EA Staff Sees Zero Punctuation, Patches Sim City Societies

EA Staff Sees Zero Punctuation, Patches Sim City Societies


Yahtzee Croshaw's comments in a Zero Punctuation episode have sparked a SimCity Societies patch.

Australian game site GamePlayer caught up with Aaron Cohen, marketing director at Electronic Arts's Sims Division. Fans of The Escapist's Zero Punctuation series, they asked Cohen if he had seen Yahtzee Croshaw's review of SimCity Societies.

"I also thought [his review] was very amusing," Cohen revealed. "He's a very amusing fellow. I do enjoy the Zero Punctuation."

Croshaw's biggest beef with the gameplay was the lack of strategy involved in managing your city. Three new patches and the expansion SimCity Societies Deluxe aim to solve this issue.

"We actually addressed... a lot of what he said was 'where is the push back? Where is the strategy game?' That's been added. I think if he played it today, with the three patches, he'd have a different opinion," explained Cohen.

This, he hopes, will improve player response to the title. He added, "One of the things we want to do with Deluxe, when it comes out, is ask reviewers to re-review the game."


That's great! Yahtzee is changing the face of video games.

Leaves open the question if what they claim to change really does change anything?

IT HAS BEGUN! [/Shang Tsung]

On the one hand, good for the company for patching in response to reviews. On the other hand, their plan to ask reviewers for a second bite of the apple seems a bit sketchy to me, and I hope reviewers decline. The time for playtesting is _before_ release, not after the reviews are in.

But I guess with the modern gaming industry ethic of "if it compiles, ship it" where no game is actually finished until half a dozen patches have come out, it's the natural evolution of things.

I'm glad he is having an impact on studios. He phrases perhaps many of the things we think in a more entertaining way, that can get more attention from producers.

Heh, this is actually pretty neat. Hope more people will also listen to him and improve their games :D.

People sure like to put him in the spotlight. An invitation to go to Valve, SimCity patches, GDC appearances... interesting that a 4-minute series of humorous jabs gets more attention from developers than the bitching, pissing, whining, and moaning of thousands upon thousands of players.

But who gives a crap, he's funny. Keep it up!

Could Yahtzee actually take down and destroy the dreaded quick time events?!

Only after multiple attempts; he'd have to get the timing just right.

Only after multiple attempts; he'd have to get the timing just right.

yay, thanks for the grin =D

It seems to me they are using Yahtzee to get a nice prominent piece in The Escapist. I'm sure they didn't just watch his review, slap their foreheads and go "Of course! How could we be so blind?" and then go and make the changes, unprompted by anyone else.


"I think if he played it today, with the three patches, he'd have a different opinion,"

No he wouldn't... ;)

While futile, I don't see what's really wrong with game makers begging for a second review. Of course they'll want reassessment! A better review could, as they say, perhaps turn the sales figures around! It's only logical behaviour.

I just think it's great that they're doing something in response to a negative review, instead of saying "nuh-uh, it's fine!"

Given the wording of the article and the date Yahtzee's review was posted, I doubt the patch was a direct result of his criticism. It seems more likely the review simply focuses on the most apparent flaws of the game, which were obviously identified by the developers long before the review was released (and dare I say, perhaps before the game's release).

I agree with jakson and I'll go one further and say that I think the headline is deliberately misleading. A reader sees a sequence of events where the editor claims a separation of events.

Just out of curiosity, why--in the online medium--the journalistic shorthand? In a physical newspaper you only have so much room to pull off a headline. On a web page, however, you at least have some wiggle room. No reason for ambiguous or misleading headlines.

I know a lot of readers might see my comment here and say "so what? big deal!" and I would mostly agree with them. But if it was intentional then it really is at least a bit manipulative.

I agree that this is a classic case of correlation does not imply causation.

So they literally add bits of gameplay and new mechanics as part of a patch.


Ok, take it as a free expansion pack.

i don't know, i like the idea of releasing patches and the like to fix problems, but if game companies can simply re-release the same game with slightly modified content and have it re-reviewed for a better score escpecially when slanted towards one particular reviewer sounds like a dangerous path to tread. on some level being able to change the things people gripe about in games is not such a bad sounding thing, but how often does the gaming community bitch about a particular game element that you really like? too often for me to be comfortable with this idea.

yeah duh it's just one game i'm just saying the concept seems like EA looking for a second chance at a good refiew simply for the sake of a good review i seem to recall they were disapointed with the low level of the reviews they've been getting.

Could Yahtzee actually take down and destroy the dreaded quick time events?!

Nothing can take down the QTE!

ooo, sounds like Yahtzee's been challenged there. will he take up the gauntlet?


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