Will we ever trust SimCity again?

by: John -
Maxis has released a major patch for SimCity, but reports are it that it introduces a whole slew of brand new bugs, some that can be pretty devastating. From traffic problems to pollution issues, it seems that SimCity is now on that vicious cycle of fix a few problems, make new ones. 

As one who has enjoyed past SimCity games, the question to me is not if they fix ever it now, but will the SimCity brand ever be trusted again? After all that’s been said about this game and after all the issues that users have ran into, will it ever be possible for EA and Maxis to put out another successful SimCity game?

Let’s say Maxis decides to issue a new SimCity release a few years on down the road. Perhaps they’ve learned their lesson and decide to make a SimCity game that people are used to and advertise it as so. Again, they throw out some previews that look good and offer up some deals on anyone that pre-orders. How many who have pre-ordered will again pre-order the new release? How many people do you think will give Maxis another shot because of how SimCity has been handled? I know many of my friends who aren’t even hard core gamers who made the purchase won’t be doing so. Even I’m a little leery to do any pre-purchasing of games again because of this. But do you think EA and Maxis will have an easy time trying to persuade those folks to come back to the franchise again with all that’s transpired?

 

Creating a brand is tough, but destroying a brand is easy. It doesn’t take much to take a beloved franchise or product and have your consumers turn against it relatively quickly. It’s definitely not fair, but it’s the world we live in now. A few mistakes, or even one mistake can set the wheels in motion making it hard to get your fans to come back and trust you again. You could churn out five great products in a row, but it just takes that one misstep to undo all the good you’ve accomplished in the past.

And this is what seems to be happening here with SimCity. To me, that’s something I am more disappointed about than a game that had a ton of hype, but has failed in many aspects. I want to love SimCity. I want to enjoy the game that Maxis has developed. As a developer myself, I feel for the guys who have worked on this game for many hours only to see it being torn apart left and right by the media and social networks. But that doesn’t change the fact that SimCity is a subpar game with many issues to keep it from being enjoyable both alone and with friends and a lot of damage has been done to the reputation of the series.

So that brings up the question, what can be done to right this ship? Should EA and Maxis try and make another SimCity game? Should they get someone else internally to create one? You know EA and Maxis won’t sell the IP to another studio. I don’t know the answer and maybe there isn’t one, but they have to find a way to gain the trust back of old and, what would have been, new fans to the series.

Fixing the current game goes a long way, but I’m afraid people have lost their patience. Two months after release and SimCity’s still a long ways from being a fun game to play. The damage has been done and it looks to continue to get worse as time goes on. Deep down, I do hope Maxis fixes it because I’d hate to see what this great IP has become. Yes, there are other city building IP’s out there, but SimCity was one you could count on to provide you with fun and engaging gameplay done by the company that really started it all back in 1989. I’d love to get that feeling back that I once had playing SimCity into the wee hours of the night. I sure hope it does come back with the franchise I have fond memories of over the years.
 
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