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Gurus Do Respond: Several Guru Answers In a Recent Thread - Updated  XML
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thesimling


Joined: 05/16/09 05:56 PM
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Evil_One wrote:
thesimling wrote:
Jarsie9 wrote:
murfeel wrote: I feel where Graham is coming from, about not being able to respond 1000 times to 1000 posts--but I guess that's why so many simmers here just looove SimGuruRussiki (I KNOW I spelled that wrong), cuz she's always addressing simmer problems, making threads announcing things, and just being *around* more often, so posters don't end up feeling abandoned or alone or that the gurus don't care.

So, while it's nice to actually get a response, its even nicer when issues are actually taken care of. That's all that really matters. ^-^


SimGuru Ruskii is in charge of the My Page thread. That's why she's always on there, because it *is* her job, and she does it well. But, overall, it's not the SimGurus jobs to come into threads in every section and answer fan complaints...especially when the fans are likely to attack them like ravening wolves.

I wish they could reply and address his points one by one... then again, because of them not being allowed to go against their company, questions like mine above aren't worth asking. People need to understand that them skirting questions like that isn't the INDIVIDUAL Guru's fault, but EA as an organization.


So essentially both the live-chat and Ideas & Feedback forums are entirely pointless?


If you ask how to solve a problem or mention a problem, no. If you say "TS3 is bad!!" or "Katy Perry sucks!!!" or "TS2 was better!", they are...

I don't know the specifics though, ask Jarsie - she knows a lot about it due to her background.

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catloverplayer


Joined: 12/10/09 09:30 PM
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Simguru Graham is awesome.

By the way Graham you said you all would try to get somemore rabbitholes open. If you can would you mind doing the Diner and Movie Theater? Those are two rabbitholes I'd like to see opened.

Also can you pass this to the team that fixes stuff? The problem I see a lot is sims don't sit at the same table on dates and outings. Before and if the Diner is opened I'd like to see this issue fixed.

Also if you can in the sims 2 you could tell sims to sit at a counter together on a date or group aka at a bar or you could pick a table for them to sit at. We don't have this option in the sims 3. I'd like to see this added.

Also I'd like to see a functioning ice cream shop with a ice cream register.

And last but not least the slowdance added back to the game before the sims 3 is over. We need this interaction back so bad.

Please store team gives us a carnival set with Ferris Wheels,Carasals,Gondelas and Bumper Cars.
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Jarsie9


Joined: 05/17/09 12:34 AM
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Evil_One wrote:

So essentially both the live-chat and Ideas & Feedback forums are entirely pointless?


Oh, for Pete's sake, grow up! The live chats are purely advertising; everyone knows that. I've been to TS2's chats and TS3's chats, and they're all the same...all fluff and trying to sell the expansion packs to fans, and serious questions get ignored. After a while, you know just to go to them via the website and sit back and watch *knowing that the technical questions aren't going to get answered.* That's why I never bother to post any type of question for them; if I'm not saying something like "Graham I luv you, marry me!" I'm not going to even get on there.

And the I&F forums are just like the Suggest An Idea forum over on the Sims 2 BBS. We had very little Maxoid participation on there as well, and what little there was was mostly kissing up. The SimMaster would have deleted your post, given you a warning, or even banned you if you'd been as rude to a Maxoid as some people seem to feel that they can be to the SimGurus here. Yeah, they read the forums, they don't bother to comment because it does no good. People with their own agendas get on here and basically trash the SimGuru because they didn't like the fact that he or she sticks to "the party line".

Other hard core gaming forums may have a rougher give-and-take, but then again, they're not catering to this over-sensitive, easily insulted crowd. I'll bet dollars to doughnuts if a SimGuru did reply honestly and didn't sugarcoat the reply, there'd be a ton of outraged threads out there about it.

So, Evil_One...as you pointed out...it's better not to say anything than to say anyting at all...especially if it's just going to be "the party line". The bottom line is that they read the forums. Sorry that they can't take the time to hold your hand and reassure you that they really really care, but that's life in the big city.

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Arletta


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I'm glad he responded. I know they do listen to this area, as well as the latest releases areas. We had a thread a while back that Simgurumeatball responded on about wanting maxis back.

Common sense says that they can only say so much and not about anything we're asking generally. For example, if I asked 'Why Katy Perry' or 'Why am I paying more than the Americans for the same product' I'm going to get either a party line or a nonsensical answer based on something that I didn't really ask. I've been in the simguru's position to a degree.

Thanks for responding to us, Graham.

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catloverplayer


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Here while back I made a post about wanting to see concerts in the park and in venues and guess what they got added to showtime.

Also added due to request were

Baby strollers

Hottubs

The Karoke Machine

Photobooth

Jukeboxes

The Dancing Sphere

The Mechanical Bull

All of these objects have been asked for now Graham if y'all can will you open up the ocean for swimming and add new interactions to swimming pools?

Please store team gives us a carnival set with Ferris Wheels,Carasals,Gondelas and Bumper Cars.
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murfeel


Joined: 04/28/10 02:39 PM
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thesimling wrote:
Jarsie9 wrote:
murfeel wrote: I feel where Graham is coming from, about not being able to respond 1000 times to 1000 posts--but I guess that's why so many simmers here just looove SimGuruRussiki (I KNOW I spelled that wrong), cuz she's always addressing simmer problems, making threads announcing things, and just being *around* more often, so posters don't end up feeling abandoned or alone or that the gurus don't care.

So, while it's nice to actually get a response, its even nicer when issues are actually taken care of. That's all that really matters. ^-^


SimGuru Ruskii is in charge of the My Page thread. That's why she's always on there, because it *is* her job, and she does it well. But, overall, it's not the SimGurus jobs to come into threads in every section and answer fan complaints...especially when the fans are likely to attack them like ravening wolves.

I wish they could reply and address his points one by one... then again, because of them not being allowed to go against their company, questions like mine above aren't worth asking. People need to understand that them skirting questions like that isn't the INDIVIDUAL Guru's fault, but EA as an organization.


Exactly. I think it's nice when simgurus pop in every once in a while to reassure folks that they are listening (cuz when people ask for apples and get bananas like Simporting and Katy Perry and an effed up My Page and no more Gifting the DDs you do kind of get a WTH? syndrome effect ), but at the end of the day: just do your daggone jobs, people. You've lurked, seen what people are talking about, now hop to. Why are we still waiting 3 years for a diving board? WHY? Why are there no Alien Abductions or Male Preggers yet? WHY? I don't wanna read some long winded something or other--I want results! We've read your concerns and this & this are in the works. Like that sticky one of the gurus posted...somewhere around here. That's great.

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christine400


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catloverplayer wrote:Simguru Graham is awesome.

By the way Graham you said you all would try to get somemore rabbitholes open. If you can would you mind doing the Diner and Movie Theater? Those are two rabbitholes I'd like to see opened.

Also can you pass this to the team that fixes stuff? The problem I see a lot is sims don't sit at the same table on dates and outings. Before and if the Diner is opened I'd like to see this issue fixed.

Also if you can in the sims 2 you could tell sims to sit at a counter together on a date or group aka at a bar or you could pick a table for them to sit at. We don't have this option in the sims 3. I'd like to see this added.

Also I'd like to see a functioning ice cream shop with a ice cream register.

And last but not least the slowdance added back to the game before the sims 3 is over. We need this interaction back so bad.



lol this is prob another reason why they dont post if they say one thing people start jamming ideas down there throats


Christine<3
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Jarsie9


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murfeel wrote:

Exactly. I think it's nice when simgurus pop in every once in a while to reassure folks that they are listening (cuz when people ask for apples and get bananas like Simporting and Katy Perry and an effed up My Page and no more Gifting the DDs you do kind of get a WTH? syndrome effect ), but at the end of the day: just do your daggone jobs, people. You've lurked, seen what people are talking about, now hop to. Why are we still waiting 3 years for a diving board? WHY? Why are there no Alien Abductions or Male Preggers yet? WHY? I don't wanna read some long winded something or other--I want results! We've read your concerns and this & this are in the works. Like that sticky one of the gurus posted...somewhere around here. That's great.


Are you paying his salary? No. Do you even know what he has to go through to "do his job"? No. Who says we all want alien abductions? Don't hold your breath, because that was TS2, and I very highly doubt TS3 is going to add aliens or alien abductions. As for the diving board, they might get around to it eventually...or not. I do think *that* should have come with the base game, but oh well.

If you don't want to read his long-winded post where he tries to communicate with the fan community, that is your choice. But then, you know, a lot of people did read it, myself included, and highly appreciated the fact that he took time out of his extremely busy day (they work 60-80 hour work weeks, so 10-12 hour days are not uncommon) and wrote out a well thought out very legible reply that tries to address fan concerns.

Not his fault that people around here are going around telling him to "Tote that bale" while the fans "crack that whip"...now is it? People want to hear specifics, and they're not going to get them because the Company says they're not allowed to give out speicifics or make promises they can't keep. Believe me, even if the SimGurus went on one of the numerous complaint threads in this forum, and posted one sentence every day saying: "We hear ya, we're working on it", he'd get tons of replies of people dumping on him (or her) for not being more specific and letting the fans know precisely how the Team was "working on it", whatever the problem is, and even more abuse heaped on EA and the dev team in general.

So I appreciate that he took the time to make a long thread, and that it was so nice worded and informative. I'm just sorry that there aren't people who are mature enough to appreciate it too.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 04/10/12 06:26 AM


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Mstybl95


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Pray tell, Jarsie, what is your background? You just seem to know everything about everything, even when you don't. Go ahead and defend this game until you are blue in the face. Some people are perfectly happy with a pet rock. Others, like me, expect a certain amount of thought going into the game franchise I bought into. And no, it really isn't that difficult to come up with better ideas and executions. It just takes some darn talent.

And yes, I know the story of Maxis being sold to EA. That is the story of almost all small game developers. They have the superior ideas and then sell. That's what they almost all hope for. That still doesn't change the fact that the game is cared for while it is in the creators care.

P.S. I could care less about the gurus responding. You know why they do that? Damage control. It only ever happens when lots of people are upset...like after showtime was announced and now, after KPST was announced. Omg...that's 2 games in a row that have been a miss. Showtime is doing so bad that you can get it on Amazon for $15.

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Mstybl95


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Do you know what it takes to do his job? Please, enlighten us.

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Cinebar


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Mstybl95 wrote:EA is greedy. EA is a mega-behemoth that simply can't be challenged in the gaming arena. Because of this, they don't put in the same amount of care a smaller game developer does and they don't really care to please the masses. They are in it for the profit churn and that is what they do. This is why we see things like Katy Perry in the game. Unfortunately, when EA bought The Sims, they just assumed they could do what they had already been doing for other games and make profits. They aren't making the amount that they should be at this point and they are still trying to find their selling streak. They'll keep testing the waters until they find a market or kill the game. EA does not care. They have the money to not care.

This is why I fully support small companies who have real talent and innovative ideas. They put thought and love into their projects. Too bad they usually get bought by companies like EA and then die a slow painful death.


Do you not realize EA purchased The Sims before TS2 was released? The EA logo is on my old TS1 games. I think in the Complete collection I got like when ever it was released.

Small indie companies also tick off customers, when many of them started usint SecuROM as their copy protection, so no it's not all love and roses in a lot of different game forums. Small or large.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 04/10/12 01:09 PM

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Mstybl95


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Didn't I just say that I know the story of Maxis being sold to EA. Yes, I know. As for small developers...well, it is as simple as this. Small developer: hey, look at this rock! What can we do with this rock? I know, lets hide things under it or let the player kick it. Hey, look at this bush! What can we do with this bush? I know, lets let them pee in that bush! Big conglomerate game developer: Hey, I like the way those bushes and rocks look. Nice background. It looks real.

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DulceHoney


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Again: They do, indeed, reply:

SimGuruSemedi wrote:I don't want to get in a tit for tat exchange; but I will talk about some of the broader topics that people have brought up in response to my post.

Perhaps most importantly is this perception that we pay more attention to the people on Twitter and Facebook than those of you on the forums. That simply isn't true. Twitter is a great tool for quick communication and interaction with fans; it lets me chat with people and get immediate feedback, even have a real time conversation at times. What Twitter isn't good for is getting in-depth information - for that I come to the forums. If I tried to talk to people on the forums the same way I do on Twitter, I simply wouldn't get any work done. The talk about Facebook is intriguing as well; I have absolutely no idea where the perception comes from that we value our fans on there more than the ones here. Do people assume we implemented the new My Page and the in-game social stuff due to requests from Sims fans on Facebook? Realistically it's something that EA is interested in implementing across all of our games. There's stuff like Autolog in Need for Speed, Battlelog in Battlefield, and the new social features that got introduced in Showtime are part of that whole movement. It's an effort to emphasize and build communities, connect people with their friends, and ultimately provide deeper game play experiences. Outside of our main Sims 3 Facebook page, there isn't any direct developer interaction there that I know of, in contrast with how we have our own individual Twitter accounts. On another note, I don't point out that it isn't my job to be on the forums with the idea that people should be grateful that I post here, I just want people to see that those of us who get involved with the community do so because it's something we genuinely want to do.

We have community managers who interact with the community here on the forums, on the official Sims Twitter, on our Sims Facebook page, and our Sims Youtube channel. One of the aspects of their job is to gather feedback from fans in all of those locations, and compile it in reports that get sent out to everyone else, to draw our attention to hot button issues. If you think the forums are intimidating for a dev, imagine trying to sift through thousands of comments within a single thread on some random Facebook topic. That's what's great about the forums, due to their format they're the absolute best place to read topics about serious issues; to see others respond and contribute to those topics, and to get an overall sense of the state of the hardcore community.

It's interesting seeing people bring up other game developers and directly compare them to us. I have the utmost respect for other studios throughout the industry, but the idea of the perfect game, the perfect dev team, or the perfect community management... it's a fallacy. There are always things that can be improved, mistakes are made and then learned from. Evil_One, you mentioned Bethesda and Epic. Speaking strictly as a gamer for a moment, I think Skyrim is an absolute achievement in gaming, but have you payed attention to what many of their customers who purchased the game on the PS3 are saying? They're none too happy with some of the problems they're experiencing. Epic is a studio whose games I've played for many years now, but they're constantly accused of being sellouts to Microsoft for developing console exclusives and abandoning the fanbase on the PC who built them into the studio they are today. Is that a fair criticism? What about their loyal long time fans?

I don't want anyone to think I'm making light of the amazing work that modders in the community do. I have a long history of working on mods for popular games as well; and I know how much hard work people pour into them for nothing in return other than the enjoyment of seeing others use it. I started out scripting my own mods for the original Rainbow Six, adding new competitive multiplayer modes for the game. I've worked on all sorts of mod teams for first person shooters over the years as a level designer; most notably I was part of the original Counter-Strike team before it was purchased and released commercially by Valve. A healthy mod community is not only great for players; I think it's great for us as a business as well. Its been shown time and again that games that have good community tools and an active mod community extend the shelf life of a game and give people reasons to keep coming back. What disappoints me is when people feel they have to make mods that fix something that's bothering them about the game... be it an invasive design flaw or a bug; either way I wish it wasn't necessary. Having worked on mods before though, I know the benefits of mod development that let them get to things more quickly than we can patch them as a studio. A mod developer doesn't really have to be accountable to anyone... they work when they want, they test as much as they want, and they release when they want. If something goes wrong, they can immediately fix it and release again, or if they want they can just leave things as they are. In a development studio, there's just tons more that goes into any "simple" fix. To give a very rough idea of the process, we first have to find someone that can fix it who has time in their schedule to work on it... if they're currently committed elsewhere, any time they take to fix an issue is time lost or delayed somewhere else. Depending on what we're changing, that can mean any number of programmers, modelers, animators, UI artists, etc working on something. They can't just make a change and add it to the game either, we have different code channels that developers work out of depending on the work they're doing, and each new update means a new code channel. QA has to go in and test the changes they made, and not just those changes, but to try and determine if anything else broke due to the change that was made - sometimes they cause something to break that you'd think would be completely unrelated. Each change goes through multiple rounds of testing... alpha, beta, and final release. The code channel then has to be integrated back into our main "retail" code channel, the one that you all play on when you launch the game. That code integration has to be tested. There are variations for each update we release as well... we have to do one update for disc versions, one for players who purchased on Steam, one for people who play on Macs. We have a patch matrix that we test against that accounts for the different versions of the game a player may be updating from to get to the most recent version... do they need the full patch that contains every update we've ever done, or do they need an incremental patch that only contains the most recent changes? The store and web team have to prep the website for release. Patch notes have to go out to Europe and Asia for translations. Once all of that is accomplished (and the hundred other little steps in between) we can release an update. As I'm sure you can imagine, that all takes time - it's a significant commitment each time we release an update That doesn't dissuade us from making updates to the game, it just means that we can't always immediately change things that on the surface seem like a simple fix. We'll continue to support products we release post launch - you saw some updates for Showtime that had very quick turn around times to address issues ASAP that we felt were vital for player's experiences.

People wonder if I truthfully enjoy talking to Sims fans; and why I'd want to come here and throw myself into the fire on various occasions I can honestly say it's one of my favorite aspects of my job. First and foremost I'm a gamer; I have been for a really long time. I understand what people express on this forum because I've been in your shoes doing the exact same thing with games I'm passionate about over the past 15 years. The first online game I played was Interstate '76, a great old auto-combat simulation game. It was right around the time when message boards were starting to become more common on the internet, and there was a very healthy community around that game. The devs would talk to us, we'd give feedback, they'd do cool things for us... it was a great time, and it was how I formed some of my very first contacts within the industry. Eventually those devs released a sequel called Interstate '82; there was a lot about that game that upset many long time fans. When I look back on that now, I think about the perspective that I lacked... as fans there were things that mattered to our community; and as paying customers that was our right to voice our concerns. But the reality of game development went beyond just us, and there were all sorts of factors that go into the final game that makes it to store shelves. Seeing things from both sides gives me a really unique perspective; I can look at other games and think, "huh, that seems odd... but I bet I know why they did it".

All of that leads to me wanting to chat with fans and pull back the curtains where I can to give you a better perspective on why we do some of the things that you ultimately see when you play the games. Ironically the majority of my posts in the forum are when I jump into a delicate situation and try and let people know what's going on; I care about our players and don't like to see anyone feel like they're intentionally being left in the dark. I have absolutely never lied or purposely misled fans of this game. If anyone asked me to do that at work, it's something I would have a serious grievance with. Thankfully I've never been placed in that situation; I don't think anyone on the team is interesting in deceiving fans to make a quick buck. Unfortunately there have been a couple of situations where the information I shared ended up being incorrect, and all I can tell you is that I felt absolutely awful about it. I want to be both an advocate for the community within the team, but also someone that Sims fans can trust to give them the straight truth when you get an answer from me. In the instances where I've been wrong, I've done everything I could to track down the people who I gave bad info to, personally apologize, and do what I can to set things right.

Not everyone is going to trust me or even like me, and that's fine. I'll admit I roll my eyes at the conspiracy theories that crop up, some of it can get a bit outlandish. The live chats are one example... people post their criticisms and then get upset when it doesn't get commented on in our own chat that we're producing. Do you really expect us to blindside our own devs on our own broadcast? That's what game journalists are for The live chats are a chance to get a look at upcoming games and learn more about them. I push for as much openness and transparency in those chats as we can provide, and I gather questions beforehand so I can be sure that we address some serious ones (the people on camera don't get to select the questions from the live chat themselves - the chat window moves by FAR too quickly for us to both be on camera and keep up with everyone's comments), but that isn't the time and place to try and grill us. I'll keep interacting with the community in one form or another I hope that overall I can have a positive impact and share some unique nuggets of info about what goes into each game that you wouldn't normally hear without talking to a dev.

One final note; I saw a few people making an assumption that I'm the lead producer. That's not the case... I'm one of approximately 15 or so producers that are actively working on Sims 3. There are many people on the team who have years of seniority within the Sims and years of experience with the game industry as a whole on me. SimGuruMeatball talked about it before, but for those of you wanting Maxis back... it's really the same people who have been working on The Sims for years that are still here I wasn't around during that period of time, but the team used to operate out of the Maxis studio on the other side of the San Francisco Bay. EA has a great campus that houses their headquarters and multiple game studios, and the team that was working on The Sims moved over to this newer location, and the growing team that was working on Spore stayed at the old location. So we got a new studio name, and a somewhat new location, but the people are the same. Other than natural attrition and new hires (like me!), there are people in our studio who have been with the franchise since the beginning.

Whew! Definitely time to catch some sleep after all that, goodnight


And here:

SimGuruMeatball wrote:
Pepperbutt wrote:
Again, my problems are with the higher up's, and I find it kind of disgusting that Ghrahm is here. (God, I always butcher that.) As much as he can't / won't admit it.. I wouldn't be surprised if he was told to jump into the threads, like with other people. When they post, it's THEIR heads on the chopping block. Like that chick, I think Russkkii, however it's spelled, and her thread in GD. Everyone was having a go at her for something she's likely not responsible for. I mean, I appreciate his involvement in this thread, but I can't imagine how cramped he is between that rock and hard place (probably more like a bed of lava), to be the public face over here. I understand that this isn't his crap, seriously. The guru's here are the public face of EA, and after winning that award.. If WE get treated like crap.. I can't imagine how brutal they are there.

I don't make much sense, do I?


No, not really. Disgusting? Seriously? No one tells us developers to jump in on the forums to defend ourselves or EA in any way. Most of the gurus here are developers, we read and post on the forum when we have time and feel like it. Graham isn't a "higher up", no one of us is. We are developers who loves the game we work on and we love interacting with our fans, unfortunately for the fans (!?), the game takes up most of our time.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 04/10/12 07:04 PM

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DulceHoney


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Can you all stop being so hard on them now? sheesh!
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Jarsie9


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Mstybl95 wrote:Pray tell, Jarsie, what is your background? You just seem to know everything about everything, even when you don't. Go ahead and defend this game until you are blue in the face. Some people are perfectly happy with a pet rock. Others, like me, expect a certain amount of thought going into the game franchise I bought into. And no, it really isn't that difficult to come up with better ideas and executions. It just takes some darn talent.


You need to learn to read. I am not defending the game. I am merely tired of people demanding one thing and then screaming bloody murder when they get it, because it's not what they wanted, the way they wanted it. I have a background in working both in the federal/state government and in education, where I had to toe the line and watch every word I said, because my job depended on it. That's why I can readily sympathize with Sim Guru Semedi. You and others on this forum need to stop simplifying the issue to the point that you see anyone who says anything positive or sympathetic to EA as defending the game. But the game and the SimGuru are two different issues. Sorry if you can't get past your bias to all things EA to understand that. I make no apologies for my opinion.


Mstybl95 wrote:And yes, I know the story of Maxis being sold to EA. That is the story of almost all small game developers. They have the superior ideas and then sell. That's what they almost all hope for. That still doesn't change the fact that the game is cared for while it is in the creators care.


If you can acknowledge that indie developers almost all hope that some big company with big bucks will make them an offer so that they can continue producing their games or even sell off their rights and use the profits from the sale to produce another quality game, who are you to condemn them for making that choice. Rant at EA all you want, but a lot of times, it's the indies who approach *them* and not the other way around.


Mstybl95 wrote:
P.S. I could care less about the gurus responding. You know why they do that? Damage control. It only ever happens when lots of people are upset...like after showtime was announced and now, after KPST was announced. Omg...that's 2 games in a row that have been a miss. Showtime is doing so bad that you can get it on Amazon for $15.


If you could care less, then why are you even bothering with this thread? Oh, that's right it's the whole Culture of the Forum thing again...you know, the one where Bashing EA and The Sims 3 is Right Thinking, and using common sense and being positive about the game and the entire development team is Wrong Thinking.

So, since you could care less about SimGuru Semedi's long post, you really have no dog to hunt in this, do you? Now if SG Semedi had written a long post ranting against EA and its policies, especially when it comes to the Sims 3, then he would have been called a hero by the vast majority of the people on this forum instead of being blasted the way he has been.

Isn't it ironic? EA is a big bad corporation and The Sims 3 sucks=Right Thinking. Anything contrary to that opinion=Wrong Thinking.

Sheesh. Have a nice day.

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