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

  1. Thanks for this post, Patric, and for your newfound positivity 😀

  2. Soooo I have 56 open quests from the yearbook.. I’m sure others have also purchased a lot of content they missed over the years, and are going through it slowly to read the dialogue and enjoy the new additions to their town. Perhaps they will tarry in delivering a new update until average tasks per user are reduced?

  3. Hi Patric. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I recall TSTO was on Origin servers during the early years. The switch to EA servers didn’t happen until much later and solved most of the sever related issues at least until Krustyland got blown up.

  4. Wow!! Lol! Bold conclusions sometimes leaves egg on the face. This was as bad as collusion delusion sufferers. It seems you have grown for the better in the 5 yrs. That came off as an entitled, pompous guy. Glad to see a more laid back guy now. Kudos.

  5. I now own all items in the yearbook, every one of them. When I click on the book it simply blanks off the screen. Talk about a boring game now with no new content. Fingers crossed on an update!

  6. So how do I get more land? Every time I tap to get a section of land, it pops up and says “you don’t have any land tokens” so how do we get those “tokens”?

  7. The game will continue until all of our demise….which isn’t too far off hint hint……oh well. I love my town more than my actual town, especially the people!! Tastes like burning….I’ll have the crab juice.

  8. I for one am loving this down time, even though I’m still signing on every 4 hours to do my KEM farming, I did some math for the up and comer’s. If you purchase the Mr Burns special box for 6 donuts, it will take 304 donuts to move your % up 47 pts. So 608 donuts will get a 94%. So from 0% to 940% you will spend 6,080 Donuts. Happy downtime and happy farming!

  9. Maybe the delay is due to Disney reevaluating the asset after the merger. They own the franchise now. This would be the first major update after the purchase, no? We could be getting something awesome or it could cease operations. They have movies now that are in limbo let alone an app game.

  10. Christy DiBenedetto

    Honestly I am going to be so upset if the game ends I spend all my free time in this game I have played since the beginning and I just love my town so much I get endless free donuts but I always spend at least twenty bucks a month if not more and I don’t mind it one bit. I have been getting your posts vis email for a while now and the second something is wrong I run here waving my hands frantically reading to make sure I am not alone. I couldn’t make it through without you guys and I never comment but I read all your posts and comments and all of you here at this site are just the best ever so if this happens to be the end I want to thank you all here for keeping it real and keeping us updated at all hours of the day!! Thank you all and fingers crossed our ride isn’t over!!

  11. I think we are all getting a little to Mayan/Doomsday about this game. There’s a trend with the countless Doomsday prophecies. They never happen.! I lived through a couple lol

    My point, signs may point to something but rarely reflect reality.

    • All of the doomsday predictions that I know about, including the ones that are specifically for this game, have all failed to come true. The reason for this (at least for the real world predictions) is because there is a prophecy that says that “No Man” (meaning “man” as a species, NOT “man” as a gender) “can predict the exact date that the World will end.” Basically, what this prophecy is saying is that it doesn’t matter how many humans make doomsday prediction claims, all of those claims will be proven false by failing to come true.

      Strangely (and maybe coincidentally) this prophecy also seems to unexpectedly apply to “The Simpsons” as well, albeit to a much, MUCH, lesser extent since no one seems to have successfully predicted the end times for “The Simpsons” TV Show, and TSTO. Even the show’s creator, Matt Groening, doesn’t seem to know when his will end, as evidence by him thinking that the show was going to end with its 25 season, and, yet, the show continues to endure and seems likely to last until at least the end of its 32 season.

      When the game does end, though, I would like to see the game end with a Mayan-themed major event (if EA hasn’t already done it by the time the game does end). I think that it would be appropriate to end the game with an end of the world event that only the “Mayans” can do.

  12. KEM farming killed this game and it was their own fault. That was a huge revenue loss blunder. Some programmer(s) probably got canned over it.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      Nah, they could have easily fixed that in any number of ways. Stop giving out donuts after leveling up, restrict the number of KEMs you can place, reduce the placement bonus, etc.

      The fact that they haven’t implies that they don’t care and it’s not hurting their bottom line.

      • Sure they could if they did it right away. They didn’t. Now it would be like taking candy away from a baby. You have sites with posts dedicated to how to do it and people bragging about how many thousands of donuts they’ve accrued. No company wants to give away free content when it wasn’t intended to be.

        • Well… they built the game. They made the rules. They allow donut farming. It would be a cinch to stop. They don’t. ‘Nuf said.

          • They tried it by a the price increase when buying houses, KEMs.
            Once I sold a 500 blue house farm with a huge profit, when EA did raise the price for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th,……..

        • Rusty Shackleford

          They are actually pretty generous as it is. There are no ads in the game and tons of ways to earn free donuts. So it must not be hurting them that badly.

          Again, these loopholes could easily be closed, so why don’t they do that?

    • They could fix it if they wished, just introduce a new currency for premium stuff, and make donuts less important.

    • I think we’re seeing a cross sample of players who are not representative of the typical base. I suspect that KEM farmers are a pretty small part of the player base and don’t really impact EA’s bottom line much – I mean they’re going all out to avoid paying for anything and enjoy that aspect of the game.

      I think the fact that donuts are not shareable is their way of containing players who amass huge donut totals and keeping the game’s economy across the player base largely intact.

  13. I’ve been saying this game will be coming to an end for about 7 years now. Old news.

  14. Just a little perspective.

    EA is not failing financially or in jeopardy of going out of business. They have a market capitalization of over $30 billion, that’s with a “B”. In the last twelve months they produced $5.3 billion in revenues and $1.42 billion in net income. Both revenues and net income continue to grow.

    Yes, they fired a a few employees, but they employ 9,300 people.

    To say that EA may be in trouble as a business therefore TSTO is coming to an end is illogical. It doesn’t fit the facts.

    • I hope this isn’t in response to Pat’s post. If it is I don’t think you read the post lol
      The part where he talked about the game ending was from 2014…and he’s basically saying he’s cried wolf before to be proven wrong so he’s not doing it again

    • Rusty Shackleford

      2014 to 2016 was probably the peak time for this game and I suspect the numbers of users have been dwindling. However, those that remain still spend money and I suspect this still generates a decent profit for EA.

      So I could see them dedicating fewer resources to the game. Likewise, fewer events wouldn’t bother me as I still have some things to earn from the yearbook. But otherwise, this game is not going anywhere for awhile.

      If they would just open up Springfield Heights land and let us delete or sell unwanted objects, the game would be nearly perfect. (I am not experiencing the zoom issue, but that needs fixed too. I don’t think that will happen by the way.)

    • EXACTLY correct. And the majority of those let go were in marketing. So…chillax. EA is far from being in trouble. They are no Tiny Co.

      • “EA is far from being in trouble. They are no Tiny Co.” – Exactly, that’s the point, the magic word is *anticipate*, or with other word: Huge companys act, the don’t react.
        Just for example, they are making an enormous amount of money with each of their EA Sports-titles (which aren’t free or freemium or something, you have to pay like 100 bucks just for the game on a CD itself, and they are renewing them annually, like their Soccer Game e.g.) over here in Europe. We’re talking about billions (yes, with a b) here. Every single year. So why spend / invest money in a cow that isn’t giving that much money anymore? Out of romanticism? Out of a feeling or loyalty for the long time players? Guys, it’s still a company..

        It looked pretty suspicious to me when they brought the year book box.. 30 pinkies for almost everything in there is just insane (got Barney with the first pick.. for just 30 donuts…!). Even 40 or 50 would be, I guess. I remember how I struggled with getting at least one President out of the mystery box last summer, ended up with -240 donuts or something and a lot of stuff I didn’t want at all – plus, not a single ex-President was sighted in my town.
        So why now and why not deleting it for good after the event it came with ended?
        Plus, now finally beeing able to make pictures of our towns? This tap-finger-monument? Though they would try to bound you to the game as long as possible normally and not just randomly introduce and show you some short-cuts.
        Also, the last event was about a prom, that’s like what you’re doing if you FINISH the school (or something else..), something to ROUND UP a stage, a FINAL gathering to celebrate what have been. Coincidence? Just a lot of coincidences in a (for known-as-a-slow-innovator-tsto conditions-) pretty short time? Well, we’ll see what’ll happen.

        Oh, and to all those “if they don’t like / want the KEM-farmes, why don’t they just change the game / the XP is given / forbid it / get rid of it / -of them / or anything else.. It would be just that easy for them..”-people:
        Yes, it’s true, it would be easy for them, but there’s something called *timing*. In other words, you can’t decide things like that within a glimpse of time (now and anymore) and there are way to many (side-)effect(s) resulting out of that (now) and – the most important point – it’s just way too late to walk this path (now) – after years – anyway. Someone already brought it to the point: You can’t just take the candy away from the kids after giving it to them for a long time.
        Why? Because NOW it would just offend and scare away way too many players, that literally just go on with playing that game purely for the sake of farming (and for “getting it all”, maximising anything, or what ever else that is bound to the only premium currency in the game). Sure, probably that aren’t the people who spend their real money anyway, but I bet that the amount of people that are willing to spend money while there is the well-known farming-“trick” is shrinking on and on. Plus, such radical decisions wouldn’t stay unseen by all the other players, too. So what would they think? That EA could (and is willing to-) change and turn around everything just immediately if they just want to? Is that positive marketing? Will it really motivate them to spend (more) money?
        Well, I guess *the mouse* is doing it’s math pretty well right now, if you know what I’m about.

        Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t spend any money on the game up till now, “just” a lot of time.. But on the other hand I also don’t have (or want) every single item in the game anyway. And that’s just okay for me. I’m pretty fine with some downtime, too. But right now, for the first time since when I started playing in autumn ’15, I kinda have a bad feeling for the future of this game because of the maybe-signs I probably discovered lately.
        Anyhow, it was a hell of a ride up till now 🙂

        P.S.: No hate or anything, just my modest opinion on the topic..

  15. Sure hope we have some more left in the tank. This is the only bit of gaming I play anymore………..and it’s a helluva lot cheaper than the casino next to my house!!!! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  16. I don’t understand the Helen Lovejoy remark in the article. She was never a ghost, in the show or the game. Are you thinking of Maude Flanders perhaps?

    • It was a cast off remark. Basically saying I’d take her any way they gave her to me. Even as a ghost. Again…it is a 4+ year old article.

  17. Well they did give us a lot more land, maybe a big update is on the cards?

  18. “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…”

    I find it pretty funny that we eventually got all of these (except for Lionel Hutz, who we will probably never get), including a ghost version of Helen Lovejoy, more land with Springfield Heights (Cookie Kwan was part of that update, wasn’t she?) and even a Monorail!

    • Yeah….we were pushing for the monorail for YEARS! We have received almost all of the quality top tier stuff. For sure…

      • Gill Gunderson: (desperately):
        Monorail, monorail? Who wants monorail tracks?
        Common people? Doesn’t anyone need monorail track?
        PLEASE help an disparate sales man!

  19. I quite frankly miss tapping new things . The last few events are just collecting stuff for 4 hours. And it hasn’t been fun since the Halloween release. I have played every day for almost 6 years, so I will miss it as a part of my daily routine

  20. Daaaaaaang!!! You were throwing an epic hissy-fit! I could almost picture you pouting in the corner….”I’m taking my ball and going home.” lol😄 luv it!

  21. Perhaps it was the layoffs on March 29 that has affected scheduled release?

  22. Wow. Why do you continue to play?

    • Wow…. it was almost 5 years ago, pinhead! Obviously the game improved dramatically. It is an OLD post… please read all of it. Not just skimming the ranty parts.

  23. I also want the game to remain alive. You can not believe the amount of laughter I’ve had playing this game.

  24. not a fan of 2 much downtime but like the time to save up cash and doughnuts

  25. Seeing the lazy programming over the last couple of years (at least!)… I’m amazed that our beloved game has lasted this long! 😢

    • Yeah there was definitely some devolution going on: I LOVED the events back in 2016 (oh dat Superheroes 2!), liked the 2017 ones (Homerpalooza rocked), 2018 was kinda meh (THOH was best, while mostly mediocre recycling of already known mechanics), but 2019? I guess I’m not supposed to write down any of the words that come to my mind now here. I just repeat: where has all the gameplay gone?

    • True… EALPish has become the norm. But, they have given us some pretty cool tools!

      • That’s true, the Sky Finger Monument is pretty great, especially if your harvesting cycle is 24h anyway.
        Golden Goose is nice too, although it just solves a problem EA created themself without any necessity…
        Now I’d just finally wish for a way to clean out that monstrous massive mess called inventory 😉

        • You are forgetting the “full town screen grab” tool…which to me is the best tool ever. Especially for archiving your work.

          • Well, that’s cool too, but at least to me not really the kind of daily utility tool. Tried it once, might use it again before my next (and probably final) bomb, will use it just before Armageddon really comes and that’s pretty much it^^

            • I use it more, to be able to grab larger sections for blogging examples. But, I suppose that is a pretty specific use! LOL!

              • LelandGaunt

                Gotta admit I never breathed that glamourous blogger’s air you folks use to breathe. But hey, keep it up, looking forward to the next firday starts every saturday!

              • Thanks! I loves me some firday!

  26. If the game is coming to an end, I would have thought that EA would issue some kind of statement (rather than leaving us all hanging). I suspect that EA is retooling the game for a less intense experience (I.e., fewer events). The game must not be quite the cash cow it’s been in the past. EA is probably devoting fewer resources (I.e., developers) towards the game.

    • I suspect you are correct. They always give a “death notice” to players before putting things into hibernation.

      • I agree too and Patric thanks for your comments, I have enjoyed reading them throughout the years as I do now. (I suspect your Grandchild mellowed you a lot) 😉. Just sayin! You are so freaking cute with him, Anyway as I said on Alyssa’s post I hope it’s not the end yet, but I really don’t think it is. They would have told us that I think. Love the opportunity to get stuff I missed and I have been having fun with those quests. Have a great week 😊!

  27. An insightful look at history

  28. I certainly hope it’s not the end

  29. Praying for 91 more!

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