I’m mostly uninterested in the ongoing SimCity furor, partly because I’ve been playing a really good EA citybuilder instead, but also because the furor is focused on the wrong things. The issue I care about isn’t the launch problems (those tend to go away) or that EA lied (for politicians and videogame publishers, that’s called “talking”) or the inherent evil of always-on DRM (we’ve long since lost that battle, because while everyone was beating up on Ubisoft, Diablo III sneaked into our rear) or that the simulation isn’t simulating an actual city (abstraction isn’t just for boardgames anymore). The issue I care about is the one getting the least internet furor mindshare: the fundamental design of tiny interconnected box cities lending each other a hand doesn’t work as it’s supposed to work. And furthermore, assuming it will work in a later update, it’s not implemented very well. But because everyone else is gnashing their teeth about one of these ancillary issues — Server instability! EA lied! Down with DRM! Sims should only sleep in their own houses! — there’s little incentive for Electronic Arts, a publicly owned company that changed the ending of Mass Effect 3, to actually make their potentially good game that already sold 1 million copies work the way it was designed.
But the good news is that EA, the publicly owned company that changed the ending of Mass Effect 3, is going to give you another game! In a press released titled “SimCity make nice”, which sounds like poorly translated forced cheer from across the Pacific, Electronic Arts announced that players will soon receive a free game of their choice from the following list:
Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
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’s definitely a make nice list, since it has only a single stinker. Care to guess which one?