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Comic 240 : A Clear Message, Both Ways (link to this comic)   Comic RSS Feed


When Corporate Messages Couldn’t Be Clearer

One of the biggest things I hate is when statements are made that are patently false, obviously false, but put forth with the conviction that challenging the validity of the statement is a faux pas. This occurs in the corporate world all of the time. This is especially true when a company makes an apology for a mistake, but actually does nothing to fix the issue, or even change their practices.

A classic example is occurring right now with the most release of the newest version of Simcity. In a nutshell, the game is pretty crappy, with less abilities and value than their previous versions–with a very negatively designed DRM function that requires the user to be connected to the internet even when playing single player. At first EA claimed this was done so that the server side functions could handle a large part of the simulation work–but this was quickly proven to be false. They then said this was designed because “some people really wanted to play with other players”, but most modern games have multi-player, it just doesn’t require you to be online for single player. They then finally just came out and said they did it because it “matched their vision” for the game. (As a side note, why didn’t their vision for this game just have it called “Simcity Online”, which would have made this whole thing less of a screwjob and more honest?)

Their “vision” is obviously adding in what used to be core components of the game, but as additional downloads and costs to the player in an epic money grab. It’s also clear that they wanted to fight piracy by forcing legitimate buyers into this crappy always online system–but hackers have already broken that part off.

So what is the message here? Screw and squeeze the legitimate customer sums it up. Pirates will always win, and have the better play experience.

The only message we as the audience for these games can say in return is what the company in today’s comic receives back in a very clear manner….

2 Responses to “When Corporate Messages Couldn’t Be Clearer”

  1. Saggy Z says:

    Preach it Brother Harknell. Lay it down.

  2. When SimCity came out – was still MAXIS at the time, we were freekin’ RABID players. It was so fun. But EA’s “Vision” is to treat all the players like criminals, and make you pay up front for the privileged. Suck it. It’s gorram GAME, not PhotoShop.

    And speaking of Adobe Creative products – “This software will not operate without activation. Broadband Internet connection and registration are required for software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.” – Adobe

    Broadband ‘Net Access is now a REQUIREMENT of being a designer. $uck$ ball$ if you’re in an area with a single rapacious cable provider. It’s even more of a dick more for a game.

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