No Wonder EA Is Receiving So Much Hate
Speaking of microtransactions and DLCs, I have this terrible premonition that city size is going to increase, and it’s going to cost money. I have the sneaking suspicion that EA has six, maybe seven, full piles of feature content created: new buildings, new regions, and new roads, ready and waiting for the angst and hate to subside long enough to justify a gradual release as DLC purchased for another $1.99-$8.99 per whack. The game, as it stands, is not a full game. It has considerably fewer buildings and options than previous incarnations of SimCity by orders of magnitude.
EA recently released a new content pack with one building it, totally for free. The Nissan LEAF® Charging Station can be yours by simply downloading it and adding it to your game. Did I mention it is free of charge? The Nissan LEAF® makes your nearby Sims happy, and it magically produces no garbage or sewage, and requires no electricity. Oh, and all wealth levels of your Sims drive them! I, for one, am super-happy about this, because the one thing I thought SimCity was lacking, apart from functionality, usability, and playability, was pandering commercial advertisements. I’m so glad EA took the initiative to set up a deal with Nissan to sell advertising space in the beta-release candidate they charged their customers for. /sarcasm
Recently, EA won a “Worst Company in America” award for the second consecutive year. Whether or not you agree with that assessment, this experience is endemic to many of its games now. Incomplete pieces of drek released half-a-year too early, loaded to the gills with microtransaction-heavy content, and rife with draconian DRM measures punitive to the very customers it hopes to further squeeze for every last nickel and dime through blatant, over-the-top advertising. It is as though EA tried to make SimCity into Farmville, without the mindless fun, and failed in the attempt. SimCity, with its over-monetization, its under-delivery of practically every single expectation it was marketed on, its buggy interface, unforgiving multiplayer, frenetic budget and traffic dynamics, and absolute disregard for the gamer marks it as one of the worst games in the history of gaming.
Update: Since this editorial was written, EA launched a SimCity partnership with Crest Toothpaste to provide codes with purchases of their toothpaste and oral hygiene products redeemable for Garden Gnomes, Dinosaur statues, and Giant Balls of Twine as attractions in your city. You, too, can own one of the limited-time attractions above, or even a Llarry the Llama statue by purchasing a specially-marked Crest or Oral-B product at your supermarket today. While this may sound like a parody of every critical assessment of EA as caricatured by its detractors, rest assured, this is quite real and stunning in light of a game that still wouldn’t qualify as a beta test, even after "the big patch."