Obnoxious, Entitled Gamers

So I’ve spent the last couple days playing SimCity, a statement which might cause many to accuse me of lying. But, no, I’ve actually been playing, and enjoying, the game. I’ve had a couple minor problems here and there, but nothing I wouldn’t have expected. I did have to wait in a queue earlier today, but that queue was only 23 minutes total, and while bad, that’s nothing compared with logging into WoW right after an expansion drops.

The reason I had a slight problem, and that many, many people have had bigger problems, is because even though this is a mostly single-player game, EA, the publisher, requires that you have an active internet connection the entire time you are playing. This is designed to combat piracy.

Of course the gaming community is whining about this in principle, accusing EA of “greed” for wanting to make money off something they probably spent tens of millions of dollars to create. Just check out basically any comments section of any review and get ready for some hardcore bitching.

Not surprisingly, I have a few thoughts on this.

1. This is an entirely self-inflicted wound on the gaming community. If you’ve ever downloaded, copied or played a game that wasn’t paid for, you’ve committed theft. This includes myself, as far back as the Apple II E days where I somehow got my hands on some floppies of games (I’m not being coy by saying “somehow”. I honestly don’t remember where I got them). I haven’t done this in a very, very long time, but I did do it when I was younger. Lots of people still do it.

Piracy is theft and is unacceptable. It costs companies millions of dollars, and while they often still make a profit on the titles they sell, there’s no reason they should make less of a profit because some gamer thinks they, the gamer, have a right to not pay for it. If software theft were a thing of the past, EA wouldn’t have to have this kind of slightly oppressive DRM (which Blizzard also uses). They could instead let everyone have the game without restriction and simply use product codes or the like to ensure there are only originals and no copies.

Of course the whiners will whine that thieves are going to steal anyhow, and so shouldn’t they still be entitled to play without having to deal with EA’s online system, Origin? No. The hardcore thieves are going to find a way around the protection, yes, but it’s more designed to stop the casual thieves from stealing.

2. This is not a matter of EA being “greedy”. As I pointed out above, this game probably cost tens of millions of dollars to make. If it’s less than $50 million, I’ll be surprised. Them wanting to make a profit on the game is not “greed”, rather it’s “remaining in business so that future games can be made”. If you don’t want EA to make money, you’re saying you don’t want them to make more games. If you think they’re being at all greedy by trying to get as many people as possible to pay for their product instead of stealing it, then you’re a fucking idiot.

Of course I know that by this time next week, assuming the servers are all working correctly, then all this will be a thing of the past and everyone will stop worrying about it. I hope so, anyhow. But in the meantime, sheesh…stop whining, gamers!

One Response to “Obnoxious, Entitled Gamers”

  1. Bryan Says:

    Well, as I actually HAVEN’T downloaded any games without paying, I think I’m entitled to complain a bit. I understand the need to fight piracy, but there’s got to be a better way to fight piracy than an “always-online” requirement. Because for a lot of people (thankfully not me at the moment) it’s simply unrealistic to maintain a constant connection like that. When I was deployed in Afghanistan last year, Internet access was spotty at best. Add in the horrific wait times and I would have been lucky to ever get to play at all. Now for an MMORPG or such, an online requirement is understandable; it’s an online game by nature. But SimCity can be played alone just as well.
    And it’s not pirates’ fault that they can’t keep their servers up. Moreover, I’m not going to criticize someone who pays $60 for a product and then can’t use that product due to incompetence on Maxis/EA’s part. Being able to play a game you paid for his hardly an unreasonable request.
    I was originally going to pick up this game on Day 1 but didn’t make it to the store (errands, long story). Now I’m glad I didn’t. This, combined with EA’s decision to remove a lot of content and sell it back to us as DLC, has completely turned me against this game. I’m willing to pay for my games (like I said, I’m a pretty anti-download person) but I don’t like it when they push their luck with microtransactions and “on-disc” DLC.
    And please don’t give me the “It’ll be fine in a week or so, so stop crying” bit. Would they allow a post-dated check as payment? “Thanks for the game, just remember to wait a week before processing that payment. I swear it’ll be good by then.”
    No company on Earth would allow that, so they should give customers the same respect. The moment money changes hands, the game should be good to go.

    I sympathize with their desire to fight piracy, but screwing over good paying customers (and then saying stuff like “well, you probably downloaded stuff for free once so it’s your fault anyway”) is not the way to go.

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