Posts Tagged Maxis

Dear “Maxis”

Dear “Maxis,”

After buying the first Sims 3 expansion called World Adventures, I have to say that I’m extremely disappointed but I’ve figured out what your deal is now. As I was doing the totally inane “push-block and get-prize” activity, I realized that I’d felt all of this before. And where? From your last project of heaping dung – Spore. After making it through exactly one activity, I put down the Sims 3 and I haven’t picked it up again.

On the other hand, I’ve figured out exactly what your deal is. You’ve managed to create a series of instructional games for people wanting to know how to play real big boy games. Spore was all about creating miniture versions of RTS and City/Empire Builder games, but dumbed down to the point that it was boring and with a UI designed for simplicity, not efficiency. In other words, it was not only boring due a major lack of any complexity, but actually trying to use the functionality was an exercise in extreme frustration. With World Adventures, you’ve managed to give people training wheels for the “Lara Croft as Tomb Raider” puzzle-style adventure games.


I’ve grown to hate you “Maxis” and at this point I don’t want you to create SimCity 5 because you’ll ruin it, just like you’ve ruined the Sims. You’ve taken all the tongue in cheek fun out of the game! Examples:

1) Woohoo is no longer firework explosions and “Grrs!” but harp music and floating hearts.
2) No hottub. No. Hot. Tub. For fuck’s sake, REALLY?
3) This was the preview for Sims 2:

I can’t in a million billion years imagine you doing something like that again. You’re too boring and stupid and tame. You’ve forced me to put your name into scare quotes!

So fuck you “Maxis” and fuck the products you’re producing. I will not be fueling your demise with my money from this point forward.



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Dear EA, from a Fan of SimCity

Dear EA,

I really wish I was writing this to Maxis, but both you and I know that Maxis is nothing more than a rapidly fading brand, with the real talent working in the Sims division now. Not that they’re doing bad work mind you, just that I notice the Maxis label disappearing. Add to that Will Wright being off in his own studio developing Spore, a title that also appears to be missing the word Maxis. My guess is that in five or ten years or so, after everyone’s completely forgotten about Maxis, you’ll probably start slapping “Maxis” all over various things that have some sort of Sim component to them and you’ll be branded as original and edgy, and it’ll be great PR. With that said, without you Maxis would probably not even exist today the way they were heading, and they would’ve been snapped up and used as a mask the same way that Infogrames did with Atari. In some ways, I think that’s a worse fate.

The reason I wish I was talking to Maxis right now though is because if it were truly Maxis, I wouldn’t be needing to write this. What I’m here to ask about is when we’re going to get a new SimCity game, the flagship Maxis product. Yes yes, I know there’s something out there you’re calling SimCity Societies which has absolutely nothing to do with the series, which is why I’m talking about a getting a REAL SimCity game in my hands again. Do you really think Maxis would let their flagship product go nearly 5 years without a new version?

I love SimCity. Much like my relationship with the Civilization series, I started playing SimCity in High School and was completely and totally hooked. I bought SimCity 2000, 3000, and 4 the day they were released. I grew up with this series, I’ve watched it evolve into something truly incredible… for 2003. Since then you’ve let it stagnate. I’ve kept waiting and waiting and waiting… you release a cutsie version for the DS based on 3000, but I’m still waiting for the real thing.

Finally, there comes an annoucement – new SimCity title! And then I learn it’s Societies and, yes, it felt a bit like a betrayal. As I said, that’s not a SimCity game and it’s not what I want. Because it’s not what I want, I’ll exercise my vote as a consumer – I’m not going to buy it. Besides, why reward your bad behavior?

Look, I know I’m a hardcore fan. But you obviously know there are lots of us out there. We’re the people who’ve continued to modify and expand the last version of the game through sites like SimTropolis and it’s STEX. Hell, at this point, I’d take SimCity 4 with a tuneup and the top addons from the STEX integrated in.

But I shouldn’t have to.

Look EA, it’s time you made another REAL SimCity game. I know that Will Wright has said that the game has become too complicated for the beggining user and that’s understandable because SimCity 4 was complicated. But your team is a master of great UI – why not create a tiered system of controls and automata? Those who are starting out will have the background stuff taken care of for them and less options on the screen, but those who already understand the underlying mechanics can tweak it to their heart’s content. Create a great tutorial system to show off the power of the game. And as we all know, directly from both SimCity and the Sims, if you build into the game a way for people to create their own addons to expand the game even further the community will do it.

Give us a new SimCity game EA. Make it good and people will buy it and you will make money. In your heart of hearts, isn’t that what really matters? What are you waiting for?

Thank you,
A SimCity Fan

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