Update on SC4 and Origin – 08/27/2014

Edit as of August 27, 2014 at 12:28pm PDT: Origin has fixed the issue.  Mission accomplished.

Edit as of February 5, 2017: Origin seems to have reverted back to the unpatchable Version 1.1.610 copy.  More here.

It seems my report on the issues with Origin’s copy of SimCity 4 Deluxe has gotten quite a bit of notice, including making the news at PC Gamer.  Now that a couple days have passed, I thought I would update things.

First off, my main reason for making the original post is not to bash EA or Origin.  All of the EA folks I’ve come into contact with during my tenure on the NAM Team have been friendly and quite supportive of what we’ve done with SC4.  That said, in recent months, and especially in the past couple weeks, I have seen countless cases of users on the forums who have become frustrated and disappointed by the fact that their Origin SC4 game is not only unpatched, but unpatchable, and incapable of running the mod that I’ve been fortunate enough to help develop over the past few years.  Some of these users had tried contacting Origin support to see about getting a properly updated copy or a refund, and the response was either silence, or, as noted in my previous post, a demonstrated lack of knowledge about the product in question.  I simply felt compelled to use whatever clout I have in the SC4 world to attempt to effect change, by increasing awareness of the situation, in an effort to get Origin to give everyone the same version of the game, allowing users on that platform to enjoy proper functionality, and things like the NAM.

The modding community is one of the things that’s allowed SC4 to continue to be profitable for EA, so it’s ultimately a win-win for them to provide a properly updated copy to all Origin customers, and a continued stream of new players into the SC4 world, be it through Origin or any other digital platform, is good for the health of the game’s community.  When you’re dealing with a large corporate or governmental entity, sometimes one has to make a lot of noise to get its attention, and that was my intent here.

There have been some interesting pieces of information that have come out since my initial post, which are quite pertinent to the situation:

  • An Origin employee on Reddit has acknowledged the report, and is forwarding the information to the team that was responsible for putting SimCity 4 Deluxe onto the service.  So far, this is the only information we have directly from EA/Origin staff.
  • It was revealed in comments by some Redditors on /r/games that those who had acquired a digital copy by supplying Origin with their existing retail disc product code (CD key) received the properly-updated Version 1.1.641.  The locked Version 1.1.610 copies that were the focus of my last post seem to be going to users who purchased the game outright from Origin.
  • One user on /r/simcity4 reported that upon logging onto Origin, the service downloaded an update for SimCity 4, after which they found they could install the NAM.

I am still waiting for some additional confirmation that Origin has, in fact, issued an update for their version of SC4.  If you’re an Origin user who has SC4, or an Origin employee, I’d love to hear from you, so I can convey an accurate picture of where things currently stand.  For those interested in getting breaking updates on situations like this, in between SimTarkus posts, I’m also on Twitter (@TarkusSC4).

-Tarkus

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