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Amazon remove SimCity under gamers fury

Amazon have stopped selling the downloadable version of SimCity after thousands of angry gamers gave the title a shocking one star review.

SimCity – Standard Edition was removed from the Amazon online store yesterday. The always online game has been a disaster for Electronic Arts, and its customers because of problems with the EA servers.

Amazon’s product page now reads “Currently unavailable, we don’t know when or if this item will be available again.” Amazon have been quick to act, trying to protect their customers against the shocking state of affairs for EA.

Amazon also published a note that many customers have had problems connecting to the EA servers, to actually play the game.

Amazon reports so far have been terrible, more than 1,600 people have so far rated the game at 1 out of 5.

Customer ‘Malor’ said “Fundamentally, SimCity has always been a ‘software toy’. That means that there’s no real end state, no way to win. It’s just a thing that you play and experiment with. You build, and tinker, and mess around. It’s a toy, not a game; it’s a sandbox, not baseball.

So, in this iteration of the game, you don’t even get to buy your toy. Rather, you rent a toy from EA, who lets you play with it only in very limited, circumscribed ways, only on their servers. So you have to have a live Internet connection at all times, and their servers have to be up, and have to have space for you. And the rules for play are draconian. If you want to, say, build a city, save it, blow it up with something terrible, and then restore from save, you can’t do that anymore. That’s an unauthorized usage of their toy. And if you figure out ways of using their toy that they don’t like, they’ll ban you forever.”

EA have brought in an active ‘always on’ connection requirement for the new title which has caused the issues. EA claim that this is necessary, even for single player games because of the processing required for ‘inter city modelling’ – which is handled by EA’s server farm. Gamers and journalists have said this is a cover up just to improve the EA copy protection of the title, lowering the level of illegal copies making the rounds.

While the ‘always online’ connection requirement has been used before, it has proven problematic, rendering the game unplayable if server issues occur on the company side.

Amazon reports so far have been terrible, more than 1,600 people have so far rated the game at 1 out of 5.

Kitguru says: Are always online games a recipe for disaster? Their track record so far hasn’t been too positive.

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