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Maxis wants to take all the brunt of the SimCity fallout from gamers, consumers and fans alike. They don't want you putting the blame on EA, even though anyone with a single-digit I.Q., and hayballs for eyes could tell you that EA is to blame. Nevertheless, General Manager of Maxis, Lucy Bradshaw, is trying to play the deflection game for the Imperialist Publishing Nation known as EA.
The news comes courtesy of a Twitter response to a smart chap who said that most gamers don't blame Maxis for the problems with SimCity, but instead that it was just a terrible result from EA's continued bad business practices, the same company who eventually want to get you to pay to reload your weapon in Battlefield, or want to lace all their games with DLC and Microtransactions, or who was proud to sell you day-one DLC so that they could make more money.
I don't know Lucy, this whole always-on DRM fallout seems like it fits the current profile of “bad business” practices EA has been rolling out for the past couple of years. According to Lucy, though....
Hey, this is on Maxis. EA does not force design upon us. We own it, we are working 24/7 to fix it, and we are making progress
Except, publishers do enforce design decisions on developers, especially since the publishers are the ones who set the release dates to coincide with quarterly estimates and revenue; publishers dictate the inclusion of DLC to boost first-day sales or extend the tail-end of a game such as Capcom's disc-locked content; publishers are responsible for the inclusion of DRM as a way to "protect" their investment, as revealed by Ubisoft. Publishers are also responsible for other features such as multiplayer, as outed by Yager regarding the forced multiplayer in Spec-Ops: The Line [via Develop].
I find it really hard to believe that Maxis wanted to screw over the entire SimCity fanbase with always-on DRM. No, I refuse to believe Maxis wanted to screw over their entire fanbase with always-on DRM. What developer actively seeks out methods to destroy their own brand?
On the flipside, a publisher has nothing to lose if a studio like Maxis tanks. A publisher can usurp another developer with some free capital and keep doing what they do best. In fact, this has pretty much been the history of EA ever since they went from being electronic artists and turned into asset acquirers.
In simple terms, we all know that Maxis is trying to cover their own hide and EA is pulling a Casey Hudson all over again to try to deflect the hate. I, for one, am not buying it. This kind of business trend has become standard-fare at EA and having developers take the blame is just poor sportsmanship. If you play the game, own up to your mistakes EA.
Meanwhile, Maxis is continuing on the road to redemption by upping server capacity to allow twice as many players without the servers going kaput. Kotaku has a rundown of the update, which should mean that more paying consumers can actually play what they paid for.