Will Wright, the original creator of SimCity, is not at all impressed with the launch woes which plagued the most recent release, although he did have praise for the game itself.
“I feel bad for the team. I kind of did predict there’d be a big backlash about the DRM stuff,” the former Maxis leader told an audience at the University of California’s Santa Cruz campus, as reported by GamesIndustry.
“It was kind of like, ‘EA is the evil empire, there was a lot of ‘Let’s bash EA over it. That was basically inexcusable, that you charge somebody $60 for a game and they can’t play it. I can understand the outrage. If I was a consumer buying the game and that happened to me, I’d feel the same.”
Wright seemed concerned about always-on DRM in general, and more specifically, about whether it was right for SimCity.
“I think people care if it doesn’t work. If you can’t play it on planes, stuff like that – I think there are some very valid concerns about it,” he said.
“Also there’s a perception; I don’t expect to play World of Warcraft on the airplane, because my perception is it has to be on the net. Sim City was in this very uncomfortable space, like the uncanny valley, almost; [it was caught] between was it a single player game or was it a multiplayer game?”
Returning to the question of whether EA deserved the kicking it got in the aftermath, Wright was diplomatic, pointing out that it’s a large company made of many divisions.
“It’s hard to talk about EA as this monolithic thing with one agenda. If you move back it’s like all these different studios going in slightly different directions; it’s almost more like a loose federation,” he said.
“It is going through a lot of restructuring right now, but I don’t even have the time to tune into it.”
The full article contains some interesting comments on Wright’s opinion regarding the industry’s present and future; do click through for the whole thing.
Wright founded Maxis in 1987, and it was acquired by EA in 1997. He left in 2003, and has two new teams called the Stupid Fun Club and Hive Mind, both of which seem to have been stymied by legal issues.