Why South Korean Gamers Are So Pissed About SimCity

Upset about the rocky SimCity rollout? Take heart. You are not alone. Gamers in South Korea are also not happy campers. But it's not just due to the inability to play.

Here's what happened: When South Korean gamers couldn't connect to servers, the official SimCity Korean Facebook page called out the country for piracy. You know, EA Korea's paying customers. Talk about adding insult to injury!

Yesterday, the game's Korean Facebook page carried this message (translated by Kotaku reader Sang Kwon): "We are currently undergoing a server maintenance to increase capacity per your request. We expect a lot of fluctuation throughout the maintenance. Your feedback is important. Thank you for your understanding and patience."

OK, this is all rather innocuous. This comment is not the problem. Rather, it's what the EA Facebook page manager apparently wrote in the comments. The sticking point was that supposedly there aren't any servers in Asia — something that seemed perplexing for a game has always requires an internet connection.

Above, in the highlighted section, a commenter wrote "Asia has one of the highest populations. Why aren't there any servers?"

The EA Korea Facebook manager replied (once again, translation by Sang Kwon): "There is a lot of piracy in Asia, so it would be difficult for the time being."

This, of course, set Korean gamers off. "It's so hard to legitimately play games even when you buy the official product," wrote one Facebook user, and another asked, "Haven't you learned anything from Diablo III launch?" Yet another quipped "Change the company name to MA: Money Arts." Many asked where they could get refunds. The Facebook post now has over 700 comments.

The whole brouhaha is all over Korean gaming sites like GameMeca, Game Donga, and Daily Game.

The EA rep has apologised for the comments, saying this was just an unfortunate result of trying to be more proactive as Facebook users were complaining about the lack of communication from EA.

What's more, the Facebook page manager admitted ignorance on how EA's Origin service worked (and that, thus, piracy shouldn't be an issue for the game because of the heavy online registration). The manager continued to apologising, taking full responsibility and asking to be replaced at this post; the Facebook page manager even said these were personal comments and not EA Korea's remarks — which might indicate that this Facebook page was outsourced to outside PR.

Still, if someone is running a game's official Facebook page, that individual does end up being a mouthpiece for said title.

Besides the messy launch and inelegant statement, what makes the incident all the more unfortunate is how EA Korea seems to have put effort into the Korean localisation. But right now, who's thinking about that?

서버증설 요구에 불법복제 핑계, 게이머들 원성 산 EA코리아 [Naver] EA Korea [Facebook — Thanks Sang Kwon!]


    Where do these people get their community managers from? I mean, I'm laughing and chomping popcorn and being smug about it (Yup, I hate EA), but I genuinely feel bad for all the people who have been very neatly screwed over by EA and their... I don't know... blind, unthinking, arrogant idiocy regarding certain features of games, the most prominent being an always bloody online requirement.

      For the record, community managers are the online equivalent of people who work at call centers answering the phones except that they also post content rather than purely answering calls.

        That's a generalisation. Most, perhaps, but there are many who do the job because they are capable and actually care about what their company provides.

    As a person who travels to areas without an Internet connection, it's good to know that loading this game on my laptop is a waste of my time.

      Waste of time regardless of whether you have an internet connection.

        Aside from the DRM it's an excellent game, actually.

          Nice try EA

            That's cute, you think anyone who likes the game is an EA shill.

          Saying that is like saying "Aside from all the genocide, Hitler was a nice guy actually."

            Ignoring the fact you Godwinned yourself, I'd suspect that if you think an always-on requirement in a video game is in any way comparable to genocide, you've got something seriously wrong with your brain.

    I find the haven't EA learned anything from Diablo 3? quote funny. Haven't consumers learned anything from Diablo 3? Wait till the servers work before you buy the game.

    Hang on - so the game has always on, online DRM to beat the pirates, yet EA won't put servers in a densely populated part of the world because of...piracy?!?!
    Oh EA - you so cray cray.

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