ALERT: Origin May Be Selling An Outdated, Unpatchable Version of SC4, Yet Again

Those of you who have followed my blog likely remember the incident back in 2014, when Origin, the EA-owned digital download platform, had been inexplicably selling users outdated, unpatchable copy of the SimCity 4 Deluxe, which could not run the Network Addon Mod.  A couple days after this caught wind and PC Gamer also reported on it, Origin users reported receiving an “update” through the Client, which patched their game to the proper 1.1.641 digital version sold by all other retailers.

However, a user by the name RichardCollins started a thread at Simtropolis on February 2, detailing the fact that his Origin retail copy of the game had reverted back to Version 1.1.610 following a system restore.  He noticed this after having the NAM installer tell him he needed the patch to update the game to the minimum Version 1.1.638 needed to properly run the mod.  The screenshot he provided showing the version information also has the same filesize and copyright date as the unpatchable Version 1.1.610 Origin copy from 2014.  Here’s a comparison:

Screenshot provided by Simtropolis member JurisicSantiago, showing that Origin is selling unpatched Version 1.1.610.

Screenshot provided by Simtropolis member JurisicSantiago, showing that Origin was selling unpatched Version 1.1.610 in August 2014.


Screenshot provided by Simtropolis member RichardCollins of Origin retail version number in February 2017.

In this most recent case, the user spent hours over multiple days trying to get Origin to correct the issue, and provide the properly updated version of the game, getting the runaround from completely unknowledgeable Origin customer support agents (which included this absurd exchange–apparently, some gamers aren’t all that trustworthy after all).  Those agents told him to disable Windows User Access Control (UAC) and his security software, among other completely useless things that have absolutely nothing to do with getting a bad copy of SimCity 4 Deluxe, which can’t take advantage of the very things that have kept the game’s community alive for 14 years.

Origin did eventually relent and give out a refund, but curiously, the last agent claimed that Origin “did not have access to the patches” but would “keep an eye out for it.”  This is a particularly strange response, given the fact that all reports have indicated that users who have gotten free copies from Origin by redeeming their old CD keys have gotten Version 1.1.641.

Beyond this situation, there have also been numerous reports in the past year that Origin copies, unlike other digital copies (even those with DRM), also prevent installation the game’s Building Architect Tool (BAT), a Gmax gamepack that EA released themselves back in February 2004 to allow users to create custom buildings for SC4.  This does apparently apply to the Version 1.1.641 copies that the CD key users received as well.

Based on the evidence in this case, it appears Origin may have reverted the retail copy from their online store quite some time ago.  If you have purchased SC4 from Origin within the past two years, I’d advise you check your version number.  If you’re among those affected and have a Version 1.1.610 copy, you can help the cause by sharing a screenshot of your version number, by going to the executable, right clicking it, selecting “Properties” and then going to the “Details” tab.

This is a developing story, and I’ll provide updates if/when any additional information breaks.


12 Responses to ALERT: Origin May Be Selling An Outdated, Unpatchable Version of SC4, Yet Again

  1. Pingback: PSA: Don’t Buy SimCity 4 from Origin | SimTarkus - SimCity 4

  2. Pingback: Update on SC4 and Origin – 08/27/2014 | SimTarkus - SimCity 4

  3. Pingback: PSA: SimCity 4 Deluxe is now safe to buy on Origin (Update: No, It’s Not Anymore) | SimTarkus - SimCity 4

  4. ericsims3 says:

    Deluxe version but still crush to desktop…

  5. SC4Player says:

    Similar case here. Reinstalled Origin in my PC, and when downloading SC4 Deluxe installed version was 1.1.610. Hope it’s just an EA failure and they can bring on the 1.1.641 update once more. Thanks for being aware of this case again, waiting for an satisfactory solution from EA.

  6. CapsuleJX says:

    As of now the Origin version seems to once again be 1.1.641.
    However, I received my copy from customer service when I told them I couldn’t redeem my CD key so I’m not sure if it’s the same as every other Origin copy.

    • Tarkus says:

      From all reports, Origin has always been giving the proper 1.1.641 version to folks who have done a CD key redemption with customer service. If you’ve done it that way, you’re safe. However, those folks who are buying new digital copies off Origin without a previous CD key who have been getting the unpatchable 1.1.610 edition.

  7. beczka says:

    this is also the case here. I don’t knw if we have any chance to make origin refund or correct our game.

    • Tarkus says:

      Sorry to hear you’re having to deal with an Origin copy. The Simtropolis user (RichardCollins) who first brought the return of the “nerfed” copies back to my attention did actually manage to get a refund from Origin, despite being past the refund window, after giving Origin Customer Support a sustained earful. Eventually, the wages for their support staff exceed the cost of just refunding the game.

  8. Leonard Massey says:

    They are still at it. Got my version from Origin today 2/23/2018 paid 19.99 for it, and it is the 1.1.641 version. Tried many different ways from replacing the DAT file’s form my copy from CD install with the ones downloaded from Origin,
    different make a difference still get the error message when trying to install NAM 36. I guess now it my turn to raise a BIG stink with EA about this issue.

  9. Joe User says:

    before finding this thread i purchased from origin (9/12/18). the version installed was 1.1.610. NAM and BAT installs failed and much of my previously installed user content was not working.
    I contacted Origin support, explained that I was unable to patch to the latest version, unable to play my old cities and unable to use user created content and respectfully requested a refund. Origin support started down the path of clearing cache, etc but after citing this article and being respectful, Origin did issue a refund. Thanks for the advice here & hope others can avoid the issue as well.

  10. Pingback: SimCity 4 Deluxe/Rush Hour: Getting Started With Custom Content (Part 1) | SimTarkus - SimCity 4

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