a paperweight game that doesn't even work and just praise them for how good the beta was .......I wanted to get this game but after finding out you need to be online always and it's multiplayer focused I'm gonna pass on it
ThreshStar  +   946d ago
True, but we're forgetting one underlying factor: The game is completely unplayable for people who purchased the game.

If you bought a toaster and then told "Oh, it may not work the first couple of days/weeks that you bought it", wouldn't be a little bit concerned / confused? How about a car? How about your iTunes music you bought?

"We're sorry, but you can't actually play that album you bought for another few days/weeks".

We accept first-day patches for major issues, day one DLC, microtransactions...when do we as gamers say "Stop giving us broken, unfinished, unplayable games"?
Fatty  +   947d ago
Given this happens with virtually every major release,, does anyone even care about Metacritic user scores anymore? It's like going to a KKK rally and asking their opinion on the new Lil Wayne album.
T2  +   947d ago
True but are pro reviews any better? They are almost as predictable
MoveTheGlow  +   947d ago
This article...

"...due to the huge demands placed on the servers of EA and Maxis."

Instead of "...due to EA's inability to handle high traffic with their always-on DRM servers."

"With 126 reviews considered “negative” focusing on the city size, always online DRM, and much more. We won’t highlight any of the nonsense here, but you can find it all in the user reviews section if you wish to browse (or just want a good laugh, frankly)."

Instead of "With zero professional reviews acknowledging a DRM issue with SimCity, most likely because they wanted to have an early release for the review."

"A good laugh?" Really? I love the Metacritic people who bash the bad reviews, too - "They're just mad they can't pirate the game!" Um, yeah, they can pirate the game, DRM-free, but it would have been better to just buy it with less atrocious DRM.
MoveTheGlow  +   946d ago
By the way, in the first act of IGN being awesome that I've seen a while:


"Because EA is selling this new SimCity as an online game, we're not quite ready to give you an official score until we've spent some serious time with it after its long-awaited launch tomorrow."

Which is what every single site should have done anyway. I give kudos when deserved - nice one, IGN.
tommygunzII  +   946d ago
EA will find a way to blame us for this.
batbatz  +   946d ago
A well deserved victim


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