SimCity: ‘harsh reviews are fair’, says studio manager

Thursday, 14th March 2013 12:05 GMT By Dave Cook

SimCity’s launch has been fraught with turmoil, thanks to server issues, DRM finger-pointing and reviews that slam the game based on server-side problems instead of on merit. In a new interview, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw has stated that the criticism is perfectly understandable and fair.

Speaking with CVG on the game’s issues, Bradshaw said, “We understand that there are some people who reviewing SimCity on its merits as a game, and some are reviewing it on its merits as a service. To that degree, I don’t disagree with the way in which reviews have been handled.

Some may call it unfair that we are being punished for our server issues, but it is fair. SimCity is an online game and everyone – fans and critics – have every right to expect the experience to be smooth from start to finish. My hope is that some of those reviewers will revisit the game now that we have smoothed out that experience.”

Although Bradshaw’s sentiment can be applauded, at the end of the day many gamers and critics seemed to overlook the fact that people have worked on this game for many, many years, and there’s no way that they wanted this messy launch to happen. That’d just be madness.

Bradshaw continued, “I’ve been at the Maxis studio almost 24/7 since we launched on March 5 and I have an open rapport with each and every one of them. I’ve been a part of Maxis since 1997 when I was brought in to oversee development on SimCity 3000 and I’ve worked with a number of people on the team for years.

“I feel like I let them down, this was my responsibility, but I tell them what we all know: SimCity is a wonderful game and that we should all be proud of the effort that went into making it. I’m taking every step possible to bring the game to stability so that the rest of the world can enjoy all of their hard work.”

To play catch-up with the SimCity launch issues, read my full report on the matter here.



  1. KrazyKraut

    well…thank you for being so merciful sir. thanks for accepting and facing the truth.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    @1 She’s a woman. Did you read the article?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. OwnedWhenStoned

    My problem is the reviews weren’t harsh enough.

    Yes the server issue was a disaster, but the game itself has issues that I didn’t see on many reviews.

    Just playing it for a couple of hours you start to see elementary pathfinding problems, which in a game like this are a gameplay disaster.

    Yet I saw a load of 10/10 or 9/10 reviews that suggest either:

    1.The reviewers didn’t play the game for very long, or:

    2.They intended to give it 9/10 or 10/10 regardless.

    My tinfoil hat says it’s the latter.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Faceless

    I really loathe the notion that something should be appreciated purely based on how much work went into it. I can’t speak for the education of the entire world, but I personally went to school where teachers would be obliged to mark me down for errors in my work even if I wholeheartedly put a lot of honest effort into it.

    Great rapport between employees, belief in what you do and even laudable business ethics are not what a game should be rated for. You are rating the game. Undue sympathy for developers in the world of video game journalism is excusing bad decisions and encouraging other developers to commit the same mistakes.

    This SimCity is abhorrent on many levels and developers deserve the criticism.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. TheWulf

    It’s just a shame that they’re adopting Blizzard’s path of DRM. We all saw how well that worked out for Blizzard. The fact of the matter is that we don’t have the worldwide infrastructure to actually support DRM like that, yet. So every game like this is going to be an abject failure.

    That’s one thing that bothers me about EA. I know they’re doing it for their investors, but I hope they wise up soon. This is one thing that will lose them customers quicker than anything else. And aside from some missteps, I still have some degree of faith in them (Mirror’s Edge, the original Dead Space, and Mass Effect 3 could only have existed at EA).

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OwnedWhenStoned

    @5 Yes, the DRM is annoying. But that’s working now, abhorrent though it is. What isn’t working properly is the game. It’s quite broken even without the DRM.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Lewis247

    This game is literally getting ripped apart day by day. Why the fuck has EA not learned? I hope that the problems with this game echoes throughout the industry and we never see such an abomination of DRM ever ever again.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. SplatteredHouse

    @7: Has anybody stopped to ask WHY the game is being so scrutinised/examined? It’ll be because the publisher has already shown itself to be quite apt at presenting lies and smokescreens to paying consumers. So, the question is left to the imagination: What else are they trying to mislead “me” with. How much more are they hoping I wouldn’t find under the rug? :(

    It’s actually proving to be an incredibly unwise stance to have taken, because, spurred on by public irritation and disillusionment, cracks are getting a lot more attention, the work of crackers and decompilists are receiving plenty more interest than they otherwise would have – and, I can’t say that if a working, offline version of the game were to appear, in the wake of whatever you want to refer to EA/Maxis’ handling of Simcity as…If such a solution were to result from this botch, I cannot say I would condemn it. I AM sure though, that it is unlikely that either publisher or developer will receive a penny of my money, as far as this game goes.

    “at the end of the day many gamers and critics seemed to overlook the fact that people have worked on this game for many, many years” Cry me a river, Dave! People paid for a service that they were led to believe they would receive, and that did not happen. I wouldn’t blame anyone who felt they’d been thoroughly led up the garden path by EA (worse though, that that should occur on the back of a high-profile case of deception.)

    #8 2 years ago
  9. KrazyKraut

    Sorry Dave, at work. only time for headlines ^^

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Cobra951

    “. . . slam the game based on server-side problems instead of on merit.”

    Hmm?! What users install is not the entire product [but see edit below]. Part of the game resides on the server. If the server has problems, so does the game.

    Edit: I missed the bit about some hacker enabling the game to go offline. Ha! If true, then ironically the game can be evaluated on its own merit, and the server issues can be downplayed.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. SplatteredHouse

    @10: How much of it resides on that server?>

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Cobra951

    @11: Yes, now I know! Full disclosure: I modified my previous comment accordingly.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. ps3fanboy

    ea see this as a success, the game are now a top seller because of all the people that got scammed and casual suckers that did bite the bait… so ea are just gonna continue with the next scam and nothing learned. sad but true…….

    #13 2 years ago

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