I’m not a longtime fan of the SimCity franchise.
Before playing the first beta, I hadn’t played the game in decades and didn’t like the game when I played it back in the day.
But with that first beta, the game hooked me. I couldn’t get enough of the game and built stunningly pathetic cities full of disgruntled citizens and enough pollution to turn the region into a massive disaster area.
Nothing about failing that epically should have been fun but it was.
I clamored for the second beta, had issues getting in due to server problems–Imagine that!–but still enjoyed the game. Even with the obvious problems, SimCity charmed me with its amazing music which coincides with city movements, with the noises the different zones make when you place them. With the layer maps which make extremely complex statistics visually pleasing and easy to quickly understand.
I spent over eight hours on one city, obsessively plopping modules to upgrade services and working to make the most awesome city I could possibly create.
And then my city stopped “processing properly.” But don’t worry! They promised they were going to “repair it.”
My city was rolled back at least five hours. Back to a point where I had been sucking horribly, hemorrhaging money and had almost had to abandon the city.
Why in the hell would I want to start there and take the chance of that happening again?
Random? I want to punch these guys!
Obviously, I’m a glutton for punishment because similar things have happened eight more times.
I am at the mercy of the game itself and that sucks.
It is obvious how passionate the folks who created this game are and they’ve put their hearts and a lot of time into this project. It has to suck to see your baby getting ripped apart by the media.
Even though I can sympathize, that doesn’t change the fact the majority of the criticism is justified and SimCity is not a stable product.
Though Lucy Bradshaw stepped up to the plate and attempted to quiet the dissent with blog posts [1,2,3 and 4] and a Twitter chat, I feel she waited too long and the earliest handling of the issues switched back and forth between the proverbial ostrich with its head in the sand to an attack dog.
It seemed like they were taken completely by surprise.
Did Maxis seriously not think a ton of people would buy the game the folks have been waiting ten years to have in their hands? And then one of the free games they offer is SimCity 4…which actually works. I’m not the only one who thinks that’s weird, right?
So what do I want?
I want SimCity to live up to its potential.
I’ll accept cloud saves if I have a say in when the game saves, i.e., a save button. I’ll accept always online if the experience is stable. My cities being “rolled back” due to someone else’s incompetence is ridiculous.
SimCity is a consumer product which is currently verging on the edge of defective. When I buy something, it is perfectly reasonable for me to expect said product to function as advertised.
Here’s the thing: I don’t want a refund, I just want to be able to trust the game and get what I paid for.