The Death of TSTO…Redux

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.

We’ll see.

Let me guess…Krusty is going to be killed by a Knight Nerd from a marauding village…right???


Moving on.

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!

119 responses to “The Death of TSTO…Redux


  2. I feel like the “yearbook mystery box” needs to have more content if this really is the end. Or even another set of boxes that work similar. One idea is a “prize track mystery box”. I missed various prizes at the end of the tracks in some events. Most have come back, but characters like doctor Robert and the sexy pirate have not returned in the store. I feel like a box including all the prize track items ever would be great if the game really does end just so players can still try to get everything. A new system that could allow a player to have every in game item could be another option. New ways to obtain donuts could be introduced (although there are many like the monorail and find Maggie. The weekly vault could even be expanded. Just my spit ball of thoughts.

  3. What is a four-letter word for happiness ? _ _ _ _

    No it’s not my old girlfriend Mary .

    ( Girlfriend talking in her boyfriends voice . )
    They just gave us several new items in the yearbook and land .
    I think this might just be some down time so we could redesign .
    If not everybody would have complained about we just got a new event and I don’t have time to put my stuff where I need to .

    Come Easter will get a new event.
    But what do I know l’m just a monkey sitting on a rock .

    🐒🌎 . See ya bye . 👽

  4. I don’t have the data to back it up, but I suspect EA might be shifting it’s focus from new players to endgame players. I’ve been playing for a long time, and honestly, I’m liking these recent low-stress mini events. Sure the bigger ones have more stuff, but it’s a lot of work just to get some unvoiced stiff who showed up in the show once, and will never be involved in another thing again.
    I think they are acting to stop longtime players from leaving, not to entice new players with new content, and easing off a bit on the heavy duty skip-a-day-and-you-miss it events.

  5. WOW utter bullsh**

  6. Rachel Connelly

    Has EA gone dark? A lot of the other games are having the same question of “What’s next? Where’s EA?” Hoping the party isn’t over, but getting concerned

  7. I think I might be done with the game anyway. My Galaxy S8 updated on Sunday and since then my game has suffered. My game is zoomed in, which makes it difficult to play, and I can’t seem to figure out how to fix it (anyone have ideas?). Also since my phone updated, my game redownloads every time and takes forever. My understanding was that if I delete stuff off my phone that would remedy that, but alas, that hasn’t worked. I have 26.7 GB available anyway. Can someone please post the link for me about troubleshooting the redownloading issue please? Thank you!

  8. The end has already come for me. I have a Kindle and haven’t been able to play since January. I’ve been with TSTO since December 2012. All those hours and $$ to find that EA doesn’t care. Sad, because the game actually helps me with my depression!

    • So I have a legitimate (not snarky at all) question for you, and for any other Kindle/Fire user. Do you not have a smartphone? Because Kindle (or fire) is a tablet, so not what you’d use for a cellphone. And, while I know there are still flip phones out there, I’m just curious of those having this issue are using Flip Phones and not smartphones. Because even if it’s a problem on Amazon, you could still download and play your game on a smartphone and not have the zoom issue. So just curious…

      • Keith1Roon991

        I had a Kindle fire and a Samsung phone, played on both but the Kindle always had problems with the game so I bought a Huawei at it works great and I still play on my phone which is a lot smoother.

      • I have the zoom issue and nothing (NOTHING) can stop me from playing. It’s just makes it a bit harder (and very close to the eyes!)

      • No, I don’t have a smart phone. No use for it. I have a Kindle because the cost/benefit ratio seemed frugal. I’m aware this could result in limitations. It hasn’t so far with TSTO after four years but, I guess, the programmers aren’t as bright as before.

      • I mentioned it before in previous comments, but again: To all Kindle users who have the zoom issue and don’t own a smartphone to play TSTO: Don’t you have a PC? TSTO can be played with the Bluestacks emulator on a PC – and the best thing is, you can also play it on a large flatscreen then. 🙂

        • It’s. about portability.

          • No one says there are no portable PC…A laptop is a portable PC for example 😉 but if you want to play TSTO without the zoom issue on a smaller portable device, I guess you have “to bite the sour apple” and just buy a device that works without problems.

        • I play a game on kindle 7, serious zoom. I have resurrected my old samsung tab 2, with severe lag to do rearranging of items, switching between both devices i can keep playing the game. Annoying that the zoom hasnt been fixed for the kindle, seriously doubt it will be now.
          I have also tried repeatedly to download bluestacks on my lap top, it has never let me load the simpsons game despite following all tips given by others on google. Any secret tips, would love to have such a big screen to play on.

          • @ eddi: You just have to download Bluestacks and then go to the Google Playstore to download TSTO. If this doesn’t work, you can also try MEmu, another Android emulator.

    • Why don’t you get an Android tablet or an iPad? Your ability to play the game is not gone forever just because you can’t play it on your Kindle. As long as you have an EA account (or an Origin account), and the game is logged into that account, your gameplay progress will be saved across devices. So go out there and get yourself an iPhone/iPad, or an Android phone/tablet, that is compatible with the game’s current system requirements, then follow EA’s instructions for restoring your progress, and then get yourself back into the game. You will find your Springfield there in the game waiting for you as if you had never left.

    • If you spent money for the game, why not invest some money in a new platform like an iPad?

      • Not everyone wants to spend the money on an ipad, or android tablet. Amazon tablets are significantly cheaper than Android or iPad

  9. Unless EA comes up with a fix for the zoomed in Kindle, it’s the end for me.

  10. I thought it was coming to an end but just maybe… just maybe the mystery box and land dump was dropped in to keep us busy while they cook up a complete revamp…

    We’ll see

  11. If they do anything to the game it’ll be a way to stop donut farming. THAT’S where they’re losing revenue, not the game itself. And are they losing that much? I’ve been playing for three years and I don’t farm. I don’t have the time or the beer.

    I doubt this is the end of Tapped Out.

    • Actually, they *have* tried to kill farming in the past: the increase in price for houses beyond a certain point was a blatant attempt to dissuade people from building out vast collections of houses for XP farming. Likewise, they’ve made other attempts to convert farmers into spenders, such as making selected characters exclusively available when you buy (with real cash) a donut bundle. Both of those efforts probably had some limited success.

      But at the same time, they seem to be trying to ensure that they don’t *lose* too many players — farmers or otherwise — because they keep doing things to appease dissatisfied farmers, such as adding selected items to the game which actually make farming easier… like the IRS building, the XP Collider and (most recently) the Sky Finger Monument.

      So ya know… it’s a very complex balancing act, which EA is perpetually tweaking to try to maximize their return on investment.

  12. I think the game is ending soon. I think the new photo feature was a way for us to say goodbye to our towns and have a keepsake. However, I also think they’d surely give us Gill as a playable character as their final new item.

  13. I’m a little surprised that EA is “giving” us the big items so easily. Things like GGR could have easily been staged in like the IRS building where you had to throw $$/donuts at it to make it generate land in less time, or same with Sky Finger statue.

  14. I’m not really worried yet about this game dying. As we also just had two mini-events back to back which is something I can’t recall ever happening in the game either. Still when it does come to this game dying I feel bad for those who actually paid money into it.

    • Same here. I’m depressed just thinking of all the time I sunk into it knowing EA can just flip a switch and boom, the servers are offline for good. I couldn’t even imagine spending actual money just for that to happen.

      And if they really are pulling the plug on this game I feel especially bad for everybody that sunk major money into buying tons of donuts for the Year Book this past event (which ended up being a permanent mystery box anyway).

      If EA does decide to end it I can’t imagine it’ll be all at once or soon. I’m guessing/hoping they would stop making new events but people could still play with their towns before eventually axing the servers to officially kill the game entirely.

  15. Wow 😲 Pat you really were cranky. It’s nice how time can change things. As for all the doomsday end of the world…I mean game posts. It bugs me to think it might, but as I keep reading this has been going on for years. So I’m just going to keep playing and enjoy my game, and if anyone with any pull is reading this how about Martin’s Parents??? Maybe in a nice combo with a building, good bonus % and under 150 donuts ?? I don’t think that’s too much to ask!! Happy Day

  16. What about last phase of Roads To Riches?

  17. So basically 🤷🏼‍♂️ until EA does offer an Update / new Event ! 😂

    Hey I remember prior times when EA took forever between events, I got grumpy too …. now? I just 🤷🏼‍♂️ and lazily redo my Springfield (and Kem Farm). The latest Vault is more NPC then Characters / Buildings (EA screwed the pooch so I’m not spending sprinkles) 🤷🏼‍♂️ there’s always next week.

    I’m not expecting an Easter Event, but it would be nice to hear from EA

  18. Keith1Roon991

    Can we have the snow back before tge Endgame EA.
    Photo of the Pentland hills, edinburgh, Scotland, this morning on the eve of
    the apocalypse lol

  19. I’m sure that we’ll have a new update within Easter 2019, probaby about april 10-11 or april 16, we must remember that EA must give time to new players to finish their work. I think it’s absolutely normal this delay.

  20. They have to give 30 days notice and they will probably turn buying doughnuts off. The link to the game on the EA site is dead (for me anyway). 5 days and counting

  21. steven_eas801

    Events were much less frequent when I first started playing at the back end of Superheroes 1. Perhaps we’re going back to those days. More downtime sure, but it’s that much more exciting when something finally drops. I suspect it’ll hurt EA financially though, as players have plenty of time to stockpile donuts and clear out the new content as soon as it drops.

  22. Nice to meet the more mellowed out version of you Pat! 👍😊

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