Sunday, March 9, 2008

This is Why EA Land Will Fail

The good ole' days in TSO, remember them? You know the time where you were still a newbie but so was everyone else? New adventures around every corner, new friends to give balloons to, and a couple of annoying people to slap around with your black leather glove? Yep, those were the golden days of TSO. It ended pretty quickly, but it'll always stick around in our memories. Now fast forward, pass the time where EA abandoned us, to today. Things look the same, we have new items and new features, but essentially things are the same right? No. This is why EAL will fail.

Bugs/Glitches. If you were apart of the TSO beta I'm sure to quite used to the bugs and glitches. But for us who joined a few months, or years, later this is something new to us. We never experienced these many bugs in our simmy lives. Roofs aren't there, lights give off a striped ambiance, random crashes to desktops, glitches that take away our items, and lags that could kill. There's no doubt that EAL is still in beta, but beta shouldn't always be hell. Beta is meant for there to be testing and a quick fixing of the game so it can go gold. Remember people, devs had 5 years experience with TSO, yet EAL is in "beta"? Sure, we know that the devs are doing "all they can" to fix our problems, but what impressions do these bugs make on new sims and especially returning sims? It tells them that this game is not a finished product so why waste anymore money? During the long break between moving EAL to the East Coast Server and merging EJ they should be quickly dealing with all of the bugs. In a recent town hall meeting, Greg told us that there's "No one working on roof bug yet."EAL will fail due to the lack of response by devs and the growing frustration from players.

New Economy. I'm sure that you know by now that there's a new "Dynamic" economy set up to mirror that of our real life capitalist economy. There's a system of "supply and demand" that raises retail prices of objects when alot of people buy them and decreases prices when no one buys them. The same "Dynamic" system is in play for real estate and payouts. It's been a little over a month now and we can clearly see that this new economy is not what we need right now. In EAL you're either rich from CC/Shops or just getting by. Sadly, not all of us can own a store or create Custom Content so what is there to do? Skill and make money through money houses! Grand idea, spending over 25 real life hours staring at our computer screen and then going to a money house to receive 52 simoleans a painting (on a good day). This economy is not meant for EAL. It only benefits the shop owners and their 20 accounts. Welcome lot owners have it the worst. We need an economy that rewards you for opening a Welcome lot and rewards you for cooking and giving advice to new sims. How can welcome lot owners benefit financially when their primary guests are newbies who have no game experience or job? This economy isn't even stopping botters from soaking up all the simoleans. Botters are still active and well. They may not be getting all the money that they were previously getting but 50k+ simoleans a day isn't that bad. EAL will fail due to the economy punishing sims with little to money and rewarding sims that use 3rd party programs to get money.

Botters. In EAL we refer to those who use 3rd party programs to gain simoleans as "botters". They've been around since the start of TSO. Always figuring out ways to exploit the system and succeed. During that time when EA abandoned TSO (2004-2007), which I will refer as the "Great Depression", botters ran rapid and we all thought they were ruining this game. When TSO's "savior" Luc showed up he pledged to restore TSO to it's full glory and get rid of the botters. A year later botters are still present and we're still paying the price for it. It seems as if the devs see the botters as clever, because in the 5 years TSO has been running, they have yet figured out a way to stop them. The devs thought the new economy would stop them, it only slowed them down. Now we're all waiting for the devs to present us with some unstoppable plan to defeat the botters. As we wait we're paying them 10$ and barely getting 3$ in payouts a month. EAL will fail due to the devs not being able to stop the botters. Today, we're still waiting...

ATMs. We've all seen these green blocks around on properties. They were introduced to give players a choice to buy simoleans with their real life currency, known as "cash-in". They're also designed to be able to transfer your simoleans into real life currency, known as "cash-out". I'm not saying that the physical ATM objects will make EAL fail it's the cash-in and cash-out. Ever since they introduced the idea on their blog there has been alot of controversy on the subject. Many think its a good idea for sims to buy simoleans to make a business of some sort and then cash-out to make a real life profit. While the majority of players believe that this system will only deepen EAL's grave. When people buy simoleans it isn't coming from EA's wallet, ATMs allow people to "buy" simoleans out of the economy. Not only do we suffer from this, but EA profits from it because they inject a ATM fee for themselves. With cash out, people are not putting the money back into the economy but instead putting it into their bank account. Win-win for EA, lose-lose for us sims. EAL will fail because of the burden of EAL's new economy and the ATM system.

EA Land. Yes, we all know the name is dumb and they could've been a litte bit more creative. Sims World, SimsVille, any thing but EA Land. But there is a specific reason why they chose EA Land. In the future they plan on bringing other EA games into EAL, a game mentioned by Parizad was "Need for Speed". Another reason is because they're moving EAL as far away from The Sims franchise as possible. TSO was huge for a few months and then turned out to be a major flop. The Sims franchise is known for having the top selling PC game and introducing a new brand of simulation to the market. There is no way they could continue to have TSO in their portfolio. That's why you'll see in the coming months the devs rename simoleans and will try to further separate The Sims and EAL. Ever since Maxis stopped having control over TSO in 2004, EA has ran TSO into the ground. EA has been against TSO ever since Will Wight introduced the concept. Don Hopkins, The Sims development team member, said in a past interview, "I recall that one of our most difficult accomplishments was convincing EA not to cancel the project". Luc was the one that let TSO live a little longer, but it seems as if that came to an end quick. EAL will fail because it's not the original concept of TSO.

In another quote by Dan Hopkins he says,"I don't think the lack of user created content is the only reason The Sims Online is a failure, but I think it's an extremely important one that EA went out on a limb and promised, but never executed on."

TSO used to be Will Wright's(The Sims creator) favorite game. A joyful game to played by all gamers. The good ole' days, remember? That's all we can do, just....remember.

Drop us a comment! Be sure to keep checking out the EAL Herald for "How EAL Can Survive".


John said...

Very True.. Nice Article as always!

Anonymous said...

What you say is true. I predict a short life for EA Land.

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