The Old-School Business Sim Game Theme Hospital Is Currently Free On Origin

The old-school business sim game Theme Hospital is currently free on Origin, EA just announced. Go get it — stat!


Comments

    Don't do it! because fuck Origin and fuck EA.

    For a measly (pun intended) $5 you can instead get Hostpital Tycoon and play effectively the same game with modern graphics and screen resolutions:
    http://store.steampowered.com/app/11590/

    It's published by CodeMasters, so EA doesn't get a dime. Because fuck EA!

      "Theme Hospital is currently free" on Origin...

      Downloading a free game doesn't give them a dime either... In fact, it costs them to run the service. So everyone should jump on this.

      Anyway, the 'hate EA' attitude is kind of naive. They're a publicly traded company chasing the money. If gamers rewarded good business practices as well as they rewarded native ones then we'd keep seeing risky, fun, complete games from them.

        So getting piles of hits from people downloading the game for free isn't a brand marketing strategy? Navigating origin isn't subject to Gruen transfer? Artificially inflated service traffic stats aren't fodder for instilling shareholder confidence?

        Now who's being naïve?

        When the only tool in your consumer arsenal is your wallet, giving money to EAs competitors is even better than not giving them any money.

        Last edited 21/01/15 10:00 am

          Yeah, everything you said is true. But if all you do is download a few free games then you're really not doing them any favours.

          I think giving money where they've earned it, and ignoring them where they haven't is more likely to alter their behaviour than just not touching anything they produce. They're currently making about 10 times as much money from DLC and mobile purchases as they are from full game purchases. Of course they're emphasising those areas over quality games and consumer friendly practices.

            Everything I said may have been true, but it hasn't stopped me being downvoted by the entire staff of EA Australia ;)

        They're a publicly traded company chasing the money. If gamers rewarded good business practices as well as they rewarded native ones then we'd keep seeing risky, fun, complete games from them.

        I dunno, there are plenty of cases of EA ruining a good thing. Because they're a publicly traded company that has to constantly show growth they tend to try and make more money regardless of whether the product is already financially successful. If a move is anti-consumer but makes more money, or even just potentially makes more money, EA are very open to experimenting with it. Often they'll tie it to their fan favourite series to minimise the risk.
        I try to avoid just mindlessly bashing them, but over the years I've learned that EA's attitude moves in cycles. Things get bad image-wise and someone manages to convince them it hurts sales, so they clean up their act a little, enjoy some success, but then that success is immediately followed by an attempt at optimisation.
        Right now Origin is in the phase where they know it's being hurt by their bad image. So they're giving out a ton of great free stuff aimed at cynical games who would never install Origin otherwise. If Origin ever achieves it's goal of becoming a major player in digital distribution expect it to start pushing the limits of what it can get away with.

          Definitely. They chase the money no matter where it leads, which is almost always negative for the consumer. But if the vast majority of their revenue didn't come from offensive DLC and terrible mobile games then they wouldn't be so heavily invested in that space.

          Sadly the worse they treat gamers, the more money they make, and they're beholden to their shareholders to make as much money as possible.

            But if the vast majority of their revenue didn't come from offensive DLC and terrible mobile games then they wouldn't be so heavily invested in that space.

            To say they wouldn't do it if it wasn't profitable is ignoring that they made it happen. Remember that their early attempts weren't well recieved. EA invested a hell of a lot in making that happen. When consumers didn't respond well to it they just kept at it. I'm not one of those 'boycott all EA' guys, but the stuff you describe was paid for by people like me supporting their good games.

      Its not a true tycoon game. Its more like Grays anatomy the video game.

      Putting aside whether or not the EA hate is justified, the very idea that Hospital Tycoon is even a patch on Theme Hospital is ridiculous. It's terrible.

      As for the "better graphics" argument, there are some very decent mods for Theme Hospital that raise the resolution and tinker a bit with the interface. CorsixTH is the one I use. Perfectly playable, and looks quite nice at 1080p for a 18 year old game. Dunno whether it would work with an Origin version though, but it's free so no risk really.

        how did you get the corsix mod working for the origin version? the explanation corsix give is for the bullfrog edition and it can't seem to find the files it needs to run when its in: origin games/themehospital/....

    Yeh but Origin.... so no

      grow up from that kind of mentality, EA might be the devil, but Origin is a really, really good service. hasnt replaced steam for me, but at this rate, dare i say.... who knows?

    I got this free on GOG a few months back.

    So... Yay!

      Ditto this. I don't really understand the "Fuck EA and fuck Origin" sentiment, clearly at some point EA went around wiping their dicks on people's teddy bears or something, but I already have this game. I appreciate the occasional reminder that it exists so I can go ahead and sink a few more hours into it.

        That teddy bear phrase is amazing, so I apology in advance for stealing it

      It was free on GOG? Oh boo, I bought it in a December GOG sale. Oh well, I also got Syndicate, Syndicate wars and Dungeon Keeper 2 for like $5-6 so I can't complain too loudly ;-)

        It was a sale where if you bought some games you got one random game free. Was pretty stoked ^_^

        Man, I kind of want to pick up Syndicate Wars but I also remember being crap at it - I think there's a level where you have to use the Persuade-o-tron to gain followers so you can recruit enemy soliders or something? I couldn't get the hang of it.

        I bought Dungeon Keeper 2 when DK1 was available for free and haven't gotten around to it yet. I installed and played DK1 and man that game doesn't scale up well on modern resolutions. Should really give DK2 a go while I'm revisiting Theme hospital, see how it fares.

    If you pick this up, don't forget to get the CorsixTH mod for it.
    Allows you to play the game at higher resolution, among other things...

    I do wonder how long it will take them to build a mobile/casual/micro transaction revival of Theme Hospital like they did with Dungeon Keeper. Thing is, while the new DK was a stupid, horrible mess, if done right then TH could actually do good things with a mobile version.

    Theme Hospital is available for Mac on GOG.com but not direct from EA/Origin?

    Whyyyyyyy?

    :(

      It is unfortunate for some, but it will be EA catering to their biggest audience for a giveaway to drive numbers to use their platform.

      In this case it is PC.

      I know the landscape is certainly getting better (ie Steam Play), however it is still hard to be a Mac gamer.

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    DOCTOR! INCOMING PATIENTS WITH BLOATY HEADS!!!!

    and i had so much planned for this weekend :(

    My girl finished it about 2 weeks ago.

    First few levels are great fun.

    The last few levels, including the final one, are as follows:

    1. Build rooms, have fun.
    2. Endure earthquake after earthquake after earthquake.
    3. Repair/replace equipment / Swear, cry, reload save when rooms explode.

    But guys....Theme hospital has been listed as freeware and is available for download at many legit sites! No need steam for any of this

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