Today the Steam sale was The Sims 3 focused. I’ve wanted to pick up The Sims 3 for a while now, but I was never going to pay $50 for a game that I’ve already played over and over again for the past ten years. At $20, though, it was suddenly reasonable. The problem is that for whatever reason, EA doesn’t sell The Sims 3 for Mac on Steam. So only the PC version was on sale, which is ridiculous, because when you buy the game in a physical store, they give you a DVD that works on both PC and Mac.
After a quick internet search, I saw that both the EA Store and Direct-2-Drive also had The Sims 3 on sale for $20, and they were offering the Mac version for the same price. Score, right? No. I spent my whole lunch break trying and failing to buy it on Direct-2-Drive. They wanted me to make an account, enter in all of my billing information, and then they had to call me to verify. Only the phone call verification would never work. After three tries with my credit card and three tries with my PayPal, they blocked my account from trying to purchase the game (what?), and I turned to customer support.
To use Direct-2-Drive, you have to make an account. To use their customer support, you have to make a different, separate, customer service account. What? I’m having a problem with your service, and you make me fill out more forms, just to gain the ability to fill out more forms? So for a good half hour I said no to that, until eventually I said okay, fine to that. I opened a customer service account and filed a case with them. By the end of the day (end of the day?!) they e-mailed me saying they had lifted the block. I went back in, had to start from scratch with an empty shopping cart, but I bought the game and it worked.
So now I’m playing the game, right? No. Now I’m downloading a huge file, then I’m going to have to enter a serial number they sent me, then I’m going to have to do some kind of activation with EA. I could have avoided all of these problems by just downloading the game illegally, which begs the question, why is EA punishing the people who want to purchase their games? And why is Direct-2-Drive so improperly named, as nothing is going directly to anything, you guys.
And all of these problems would be avoided if the game was on Steam for Mac, because you guys, Steam just works. But Steam can’t work if you don’t put your game on Steam. Why would EA put The Sims 3 for Mac on disc, on Direct-2-Drive, and on their online store, but not on Steam? It boggles the mind.
So, game companies. Hi. I have a favor to ask you: put your games on Steam. I know you’re afraid of Steam, you can see that it’s a monopoly train barreling towards your bottom line, taking control of all sales in this industry. But you guys, at least their train runs like it’s supposed to. And I know you’re trying to get your own online stores going, but until your online stores have integrated friend lists, automatic updates, and unlimited downloads to unlimited computers, STOP TRYING TO HAVE AN ONLINE STORE AND JUST PUT YOUR GAMES ON STEAM. Because yes, Steam can be better, but Steam is better than everything else.