Tobold's Blog
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Which free game will you get as SimCity compensation?

As I suspected, the free game EA promised as compensation for all the SimCity problems isn't much. You only get the choice between the following games:

  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)

  • Bejeweled 3

  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)

  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)

  • MOHW (Standard Edition)

  • NFS Most Wanted (Standard Edition)

  • Plants vs. Zombies

  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition
    The games will be available for download from this weekend on until the end of the month. The only good thing about this list is that I only have the last two games on it. I never really got into the Mass Effect series, and only played the start of the first one. And I don't own all that many shooter games. So after looking at reviews, I think for me the choice comes down to either Battlefield 3 or Mass Effect 3, leaning towards the former.
    What free game are you going to take? Do you think this is adequate compensation for SimCity?


    What constitutes "adequate compensation" is surely a bit difficult to establish in this case. It is clear that EA wants to compensate you buyers for their frustrations in trying to access the game during the first week to ten days. For that, the compensation seems adequate. You have paid for a game (SimCity) that now works as designed and you get another one (older, but still an item of appreciable value).

    The problem, I suppose, is that the game now does work as designed. Many of the old core gamers appear to be very disheartened by the way this game works. It is fun and all that, but the simulation fails in some critical respects (the lack of repercussions for RCI imbalances appear to be the most damning). Buying something that simply doesn't match your expectations entitles you to a full refund. Anything less is not adequate compensation. Interestingly, I haven't read anything about how EA's "non-return" policy is received in Europe. It seems to me that most countries here have legislation in place that would invalidate EA's strict policy.

    Ultimately, I suppose Maxis should have toned down the Glassbox hype and instead touted this as the Sims meet SimCity Societies. That way, the (comparatively few) buyers would have been very pleasantly surprised!
    Bejeweled 3 and Simcity 4 as possible "compensations" sounds like a joke.
    Anyway... if you're into first person shoters I'd suggest BF3.
    I don't know about compensation, but it is a tempting incentive for me to buy a game that is now mostly working as intended. Now to find discounted retail copy...

    As for refunds in the EU. They are considered to be entertainment. You can get refunds only if they don't work. You aren't entitled to cimema refunds if you didn't like a movie. It isn't as though the previous didn't comment on how the game was always online and the cities were actually small towns.

    The new EU Consumer Rights Directive does grant a right of return within two weeks. For digital content, the right of return is only restricted if the consumer has expressly agreed that the product may not be returned. (courts in may countries would not accept the standard "I Agree" button press as constituting such express agreement).

    Also, under regular consumer laws, delay in delivery as well as products not working as advertised are both legitimate grounds for termination and a full refund, even if the standard right of return doesn't apply. As for delay in delivery, that was clearly the case during the first week. Whether the product delivered now would give a disgruntled buyer the legal right to terminate or not is an interesting question, but one I do not expect we will be seen tried in court any time soon.
    "Buying something that simply doesn't match your expectations entitles you to a full refund."


    Can't legislate for expectations.

    It's not reasonable to penalise the seller for selling what was advertised.

    If people tend to have unrealistic expectations, they should wait for reviews.

    As for Bejewled, I think it's no harm to offer a choice - they seem to have some fairly recent AA games in the list too for those who want them.
    Warning: Battlefield 3's single player game has been widely criticised. Unless you are planning taking up multi-player shooters you might want to look at one of the other games.
    Gerry Quinn,

    Sorry for the poor wording in my first post. As I explained later, as a consumer you have a full right of return regardless of whether the item sold matches your expectations or not.

    As to what was advertised, I believe there is a strong argument that the SimCity marketing portrayed a game that, simulation-wise, was different from what has been delivered.

    In Europe, these questions only very rarely give rise to any legal disputes. Suing the company that refuses to refund you for a game is simply not worth the effort.
    It's funny. I refused to buy Mass Effect 3 because it was Origin only and not available on Steam where I have the other two games.

    I finally give Origin a shot with SimCity and it's a disaster.

    So I'll take my free Mass Effect 3 and never give Origin any penny.
    Warning: Battlefield 3's single player game has been widely criticised.

    Thank you for that! I now looked up some of the criticism of the single-player campaign and decided I would probably be better off with Mass Effect 3. The high review scores for Battlefield 3 were based pretty much solely on the multi-player part, in which I am not very interested in.
    As I buy all games that I want to play and don't buy any games I don't want to play anyway, getting games for free is pretty much useless to me :(
    The two that I would have been interested in there (SC4 Deluxe and ME3), I have...

    Probably Battlefield 3 then.
    Yeah, avoid Battlefield 3, the single player campaign is short and poorly fact, I'd say get MOH Warfighter first, which I enjoyed a lot more, although its still a short single player experience. DS3 is probably good (I haven't had a chance to start it yet) and I'm one of those freaks who liked ME3's ending so I can't not recommend that someone at least try it for themselves and don't take the internet's word for it that the ending sucks....the entire game was a masterpiece (imo). NFSMW aggravated me to no end with throwing in-game cars at me that I had to pay for in their RMT shop barely fifteen minutes in, so I have ranted about it on my blog. Do not know about the other offers....and I didn;t buy Sim City, so I don't have to worry about it.
    For me it would be between:

    Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
    Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
    Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)

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