Problem at the source

I consider myself a fan of SimCity in general, and the upcoming release should be on my radar. The game requiring you to log into EA’s Origin is a dealbreaker. No matter how great this new version is, I’m simply not interested thanks to my general distrust of EA, and more specifically my distrust in Origin.

And yes, Steam is basically the same thing as Origin, with the key difference being Steam is from Valve and not EA. I wonder how many lost sales EA experiences because of Origin versus how many they gain (if any?) because of that platform.

The same question can be posed to Blizzard and If Diablo 3 or StarCraft 2 were on a Steam sale this weekend, I’d likely grab one of them. Since it’s stuck on Blizzard’s steam-clone, I’ll never get either.

About SynCaine

Former hardcore raider turned casual gamer.
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36 Responses to Problem at the source

  1. Supplantor says:

    Totally agree, I own 2 games that use Origin and I will never buy another one where I have to use it.

  2. I’m just avoiding the always-online DRM. Origin isn’t a dealbreaker because I can still link its games to Steam.

  3. I have enough tolerance for one intrusive, net connected, software distribution and DRM service, and that is Steam. I am still not 100% happy with it, but I am resigned to it as being the future.

    Origin… no just for showing up after I committed to Steam, and doubly so for being EA’s front. So no new SimCity for me.

    SimCity 2000 Special Edition is $5.99 over at though. I might grab that should I be hit with SimCity nostalgia. I used to let that game run for days.

  4. spacepilot says:

    The fact that you use Steam means you’re part of the problem (the problem being people who have enabled dev houses to turn gamers into renters instead of owners). Granted, it’s a first-world problem, but it’s hilarious and sad to see gamers cry about one piece of anti-consumer DRM out of one side of their mouth and lavish fanbot praise on another piece of anti-consumer DRM out of the other.

    • Azuriel says:

      When Origin has a comparable catalog of titles and the corresponding daily/weekly/holiday sales, then it will be “hilarious and sad.” Otherwise, the comparison is asinine.

      • Zensun says:

        You’re kind of missing spacepilot’s point, aren’t you?

        It’s not about catalog size or sales, but online DRM.

        • tithian says:

          Then spacepilot’s point is irrelevant, because Steam has an offline mode.

        • spacepilot says:

          No, Steam’s offline mode is what’s actually irrelevant. You still don’t own any of the content you paid Valve for, and it can be taken away from you, disabled, or changed at any time without your consent. You’re a renter, and a dumb one at that.

          Most sheeple are OK with that, which is why Steam has managed to find such a foothold, but the point is that it’s a) hypocritical to complain about Origin and not complain about Steam and b) you’re part of the problem with this industry.

        • SynCaine says:

          The belief that Valve is going to steal your games from you is a bit tinfoil hat at this point, isn’t it?

          I mean sure, if you would rather pay box prices for games and get a DVD, that’s a choice you make, but I’d rather buy everything at 75% off, have it auto-update, integrate with a friends list, access Steamworks, and sure, run the risk that Valve is going to take it all away from me at some point.

          But hey, some people think the moon landing was fake, so to each his own.

        • Azuriel says:

          Except it is about catalog and sales. Renting or not, more of these games are priced lower than they ever could be “owned” traditionally (as if the authentication servers and EULA of the likes of Ubisoft ever actually allowed it to occur). Where could you buy indie games before Steam? XBLA? An app store? What was the lowest priced retail box of any PC game you seen in a store?

          I am not a fan of DRM, and especially hate always-online requirements for non-multiplayer games, but suggesting “sheeple” are not (or cannot) mitigating the “renting” of games by getting them via sales is dumb. The guys buying CoD for $59.99 from Steam on launch day, sure, denigrate away.

          Thoughts of greedy corporations aside, it is becoming increasingly apparent that our generation, if not the next, has already made the decision that ownership is unnecessary for media that will be irrelevant in mere months (if not weeks) anyway. Why buy DVDs when you have Netflix/Hulu/Prime? Why buy music when you have Spotify/Pandora/etc? With few exceptions, I will never play 99% of the videogames I beat again. If I “purchased” it on Steam for less than it would have normally cost for some mythical non-DRM PC copy that I could not resell anyway… who cares?

          I will 100% support any criticism of Steam that revolves around forum behavior leading to a loss of your library. I get that that sounds a bit contradictory in context. But the fact remains that I don’t give two shits about “owning,” say, XCOM permanently. My shelf is full of PS1 and PS2 games that I will never play again. If my Steam library were physical, I’d need three shelves just to fit in all the cases. Whether I’m renting those games or not, the bottom line is that my renting has resulted in more hours of entertainment for less money than ever would have been possible before. Where is the fleecing of the sheeple?

        • Quelldrogo says:

          I don’t know…. I really miss filling up zipper packs full of outdated CDs. They make great art installations at Burning Man. LOLZZOLZOLZ

        • spacepilot says:

          Blah blah blah, fake moon landing tinfoil hat blah blah. Doesn’t really address the hypocrisy of touting Steam and blasting Origin, but whatever keeps your logic fail train on track I guess.

          To the other geniuses in this thread, it’s not about burning CDs and buying boxes, it’s about not making it easy for game companies (both present and future) to take a dump on the power of the consumer. GoG gets my business, not Valve.

        • Rammstein says:

          “Blah blah blah, fake moon landing tinfoil hat blah blah. Doesn’t really address the hypocrisy of touting Steam and blasting Origin, but whatever keeps your logic fail train on track I guess.”

          How about the hypocrisy of using the “blah blah blah” argument while accusing others of “logic fail train”? You know, actual hypocrisy. Blasting one company while praising another isn’t hypocrisy, it’s merely using different standards than yours. That is not hypocrisy, sirrah.

          “To the other geniuses in this thread, it’s not about burning CDs and buying boxes, it’s about not making it easy for game companies (both present and future) to take a dump on the power of the consumer. GoG gets my business, not Valve.”

          If you want to dictate what “it’s about” to suit you precisely, perhaps you should start your own blog and carefully lay out what each discussion is all about. When you comment on someone else’s blog and try to define what the overall discussion is about, you’re trolling.

      • spacepilot says:

        Nah, but it’s asinine to allow a third-party company like Valve to control the entirety of your gaming PC gaming experience.

      • kalex716 says:

        I don’t think of it as renting, i just think of it as paying them a little less to save me valuable closet space.

        • spacepilot says:

          You can think of it as fried turnip salad if you like. That doesn’t change the reality of what it is, lol.

        • kalex716 says:

          You don’t really think everyone see’s the world the same way you do? Do you?

        • Rammstein says:

          If you want to get so metaphysical, then what it is at a deep level is: trading a pattern of digital bits to which someone has promised a meaning which they can change at any time (US currency), for a pattern of digital bits to which someone has promised a meaning which they can change at any time (Steam purchases). The very epitome of fairness.

  5. carson63000 says:

    This new Sim City is a totally single-player game? Screw that. I got burned buying a single-player game tied to an online service with Half-life 2, I’m not falling for that again.

  6. j3w3l says:

    I always hear people proclaim the evils of origin but I’m really worried during what you all have against. I used it once for a beta and another time to just download a client so don’t have much experience with it.

    I’ve heard the big news scandals like it scanning your HD or the ones about your game library getting blocked when your an a hole on the forums but what else is there.

    It is certainly like steam I guess but without any of the in depth social features and a much more limited library but why is everyone so much more critical of it.. Is it a case of good guy valve vs evil EA

    • kalex716 says:

      My problem is simply that its more of the same.

      It is a redundancy of services that are being served to me elsewhere, and I do not want them competing for my time, and bugging me about updates etc. when i’m already getting the same thing from a competing, and better product.

  7. Azuriel says:

    Origin isn’t the deal-breaker for SimCity (I already have Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3), the deal-breaker is the “always online” Diablo 3-esque connection bullshit. I can load a number of Steam titles and boot them up in offline mode on the laptop if I wanted to; even if you can do something similar in Origin, you still wouldn’t be able to play SimCity. All for… what?

    • Related to always on DRM. If I understand it right, because of the selling of city resources to the global market, there is no save/reload feature? I’m not buying because I like to nuke my city occationally just to see what happens, then rolling it back to the pre-disaster state and carrying on.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Always online DRM is an absolute dealbreaker for me. 100%.

    I bought two games on Origin, and had nothing but problems as a result. I don’t mind Steam, but it’s implementation is a million times better.

    Also, in a single player game, I don’t want these online marketplaces. I want to save/reload if I feel so inclined, so I can do what I want in my game. A global marketplace (Diablo 3, Simcity) adds no value to me and detracts from what I like to do.

    If we got the offline PS3 version of Diablo 3 on Steam, I’d buy it in a heartbeat. That’s not going to happen, though, so no $ for Blizzard from me.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I was considering buying this game, went on Steam to find it and it wasn’t there. Then I figured out it was EA and on origins. GG.

  10. adam says:

    Origin doesn’t bother me that much. I haven’t had any real issues with it. I mean, I hate that I have to split up my digital downloads between yet another service, but that was inevitable when Steam took off. (Of course, unlike Valve, EA has no guarantee that your games will still be available in the event they should go out of business. Not to mention the fact that Valve seems to be looking for a way to get out of the business of “owning” Steam at all.)

    Anyway, for a while there I was 100% going to buy the new SimCity. The always-online DRM knocked that down to about 65%. I know that should bother me more but if it’s a good game it’s a good game. Then I started reading impressions of players in beta about all the bugs and the difficulty in even getting into the game due to the DRM and that went down to about 30%. Then I found out about the tiny city size with no option to change it at launch (it will come later–for a price). That was the nail in the coffin for me.

    Maybe a couple years from now when all the DLCs and the core game are put into a $20 package I’ll pick it up. Until then, I’m done spending my recreational time on EA’s increasingly ridiculous terms.

  11. camazotz says:

    Steam, Origin, Uplay, XBLA and others are doing themselves in with heavy-handed DRM management. Consumers have accepted the idea that they are “renting” their content and that being online to access it is almost always a prerequisite. The net result is that consumers value games as the ephemera they actually are, which in turn means fewer people will pay full price for something that isn’t quite theirs…this in turn drives the ginormous Steam sales, because while you might not buy something for $60 you’ll happily buy it for $5-10. That, and there’s no built in obsolesence in games anymore. The market is saturated…..why anyone would pay full price for a digital “rental” in a sea of competition is beyond me. Plus: GOG. ‘Nuff Said.

  12. Red says:

    I’d pay full price for a fully DRM game… if I could resell it. The entire foundation to all economic success the west has had over the years is built upon property rights and ownership of things, not renting.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s not a matter of sales, it’s a matter of the revenue cut Valve takes from games and their DLC/microtransactions sold via Steam.

    EA and Blizzard get 100% of the revenue from sales through their platform. The cost of lost sales would have to be huge to make releasing on Steam an effective business strategy, considering that many who buy the games through their platforms now would likely switch to Steam for the sake of convenience. I know I would.

  14. Tracey says:

    Well, I have one thought and one question about this… the first is that the online service is just a more immediately enforceable licensing agreement. If you’ve ever read the fine print on any software you’ve ever bought, the best you can say is that you sort of rented it.

    Aside from all of the implications around any online service (which I think we all agree on) is there something specific about the implementation of Origin that bugs you?

    I ask because you indicated that you do use Steam.

    • SynCaine says:

      The major problem is its EA.

      The other is I already have Steam, and that has a bigger library and all of my gaming friends on it. For a killer app I’d maybe consider dealing with Origin, but a broken version of SimCity is not that app.

      • tms says:

        That’s cool. I feel the same way about SOE (yes, I’m one of those “Galaxies” guys). I’ve been watching SimCity and I’ve been considering caving on the “always online” thing (which I hate more than Origin thing). I caved for Diablo III and I have basically regretted it.

        I really don’t want to lend support the concept of always-online but with today’s generation of gamers basically having ubiquitous access, I’m not sure there’s a point to trying to fight it.

  15. Pingback: Sim City Fail | Rogue Blogger

  16. whatever says:

    I was moderately tolerant of “always online” until I lost access to my Battlenet account cause I didn’t log into it for a year and forgot the password. Now, despite having the box, the DVD, and the DVD code I am unable to play my purchased copy of Starcraft 2. It is completely certain that some people stop playing a game, come back later and no longer have their email and account password. There are work arounds to this. The game companies chose not to do this because they are thieves.

    Once we have established that “game companies are thieves” any wild claims that “they won’t really do that” are revealed as the silly ramblings of a fool as he sticks his head into the dark cave and asks “Is anybody in there?”

  17. Anonymous says:

    Interesting article from one of the Super Meatboy devs about piracy, DRM, and the SimCity fiasco.

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