What Happened to The Sims?

Rad Party God

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Feb 23, 2010
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Jeremy Monken said:
Sims 4 is going to be free-to-play, but in the free version you'll just be a penniless beggar, trying to get enough simoleans to eat.
Somehow, this sounds more enticing than what The Sims 3 turned out to be.
 

MissGinaKid

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I consider myself a pretty big fan of the sims 3 in particular and while I can agree with a lot of the stuff your saying, things are starting to get better. Starting around last year The dev team seems to be filling the expansion packs a lot more content with things more people want (Katy perry editions not withstanding). The towns sold at the store are incredibly overpriced but they too have been getting better too with more thought and effort put into them. Thanks to twitter some of the producers even answer questions the fans have and acknowledge their complaints. It's just a shame that the games took two years to get to this point but i plan on sticking around and hoping sims 4 will get the bright start that the sims 3 deserved.
 

immortalfrieza

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MasterOfHisOwnDomain said:
As someone who bought The Sims 3 from its release (and bought all previous games), I found this a really good article. I've already stopped playing the original title and haven't bought any of the EPs. I've finally been broken by the lengths that the developers go to withhold content to the player.

As you rightly say, weather and seasons and a multitude of other features should be part of the original title, not continually repackaged as EPs -- they had an excuse with the The Sims 2: Seasons, because it hadn't been done up till that point. But to just release the same content with each new generation?
Exactly. EA should've had all the EP and base game content from the Sims 2 in the Sims 3 base game from the start, and the EPs for Sims 3 should have been new stuff and things that expanded on the previous stuff.

Not to mention sell the EPs for what they're actually worth. Even the best Sims 3 EPs were only added in about 1/5th of the base game's amount of content and they're sold for 4 times what they are actually worth. I liked it better when they charged $30 for their expansion packs and at least gave buyers 1000 points simpoints($10 worth) with each expansion so people felt much less ripped off.

The rabbit holes are one of worst parts though, even if the player wasn't able to affect things directly the rabbit holes should've actually shown what your sim was doing in them, instead of just showing some text boxes every few minutes. Haven't the Sims 3 development team heard of "show don't tell?" Besides, they could have made the rabbit holes stuff as involved and interesting as the world adventures tombs, the time machine especially would have been fun to do.

Now, I love the Sims 3, but I haven't gotten all the stuff packs and skipped that weird singer who's name escapes me right now's pack. There's quite a few things that they really dropped the ball on that would have been incredibly awesome, but they charge way too much for everything.

Captcha: First Post! Way too late Captcha.
 

antipunt

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Jan 3, 2009
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I never understood why my passion for the Sims died after Sims 3's release.
Maybe something about the way the characters look? o_O

I honestly am not sure, but -something- happened, and it became really ho-hum/boring to me. Felt like... 'work''......ish
the magic died >_>
 

Evil Smurf

Admin of Catoholics Anonymous
Nov 11, 2011
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my brother plays it because he likes to play out his mass murdering fantasies
 

likalaruku

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Good thing I haven't gotten this far in the franchise yet; I'm still holding my breath for Sims 2 Complete Collection. I can't be assed to buy the expansion packs separately.
 

Lethos

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Aikayai said:
Took me a while but ノー(iie) and EA sound the same. ノー (iie) is Japanese for no.

So they knew all along...

On topic, good article. My partner will be happy to hear that she hasn't wasted her money.
You've said "noo" in katakana there. Iie wouuld be in hiragana, and it would be いいえ.

....Sorry, I'm bored...

OT: Good article. I still have the Sims 2 on my shelf, might think of reinstalling it.
 

krazykidd

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Mar 22, 2008
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Well there's your problem . Like you said yourself , you ( and millions of other gamers ) are hypocrits . You keep feeding EA money regardless . Obvious solution is obvious .
 

Chrono212

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May 19, 2009
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I know there's a bandwagon of hating EA here, but why isn't Maxis getting any flack?

As the developer, shouldn't they have some input as to the way that things are implemented or created for expansions?

Granted things like 'take the weather out so we can put it in an expansion' is something an executive would say, but the Katy Perry expansion?
Why shouldn't that be good?

On the other hand, it became clear as I wrote this that everything mentioned is a marketing exercise.

The aforementioned executives would hand down instructions like 'we have a Katy Perry licence, use it. Don't care how, just makes something for the next quarter' and then, voila, crappy expansions.

/gross simplifications

It's a shame that Maxis is having to dance to the tune of suits, but what are ya gonna do? I played The Sims 2 when it came on 4 disks(!) and enjoyed the huge jump in terms of gameplay and graphics from The Sims.

At least SimCity 5 looks good...right?
 

rayen020

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May 20, 2009
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MAxis was a great company. Will Wright is a phenomenal developer. However under the thumb of EA and their perplexing cruel corporate environment nothing of value or greatness can be wrung. Spore, Simcity, the Sims. And lets not bring up Mythic and bioware, or how we'll never see a Star wars battlefield 3 as Pandemic got run into the ground...

EA is a plague on our genre and self destructive and run on corporate greed. Do NOT buy their games. Do NOT use Origin.
 

karamazovnew

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Apr 4, 2011
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While Sims3 had a few good ideas, Sims 2 is still better (with all of its 9 or so expansions). Yes, it does take a few DAYS to install, and don't ever expect to uninstall it, but gameplay-wise, it's great. If there was ONE thing that would get me to play Sims 3 (or Sims 4 for that matter), it would be a first person way to play the game. Otherwise, Sims 2 looks great and does the job.

And, with the risk of repeating myself "FIRST PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!". ffs...
 
Apr 28, 2008
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Sims has always been an odd beast for me. I'd start playing it, get extremely into it for a couple of weeks, then not play it for a year or so. Happens every couple of years.

Shame to see the franchise in this state. Sad to see what fans have to put up with.

orangeapples said:
Don't worry Sims fans. There is a legion of people dating back to the mid 90s (and probably before) who have seen their favorite franchises destroyed by EA. You're not alone.
*cries quietly into his old Command and Conquer games*
 
Apr 28, 2008
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rayen020 said:
MAxis was a great company. Will Wright is a phenomenal developer. However under the thumb of EA and their perplexing cruel corporate environment nothing of value or greatness can be wrung. Spore, Simcity, the Sims. And lets not bring up Mythic and bioware, or how we'll never see a Star wars battlefield 3 as Pandemic got run into the ground...

EA is a plague on our genre and self destructive and run on corporate greed. Do NOT buy their games. Do NOT use Origin.
Indeed. Though, we still would have gotten a Battlefield 3. And even Timesplitters 4!

But then... Lucasarts [http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-05-04-free-radical-vs-the-monsters].

*quietly weeps into Battlefront 2 and Timesplitters 2*
 

Legion

Were it so easy
Oct 2, 2008
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My issue with the later edition of the Sims were that the expansion packs basically contained what should have been in the game in the first place.

For example in the first one they started off basic, then added holidays and pets and so on.

So you'd think that the sequel would have them things as basic and add new stuff, but no, they then create a new game that is basic, and try and add the same kind of thing via expansion again, despite the only real difference being a slight graphical change.

Then they release a third game and try the same thing again.
 

DeathQuaker

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Oct 29, 2008
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Good article; the Sims is not what it used to be and neither the franchise nor its fans have been treated with respect. While the article covers a lot of major issues, three things to add that weren't covered or not covered adequately:

1. Origin is also a factor. Once it came out, you needed Origin to download new stuff for the Sims--if you wanted stuff from the Store anyway. Some folks didn't want Origin, and when it first come out, its integration was clunky and--surprise surprise--caused crashes.

2. It's not the Rabbit Holes themselves, it's how they implemented them, and the potential content REMOVED because of them. If the Rabbit Holes ONLY did what you covered -- provided buildings for Sims to disappear into while they worked -- they'd be fine because they would then, indeed, be an improvement over the previous games' implementation of Sim work. BUT the Rabbit Holes ALSO replaced Sim restaurants and businesses--in previous games, you could walk into and run shops and restaurants. The Sims 3 Rabbit Holes not only represent workplaces, but also represent grocery stores, bookstores, restaurants, spas, and other buildings that in the Sims 1 and Sims 2 you could build and go inside and experience. While the World Adventures, Ambitions, and Nightlife expansions added some go-inside, fully buildable venues to a degree, never actually to the complexity or degree of previous games -- to this day, to my knowledge, you can still not build (Sims 1: Hot Date, Sims 2 Core) or have a Sim run (Sims 2: Open For Business) a proper restaurant. And it is harder to build businesses, and you cannot have playable Sims run them (something that became an expectation after the wildly popular and successful Open For Business expansion in the Sims 2). So Simmers were disappointed because the Rabbit Holes did not add content--or what they did add was very little--but that they in fact took away content that to this day has never been fully re-added, not even in expansions.

3. The issue with the "Katy Perry Expansion" wasn't the Katy Perry bits --- it was that the Sims 3 Showtime was 1/3 a repeat of Sims 3 Nightlife but this time with singers instead of bands, and 1/3 a Facebook app, and 1/3 a "social function" called SimPort which requires people to play online and hope they get people to play with them and can only unlock certain content if you use. With all the ideas for expansions that one could implement, this was sorely disappointing to say the least.

I loved all of the Sims games and I love the many innovations in the Sims 3 -- the seamless neighborhood is amazing, I love the story mode (even if that feature is very controversial amongst fans), I love the Create a Style, I LOVED the dungeon crawling and adventuring mechanic in the 1st expansion -- but even I don't buy Sims products any more. I stopped after Nightlife, which was a bit lackluster, and moreover, after I purchased items in the Sims Store which failed to properly download and install on my machine, and EA Customer Service's response was basically, in so many words, "Sucks to be you." I also didn't want to deal with Origin. I keep a close eye on it, always hoping to see if a new expansion will be released that will feel worth buying or to see if finally, finally, the game breaking bugs in the first expansion, World Adventures, will actually be fixed. But I don't expect anything -- if I never buy anything Sims again, it will not come as a surprise to me.

The thing is, since Sims is more and more churning out disgruntled customers -- it's a ripe stage for an indie developer to come up with their own take on any or all of a modern life simulator, storytelling engine, or machinima creation toolset. Even if the dissatisfied Simmers are a few thousand or million out of the many more millions of suckers who still pay for incomplete, buggy, nickel-and-diming software and thank EA for it, that few thousand or million folks would be more than enough to support a dedicated younger developer and the projects they have to come.
 

DeathQuaker

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Chrono212 said:
I know there's a bandwagon of hating EA here, but why isn't Maxis getting any flack?

As the developer, shouldn't they have some input as to the way that things are implemented or created for expansions?
Maxis does not directly work on the Sims anymore, since the Sims 3 began. They have a subsidiary office the Sims Studio [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sims_Studio] that work on it, and are pretty much directly under the heel of EA. There's only so much you can object to or refuse to do in that circumstance (as I think you yourself allude to).

Maxis also is pretty much nothing what it used to be -- many of its notable designers, especially Wil Wright, who created the Sims -- no longer work for it.
 

putowtin

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kiri2tsubasa said:
Am I in the minority that got the first Sims game (no expansions) and found it be so boring, yet with the Sims 3, and many of the expansion packs I am having more fun then I ever had with the first in the series?
no you're not!

Sims 1 at the end of the day was an house building sim with some characters thrown it, they didn't age, and didn't really do much at all (until the later expansions)

I'vew just gotten back into the sims 3 and love the new expansion (although one of my mods is making it crash at the mo)
 

Lightspeaker

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Well written article but honestly its not just The Sims.

Dragon Age, Mass Effect, The Sims, Command and Conquer, etc etc. The list goes on of game series that EA's philosophy, decisions and design influence have either damaged or totally ruined. Its not just The Sims, they've been building up to this for years. The most recent one being ME3 which they included day-1 DLC, apparently short deadlines resulting in rushed writing and microtransactions for MP items for an MP thing you basically HAVE to play (although in fairness paying anything is voluntary).