SimCity 5 Now Has 1402 1-Star Reviews on Amazon

As of tonight, the new SimCitygame is still unplayable due to overloaded servers and numerous bugs even when one is on the server.  Today, the manufacturer purposely defeatured the product in a patch to try to get it to work.  As I predicted the other day, this product was not ready for market.

Update:  Via Game Skinny, this may be an example of some of the worst customer service I have ever seen.  The makers of SimCity in a press release tells users they may request a refund.  When a customer requests the refund, he is told that he can request it, so the press release is not lying, but they are not going to process it.  Unbelievable.  Extra credit for the fact that those who bought from Amazon can get a prompt and immediate refund, but those who bought directly from the manufacturer, like me, are stuck.

click to enlargeFurther, it is becoming increasingly clear that the multiplayer capabilities that supposedly require the server login are a sham - a very very thin shell of functionality that adds almost nothing to the game but provides the excuse for always-online DRM.



  1. Zach:

    "...if you choose to dispute it your account will be banned."

    Ooooh, they're going to ban him from a game he can't play anyway! What a threat!

  2. memelo2:

    They're going to ban him from playing *all* the games connected to his account. Nice policy, hm?

  3. Andrew_M_Garland:

    "The makers of SimCity in a press release tells users they may request a refund."

    The makers of SimCity should now fear a class-action lawsuit. They can attempt to twist words, but the plain meaning of "request a refund" is to request one and receive it. Their press release makes a commercial offer intended to support their reputation. That is valid and enforceable by the buyers IMHO.

    Their current interpretation is obviously self-serving and idiotic.

  4. Matthew Slyfield:

    Since this is their first release of an online game, how many other games would his account be connected to, hm?

  5. perlhaqr:

    Impressively evil.

  6. J.S.Bridges:

    Lessons Learned (Or Re-Learned): 1) Do not trust anything a large, multinational, mostly-online-and-therefore-largely-immune-to-immediate-damage seller of highly-popular anything very far (perhaps, do not trust them at all) 2) If you buy anything from such an entity - particularly if you buy inadvance of release of the product - get whatever "purchase insurance" is available; i.e., purchase with a credit card (not a debit card, though) through a Co./Bank proven to back up users with charge-backs, etc., go through a third-party seller (such as Amazon) that warrants/guarantees a refund, or similar strategy 3) Do not deal with "the makers of SimCity" again until they properly make restitution (and apologies) for their lyin' perfidy.
    'Nuff said?...

  7. rowbigred26:

    Wow, as a customer service manager I'm shocked. "Adrian" would be out on his a$$. As previously stated, a class action lawsuit should be successful. An ordinary, reasonable, and prudent man would read that press release and understand that a refund would be due, not just requested. Terrible.

  8. john mcginnis:

    This is a lesson that many of the FOSS crowd have been screaming for years. If you don't have a physical copy of the software you don't own it. But they go further, if you don't have access to the source so you have an opportunity to modify it then you still don't own it.

    That's is my biggest pick against Apple. They don't even want you to replace the batteries on your own.

  9. SkepticalCynical:

    I see that as of this writing on Metacritic, Sim City 5 has an average critic score of 79/100 while the average user rating is 16/100. I always have a hard time understanding why people buy products like this - it sure looked like this remake had FAIL written all over it - but plainly an excellent first step would be for game buyers to ignore every word of game "journalism" written.

  10. memelo2:

    There are about 170 games available on Origin for PC gaming alone. So I guess the number you are looking for is somewhere between zero and 170.

  11. John O.:

    Valve's Steam has its problems, but they are magnitudes less severe than this EA nukefest has ever been. I've had more important problems with EA's Origin (like my account constantly reporting its logged in elsewhere despite changing the password). There are more fundamental problems than a policy of implementing always on DRM in all the games, its a policy of extracting as much money possible from all sources at all cost and its leaving serious problems unchecked and leaving serious holes Thankfully the only game I have on Origin is Battlefield 1942 where its free. EA will probably never see a dime from me again because of their disaster.

  12. ErikTheRed:

    I mostly agree, although I'd argue that it's less a FOSS issue than it is a DRM / reasonable license issue. There are companies like GOG that are quite reasonable with their commercial offerings.

  13. Rick C:

    I don't know why this is so difficult: don't buy a single-player game that requires always-on internet. People said the same about Diablo 3, and people still bought it up.

    When EA gets tired of paying to keep the login servers running, the game goes away. That's why I didn't buy it.

  14. Adam: is the policy of some journalists to only review a retail build of a game (OXM comes to mind). Unfortunately, by the time the review hits the street, the game has been out for several weeks. However, it does mean that the game being reviewed is the game you will be playing. OXM has knocked games for server issues that weren't apparent on pre-release build reviews.

  15. markm:

    Many class-action lawsuits have been resolved with a few million in cash to the lawyers and coupons to the wronged customers, which costs much less than just making it right for a million customers in the first place. Before inviting legal sharks in for a class-action, see if an individual case is in the jurisdiction of the local small-claims court - and if it is, use the internet to spread the word. You don't need a lawyer or incur travel expenses beyond driving downtown and parking. They've got to either hire a lawyer or send a company representative to your town - for each customer that files.

  16. Rob:

    I wonder if game companies can't capacity plan or if they realize they can cut corners to save money and there isn't a damn thing people can do about it (to substantially affect the top or bottom line).

    You may not buy from them, but millions of others will. And if you do, then they will free up capacity as they ban you from playing their games.

    You may try to sue them, but you bought their product knowing that there could be server hiccups (and agreed to it during installation). You want a refund -LOL - go read the Eula and Tos... shit happens and we are "doing our part" to fix it.

    Bad PR, you say. Hahaha, we will out spend that on advertising. People's current angst will be discounted away until the emotional value is zero ... Just in time for our next DRM release. Good thing our patrons have such short attention spans.

    ... and yes, I pre-ordered the digital deluxe package from origin. I haven't even played it yet. I'll have time in about 2 weeks, so hopefully the servers are freed up!

  17. Strahinjin Boss:

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  18. Adam C:

    Guys...I understand a class action lawsuit sounds appealing...On April 27, 2011, Supreme Court ruled that it is completely legal and enforceable for companies to ban consumers from class action lawsuits.

    I would suggest however, if there is anyone who is under 18 who purchased this game, you CAN disaffirm the contract and get a refund. It's a law that minors lack the contractual capacity to enter into a contract, making it voidable at the minor's discretion. This applies to ANY AND EVERY TYPE OF CONTRACT OR SALE.

  19. Emile:

    Survey scam alert ///////\///\///////\/