The more I think about Cities: Skylines, the more delighted I am at how it turned out. But I didn’t want to spend an entire article just gushing about the game. So instead I did a compare & contrast between Cities: Skylines and SimCity 2013. Spoiler: This comparison is not remotely fair and I don’t even feel bad.
And yes, this leads into more EA bashing. (I’m sure you saw that coming.) I’m not as angry as I might sound in the article. I’m actually just sad. The people at Maxis gave us four wonderful Simcity games before 2013, and they absolutely could have given us a fifth.
There’s a usual defense for when an EA game turns out poorly. “This is what the developer wanted to do! You can’t blame EA!” While none of us can really know what was said or done internally, I do find it implausible that so many innovative and creative peoplePeople who have invented entire genres of games!, once they are free of the immediate money pressure of being independent, suddenly decide that their heart’s desire is to make their beloved franchises into forced-online DLC vending machines. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but I am saying it doesn’t sound like the most likely of explanations.
I am reminded of the TUN video on BioWare:
Just so you don’t have to watch the whole thing: I’m talking about the part of the video where he points out how company values inevitably permeate downward through the layers of the company. If you’re looking to advance your career (and who isn’t?) then you’re going to do things that you believe will please your boss, and your boss will ask for things that will please their boss, and so on. This is why I’m always trying to push the blame uphill.
 People who have invented entire genres of games!
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