Written by Djeuty; PSHG Team Writer
Recently, Electronic Arts has been taking some heavy fire due to the abyssal launch of SimCity (or SimCity 5 if you’re keeping count).
The developer of SimCity, Will Wright has been developing the city building simulator since 1989 and after creating his studio named Maxis, they released a spin-off called “The Sims” which arguably became more popular. It was also during this time that Maxis was acquired by Electronic Arts due to financial flops of SimCity spin offs.
Immensely popular, The Sims became one of the most played PC games at the time. The game was able to reach out to newer audiences and get players hooked on it’s addicting nature to control people in mundane ways.
At the time I was already an avid gamer, but The Sims was so addicting that I would go to my cousins house and spend all day on their computer just so I could play. Embarrassingly it was the only reason I would ride my bike there and I knew they were growing annoyed that I took all their time on their computer but I didn’t care; I was addicted.
Then my Mother got her own computer and my addiction continued on her computer. Back then, Maxis would release expansion packs that would extend the gameplay of The Sims. Being young and addicted, I asked for all 7 of them.
Will Wright had this to say, “The Sims is kind of an interesting case because we had all these expansion packs. We were able to incrementally add on and explore without invading the core dynamic or the core game play.”
Now the year is 2013 and we are in a new age of gaming. An age of DLC, DRM, AAA titles with unrealistic expectations, Call of Duties and the reemergence of indie developers. It’s also a time where gamers can vote EA the worst company in America two years in a row.
Although I don’t agree that EA is the worst company in America, I do agree that they are setting the gaming industry back with their practices.
Meanwhile, Maxis is still releasing Sims games under the EA banner. As the publisher, I blame them for their oversight of the disaster that is the SimCity launch. And more importantly I blame them for the current decline of The Sims.
Back in 2000, you could release expansion packs that didn’t add too much content. In these modern days, we call that DLC. However, in 13 years, Maxis and therefore, EA is still continuing this tired practice.
The base cost of The Sims 3 is $29.99. A fair price for a game of it’s nature. But then you realize the core game is essentially worthless, given that there are 17 optional packs for the game.
On Steam, The Sims 3 with all it’s DLC and add-ons combined comes out to a staggering $449.82. This is the base price for the content. No one should have to pay that much for a game. Any game, for that manner. I can’t help but think that the developers held out content in order to release them in packs. Although I have no evidence of this, its easy to speculate. And what’s even more baffling is that there are micro-transactions for in-game items.
It’s not only greedy, but it’s alienating potential customers like myself.
The argument could be made that The Sims 3 is a solid core experience and that the expansion packs are there to compliment that core experience, and not all the content is for everyone. I wouldn’t argue that The Sims 3 is a solid core experience, but the fact that this core experience costs the exact same as several of the DLC and University Life being $10 more, I would say that this argument holds no merit.
Why should I be content with just The Sims 3 if there is over $400 dollars worth of content I am missing out on.
In my eyes, it’s just greedy. I believe none of that content is worth paying $30-40 bucks on. And the fact remains that there is still a store page where you can purchase additional clothing and decor.
Its practices like this that make me understand why EA is looked down upon by a majority of gamers. The Sims should be an inclusive experience and capture the wide audience it appeals to, not an alienating experience because there is mountains of additional content.
The child in me is weeping that I cannot continue the addicting experience, but I refuse to support this. And neither should you.