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Maxis Software

Sim City photo
Sim City

Cities of Tomorrow is your first big Sim City expansion

Y'all are still playing Sim City, right?
Sep 19
// Alasdair Duncan
SimCity had one of the worst launches of any game in the last few years but EA and Maxis are carrying on with plans to grow the core game with a big new expansion entitled Cities of Tomorrow which will arrive in November thi...
SimCity photo

SimCity for Mac launches on August 29

Let's try this again
Aug 05
// Jordan Devore
After being hit with a not insignificant delay, the Mac version of SimCity should be ready for release at the tail end of this month. At least, Maxis and Electronic Arts have announced an August 29 launch -- let's hope t...
SimCity photo

SimCity feedback led to an offline The Sims 4

EA is 'making changes to the business practices that gamers clearly donít like'
Jul 24
// Jordan Devore
The disastrous launch of SimCity is over and done with. Emerging from the wreckage with two million sales and counting, Electronic Arts is considering allowing the game to be played offline like many of us originally wanted. ...
SimCity photo

Developers leave Maxis to form new sim-focused studio

Jellygrade is a fun name
Jul 16
// Jordan Devore
A few notable developers who worked on SimCity have left Maxis Software to form a studio of their own with the intent to continue making simulation games. The studio, Jellgrade, has been formed by creative/art director Ocean ...

EA considers previously impossible offline SimCity

Survey asks if customers would like it (no sh*t)
Jul 05
// Jim Sterling
According to a customer survey being sent to SimCity players and posted on Reddit, Electronic Arts is thinking about adding an offline mode to the recently released game -- a mode EA said couldn't be done because of reasons. ...
Darkspore DRM debacle photo
Darkspore DRM debacle

Server bugs make Darkspore unplayable, still up on Origin

DRM strikes again
Jul 01
// Steven Hansen
[UPDATE:] EA responded to a Kotaku inquiry about Darkspore thusly: Maxis continues to support Darkspore and its servers. We recently resolved a problem where players were having issues connecting to the game. The post in q...
SimCity Mac photo
SimCity Mac

Mac version of SimCity pushed back until August

Update 5 brings more bugfixes
Jun 06
// Joshua Derocher
Sad news Mac gamers: you'll have to wait another few months before you can get your hands on SimCity. The release has been pushed back until August, since Maxis has decided that it is "not ready for primetime yet." With the t...
Sims 3: Dragon Valley photo
Sims 3: Dragon Valley

The Sims 3: Dragon Valley lets you play with baby dragons

It's like The Sims Medieval, but not
Jun 03
// Joshua Derocher
The Sims 3: Dragon Valley is a new medieval-themed world available from The Sims 3 Store. A family has moved into town and they brought some baby dragons with them. There is a story between two quarreling families trying to ...

Wolfenstein's New Order, EA Wars & Presidential Nad-Kicks

The Destructoid Show eats pizza and stays up late
May 07
// Max Scoville
Today's Destructoid Show is here to tell you all the worst news about video games. And also some good news, too, I guess. Wolfenstein: The New Order has been announced, and it has robots. Disney has handed over the Star Wars...
SimCity photo

Maxis details SimCity's upcoming 3.0 patch

Looking to fix a majority of the road issues
May 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Maxis has revealed what SimCity players can expect out of the upcoming 3.0 patch. A majority of the update will focus on the road system, such as traffic, transit, vehicles, and so on. Air pollution, trading, and data layer i...
SimCity photo

Will Wright: SimCity's server issues were 'inexcusable'

'I kind of did predict there'd be a big backlash about the DRM stuff.'
May 07
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Game Industry International caught up with legendary designer Will Wright who shared his thoughts on the train wreck of a launch SimCity suffered with all of the server issues players experienced when trying to play the game....
The Sims 4 photo
Yes, it's playable offline
In a short, rather bland announcement, Maxis has announced its next project: The Sims 4. It's due out on Windows and Mac next year, and that's about all we know at this time. I mean, it is The Sims -- not like folks need much...

SimCity photo

SimCity's 2.0 update adds more bugs than it fixes

There's just too much poop everywhere
Apr 25
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The SimCity 2.0 patch was released this week and has fixed some of the issues people were experiencing. Unfortunately the patch has also spawned a ton of new issues, most of which you can learn about in this ever growing Red...

Review: The Sims 3: University Life

Apr 24 // Joshua Derocher
The Sims 3: University Life (Mac, PC [reviewed]Developer: EA MaxisPublisher: Electronic ArtsReleased: March 5, 2013 (NA) / March 8, 2013 (EU)MSRP: $39.99   Any Sim that is a young adult or older can decide to go to college, and if they decide to go they will be transported out of the game's main town into a separate town where the college exists. Once in the new college town area, Sims can either live in dorms, get their own apartment, or join a sorority or frat house. Living in close quarters with lots of other Sims can be a major pain, just like in real life, and now Sims can annoy their roommates to clean up after themselves. The actual classes and studying function almost identical to current jobs and schooling that Sims can do in the regular game. Once a Sim earns enough credits to get a degree, they will be able to start out in their chosen career with a higher salary. [embed]252210:48290:0[/embed] The most interesting addition is the introduction of social groups with the Jocks, Rebels, and Nerds. Jocks are sport-loving frat boys, Nerds are book lovers who enjoy reading comics, and Rebels are a weird hybrid of punk and hipster. Sims can gain popularity with these groups in order to make more friends and open up new career choices such as Sports Agent, Art Appraiser, or Video Game Developer.   There are a handful of new personality traits, my favorite being "Avante Garde" since it's basically the hipster trait. Now your Sims can accuse their friends of selling out, drink organic beverages, flirt with the local Barista, complain about the mainstream, or enthuse about an obscure band. I love The Sims franchise, and this is a fun expansion, but it doesn't feel like it's worth $40 to me. I would think about spending $20 on it, but the cost of The Sims 3 has just gotten way out of hand. EA is really pushing the boundaries of reality if they are expecting fans of the game to continue to buy every expansion that comes out, especially when the expansions mostly contain stuff from earlier versions of the game. University Life is decent on its own as an expansion, but when you stack it up against the other eight for The Sims 3 it really doesn't jump out as being that special. It's better than Seasons, but it's not game-changing. If anything, this just serves as a sign that the series is getting long in the tooth, and EA needs to think about releasing a complete edition to make all of this stuff more accessible to more players.
Sims 3: University Life photo
Care for a game of juice pong?
The Sims 3: University Life is expansion pack number nine for The Sims 3, and it's essentially a re-hash of the University expansion for The Sims 2. If you decided today you wanted to start playing The Sim...

SimShady photo

Upcoming SimCity patch will address top requested fixes

Servers will be down during this April 22, 1 PM PST update
Apr 19
// Allistair Pinsof
On April 22, SimCity will continue its arduous trek to becoming a game worthy of its name. The Update 2.0 patch will address "a number of top-requested bug fixes and improvements," according to developer Maxis. Along with som...
SimCity photo

SimCity + toothpaste = $$$$$$$$$$!???!?!?!

You have to buy real products to get the new DLC
Apr 17
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
SimCity's latest stunt sees a tie-in with Crest and Oral-B tooth products, where if you buy specially marked packages of toothpaste and stuff, you'll be given a code to the new Attractions Set downloadable content. So what's ...
SimCity photo

SimCity: Cheetah speed returns, Mac release June 11

It's kind of like the game I bought, now.
Apr 10
// Allistair Pinsof
"Do you like to play with Cheetah Speed?" SimCity's Facebook asks. "No, I prefer not having basic functionality that keeps the game from being boring and painfully slow!" But for the rest of you, you may be happy to hear that...
N!$$AN RULES!!! photo

Free Nissan Leaf content paves way for greener SimCity

In news that I swear didn't come on April 1
Apr 02
// Allistair Pinsof
Guys, EA heard you. Your complaints about SimCity have finally been answered! "Why is my city so polluted and gross?" "Why would someone build a coal plant between a school and hospital in downtown?" "Why must my sims live su...

EA: DRM is a failed, dead-end strategy

Mar 28 // Jim Sterling
Call me a cynic, but when I see games presented as online services -- especially when those services fail to serve us -- I see little more than DRM dressed in a shiny new suit. It strikes me as convenient that these "services" also serve the exact same purpose as DRM -- controlling how the end user behaves, shutting down if failing to meet requirements, and providing extra hassle for paying customers.  I find it hard to believe anything said about SimCity lately, given the general air of distrust EA Maxis' claims about the game's online demands have fostered.  If SimCity can do it, I expect to see a fair few other games calling themselves MMOs for little other reason than to get away with an always-online requirement. It seems to be quite a popular thing in the industry right now, to dress up old bullshit business tactics as new things. You'll notice how EA's been calling games with online passes special editions now, downplaying the fact it's gated off the online portion to let us know we can get maybe an extra weapon at the same time. Sheep's clothing at its best.  So yeah, games don't have DRM anymore. They're just special types of MMO! EA: "DRM is a failed dead-end strategy" []
EA: DRM a failed strategy photo
Games boss swears EA Maxis decided on the SimCity online stuff
Electronic Arts may have been one of the last big wielders of SecuROM, and SimCity's online woes reek of it, but EA Labels president Frank Gibeau claims to hate DRM. According to him, such anti-piracy measures have failed, an...

SimCity video photo
SimCity video

A SimCity highway that will make you soil yourself

Mar 27
// Fraser Brown
Given the limited space that EA Maxis expects prospective city managers to construct in, one might be forgiven for thinking that there's not much room for bizarre experimentation in SimCity. This is not quite true, however, ...
SimCity sales photo
SimCity sales

SimCity has sold over 1 million copies since launch

It's the best selling SimCity game of all time
Mar 18
// Joshua Derocher
According to Electronic Arts, SimCity has sold over 1.1 million copies, making it the fastest selling SimCity game to date. About half of those sales have been for the digital version of the game.  It's interesting that ...
SimCity photo

EA's free games for SimCity players includes SimCity 4

Plus Dead Space 3, Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3 and more
Mar 18
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Electronic Arts is trying to make good for all their disastrous launch issues with SimCity by offering select PC games free to players. Starting today, players that have activated their copy of SimCity should receive an email...
SimCity photo

Subset offline mode didn't fit Maxis' vision for SimCity

Developer responds to SimCity backlash
Mar 15
// Jordan Devore
After a rather eventful day of people tinkering with SimCity in order to play offline, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw has written a "straight answers" blog post addressing the game's always-on design. Those hoping for a ...

SimCity can be played offline, according to anyone but EA

Mar 14 // Jim Sterling
[embed]248656:47560:0[/embed] This discovery follows reports by Rock, Paper, Shotgun that an anonymous insider is claiming SimCity never needed to remain online, and can actually go offline at any moment. While Maxis' Lucy Bradshaw claims offline play would require "a significant amount of engineering work from our team to rewrite the game," faceless informants cry foul.  "The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing," claims RPS' source. "They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless." It's suggested the server doesn't even react to your gameplay in real-time, and that it can take a few minutes for it to check your session for hacks or cheats. The bottom line is that, according to those who aren't in Electronic Arts' thrall, it wouldn't take much effort at all to get your an offline version of SimCity -- barring, of course, the game's regional features.  But of course, Electronic Arts made a bold stand on this issue, and is expected to pridefully stick to its guns. All the while, its resolute determination to keep players online will continue to confirm something I think was obvious -- the always-online requirement was only ever a business decision, not one made to enhance the gameplay. The end goal was to keep tabs on players at all times, and control their behavior beyond the point of sale, because EA is terrified of its own audience.  It's DRM in sheep's clothing, and the longer EA decides to keep SimCity online, the clearer that becomes.
SimCity online workaround photo
Evidence mounts that 'always-on' requirement is total bunkem
There is mounting evidence that, despite EA Maxis' claims to the contrary, SimCity is wholly capable of being played offline -- a capability that would have saved buyers a week of hassle and tons of creativity now lost to ser...

Maxis has 'no intention' of making SimCity offline

Mar 11 // Jim Sterling
"The good news is that tens of thousands of new players are streaming into the game every day and the confidence our fans have shown is truly humbling," she wrote. "I can’t begin to explain the way a development team feels when something you're proud of is threatened at launch. Our biggest fear was that people who love this franchise would be scared off by bad reviews about the connectivity issues. "But you put your faith in us. You bought the game with the understanding that we’d quickly fix the server issues. For that support -- that incredible commitment from our fans -- we are deeply grateful. As the general manager of Maxis, I want you to know that we cherish your faith in us, and the love you've shown for this franchise." All very touching stuff, but these grand displays of humility ring rather hollow for me when it was so obvious SimCity was going to be unplayable at launch. We all pretty much called it, and I refuse to believe anybody at Maxis or Electronic Arts would be so dense as to have not called it too. Once you cross a point where what you're doing is so obviously detrimental to a game launch, and you do it anyway, you waive the ability to craft a believable apology.  SimCity's bullshit wasn't a mistake. It was the result of a decision that had to have factored in the frustration of launch day buyers, and deemed that frustration an acceptable risk.
No offline SimCity photo
Claims the problems are 'almost behind us'
While SimCity's DRM-in-sheep's-clothing continues to cause playabilty issues, EA Maxis has declared its intent to keep the game tied to a server. The company will do "everything it can" to make your game playable, but that do...

SimCity freebie photo
SimCity freebie

EA to offer free PC game for SimCity players

So it's come to this
Mar 08
// Jordan Devore
After a disastrous launch week for SimCity, Maxis and Electronic Arts are going to offer a free PC game via download to players as an apology. "On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email ...

Deadpool, Dead Space & Dead Tired Of SimCity's BS

The Destructoid Show got sent home from school today for cursing
Mar 08
// Max Scoville
Hey everybody! Here's today's Destructoid Show! I'm guessing you guys have heard about all the nonsense going on with SimCity, so if you're sick of it by this point, I apologize. There's a new trailer for Deadpool, which I'm ...
SimCity photo

Petition demands the removal of DRM from SimCity

And all future games too
Mar 08
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
SimCity is broken. Players aren't able to connect to the servers, and without that connection you virtually cannot do anything with the city building game. Fans are rightly outraged, taking to various social media outlets ...

EA: SimCity's broken because it's just too much fun!

Users blamed for wanting to play the game too much
Mar 08
// Jim Sterling
In what has to be the most incredible display of PR spin seen in a videogame crisis, an Electronic Arts spokesperson has claimed SimCity's notoriously awful DRM setbacks are a result of the game being just too gosh-darn enjoy...

SimCity Metacritic user reviews are brutal brutal brutal!

'This is SimVillage'
Mar 08
// Jim Sterling
Big game releases these days are almost always going to be subject to some literary abuse via the outlet of Metacritic user reviews, especially when a major publisher like Electronic Arts is concerned. In the case of SimCity,...

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