In an effort to downplay SimCity’s always online component that has rendered thousands of players unable to play the game due to unexpected maintenance, EA has hired hundreds of Chinese internet spammers to spin the news positively.
On gaming boards like GameFAQs, IGN and NeoGAF, new registrations have spiked causing some forum administrators to shut down registration. They have reported that a majority of the IPs originate from China and that those users have only posted in threads regarding SimCity complaints. Many share similar themes and phrases including:
“I like to think of this game as an MMO. You can only play MMOs online so I’m okay with this!”
“Only losers like to play alone. We should make friends with all SimCity players for a better gameplay!”
“Thank you EA for making sure our game will always be up to date!”
“Our patience will be rewarded with a wonderful game!”
“Don’t get a refund so soon, you should give EA another chance!”
We spoke to one of these spammers in an exclusive interview:
Play4Real: Rumor has it that you are being paid by EA, is this true?
citybuilder229: No, this is not true.
Play4Real: Then why are you posting only good things about SimCity’s always online requirement?
citybuilder229: Because I was told by EA representative to post them.
Play4Real: But you said you weren’t being paid by EA.
citybuilder229: I have not been paid yet.
Play4Real: Oh, okay. Is there anything else you can tell us about this deal you made?
citybuilder229: I am to be paid one RMB (approximately .16 USD) per good post I make.
Play4Real: How many posts have you made?
An EA spokesperson has denied these claims saying, “We would never stoop so low as to hire Chinese spammers to post positive spin about SimCity’s always online requirement. There is no reason to since the always online requirement is a good thing.”