Shortly after SimCity's online requirement backfired on Electronic Arts, the company announced The Sims 4--notably without any similar online requirement. EA's head of labels, Frank Gibeau, says that's no coincidence, and the decision was made due to the SimCity problems.
"In the last few months, we have started making changes to the business practices that gamers clearly don't like," Gibeau told GamesBeat. As one example, he cited, "We listened to the feedback on SimCity and decided that The Sims 4 would be built as a single-player, offline experience."
That was a reasonable conclusion given the timing, but it's surprising that an EA executive stated it so bluntly. It also implies that, had SimCity gone off without a hitch, The Sims 4 might have had an always-on requirement as well.
As for the SimCity launch itself, he regards it as a disaster. "That first week after launch was really rough--an experience nobody wants to live through again," he said. "Since then, we've sold more than 2 million units, and the number of people logging in and playing is holding steady. SimCity is a success. However, underestimating demand in the first month was a major miss. We hope that the game and the service we've provided since then meets the fans' high standards."