After this classic:
A summary of the Walker / Crecente stuff for those who hate or cannot read Twitter.
- Arthur Gies of Polygon took to Twitter and offered up this nugget: "if you don't work at maxis and insist simcity could be updated to be offline, you literally don't know what you're talking about."
- Polygon posted an interview with Lucy Bradshaw who said "With the way that the game works, we offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers so that the computations are off the local PCs and are moved into the cloud. It wouldn't be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team."
- Kotaku discovered the ability to play SimCity offline for 19 minutes.
- John Walker of RockPaperShotgun originally broke the story citing a Maxis insider who said the EA servers don’t really do anything: "The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything." Eurogamer, GameSpot, Kotaku and others ran with the story.
- Gies was made aware of Walker’s source which he attempted to discredit.
- Both RPS and Polygon ran the same story citing the same Reddit source named Azzer who ran the game offline indefinitely.
- Walker posted an interview with Azzer who confirmed the claims of the Maxis insider: "The SimCity servers are not doing any calculations that could not be done on your PC, even for an entire region single player offline mode, let alone just the city you are in...All the server sends to your client, is some very basic data about each city...they are trying to handle all of the saving server side ("the cloud") which is bogging them down constantly."
- Brian Crecente of Polygon posted a link to the RPS interview and said he was in the process of reading the interview and Azzer’s YouTube notes. He then sent both EA and Azzer questions based on the RPS findings.
- Crecente posted an interview with Azzer who confirmed the claims of the Maxis insider: "It's not possible that EA servers are 'offloading' calculations (simulations) for your city, which it works out, and then sends to your client… Not at all. Your client simulates your city, and your client simulates all of the 'fire trucks from another city' type stuff too. Your client does that all. EA servers do not do any processing that your client is incapable of because our 'computers aren't powerful enough." The articles were kinda similar.
- In a number of deleted comments Crecente said the original source of the story was the Lucy Bradshaw interview from a week and a half ago despite posting no original article in the meantime. He also said this story was entirely original and took 3 days of fact-finding to prepare.
- Crecente said he had no knowledge of either RPS article and the source of the story was actually the Reddit post, not RPS, but that "I'll have to go check them out" and Walker was "doing good work".
- When shown the article that originally broke the story – the one from the 12th – he said "oh, that I saw" but maintained Reddit as the source, not the story from the 16th which he didn't see. He said he started working on his story on Sunday, the day after RPS posted it and the day he read it.
- All comments on the Polygon article either citing RPS as the source of the story or criticising Gies for attempting to discredit the RPS story that Polygon were now running were deleted. Polygon then added a link at the bottom of their story to the one from RPS on the 16th.
- Folk on Twitter accused Crecente of plagiarism. Walker defended him.
- After things calmed down Crecente maintained he didn’t lie. When shown his link to the RPS story he said he "only scanned it", but it inspired him to contact Azzer.
- Walker has since been made aware of the tweets and various posts on GAF and responded to Crecente by saying "Brian, you lied at long and painful length, making me look like a fool. I'm too angry to discuss this tonight."
the SimCity shitstorm rolls on but with new questions of game journalism ethics.
Today Brian Crecente publishes a fascinating new news story entitled
"SimCity modder says game doesn't appear to offload significant calculations"
several days after John Walker and RPS broke that news with this totally not new article:
Twitter fight ensures because thats how things are done in this profession (now with added 17th March Whoopsie to start):
Dust settles, apologies made, Polygon article now links to RPS.
User RobbieH then decides to sift that tweetbag and finds this glorious nugget:
So... a lie has been made here somewhere along the line.
Meanwhile Arthur Gies continues his campaign against discrediting all future critique of videogames because you should make a SimCity before you say mean things about one:
Polygon heres my advice:
[special thanks to RobbieH for wrangling tweets back into an acceptable timeline and also bullet point dis shit]
Edit: more tweets. I have them for you:
The defence rests at "I only scanned it, yer honour!"