There are so many theories floating around right now, about the death of TSTO, that one has to ask, “What the???”
OK. So, I realize that isn’t much of a question or an answer. But, you have to admit, that it is a bit early to speculate, when the game continues to chug along, working just fine…but without new content.
The servers are still on folks!
In the 7 years of this game’s existence (that’s 91 years in Mobile Gaming Years), TSTO has been pulled, almost pulled, and pretty much written off for dead several times.
The first time, was when EA actually pulled it off of the App Store. The first release in Feb 2012, had loads of issues and server problems…prompting EA to finally pull it in August of that same year. The game didn’t come back in it’s relatively present form, until late September of 2012. But even then, it was plagued by server problems, and glitches that would often take the game offline for days at a time.
After a few great updates and relative stability, many of the TSTO faithful, including me, thought the game was definitely giving us signals that it was coming to an end.
I wrote this in August of 2014. More than four and a half years ago. I read it now…and laugh at how seriously cranky I was back then.
I’ve Seen the Future… And a Death in the “Family”
So this is not going to popular with the real “gamers,” or the devoted TSTO minions who gladly do whatever EA tells them to do, as long as there is SOMETHING to do in TSTO.
But…I am coming to the conclusion very quickly that his update is REALLY the beginning of the end for the game.
I do not come to this conclusion lightly. But it comes from a series of “reality checks,” talking to some of the “insiders” and a general feeling that the game is SO far off of the rails, that it just can’t come back again.
If you don’t want to be a “Negative Nelly” and are terrified that your “half glass full world” may suddenly be drained of enough “happy juice” to mess up your world…ignore this.
But…I have talked to someone who is “In the Know…” and I didn’t like what I heard.
Let’s forget the fact that almost NONE of this update has a freakin’ thing to do with the Simpsons Show…or even remotely resembles the original Springfield in design or flavor. Forget that we were given more land…only to have a TON of random crap (in various forms of stone, cardboard, and recycled garbage) that began filling it up immediately.
Forget the fact that this is CLEARLY a “sour grapes” attack on Clash of Clans, and that the dialogue does almost nothing to hide it. Forget that it has turned the whole concept of being Neighborly completely upside down…and has dialogue that fits better in “Grand Theft Auto- Medieval Edition” than a Family Game that is rated “E” for everyone.
What this feels like…is a DESPERATE attempt to keep us engaged, in an enterprise that has lost its heart and soul…and its way.
The most ironic part of this update hitting when it did…is that it is during the amazing 12-Day Simpsons Marathon that is being played in FXX as we speak. I admit readily that so many of these episodes have been long forgotten, that I also forgot that they represent a much-debated “Three Stages of the Simpsons” that became clear, as you watched them.
The first stage was the first season, where nobody…and I mean NOBODY thought it would last. In the interview sessions with Yeardley Smith, she as much as admitted that the initial order of the day was laid out by James L. Brooks, executive producer of the show, that “nothing will happen to the Simpsons that can’t happen with a real family.” For this reason…the first nine episodes were the most real…heartfelt…and full of genuine emotional storytelling of all 25 seasons.
The second stage was from season Ten- when the staff/writers/producers had “run out of ideas” and began going with the “This is a cartoon…we can suspend reality” period. It was still good. But, it really lost the emotional heart of what made the show not just good…but AMAZING. Few real Simpsonites argue this point.
The Final /Recent Stage of Decline happened just after 2000, when after several contract negotiations, outsourcing of animation, and a revolving door of writers, created an era when there was almost no continuity. This feeling continues to this day…with some arguing that Matt Groening, thinking that the 25th would be the “final year” (and then extending it…and making a boatload in the FOX syndication deal) kept it going. There is no “Going out on top,” here folks.
But what does this have to do with the game?
For those who have done their research…with the clear exception of the Episode Tie-In updates that have happened…where ALL bets are off as far as continuity (is Kumiko with Comic Book Guy or NOT?), almost ALL of the good content, decorations, and update material are from the first NINE seasons…most of them actually being from the first FOUR seasons (including the rumored stripper). That is fine. There are myriad options of untapped characters, decorations, buildings etc. that COULD STILL be introduced from these bedrock institutions. But….no.
We are now saddled with a mess of an update that is trying to emulate, while “satirizing” a game that is so much more popular and profitable than TSTO, that it hardly needs to be mentioned. FIRST RULE OF ADVERTISING AND MARKETING…NEVER MENTION THE COMPETITION (a rule that I forget all of the time here…oops!).
So…instead of Lionel Hutz…Helen Lovejoy (who cares if she is already a ghost?), Cookie Kwan (who could bring us more land!!), Bleeding Gums Murphy, or countless others…or a MONORAIL, or countless other buildings featured in the first nine seasons…we get an update about an episode that never really happened….with new skins that don’t exist…that turn the game completely upside down in logic, and play…with MORE GLITCHES than ever before.
I call this the LAST Period of the Simpsons. When the writers/producers/programmers are so freakin’ lazy and bereft of creativity, that they are simply going to make stuff up…any way they choose…and then RIDICULE THE PLAYERS FOR PLAYING.
There are simply far too many slams against the players to count here…they are all but doing the “WHY ARE YOU SLAPPING YOURSELF??” game, as they take your tapping fingers and drive them into our eye-sockets…to pop out the eyes…and make soup of them. Harsh? Not nearly as harsh as the dialogue in this update.
Here’s the deal kids. As you know, I am a HUGE believer in Free Will. I also believe in “VOTING WITH YOUR WALLETS.” If any of you…and I mean ANYBODY HERE…spends REAL MONEY to be insulted…and ridiculed. You. Are. A Sheep-i-fied MORON.
Bliss Ninnies will be bliss ninnies. You know who they are. But, sorry…I am not going to sit around and continue to write glowing reports about a game that so clearly thinks we are assclowns for playing/paying for it.
This is the beginning of the end. How do I know?
Because…one of the people at the Yeardly Smith/Simpsons Mural unveiling yesterday works in the animation department of FOX. Not EA. Not Gracie. Fox. I am not going to share the conversation…because it was so laden with “dodges” and “subterfuge” that it made me shudder. What was clear, is that Fox doesn’t care about TSTO. At all. And THEY own the primary animation rights. They have moved on. Ask Tiny Co. They care about the Simpsons…except that all of the programming, real work, and “creativity” is coming from people who don’t know or care about the history of the show. Not cool.
I am “that guy.” I ask uncomfortable questions…because I have BEEN IN THE BUSINESS for almost THREE DECADES. And I can tell you…that if someone from Fox is dodging questions…that is all the answer I need.
Sorry kids. Enjoy it while it lasts. But…the final “clue” about this mess…is that the “leaked Tweet” from one of the Simpsons writers talked about nothing except for an Episode Tie-In. No Monorail. No Big Things Coming. In my opinion, it was a simple, desperate hope to keep us playing up until the new Season of the Simpsons airs in late September.
Let me guess…Krusty is going to be killed by a Knight Nerd from a marauding village…right???
I’ll do stuff on this update…to help those stuck. But, you need to know, that after 60 years of living in this world…and working in the entertainment business for more than half of that time…I can smell the death of a franchise when the stink is in the air. And this update stinks of the death of creativity for the Simpsons.
The game…the show…the concept…all on life support…and they NEED YOUR MONEY to keep it alive (cartoon hospice is expensive!).
Do us all a favor. Save your money for something that matters.
So….maybe I was just a little bit wrong about this?
I am literally laughing as I read this insanely cranky diatribe. I was sooooooo vested in the game. So, completely nuts about the day to day, that I was incredulous that EA/Gracie/Fox would have the audacity to do something with the game that wasn’t canon.
Here’s the deal kids…I don’t know if this really is the end of the game or not. But, I do know that since writing about the “end of the game,” in August of 2014, EA has given us so many amazing updates, twists, turns, and tools, that it makes your head spin.
And if this really is the beginning of the end…I have to apologize now, for being such a whackadoodle to them back when they were clearly just trying to change things up.
Let’s keep our heads about us. Let’s try and enjoy the fact that we have downtime to work on our games…can still farm donuts…can still buy land…and with the Yearbook, can still get almost anything that we missed. That is a LOT of content.
Here’s to the next 91 years!