Sim City Cities Of Tomorrow Expansion Pack Now Available

What will tomorrow look like? Build it today! EA today announced that the new SimCity expansion pack ‘Cities of Tomorrow’ is now available for PC and Mac at retail store and of course it is also available for digital download.

SimCity Cities of Tomorrow offers the more than two million players worldwide the opportunity to futurize every aspect of their cities with the help of plausible future technologies, giving players an entirely new way to dream about their city of the future. New MegaTowers, new city specializations, new future technology and new transportation methods will transform the way that cities take shape and evolve.

There is still no hint of providing us Sim City fans with larger maps for the game, but instead the developers are thinking vertically and increasing the amount of ‘city’ that you can squash into your plot.

“MegaTowers, futurization, and the battle between Green and Greed, these are the main foundations that drive an all-new experience in SimCity Cities of Tomorrow,” said Patrick Buechner, General Manager, Maxis Emeryville. “This expansion pack completely transforms how you play as you tackle the problems of tomorrow using plausible future technologies. But that technology comes as a price – the clean utopian world of The Academy requires a wealthy workforce that demands a higher style of living. OmegaCo, while extremely profitable, will take its toll on your Sims as the factories devour your natural resources and spit them back out in the form of harmful pollution. There is a new level of challenge waiting for you as the world pushes you back harder than ever before. The city of the future awaits; how it takes shape is up to you.”

Of course you will need the base SimCity game to play the new content, but you’ll still be able to join games with people who have / don’t have the content. The expansion pack is cross platform compatible and is at least one extra way to expand on the games limited construction spaces.

Thank you EA for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of EA.

Origin Servers Offline

If you are like me, you love your video games, staying up late nights playing your favorite games. This weekend Battlefield 3 is hosting a “Double XP Weekend”. Unfortunately players are unable to play any game that is hosted on Origin. They are having some form of server issues, though their server status site does not show any issues with any of their services. When you try to log into their website or into the Origin client to play a game it refuses to connect, giving you a simple message.

“Sorry! We are experiencing some technical difficulties. Please try again later.”

Issues arose at about 6AM this morning GMT, my game was glitching out when I decided to reload the game, when I started my game back up, I was unable to connect to servers. I closed my client down and continued to have issues. There are several games that have been affected by this server issue, including Battlefield 3, SimCity, FUT 13, Mass Effect 3 and Crysis 3.

Unfortunately, Origin has not posted a status update on their facebook page at this time, we can only hope that they will repair the issues swiftly.

Analysis: Were EA Right About SimCity? The Evidence Says That They Were!

It’s been two months now since the release of the latest Sim City, and it sure has been an adventure in terms of PR for both consumers and EA alike. Yet two months is a long time in the gaming world and people are quick to move onto the next farce and start yelling at that, forgetting whatever was wrong with Sim City in the first place.

For those of you who don’t know, when Sim City launched it caused a huge uproar from the public, most notably because people who had gone out and bought the game with their hard-earned cash couldn’t play it due to what is believed to be DRM.

EA’s defense was that they didn’t have enough bandwidth on their servers, which prevented people from playing because the game is so inherently dependent on online access for its social features. EA says it’s just like an MMO, it needs the internet to live and breathe as it should, as this way their vision of how the game would operate and it couldn’t do it without the internet. This has been widely debated to be a cover story for DRM, although personally I don’t think it is DRM, but I do believe its a system that acts like DRM, either directly, or indirectly.

Yet with all that fuss, the rage of the consumer seems to have dwindled and what was once a riot has reduced to a dull roar, even EA’s Facebook page is no longer endlessly trolled with hundred of comments about “you should fix you f***ing game” on every status they post.

Yet was it worth it, after all this fuss about DRM, piracy, always online gaming and gamers that can’t play their game due to server issues, has the system settled into place and does it work? Apparently, yes! Or should that be annoyingly yes? I’ll let you decide that one.

A quick search on Google shows that there are seemingly illegal downloads for the new Sim City, but on close inspection, all of them appear to be fake, or a virus disguised as an “offline play” patch. Some players have hacked the game to play offline, but not without draw backs and it seems some extensive re-coding would be required to fully obtain such a system and I doubt EA will rush to do that anytime soon.

Next stop, torrent websites, if you’ve never heard of them, you’ve had your head stuck in a box for the last few years! The Pirate Bay and countless others provide a source for illegal downloads and just about any game you can think of ends up here pretty quickly… except Sim City, or at least not the new one. A quick search of several of the big sites turns up nothing, I did find a few false positives that were already voted as fake, but that’s it, I couldn’t see any legit torrents for this game.

So what ever EA has done, they seem to be fixing it, there are less and less, or maybe even no reports that people can’t play the game anymore and while some may complain it’s not that great a game compared to other Sim City titles, that  isn’t the subject I want to discuss. DRM or no DRM, it doesn’t matter, EA has pretty much stamped out piracy of this game and if I’m honest, I’m not sure if this is a sign of good things to come, or a sign of a dark future for PC gaming.

EA may have been successful in stopping piracy for this game, but that doesn’t mean the game has been successful. The game would likely have done better without the online features or DRM and overall I think this is a scar that will take a long time to heal in gamers hearts, if it ever does heal that is. Stopping piracy is one thing, but it could have more negative side effects than it does positive ones, most likely in the form of end-user feedback, or worse, a drop in sales due to protest.

It’s been suggested that no one has cracked the game yet because no one likes it, and while I’m sure there are plenty of haters out there, ok a LOT of haters, there will be a lot of fans too. I expect that someone somewhere will crack this game soon enough, it will be pirated, but for now, EA’s security is holding, the question is, for how long. Either way, stripping the DRM like features of Sim City is likely too little too late to save this game.

Are you still playing Sim City? Or have you chosen to never play it at all, sound off in the comments section below as I’d love to know how you still feel about the game.

Of course, there is still a cure for those effect by Sim City 2013 and you can find it here.

EA’s CEO John Riccitiello Resigns, Larry Probst Takes Over Temporarily

After being in the company for six years, EA’s CEO John Riccitiello will no longer be working with the company from March 30th, 2013. He will also not be one of the board of directors. The decision was made by the CEO because the company missed its financial targets. In an internal memo.

“This is a tough decision, but it all comes down to accountability. The progress EA has made on transitioning to digital games and services is something I’m extremely proud of. However, it currently looks like we will come in at the low end of, or slightly below, the financial guidance we issued in January, and we have fallen short of the internal operating plan we set one year ago. EA’s shareholders and employees expect better and I am accountable for the miss. EA is an outstanding company with creative and talented employees, and it has been an honor to serve as the Company’s CEO. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and after six years I feel it is the right time for me pass the baton and let new leadership take the Company into its next phase of innovation and growth. I remain very optimistic about EA’s future; there is a world class team driving the Company’s transition to the next generation of game consoles.” Said Riccitiello

EA’s board of directors have decided that Larry Probst will be the CEO for the time being till the company can find a permanent CEO. Probst used to be the CEO of EA between 1991 and 2007, before Riccitello took over.

Probst said,”We thank John for his contributions to EA since he was appointed CEO in 2007, especially the passion, dedication and energy he brought to the Company every single day. John has worked hard to lead the Company through challenging transitions in our industry, and was instrumental in driving our very significant growth in digital revenues. We appreciate John’s leadership and the many important strategic initiatives he has driven for the Company. We have mutually agreed that this is the right time for a leadership transition.”

EA has been criticized by many gamers, even before SimCity goof-up. Publishers like EA have been having tough time ever since the trend of box retail games have been taken over by digital copy sales. SimCity has been under the line of fire ever since it was released. Only recenty had a gamer shown that the game can run in an offline mode, contrary to Maxis’ claim, after which Maxis admitted that the game ‘could’ run offline. Adding to the point that EA’s DLC has a significant impact on the overall storyline and the actual game experience is also one of many reasons many frown at EA’s offerings.

But on the bright side, to smooth things over EA decided to offer 1 free game out of this list of choices:

  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Standard Edition)
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

Will this be enough to satisfy gamers or will John’s resignation at least help the company in some way? Only time will tell and hopefully the replacement will help the company to grow.

Via: Dailytech

Tomb Raider Tops This Weeks UK Sales Charts, SimCity Takes 2nd Place.

Last week saw the release of the highly entertaining Tomb Raider, the new lease of life given to the Lara Croft sage by Crystal Dynamics and for any of you who have played it, its not hard to see why its at the top of the charts this week. So much so that I would expect to see it in the #10 for quite a while as word spreads of the games success.

This success has already cemented as the biggest game launch of 2013 (so far), beating the previous #1 spot that was held by the somewhat disappointing Aliens: Colonial Marines.

Next up we have the much troubled Sim City which, unless you’ve had your head buried in the ground this last week, you’ll have heard has been suffering some serious issues, most notably the online DRM servers that have been preventing a massive proportion of the gaming community from being able to play their single player game. The backlash against EA has been endless, and the pain runs deep with this one, yet that hasn’t stopped the game selling like crazy, landing the #2 spot this week and likely one of the better selling titles of the year. Lets just hope EA can sort out the DRM issues soon.

Crysis 3 is still going strong and so it should too, it’s easily one of the best shooters available right now, check out our review here.

  • Tomb Raider
  • SimCity
  • Naruto Ultimate Ninja Storm 3
  • The Sims 3: University Life
  • FIFA 13
  • Crysis 3
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
  • Far Cry 3
  • Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim