Quote of the Day: This Is Why We Cannot Have Nice Things

Some people will say that it isn’t reasonable to expect an online game to run on release day. I don’t agree with that. Just because incompetence is widespread, that doesn’t mean that customers have to put up with it. The game companies have no problem of charging me either in advance or the moment I buy the game, so unless they are willing to postpone taking my money, I don’t see why I should have to postpone my expectation to be able to play the game.

Tobold writes about incompetence. The first commenter hits the nail on the head for malice: it is not profitable to build enough infrastructure for Day One, so let the players suffer until it settles down, you already have their money anyway. My perspective on Origin has not been improved by this new data point, whatever the explanation.

: Zubon

7 thoughts on “Quote of the Day: This Is Why We Cannot Have Nice Things”

  1. The next step isn’t better day one server management. The next step is turning down the inflow to a trickle. Invite only start up, queueing like the new iOS Mail app (whose name escapes me). A really good, long term mmo like game is going to go the gmail route someday. Seed a few, give them invites, grow it organically.

    I KNEW I was being an idiot when I preordered SimCity “Deluxe”, but franchises I got hooked on when I was a child with no money completely bypass my adult responsibility centers.

  2. I do have to wonder why SimCity’s launch woes in and of itself would have anything to do with your opinion of Origin? If it were a Steam purchase or an Impulse purchase or a box purchase from [insert software reseller here] the end result would be the same: SimCity’s server infrastructure was not ready for the heavy launch influx.

    Origin is just the digital distribution platform. People seem to forget how crappy Steam was in its first few years…

    1. If there was an offline option, the server problems would not be as major an issue (people could just tool around in singleplayer and wait out the hiccups). It’s the forced-always-online ‘feature’ that people are hating on, not ‘Origin’. People resent useless barriers in the way of playing the game they paid for, and that’s totally legitimate.

  3. With physical media, you can control the rate of inflow by rationing the availability of boxes in retail. In the brave new digital distribution world, we’ve seen publishers halt their digital sales until their infrastructure could catch up.
    When the publisher does neither, incompetence seems like a fitting verdict. Greed may be another.

  4. With MMOs, I’m often willing to accept that devs are building a very large, complex system, and some problems won’t arise until there are a lot of people doing everything they can within it. Bugs and stuff are understandable if they’re things that the devs honestly didn’t know about to fix during their own testing – as long as they actually did thorough testing, I forgive it.

    Sadly though, it’s true that it’s more profitable to sell, launch, and patch later, and extensive testing before launch is a waste of money and resources from a purely commercial perspective. I’d like to trust that devs are doing everything they can, but a lot of the time, let’s face it, that trust would be misplaced – most are out to make money, on the whole.

  5. re: ” it’s more profitable to let the game be unplayable for a large part of the customers the first few days then it is to spend money on extra capacity.”

    I am more inclined to agree with Tobold that this is incompetence rather than malice. We will never know how many prospective purchases have been delayed/cancelled as a result of this terrible launch. But I would suggest that the negative PR will cost a lot more in sales than having additional bandwidth/virtual servers for a few days.

  6. The core problem is people rewarding failure. Giving EA $60 for SimCity lets them know that they can bend you over again next time. It’s D3 all over again.

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