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Open Letter To Maxis: The Sims Deluxe Rip-off
Sunday 18th August AM, 2002 - The Netherlands (Europe)
Dear Maxis, EA Games and EA,

The press release that was published last week, said a few great things *ahem*. Quote:
"Rounding out this ultimate offering, players can furnish their homes with two completely new designs sets featuring over 25 objects found only in The Sims Deluxe Edition. With over 50 additional new clothing choices completing this pack, The Sims Deluxe Edition is a must-have for both Sims newcomers and Sims fans alike."
25 objects. Easy to make. Some sets of boring couches in different colours, matching chairs, and some other recolourings. And then in total maybe 1 original object that you might actually use.
50 Skins: 1 clothing set, 3 skin tones = 3 skins. Easy to get to 50 then, you only need to make 17 skins or so, and put them on all skin tones. Numbers don't lie, but they do mislead. Especially in such press releases.

Another quote from the press release:
"(1) Offer expires December 31, 2002. Offer available only in the U.S. and Canada to The Sims Deluxe purchasers who can also provide original proof of purchase for The Sims. Completed Coupon Certificates must be postmarked by January 15, 2003"
Okay now let's see. You can get a $10 rebate on the price of $40 for The Sims Deluxe - effectively paying $30 for the 75 extras and the Create-A-Sim program. BUT, a) you have to live in the US or Canada. b) You must still have a proof of purchase. What does count as that? Only a receipt. How many people do still have their receipts of a game they bought maybe even two and a half years ago.

Many of us already paid $70 for TS+LL. The other expansions cost $30 each, with 4 expansions besides LL (incl. Unleashed) that's another $120. Total costs: $190 per person. With Deluxe: $230, or $220 if you're lucky.

As European it's even worse (for the record: I am European). You cannot participate on contests on the official site - NEVER there's been a European official contest, which is definately not impossible - you cannot get a refund, even if it's just $10, for The Sims Deluxe. As for everybody: we get very lousy SimDays lately. Why not some more info on other upcoming games (besides TSO), like The Sims 2 or The Sims PS2. One week all we see is a link to a chat transcript, the week after just a link to an article which mentions TSO in one little paragraph. Lousy or what?! Oh, and may I add I read at IGN.com that 40% of your customers comes from Europe? I estimate 10% are from elsewhere besides the USA/Canada (like South America, Asia), and the other 50% are from the US/Canada. You already exclude 50% from the rebate by saying it's only eligible to people from USA or Canada. Now let's see, I doubt most people still have their receipt of when they bought the game two years - or longer - ago. In the end, it's probably just 10% of the ones who have The Sims + Livin' Large - or less - who can actually get back $10 if they buy The Sims Deluxe. All the others buying it and who already had The Sims and Livin' Large will have paid $40+$30+$40=$110 just to get the same thing twice, once with a few lousy extras.

Now why not give us, who already have The Sims and Livin' Large (and paid more for it than the total Deluxe package), the Create-A-Sim tool and the extras in the form of a download at the official site? 5 skins every week would fill up 10 SimDays already, maybe you have some material for it then? The ultimate offer? I doubt it... It sounds more like 'The ultimate rip-off'. You're a company Maxis/EA, you want money. We know that. But we as customers pay you that money. Unhappy customers tend to stop buying from the company that ripped them off. In other words: you're losing customers with this, and in the end losing money. Now I thought you wanted the opposite of that, or am I wrong and is Bankruptcy what you're aiming for? Maxis, I must say that things were better _before_ you joined Electronic Arts, now to me known as the farmers who milk out every game they release.

Instead of being expected to dip into our pockets for something we already have, we deserve to be rewarded for what we have already done. It is through the hard work of sites like ours and the gaming public who visit them that The Sims has achieved the status and fame that it currently holds.

I'm posting my opinion at several places in the community, for instance at my site dedicated to the game that once came from the best company we know: The Sims. My site, The Sims Zone, is located at www.thesimszone.co.uk. Feel free to pay us a visit and see how much dedication and hard work that my staff and I put into our site. Then compare it to the effort put in your own site. If you want to contact me, please do not hesitate to email me. I'm open to receive any comments from you, and I will publish your story on my site if you want. Of course, I will also respond to it at the same time.

Sincerely,

ChEeTaH, Webmaster of The Sims Zone, and owner of The Sims, all its expansions and several other Sim-games, on behalf of the current owners of The Sims and Livin' Large.
To webmasters, forum regulars, etc:
The above part is an open letter from me to Maxis. Feel free to copy it to your own site, post about it in forums or newsgroups... just spread the word! All I ask you is to not change the letter itself (you may add your own comments before or after it though). Simply copy/paste the above letter. If you want a HTML formatted version of the letter, email me and I'll send it to you. I thank everybody in advance who agrees with me and helps me spreading the word. Thank you all!

ChEeTaH, your webmaster of this site.
Written at 03:18 on Sunday 18 August 2002 by ChEeTaH.

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