EA released an official public statement relating to the pools and toddlers not making the cut for The Sims 4. The post details how the team had to prioritize content based on all the new ground-up features they had to build for the latest sequel in the video game life simulator. The real question is: with basic features stripped to make a return at a later date, would die-hard fans still put money into EA’s coffers for basic features being resold as DLC?
So just recently EA had Maxis’ executive vice president, Rachel Franklin, churn out a lengthy post over on The Sims to delineate the situation involving the lack of toddlers and pools… even more-so than what producer Graham Nordone dolled out just a few days ago.
According to Franklin…
“It begins with new technology and systems that we built for this new base game for The Sims – a new AI system, new animation system, new audio positioning tools, new locomotion logic, new routing intelligence and much more are all entirely new in this game.”
In essence, Franklin is explaining that everything had to be built from the ground-up. In theory, this means that we shouldn’t see ANY reused or recycled animation or character assets, right? Because if everything had to be built up from the ground-up, everything should be brand spanking new and nothing should come from The Sims 3… right?
Well, Franklin puts the onus on the new technology – that because of the switch that some things had to be cut in order to meet Maxis’ “vision” for The Sims 4…
“The vision for The Sims 4 is a new experience that brings your Sims to life in deeper and uniquely personal ways – through emotions, personality traits, behaviors and interactions. To do that, our technology base needed a major upgrade.”
Doesn’t that sound awfully similar to another quote from Maxis’ general manager Lucy Bradshaw, who ran to the defense of Simcity’s always-on DRM – in a post over on EA – where Bradshaw stated that…
“So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes,” … “But we rejected that idea because it didn’t fit with our vision. We did not focus on the ‘single city in isolation’ that we have delivered in past SimCities.”
Marketing spiel at its finest… well, almost. The reality is that gamers can now see through the spiel like Rihanna’s dress at the CFDA awards.
We’ve ended up in a situation where EA has done more phoney apologizing to the gaming community than Bill Clinton did to Hilary after Lewinski’s stained dress made a court appearance.
There’s been so many recycled apologies over Battlefield, DRM, DLC, the NHL puck incident, the Scrabble fallout, the Mass Effect showdown and everything else in between that you could take those apologies and grow a garden over them after dumping them into a compost heap.
Yet gamers keep coming back for more.
There’s this battered-spouse syndrome that we keep seeing play out whenever EA strips a game down like a prison inmate during a cavity check, and then slowly re-release that same content like a weekly episode in a popular, premium television show.
But how long does this keep up? Will fans of The Sims buckle and buy into EA’s flimsy excuse for withholding content to sell at a later date? I mean, the only other alternative is that pools and toddlers are gone from The Sims 4 for good. But not adding expansion-attractive content to The Sims is like going a whole year without the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated; it’s just too tempting for the guys not to gander.
Cliffy B recently rolled out an excuse during AMA that big publishers will need to keep skimming content and pumping out day-one DLC, on-disc DLC and more microtransactions stuffed up the digital rectum of a $60 game than Tums trapped in the lower intestines of a chili-dog eating champion.
But why is it necessary to give these publishers this kind of leeway? How far is too far? When is enough, enough?
The Sims fans have long been loyal, and this recent move by EA seems to be a tipping point that could be the straw that broke the camel’s back, or that one affair that puts the hubby in the doghouse.
So, when EA eventually gets around to releasing toddlers and pools in an eventual expansion pack, are you going to bite the moral bullet and fold? Or will you stand your ground? Will you stick it to the man… and hold the wallet?