With the constant bombardment of DLC, add-on content and controversial microtransactions, it’s hard not to feel nickel and dimed at every turn these days in the video game industry. So it's a pleasant surprise when a publisher does something nice for gamers, like giving away a game for free. That’s exactly what publisher Electronic Arts is doing right now on their online game market Origin. For a limited time, you can pick up SimCity 2000 Special Edition "On the House."
Granted, EA chose to give away a game that’s been available for almost two decades, but you won’t see us complaining too much. They previously gave out Wing Commander 3 for free and sometimes it’s nice to set aside the latest and greatest triple-A title and relive the memories of days past - Days when all your hard work and dedication was spent building a beautiful city that could be destroyed in an instant by a tornado or alien attack.
Though let’s be honest, the destruction was just as fun as the building. So, what’s the catch for the free game? According to Origin, there is no catch.
Our goal is to provide a great gaming experience and a way to discover awesome new games. Having a game in your library, for free, is a fantastic way to see what Origin is all about.
Players who download SimCity 2000 (available on PC) will own the full game forever. For EA, the benefit to giving the game away is the good will built among gamers. Since the game normally costs $5.99, the cost is minimal to EA and the publisher will benefit from a little good will. In addition to offering SimCity 2000 for free, EA recently announced additional DLC for Battlefield 4 to show their gratitude to players sticking with them after a rocky launch last year and continuing to support it. Of course, we don't know what the price tag on that extra content will be.
The choice of game is interesting given EA’ rocky release with last year's SimCity, which had “game-breaking” connectivity issues at launch, a serious problem considering the game required constant online connectivity to play. The rough release was one action that led to consumers dubbing EA “The Worst Company in America” in 2013 for a second year in a row.
In order to get the game for free, players will have to sign into or create an account on Origin. Visit the Origin On the House page to get your copy.
Do you think giving away SimCity 2000 will help EA’s standing with gamers? Are you planning to pick up the game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.