Sega CEO Hajime Satomi says he wants to improve the quality of their games moving forward. That could mean a lot of things. It's nice to hear, but what they do next with their games is the real answer.
Is EA’s SimCity Consolation a Fair Deal?
Tomorrow will mark the two week anniversary of what just might be the worst launch in video game history. You guessed it, I’m talking about SimCity again. By now most gamers have heard of the fiasco that has been the SimCity launch. As soon as the servers went live gamers struggled to get into the game, and those who did were faced with bugs and disabled features. It wasn’t a pleasant experience by any stretch of the imagination, and EA has at least acknowledged that.
Today EA has finally gone through and kept their promise of providing customers who purchased or will purchase SimCity by Mach 25th with a free game. Gamers will be given a choice of one game from a list of eight that includes:
- Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
- Bejeweled 3
- Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
- Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
- Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
- Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
- Plants vs. Zombies
- SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition
That being said, one last question remains unanswered. Is a list of eight games, from which gamers are only allowed to select one, an actual worthwhile apology on EA’s part?
For me, this is far from an actual consolation. With the exception of Dead Space 3 most of these titles are a bit dated. Sure they aren’t bad games, with the exception of one (yes, I’m talking about you Medal of Honor: Warfighter), but that doesn’t change the fact that they are a bit on the old side. Furthermore, who in their right mind would want a copy of SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition. Like I said, SimCity 4 is not a bad game, but what sense does it make to give away a copy of the predecessor to the newest installment in the franchise, which is technically supposed to be a reboot and a leap forward for the series?
This is a pretty sad consolation given the fact that SimCity was a broken product to begin with. The game was unplayable from the first day which pretty much made it a defective product. It may not be that way anymore, but for customers who purchased the game from day one, and didn’t automatically scramble for a refund this is a slap in the face.
Sure some people may think that EA doesn’t owe gamers anything. If gamers didn’t want to deal with all the bugs then they didn’t have to buy the game, and if they did then they could have easily receive a refund. However, EA does owe their most loyal of customers something. They stuck with SimCity through the mess and stress that was the first week, and gave EA the benefit of the doubt, thus they should be duly rewarded.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again, EA should have given gamers whichever game they wanted as a thank you and as an apology for this huge debacle. It didn’t need to be the deluxe edition of a game or anything fancy like that, just the simple standard version of whichever game a customer wanted would have been enough. At that point it would have been a fair deal.
I’m sad to see that EA failed to capitalize on such an amazing opportunity to right the wrongs that now rest on their shoulders. Sure they could have done nothing and brushed of the whole thing; and maybe they did at least offer a small consolation. However, I can’t shake the fact that they could have done more. They could have made better amends for delivering an unplayable mess, but they chose not to. This may improve their image a little bit, but not as much as it could have. It was the opportunity they needed to show their loyal customers that they cared about its player base, and that they care about making high quality games. In the end it’s going to remain just another good opportunity that EA consciously chose not to take.