Polygon has changed their score again
. It has now gone from 9.5 = Win
to 8.0 = Win
to 4.0, which remarkably, is still "Win"
. Also, Amazon earlier pulled the digital version from its store
, citing its unplayable nature.
What do you do if you buy a game and can't play it? The highly anticipated SimCity
released a couple of days ago to excellent critic reviews... but to terrible backlash
from people who actually paid for it. This is because the game requires an always-online connection, and EA's servers couldn't handle the onrush of eager mayors, effectively locking people out of their game.
Pictured: The SimCity launch, as depicted by its predecessor that has no such DRM.
This isn't a new thing. Last year's Diablo III
is guilty of it too, making you connect to the internet even though you were playing single-player
, for reasons known only to Activision-Blizzard. The Assassin's Creed
games on PC used to have this DRM, before Ubisoft wised up
The issues keep coming. After fellating SimCity with a 9.5, the avant-garde, groundbreaking, cutting-edge Polygon retroactively changed their review score
to an 8 after realizing that the world did not revolve around them (although the 9.5 remains on Metacritic
, the only site where review scores matter). Other sites-- like Destructoid-- haven't reviewed the game yet
, opting to represent the real play experience. Meanwhile, EA refuses to provide refunds
for providing what is effectively a defective game.
Pictured: The issues.
Of course, EA could have been copying its nemesis Activision, who published Diablo III
, a game that also added always-online DRM to a franchise that was previously unburdened by it. And they got away with it too-- the game sold over 12 million copies
in 2012. Let's not let that happen again.
The games industry, everyone. Games journalism, everyone. Always-online DRM has no place in single-player games. Always-online DRM does not work if the people providing it cannot provide the infrastructure to handle it. As long as this DRM remains, stay away from SimCity
. If this is the future of gaming, we'd do better to stay in its golden past:
Originally published by Kambyero, a Philippine blog for videogame discourse.