In a bid to justify the always-online design of SimCity, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau has said that the game has always had an MMO feel to it, and that positioning it as an MMO would have made the always-online nature of the game easier for players to get behind.
Expressing disappointment at SimCity’s server troubles and subsequent user outrage, Gibeau told GamesIndustry.biz, “If you play an MMO, you don't demand an offline mode, you just don't. And in fact, SimCity started out and felt like an MMO more than anything else and it plays like an MMO.”
However, Gibeau conceded that EA didn’t do a good enough job of positioning SimCity as an MMO.
“I'm disappointed that we didn't do a better job communicating that upfront,” he said, adding, “It has to be an online experience like an MMO where you bring out new events, new kits, new places to go, and that's more the vision for where SimCity is going.”
Gibeau also said that DRM was a dead-end strategy and that the always-online design of SimCity was a creative decision at Maxis and not an anti-piracy measure forced by EA.
“DRM is a failed dead-end strategy; it's not a viable strategy for the gaming business. So what we tried to do creatively is build an online service in the SimCity universe and that's what we sought to achieve. For the folks who have conspiracy theories about evil suits at EA forcing DRM down the throats of Maxis, that's not the case at all.”
“It started with the team at Maxis that had a creative vision for a multiplayer, connected, collaborative SimCity experience where your city and my city and others' were [working together]; for better or for worse, and for right or for wrong, the lead designers and the producers and the programmers felt like they wanted to tell us a multiplayer, cooperative city story around SimCity.”
SimCity is finally available on the Indian Origin store again. It had been pulled from the store for a few days after users outside India had found a loophole that let them take advantage of the Indian store’s significantly lower pricing.
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