SimCity's Lucy Bradshaw Defends Always-On DRM, Says EA Didn't Force It On Them

By William Usher 2013-03-15 15:38:08 discussion comments
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Lucy, why? Why? The gaming community really is trying hard to believe that Maxis isn't just some shell of EA composed to do their bidding and screw over their own fanbase, but these new comments about Maxis being in complete control of the always-on DRM and EA not force-feeding it down the developmental pipeline just makes both EA and Maxis look incompetent.

Much to my chagrin, Maxis' general manager, Lucy Bradshaw, took to the blogosphere and decided to run even more damage control, mostly considering that EA's viral marketers got caught and outed. In the post, Bradshaw absolves EA of any wrongdoing and tries to promptly defend the always-on DRM for SimCity by saying that it was made to be an MMO...even though it's not an MMO...
Always-Connected and why SimCity is not an offline experience.

Always-Connected is a big change from SimCities of the past. It didnít come down as an order from corporate and it isnít a clandestine strategy to control players. Itís fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity. From the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind Ė using new technology to realize a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world.

I didn't have time to decipher the post to see if there was some hidden message asking for help or if maybe there was an anagram of sorts explaining how there's a guy in a mask with a gun to her head, but boy would that have been a much better alternative than believing that the developers themselves set out to screw over their own fanbase. Why? Why? I don't get it.

Bradshaw lays out a bullet-list of reasons why they chose to half-arse an always-on DRM service for SimCity and why the game couldn't be offline. All of this comes to a head on the groundbreaking news that hackers and modders have found ways to get players to play SimCity offline indefinitely in single-player mode.

And just to set the record straight: Modders have enabled it so that it is possible to play without ever having to stay online. They also lifted city-size restrictions and limits, something many people have began to theorize as a purposed restriction that would later be lifted by a premium expansion pack.

I'll keep this short and say: Lucy Bradshaw, I'm very disappointed in what's left of Maxis. I'm still skeptical in believing that EA had no hand in the always-on DRM solution, it's a tactic that reeks of necktie-and-suit drones looking to cash-in and control a fanbase, as well as monitor and monetize the playing experience anyway that they can. Heck, this isn't the first time they've even forced one of their employees from a subsidiary to take the public outcry as a form of damage control, we should know because EA was caught doing the same thing a year ago.

Still, I don't understand why Maxis would trade in their own good name and the goodwill of their fanbase for short-term and shortsighted gain. Maybe someone can explain to me why you would waste 10 years of anticipation by utilizing a service infrastructure that every core gamer hates with a passion?
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