EA-Land closing & Player Campaigns!

We all know that it has been announced on the 29th of April that EA-Land/The Sims Online will be closing its doors on the 1st of August 2008, by a post made by EA on the official blog in this post. It is extremely sad and devastating to see our all-time favorite game closing down its doors, specially after 8 months of hard work from the developers to improve the game and bring in new features. The decision by EA sounds extremely irrational that we can’t explain it by anything else than that EA needs some serious re-employment of managers. Why spend all this time, effort and money on something they are going to close anyways? Why put the developers into such a huge task and headache? Why bring back hope to thousands of people and then close it down?

There has been a promise of the Amnesty Program (explained in this post) to be issued before the end of April, and on the night of the promised day, we get another unexpected and unpleasant announcement instead of the Amnesty, which by the way, brought back hundreds of subscribers back to the game, that the game was closing. It sounds as a rip-off from EA … they tell us to come back, they take the subscription money of a couple of months and tells the community that it is closing. Another thing, the introduction of the ATM machines, which drove people to start buying from EA in-game currency (Simoleans), being certain that they will benefit from it as the game will become better in the future and they could use it to make a profitable business that would let them gain real $$ in the future as the cash-out feature was promised, however, never implemented. This, after hundreds of complains and possible threats of lawsuits, EA has decided to refund all the money used to buy simoleans from the ATM (published in this post on the official blog) … fair enough. However, many people have upgraded their computers or even bought new ones as we were promised that TSO/EA-Land would be moving towards The Sims 2 graphics. Many other people bought time-cards … and we guess that none of these will be refunded.

Don’t blame the developers, they have worked their butts off for all of us to have a better gameplay and new features almost weekly. Personally, I believe that the developers didn’t even know about the plans of closing EA Land since they would’ve not promised us the amnesty. I can’t believe that the developers will go into all this headache and exhaustion for nothing. Reminding that Lee left EA after EALand was announced to be closing. It also worth reminding that the last few weeks before the huge announcement was made, there was a lack of communication from the developers, with a possible reason of negotiating this decision with the top management, or simply, they have been told to leave their offices and stop working on the game.

EA has never given EA-Land much of a time or chance to succeed or to see whether it can at least attract more subscribers. Only a couple of months were given after announcing the opening of EA-Land beta . Do you think that is enough for a game to succeed?! The 11 developers worked on the game for more than 8 months and did the tasks of probably a 100 developers would do. 8 months does nothing to a game, specially with a small number of developers working on it. It should’ve been given a longer time.

The community, with the huge amount of rage and sadness expressed to the world, have decided to start up a huge campaign called PlayerCampaigns (www.playercampaigns.com) to attempt to save the game. Different ideas are being introduced and many easy, simple but effective tasks are found in the forums for everyone to do that would benefit the game. Please don’t think this is a stupid idea, many other communities have succeeded to save their favorite game. The help and support of anyone is greatly appreciated, and every single person can contribute and have a huge effect on the destiny of this game, even if you never played it. For example, the internet radios were about to go into a point were most of them would’ve closed due to some new laws and pricings, however, the community made a campaign and got the support of more people where they were sending emails to officials and more, which ended up in saving the internet radios and all those decisions were not implemented. Please join us at the PlayerCampaigns site and contribute as much as possible in any idea or task. This game has meant more than just a game for mostly everyone, it has been an escape from real life and a second home to many. Many people with disabilites were now able to talk, walk, meet and make new friends. Many people met their future wives/husbands, their all time best friends, their girl or boy friends. Many have gone through deaths, marriages, sicknesses, new babies born and more together. The memories and friends made over 6 years should never be underestimated and we don’t want that to end 😦 … imagine this happening to your favorite game!!

Visit www.playercampaigns.com and register in the forum!

Any support is forever appreciated and PLEASE spread the word.

Thank you,

majdi/simworldnews/the community

P.S you can comment on the article without registering.


10 thoughts on “EA-Land closing & Player Campaigns!

  1. I am with you, majdi. Working for http://www.playercampaigns.com has become my new game. There is ample reason to throw my energy into saving sims besides the money issue. This game fills a spiritual and emotional need in my life that just can’t be replaced with any other game. The Sims Online is like a tightly woven tapestry of a beautiful setting where we can all commune and bond. 5 years of my life are wound around those bonds and that community. I love you for your heartfelt letter and efforts to save us. Keep up the good work !

  2. You are right on the money. Electric Arts promised many things to the players of The Sims Online. They brought back many on those promises. Also to note is that Electric Arts did no advertising for this game since they had their hands on it. Besides the email that was sent to all the past players from their database, no advertising dollars were invested in keeping this game alive. That says a lot about what Electric Arts had in mind for this game.

    It seems there only concern was to get the game renamed to EALand so that it could be distanced from the Sims name. This way the future of The Sims PC games would not be effected.

    The developers worked long hours on a game that was not updated and upgraded for years. They started turning it around. Many issues still to be fixed but the hopes of many were slowly coming to be. For Electric Arts to just take all that away killing off many relationships and communities is wrong.

    Stand up to these Corporate Bullies and help in the fight to save a very important game to many.


  3. I too am a long time sims player been playing since beta and I would like to add a little bit more of my experience with ea and the sims online. When we were in beta and for the first year or so things were great updates were happening new cities were being brought online and filled to capacity. You couldnt even get in the cities because they were over filled. In time im not sure what happen but EA completely give up on us.. for years we were paying customers with no updates.. servers were up but the game wasnt being update at all no one was working on it they dropped down to a skeleton team to keep the game running that is its.. and this went on for years. Cities and prodjects abandoned.. Betaville was one of them great city if only they could have worked longer and got the bugs out.

    Then last year. The new dev team come in and tried their best.. we were told of all of these updates what they wanted to do… but the thing is we werent told that they were building a new game out of our old one..

    Our game name was changed… they tried to rename our sims we were no longer sims anymore… ( keyword tried were all still sims no matter what they say) They tried renaming our ingame money.. promised the world and it was happening what the devs said they wanted to do was showing up in our game. People were just starting to come back… They did promise amnesty.. at this point I myself wasnt happy with the new econimics that they had introduced to the game but I was gonna stick it out for amnesty.. Kept all 5 of my accounts open.. I have older sims and it would have been benifical to me to keep them based on our game play.

    We were givin one date for amnesty… it come and passed then another date come up.. okay thas okay with me give more players a chance to come back. Well we all know how that turned out as stated above it never happend.

    As a consumer I feel cheeted degraded lied to. I feel i have been scammed all these years waiting around waiting on EA to do something… As a paying customer I feel that they had an obligation to us. This wasnt a free play game it was a monthly subscriptions and many players like myself had multiple accounts. Im not lawyer I dont know the laws but something about what ea has done seems criminal to me at least liable. They promised us free play till aug 1, 2008. Everyones accounts where shut down to free player status as soon as we stopped paying for the game.. We were told that no more money would be takin from our creditcards and they were… might have been givin back but the fact is it was still takin… our accounts were changed from premium memembers back to free play and only after our outrage did they change us back to premium players it wasnt something done automatically. We have had to fight tooth and nail with ea to get back what we deserve after everything that has been done to us..

    Me as a little man think all of this is just plain appauling.. As much as I love this game I will never give ea another dime of my money even if the game is saved.. the only way I will continue playing is if someone else buys out ea and learns from their mistakes.

    We had no customer service.. even when writing them we were givin back generic repsonses we had no real help when things went wrong in our game play.. just sorry nothin we can do. Now were asking that people help us save our game. I do want our game saved but if it means going through all of this again.. no way.. will i do it.. Im working to save the game because of the love of the game there is nothin out there like it any where.

  4. “There is nothing out there like it”, and therein lies the motivation to save something as unique and special as The Sims Online, subsequently renamed EA Land. Other games may be interesting and enjoyable in their own right, but “there is nothing out there like The Sims Online”. Closing the game is like committing murder of our little simmies that we have created and nurtured and developed. Have we no rights as the creator of our sims to defend them or have a say in their future? What’s wrong with this picture? We pay $9.99 a month; what does that cost to us cover? Doesn’t it give us any rights to dictate our own future for our creations? I am going to read the Terms of Service. Perhaps I can find something to lean on.

  5. played tso since beta. I was an AV resident for years! Now they just close us down like its nothing. There will never be a game like TSO again, i’ve looked. Wat game are all u guys going to?

    • Unfortunately, EA-Land closed on the 1st of August 2008. Similar games are almost impossible to find. However, the team is making Tirnua now. We hope that it would become a great game, noting that it’s still in development.

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