Sim City Why I Won’t Be Playing It and Neither Should YOU

simcity2013_logoSim City is probably THE most anticipated game for 2013. I was really looking forward to playing it too. Then I started reading about it. The more I read the more I didn’t like it. Take a look inside why I won’t be playing the new Sim City.

I meant to write this before the Fiasco of the release not allowing players to even PLAY THE GAME. If anything this just re-affirms why I won’t be getting the new Sim City – and neither should you!

When I first saw the trailer and the sneak peaks for the new Sim City I was outright excited to see it! It looked amazing! I could build cities that were borderline so realistic I can imagine myself even going down to visit them! I was looking forward to playing the game and providing a review on here on how awesome I knew the game was going to be. I mean look at the trailer below – it looks fantastic!

Then I started reading about the DRM. And the limitations. Before I go into all of that though it is important to find out what DRM is.

What is DRM?

drmOh, what is DRM? It stands for Digital Rights Management. In theory it is there to protect the creator of digital media (music, movies, games etc) from getting screwed by those evil online pirates who want to ruin the world by downloading everything for free instead of paying for it.

Taken straight from Wikipedia:

Digital rights management (DRM) is a class of controversial access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders, and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale. DRM is any technology that inhibits uses of digital content that are not desired or intended by the content provider. DRM also includes specific instances of digital works or devices. Companies such as Amazon, AT&T, AOL, Apple Inc., BBC, Microsoft, Electronic Arts, and Sony use digital rights management. In 1998, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was passed in the United States to impose criminal penalties on those who make available technologies whose primary purpose and function are to circumvent content protection technologies.

Now DRM has been around for awhile now. From a recent Movie or Music CD you purchases or a Video Game you have bought. Chances are it has some type of DRM to prevent people from doing anything funny with it.

Sims City Taking DRM too Far?

So why won’t I be playing Sim City? There are a few reasons why. This game is just the proverbial straw that broke the camels back. Really, I was completely OK up until this point.

Internet Connection is Mandatory

OK, although not a huge deal breaker here. I was able to play Starcraft II and Diablo III with relatively little issue. This is Sim City though not a game where playing online actually is part of the attraction. Now if I want to play a game while away from a connection which does happen even in today’s technological society – I can’t. There is no way to play this game offline. You have to be online just for the second reason why I won’t play the game:

No Saved Games?

This is taking things a bit too far. What do you mean none of my cities will be saved on my hard disk? I won’t be able to create and share them like I could with other older versions of the game? This is just straight ridiculous.

Even worse say if I want to go back to a save point if say my Nuclear Rector melted down? I can’t. Plain and simple – there is no rolling back. No more saving and then having fun destroying your city for a moment of insanity and then restoring it back to its former glory.

But I know the Always Online and No Saved Games isn’t an issue right? Yea…. uh-huh

sim_city_load_fail

Load Game Fail?

Limited City Size

And I recently found out that I have a limitation on the size of the cities you can create. Whereas in the older versions say Sim City 2000 or Sim City 4 – you could have populations of millions! With this game? Around 200,000 – ish.  Then it all seems to fall apart. That and I guess with the fact that it has to process so much for the game to render correctly it had to be limited.

Of course.. if it was all LOCAL to the PC – it might have been able to do away with this silly limitation?

Forced to Play With Others Online

I play Call of Duty. I have played World of Warcraft for years. This has taught me one important thing. While playing online it CAN be a positive experience – most of the time it isn’t.

With EA forcing users to have to play online with others to play the actual game I’m sure there will be some way to figure out how to grief and troll in the game making the experience less then stellar.

Oh and you can play in Sandbox mode! But with that all you get to do is build a city. None of the other functions of the game will work unless you wish to play with others.

And while I know this is probably sounding petty? I have a limited amount of time to game due to having responsibilities like my wife and son whom I wish to spend some time with. This makes it highly unlikely I can find the time to schedule a “play date” with a friend just to build my own version of utopia online.

Micro Transactions

EA announced that they would be implementing Micro Transactions in all of their future releases. If you don’t know what this is? If you are on Facebook you know you can play the original Sims online for free? The rub is they offer in-game items in which you can spend upwards of up to $100.00. This translates to huge profits for EA.

Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as those who won’t or can’t afford them won’t buy the in-game stuff. It still rubs me the wrong way.

Now if EA would lower the initial price of a game it is offering those in-game Micro Transactions – then sure this would be a non-issue. But with the recent release of Dead Space 3 at the full price of $59.99? Yea… you see where I’m going with this.

Conclusion

So we waited 10 years for a game that although looks great on the surface has a foundation made of sand. I find it disheartening after waiting so long for a game  EA was so worried about online piracy and making a buck that they lost focus on what gamers wanted in the game. An updated version that they could play in the comfort of their own office chair happily creating their Metropolis – and of course setting it on Fire. :D

Oh, and for the record. Games that have DRM are more likely to end up being pirated than those without it.   Remember the game SPORE? Probably the most pirated game of all time due to DRM. DRM DOES NOT WORK – When will EA and companies like them figure this out?

What do you think though? Are you OK with the current way EA released the Sims? What do you think of the game? Let me know in the comments – I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

Sources:

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Jason Mathes
Dad, Geek, Gamer, WordPress Fanatic. When not playing Call of Duty, or busy being a Dad, he shares his over 20 years of experience with Game Reviews, Technology/Gadgets, and WordPress
Jason Mathes
  • Bryan

    I was very curious about whether this could be used for a high school government or civics course, but the inability to save pretty much nixes that idea. It would have been nice to build a city so that it had one or two problems, and then see how students fix them. DRM is getting ridiculous. Like Leo Laporte says, it penalizes honest people and doesn’t really stop anyone hellbent on cracking the game.

    And the most anticipated game of the year, and they weren’t ready to handle the load for a game that requires an internet connection? EA got what they deserved

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Bryan – well on a good note you could use Sim City 4 or even the older Sim City 2000 for those types of experiments. And it will save your city – but only in its current state.

      To me its just a completely backward way of running a game. We have computers that are exponentially more powerful than when the first Sim City was released and they have limited the game so much.

      I hear that they are patching and adding additional infrastructure – but I still will not be purchasing the game :-(

  • Dawn H

    thanks for saving me the hassle…

  • Wade

    Yeah I gotta admit that trailer looked pretty amazing. But since it seems that you can’t do near as much stuff as with the older one’s, I’m not even going to mess with it.

    • http://avgjoegeek.net/ Jason Mathes

      Yea it just sucks that you spend so much for a video game and then when it is released it is plagued with so many problems. I would have called this game Sim City Light – the DRM edition. :)