To Be Or Not To Be? That is the question when it comes to new content on TSO

by Alphaville Herald on 21/01/04 at 9:57 pm

By The Phantom

To be or not to be. This, it appears, is the question on many players’ minds recently. In a recent announcement by Maxis employee and senior TSO Community Rep Tigger (the only TSO official who bothers to speak to the community) on the Stratics boards, we have been informed that Blackjack and Video Poker objects will not be added to the game, even though they have been in the workshop of TSO “development” for over a year according to some posters. The announcement has once again caused widespread outrage and despair with a large number of TSO players. TSO Casinos have been on life support, and this announcement is their death knell.

The decision by Maxis to pull the plug on these games raises serious questions about whether Maxis is not slowly removing TSO itself from life support. Most pressing is the issue of whether the only thing that can save TSO now – custom content (CC) — will ever be implemented. If Maxis cannot even program something as simple as Blackjack into TSO, then what hope is there for CC? Ominously, Tigger’s excuse for the casino games being being cancelled is, yeah you guessed it: “Technical reasons”.

How Simple is it to make a Black Jack program? Well several posters who are actual programmers in RL have stated their opinions. I have listed one below.

Angele -

“As a programmer, with the previous blackjack design shown. I promise all of you that “technical reasons” are not the real reason. This is an easy program. My 8 yr old son used to carry a blackjack and poker credit card sized game to play on plane trips to pass the time. As far as abuse.. like maze, there is little possibility of that either. Money is being won from another sim, not from Maxis. Like slots, the table would close after a certain dollar out was owed (like 7000 in the red). The owner can’t re-open until it is paid off.”

“If Maxis is saying that blackjack is too difficult, you can kiss custom content goodbye, because it is way more of a complicated issue.”

Also, One poster claims a Black Jack program is so easy to write he did for his year 12 PASCAL coding work.

Quite a few people are angry or very displeased at this another maxis backflip. I have listed some below:

Logan Johnson -

“This could have been announced nearly a year ago.

What a bunch of bullshit”


“So what you’re saying is maxis is going to let the casino category die a painful death and become a meaningless category… Blackjack i can see would be a tricky thing to add to avoid cheaters etc..i guess..but common video poker??..

Please don’t take away maxis..add to the game!

I just posted about needing variety to make the game fuller and we get a backstage forum item news that can be taken away just like this one…sigh. Jobs are neat but i rarely see a full job lot ever. TSO needs to make the categories more fulfilled and we’ve asked for this since beta!

Instead of making it so our sims serve guests in the services category and adding to IT we get a job serving fake sims. When we ask for something..anything to fill the offbeat and entertainment categories we got nothing and yet you now say we can entertain npc’s?

I see this as a nasty trend and really should be re-thought out by maxis.

Thats all i have to say on that and i will say im deeply angry!..not that they took potentially buggy items away..but that they say they simply wash thier hands of it rather then find a replacement! “

Donovan -

“Like Logan, I too have been waiting eagerly for these two (now cancelled) items. Plus custom content of course. All of these things were promised from early in beta. Maxis Gordon himself proclaimed that custom content was a “major priority” of the developers. Well, blackjack and video poker are now history and I have no doubt that custom content will soon follow. I have to ask myself “What is the incentive to stick around now?” “

TSO-Dani -

I’m so disappointed about this I can’t even find the words.

Now here are some links to several threads on CC/BJ/VP & so on so you can all read up on the matter personally.

Very Large Thread on BJ and VP being cancelled going for over 200 replies and about 12 pages. Locked by the admins.

A Thread on BJ, Nightclubs and general game direction

Very Angry Logan Johnson’s thread on the issue.

All about the new Nightclub Design.

A Thread on Custom Content.

Official Discussion thread on BJ and VP cancellation made after the admins locked a couple and probalby got sick of seeing even more new ones coming up.

A Thread demanding we all be updated on the current status of many other “coming soon” objects and features that were featured prominently on the old (worse) official maxis run TSO forums to save us all any more future shocks.

Also, It appears all the old forums and posts except the bug forum have been removed recently. Is this another cover up? Remove the evidence so you don’t have to answer to anything or do anything that was previously promised or in development if you don’t want too?

In conclusion, I ask these 2 questions: What’s next to get the Chop? And this is just another small step on a long path EA/Maxis have taken on various issues which have and are doing no good for the game or the community. Why did they choose this path?

Is Maxis slowly turning out the lights on TSO?

Good day to all,

- The Phantom.

11 Responses to “To Be Or Not To Be? That is the question when it comes to new content on TSO”

  1. Kelci-BF

    Jan 21st, 2004

    I found something rather surprising in EA’s financial report. I read through the report and it speaks of their disappointment with TSO, as well, gives accounting of (necessary) financial conservation.

    It’s a long read, but I was looking for some ‘clue’ as to where TSO might be going, when I came across this:

    On June 24th, 2002, a Mr.Warren Jenson was hired as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

    He was given a loan of $4.0 million to be ‘forgiven’ over four years of employment. LOAN in addition to his salary…

    Read it again. Pretty strange for a company that is having money problems.

    Anyway, here’s the url:

    I’d be most interested in Urizenus’s thoughts here :)

    (Just put in the word ‘forgiven’ in the search engine if anyone doesn’t want to browse the entire lengthy report…it’s close to the bottom of the page)

  2. Mr.Mystic

    Jan 22nd, 2004

    The “technical reasons” angered many when Maxis won’t give what sort of technical problem caused the cancellation, and it was also suggestes by Maxis rep Tigger that TSO is more forthcoming to players than most online games, which I don’t see that at all, most online games usually have progammers reports or diaries on what they are working on, Maxis has nobody but Tigger address the community on the whole, and little if any official postings on what is going on is ever put on stratics.

    Many wonder if any of the old designs will be implemented, and if Blackjack, most programmers consider as simple coding can’t be done how do they expect to get custom content, I am betting you won’t ever see custom content on TSO.

    New content is what keeps a game going, it seems all the cool stuff Maxis promised to it’s TSO players over the past year or so might never make it to the game, and you have to wonder what if anything really major will make it in, servers seem to have been cut which has lead to cities being “full”, and talks of TSO being a disappointment to Maxis and EA you can bet that money for development is not being sent to TSO as well if it was the hit they expected.

    If all the designs promised by Maxis have been scrapped, then it looks pretty bleak for TSO, I keep thinking that “technical reasons” might be another tearm for “lack of funding”.

  3. RB

    Jan 22nd, 2004

    Relating to this issue, i have found it very displeasing that the “roc” rules also cover maxis employess and you are not allowed to make jokes using them.

    Stratics TSO forums Admin – Aydan, your such a bore and need a sense of humour. You also provide invalid reasons for account suspension for 24 hours because of the below post that *was* in the BJ and VP thread:

    ===Hide’n'seek is EA’s game of choice. lol.

    [Maxis Rep] And yeah, don’t you know all this new stuff and promised old stuff is just a figment of your overactive imaginations caused by playing TSO too much? It never really existed in the first place.

    As for the technical reasons for BJ and VP going *poof* ? Well to tell you the truth, we never really got round to it and have spending most of our time drinking rum’n'coke while playing table soccer all day. Either that or watching movies in the rec room. All thanks to the latest budget cuts and siphoning off of resources to the sims dev. team. Snobs over there, i tell ya. Yeah the truth sucks. oh well. [Maxis Rep]

    yeah i made all that up, but it’s amusing and better than just assuming things.

    - RB
    The Premier name in TSO Business and Financial Matters. ===

    You need a clue =)

    Good day.

    - RB

  4. Bob the tomato

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    Erm…. lack of custom content going to kill the game? No chance. Its all the complainers about not getting this and that particular little feature that they wanted making such a damn fuss that is going to make Maxis decide to pull the plug, they don’t need the hassle, and it’s only gutter cyber-press like AH that highlights the bad anyway. Before you go on about Stratics being biased, read the rules of conduct, if you can’t abide by them then don’t moan when your posts get pulled for violating them. Like everything else, if you can’t follow the guidelines don’t complain when you are chastised for breaking them. Speed limit 55? You do 80 and you are going to get caught and given a ticket. Just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean you can ignore it.

    Uri, you linked to AH which contains links to cheat sites, forbidden. You didn’t comply, action was taken. Thats the real truth, none of the other rubbish you told the press.

    RB, your post could be seen as impersonating a moderator, which is forbidden. You got a warning for it. It’s in the rules. Try reading them.

    Guys, girls, whatever you all are, they are legally binding contracts you sign up to whether its TSO, Stratics or whatever. Abide by them or don’t, it’s your choice. But if you don’t, then don’t expect to get away with it, then complain when you are caught.

    And before you all carry on saying that ‘things look bleak’, check out Tigger’s post about what’s possibly coming, plenty there, maybe it’s not your thing but unlucky. VP/BJ wasn’t my thing either. It’s not your game, its everyone’s game, and not everyone is going to get what they want. In that way, TSO is just like reality. Wake up and smell the coffee.

  5. RB

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    The new post describing what’s finally “coming soon” (after heaps of people demanded a fraction of communication and wanted an update on the matter) is mostly bland and not worth mentioning.

    The only signifigant thing being ability to move sims between cities without re-creating.

    Keep in mind “coming soon” in EA speak is anywhere from or between 0 – 6 months – whenever we get round to it.

    - RB

  6. justasimmer

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    FYI it’s pretty much common knowledge that custom content for TSO had been scrapped long ago although no officisl word has been made.. Those of us with friends inside maxis have known this…

  7. Bob the Tomato

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    RB……. is there anything you actually enjoy still about TSO, all i ever see you do is moan and rip it to shreds. Perhaps you should stop playing it if it’s really that bad?

  8. xyz

    Jan 23rd, 2004

    d00d, I can’t keep lurking after this… at least RB doesn’t take his screen name from a vegetable star of Veggie Tales! this “love it or leave it” meme makes me want to hurl. Maybe if Maxis listened to critics like RB, TSO wouldn’t suck so bad. And maybe if *you* listened to him you wouldn’t be such a cheerleader for a game that’s getting worse by the day. You know, sometimes you cheerleaders are a bigger problem than the griefers and critics. Put away your pom poms and face reality. Either that or rent Veggie Tales and keep watchin it, since you seem to luv it so much.

  9. RB

    Jan 24th, 2004

    Yeah bob, are you one of those killer tomatos from that b-grade 80′s horror? LOL.

    I see things only as how they are without the glossy overcoat or wool eye covers.

    And yeah i do still enjoy things in TSO =P

    House building and making $ from it. =D

    - RB

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    Apr 23rd, 2004

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    ady to retire. The ski vacation company has grown substantially over the past budget car rental few years and is a family owned and operated last minute travel company. The family centric focus is passed las vegas hotel on to every product the company makes. The vacation

  11. Gladys

    Apr 23rd, 2004


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