My Rant

I read and commented on Duskey's blog on In-game (Dynamic) advertisement, and it led me into thinking a bit more about the changing entity that is (or was) Maxis. For those unfamiliar with Maxis and the story behind its acquisition by Electronic Arts (EA), click here. EA's purchase and absorption of Maxis was different than other cases, where EA would buy a company and relatively quickly absorb its staff and bring it into the rest of the company. Maxis was purchased in 1997, and Maxis didn't vacate it's separate studio and join EA's headquarters until 2004.

This introduction to EA coincided with the premiere and subsequent success of The Sims franchise. The original The Sims was influenced heavily by Will Wright, and developed mainly through Maxis, despite thoughts in EA that the game would be a commercial failure. That influence that Maxis had over the original game and its expansions would carry over to The Sims 2, but by that time, EA's relationship with the franchise had changed dramatically.

While you absolutely cannot blame any company, including EA, for seeking a profit with an astronomically successful game franchise such as The Sims, in so doing, they begin to attack the very "wholesome" nature of the game itself, something which I doubt they are much aware of or would care much about if they knew. The Sims was created in spite of critical opinions at EA, and it was created by a team dedicated to its creation and success, not necessarily for a profit. While I don't doubt that everyone working on The Sims wanted the game to be financially successful, that wasn't their only motivation for creating the game. Today, however, it seems ever more apparent that The Sims series serves more as a cash cow for EA than as a creative experience. We've gone from Will Wright's dollhouse into a cross-platform commercial smash hit, and the unfortunate result is a loss of heart.

So in a way, I lament the loss of Maxis and its unique identity. They brought something to The Sims that, try as they might, EA simply cannot match. They gave the game its own style, feeling, and soul, something which has been exploited and used up to where it is now nearly extinguished. Don't misunderstand me; I have played and very much enjoy The Sims 3, but there's no denying, at least in my eyes, that this game is very different than what came before it. I commend the creators of TS3 with creating an entertaining game, but am saddened by the game's further loss of identity, and the levels to which EA will step to make a profit - I was and am critical of Stuff Packs, and to date have not purchased a single one; it seems to me that I shouldn't pay for something unless it somehow enhanses gameplay, which simply adding objects does not. Then with TS3, EA promoted the online Store and SimPoints (1000 were provided with The Sims 3, additional points can be purchased using real money), and now the announcement of the possibility for dynamic advertising (see Duskey's blog post) just shows how much EA is trying to capitalize from the success of the franchise.

What are your thoughts on this matter? Leave a comment below.

Random Find of the day

I actually found this welcome template yesterday:

Hi there!



Welcome to our wiki, and thank you for your contributions! There's a lot to do around here, so I hope you'll stay with us and make many more improvements.

Recent changes is a great first stop, because you can see what pages other people have been editing, and where you can help.
Questions? You can ask at the Help desk or on the "discussion" page associated with each article, or post a message on my talk page!
Need help? The Community Portal has an outline of the site, and pages to help you learn how to edit.
Please sign in every time you edit, so that we can recognise you!

I'm really happy to have you here, and look forward to contributing with you!

The template is used by typing {{subst:welcome|Your user name}} (be sure to un-italicize your username). I think it's really cool, but it would be sort of awkward to have multiple users post this on one talk page. I actually think it would be interesting to have multiple talk templates, for variety. The auto-greeting that new users receive from one of the admins (I assume whichever one is logged on at the time, otherwise A Morris) gets a bit repetative after awhile, in my opinion.

Well, that's all that's on my mind today. Leave a comment below. Thanks for reading! Blog posts]] Blog posts by LostInRiverview|T]]