If you were to redefine clusterfuck, how would you go about doing it?

About three weeks ago, EA – The Worst Company in America – released a long awaited sequel to one of the best-loved video games of all time.

Now, you may already know what SimCity is, and you may have already heard about the “problematic” game launch.  But a little background is in order because I like to type.

The original SimCity game came out in 1989 and was pretty unique in its concept.  It gave you a blank slate and some tools and let you build a virtual city on your computer screen from scratch.  You could watch it grow, and the simulation would react much like a real city would to various events.


The game was so well done that it sold shitloads.  Metric shitloads.  A sequel came out, then another, then another.  This year saw the fifth official iteration… supposedly.

I’m going to digress now to tell my story with SimCity.  Back in 1998 when I got my first PC, one of the things I was most excited about was the free game I’d be getting with it.  That game was SimCity 2000, the sequel to the original.


SimCity 2000

I never did learn how to play it though.  SimCity is hard.  SimCity is complex and you have to spend a lot of time learning how to play it to get a functioning city going.  And as much as I like cerebral strategy games, I just couldn’t figure it out.

I would load it up every now and then, but I couldn’t seem to get it.  I even got SimCity 3000, but I couldn’t seem to make sense out of that one either.

Then I pretty much forgot about that until just now when SimCity 5, or SimCity 2013 came out.  EA calls it SimCity and is trying to pass it off as a “reboot” of the franchise.  Fuck them.

SimCity is a single player game.  And EA insists on crippling every game they sell with “always-online” DRM.  That means you have to have an internet connection with their servers at all times in order to play the game.  And in a few years when they don’t feel like supporting a game any more, you can’t play it any more.  Too bad for you.

So fuck EA.  For them to automatically treat every one of their customers as if that customer is a thief is unacceptable if you ask me.

But that’s not even the worst part about all of this.  No.  The worst part is that EA and the once respectable Maxis have flat-out lied to their customers about the features of the new SimCity.  They lied about what the game could do.  They lied about bugs being fixed that weren’t.  And the worst one of all is that they lied about the game needing to be played online.

All these have been proven to be lies and EA and Maxis don’t even have the decency to acknowledge that.  Fuck them.

To top this all off, in some cases they are refusing to give refunds for this falsely advertised and pitifully broken game.  And if customers exercise their right to ask their credit card issuer for a charge-back, EA will ban the customer from EA’s Origin service.

Fuck EA.

I did not buy SimCity 5 and I will never be an EA customer again.  The last game I ever bought from EA was The Sims 2, and I kind of regret that because I never play it.  And it makes me sad that people let themselves be ripped off by deceitful companies like EA and Maxis and then continue to buy and even preorder from them all over again when the next unfinished cookie-cutter game gets released.

But enough vitriol.  All the hubbub about SimCity has actually made me wish I had a decent video card so I could play SimCity 4.



But I do have the next best thing, and I’m teaching myself how to play SimCity 3000.

simcity3000 view


Damn, it’s hard.  But it’s engrossing.  And fascinating.  And those citizens are so demanding and I’m always on the brink of bankruptcy, but at least it’s not stupid fucking easy and broken like the latest version.