Rumblings in the community

Hi guys. Don’t have much to talk about on the blue side of things. Still working through the new proggies, getting a new beta out to the testers and seeing how I can get everything running smoothly. On the game side of things, that’s a different story. Seems things continue to go downhill, from a fans perspective, with The Sims.

Quick recap. About two weeks ago they asked that a 3rd party program to edit behaviors and other low-level stuff be removed from the website. Still waiting on the official verdict on that. Last week a new tool, the Date Maker, was released for Simday but was wrought with problems. All your dates were men, etc. A patch was released and there are still problems. The sex change problem appears to be fixed but all the townies are named “Randy” and there are a few other problems with careers, astrological signs, etc.

So there are some rumblings in the community. Some people are just downright peeved and won’t buy any Maxis products anymore. Others find it amusing and wait to see the next blunder they’ll produce. A letter is circulating around the newsgroups now asking for a complete boycott of The Sims products. Below is the full text. You decide what to do next. Note: the author of the letter later remarked that he had no intention of a full boycott but perhaps a 1 month waiting period before everyone rushes out to buy The Sims stuff would be advisable, waiting for the fallout from the .0 releases. Unfortunately I can’t comment on the stability and functionality of the game as a game. I fire it up a few times a day but only for a few minutes to test objects, never really getting into playing it. The key thing here is keep your cool and act responsibly. Don’t go flying off at the handle since that doesn’t do anyone any good. Here’s the letter:

Dear colleagues,

This is an open letter to registered owners of The Sims and their expansion packs. As representatives of The Sims community, we have several issues with Maxis’ products and have drafted this letter to outline those issues and to ask for your assistance in spreading the word.

1. The user community has issues with the quality of Maxis’ testing of products, whether they are sold or provided free. These concerns also apply to patches Maxis releases for these products. In short, based on the experiences encountered with the first Hot Date patch and the Sims Make-A-Date tool, we believe that testing procedures are substandard and need to be corrected.

2. Until there are reports that a product is released only after its been thoroughly tested, we are encouraging users around the world to stop purchasing Maxis’ products.

3. In an effort to demonstrate the magnitude of support for this initiative, we are asking all registered owners of The Sims who endorse this initiative to send Maxis an email stating their stance on the testing of software. In the email, we are suggesting users list ALL their Maxis software titles and registration / serial numbers as proof of ownership. If posting to their BBS, do NOT include your product registration numbers since the BBS is in the public domain. As a matter of principle to new Usenet readers: NEVER post personal info in a public forum.

4. The goal of this is to improve the quality of delivered products by encouraging Maxis to change their testing procedures and perhaps even their product-to-market model.

5. We also expect the user community to act maturely; we do not want you to spam Maxis, or rant in your emails, or to complain about the bugs. Maxis is already aware of the issues. A simple “I won’t buy MAXIS software until its PROVEN to work.” would suffice. It is recommended to let them know in your email, how many dollars you’ve already invested in their products.

6. We expect that Maxis may reply to a post on their BBS, but probably not to the post(s) on alt.games.the-sims. The only reply we care about will come from the community at large when Vacation is released – If it’s stable, we’ll know Maxis has addressed the testing issues.

7. Help spread the word by posting on various Sims sites, and petitioning webmasters to set up polls regarding confidence in Maxis’ products. We would also like to promote the expansion of this newsgroup, so include a reference to alt.games.the-sims in your post.

8. Lastly, we wish Maxis every success in delivering the quality products they envision. The vast majority of the posters on alt.games.the-sims want Maxis to succeed in providing users with quality products with a high replayability value. We eagerly anticipate the expansion pack, addons, the release of Edith, and other tools. But our stance is that quality should never be sacrificed. The majority of us are patient and would tolerate waiting longer for a better product. In fact, one of the simplest things Maxis can do to regain our

confidence is to openly talk about their testing procedures and any potential changes they’d make. Failure to do so would only add to the suspicion that testing is low on the priority list.

Thanks for your time and help.