Okay, Pets doesn't work for most of us. That has been established. EA has done absolutely nothing about it. That has also been established. Having spent nearly two months unable to play my game, I finally shot an email to several EA reps to let them know exactly how frustrated I was. And lo! Something of a conversation was started. Nothing truly productive has come of it yet, but I'm going to post it here so you guys can see what EA has been telling me.
The first email I sent off was a variation on this (but it was sent to tech support, not customer service, so it was a little more techy--I don't have a copy of it, since tech support is contacted through a form on the website, not through your actual email program):
My name is [Peacenik], and I have been a fan of the Sims franchise since Sims 1. Over the years, I have spent hundreds of dollars on games, expansion packs and stuff packs for all three series. As a loyal and hopefully valued customer (although evidence would seem to contradict that), I would like to register my serious anger and disappointment at the way Mac users have been treated following the release of Sims 3 Pets.
I purchased Sims 3 Pets for my Mac OS X 10.5.8 on the day it was released, October 18 2011. Like the vast majority of Mac users, immediately upon opening and installing the game, I began experiencing game freezes that require me to force-quit the game and, in some cases, even manually restart my computer. I believe the longest I have been able to play without freezing is about an hour, but the last time I tried to play (over a month ago), I couldn't even manage for five minutes.
At this point, the game--for which I payed $39.99, on the day of its release--is completely unplayable, and has been so for six weeks. I am sure you can understand my increasing frustration, as well as my unwillingness to ever again waste my money on any EA product, let alone one for the Sims 3. These problems were there from the moment I opened the box, so clearly the game was not ready to be released, and should not have been sold until it was properly product-tested and these extremely obvious problems were fixed.
I have tried all of the troubleshooting steps that have been suggested by support reps, short of upgrading my computer to Snow Leopard (everything else on my MacBook works like a dream, and I'm not going to pay another $30 to fix your $40 mistake). As with most other Mac users, nothing has worked and the game remains unplayable. Some EA customer support representatives have even suggested fixes that could seriously harm a Mac, proving that they lack a basic understanding of one of the platforms on which their games are released.
I have also been visiting the Sims 3 forums and checking for a patch almost daily, but none has been released. Other Mac Simmers have reported their conversations with EA reps who have promised that a patch will be released "soon," but as yet there has been no official acknowledgment of the problems, let alone an announcement of when a fix will be provided. A new stuff pack and a new expansion pack have been announced for Sims 3, and I think it's remarkably foolish to start working on new products when the last one is completely non-functional for a good portion of users. I doubt many Mac users will be wasting their money on any of the new Sims 3 products, given the blatant disregard EA seems to have for this section of its user base.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been a loyal Sims player since the Sims 1 was released, and have purchased several hundred dollars' worth of games and expansion packs over the past decade. However, since EA has taken control of the franchise, the quality seems to have plummeted rapidly and this is likely the last straw. I seriously doubt I will be purchasing any more EA games, not to make any political statement against your company but simply because they never seem to work--there have been graphics and gameplay issues with all of the games released in the Sims 3 series, for both Macs and PCs, although this is the first time a game has been completely unplayable.
Furthermore, I am hardly alone in this feeling; feel free to visit the Sims 3 Mac Discussions forum (where a guru has not raised his/her head since FEBRUARY OF 2010, thanks for all the help, guys!) and see how your customers feel about this product. Be warned, it's not a pretty sight. http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/forums/show/205.page
Pets was my favorite expansion of both Sims 1 and Sims 2, and I have been looking forward to the Sims 3 version for a very long time. I am incredibly angry and disappointed that the game does not work at all, that no suggested solution has been effective, and that no fix has been provided in the six weeks since the game was released. The only reason I have not returned the game to the store is because I remain hopeful that a patch will be provided, but my patience is rapidly running out. I would really like to someday enjoy the game on which I spent my hard-earned money over a month ago, but apparently that is completely unreasonable.
I do not expect you personally to respond to my complaints. After all, EA is a big company, and I'm just one customer who is firmly closing my wallet. However, I would like to urge you to take more notice of the complaints of Mac users and the problems they have been experiencing. Again, I urge you to take a look at the Mac Discussions forum on the Sims 3 website and see how well your stock is faring there. Before long, it won't be just one customer who throws in the towel on EA's sub-par products.
[Peacenik]Here is the response I got:
Thank you for contacting Electronic Arts.
I am sorry to hear that your game is freezing. I can understand how frustrating it could be. Please be assured that I will try my best to resolve your issue. In order to assist you further, I would suggest you to please perform the below mentioned steps:
Can you also please try uninstalling the game and reinstalling it under a different MAC admin account.
1) Delete the "[Game Name]" icon from your Applications folder.
2) Delete the additional files can found in /Users/[Username]/Library/Preferences/[Game Name] Preferences/p_drive, including your saved games.
Creating a new user account:
1) Click on the Apple Menu select System Preferences.
2) From the View menu, select Accounts.
3) You may need to click the Padlock icon to allow changes.
4) Click the + icon to create a new account.
5) Log into the new user account and reinstall the game.
I hope the above information helps. Should you require further assistance about this or any electronic arts games in the future please feel free to email us again. You can also visit our website and review our extensive self help knowledgebase (http://support.ea.com)
Electronic Arts – World Wide Customer ExperienceAs you can see, this is a dumb response. The fact that he doesn't even mention the name of the actual game hints to me that this is a form response sent out to any Mac user having problems with any EA game. I replied like this:
Thank you for your response. I don't blame you for not reading the whole email, as it was a long email. However, I did state that I have already tried all of the troubleshooting steps that have been suggested by EA reps and fellow Simmers alike--including uninstall and reinstall, running the game with no CC or mods, deleting cache files and several others.
At this point, it has been well established that the problem is with the game itself, and has nothing to do with the way I am running it.
My question was about the likelihood of EA ever making any attempt to repair the broken game that has been released, not about what various things I could do to my computer in a fruitless attempt to fix your company's mistakes. I understand that you might not have information about any upcoming patch at your fingertips, but if this is the case then I expect you, as a customer service representative, to escalate my case to someone who will be able to answer my question.
Thank you, and have a nice day.A few days of silence, and then I got a response from this guy:
My name is Kenny Benedict with Electronic Arts. I'm contacting you regarding a recent email you sent about difficulties with The Sims 3 Pets on the Mac. My sincere apologies for the frustrations caused by this.
I'd like to work with you to ensure all of your technical issues and concerns are properly addressed. I personally have been able to resolve some Mac issues with The Sims 3 Pets, and I hope to do the same with your issue.
Could you please provide a phone number I can reach you at, along with an ideal day and time to call? This way we can discuss all details involved.
I look forward to hearing back, and I hope you have an enjoyable weekend.Okay, at least he knows which game I'm dealing with! But the fact that he again wants to keep troubleshooting, when I have already explained that I am looking for information on a patch and NOT more ways to waste my time, is irritating. Also, cards on the table, I work three jobs and don't have several hours to spend on the phone with tech support, endlessly uninstalling and reinstalling my game. I barely have time to PLAY the game, that is, if it worked. One nice thing about this guy, though--it took me a couple days to respond, and he sent a follow up email to check if I "still needed assistance." I replied with this:
I apologize for the delay in my response--it's been a busy few days.
I certainly do require assistance with my Sims 3 Pets game, as it is completely unplayable. However, I would like to point out that I have already done extensive troubleshooting on my game, as well as the fact that a majority of Sims 3 Pets players who use Macs have been having identical issues and have also had no success with troubleshooting. At this point, it is pretty well established that the problem is with the game itself, and not with the way I (or anyone else) am running it. I would like to know when Mac users can expect EA to release a patch that might actually fix the broken game that your company has sold us (and not at a particularly low price).
It has now been nearly two months since the game was released, and there has not even been an official acknowledgment that Mac players are having these problems, much less any attempt to help. This is completely unacceptable. The prevalent opinion among EA representatives seems to be that the problem is with our computers, when the fact that these issues are so extremely common certainly appears to contradict that idea. No offense, but I am not interested in more pointless troubleshooting that will waste several more hours of my busy schedule; I am interested in having my game actually work for the first time in two months, and it seems that can only be done if EA releases a patch to solve the problems.
Thank you for your email, and I look forward to hearing from you. Have a great day.It might have been a little caustic. This guy seems nice, and I guess it's not his fault he works for a terrible terrible company. But I am so fed up at this point, and again, I don't have time to sit on the phone (at least not during business hours, which I'm guessing is when this guy works). I will let you know his response when I receive it. If he does ask for a phone call again, I'll (grudgingly) talk to him and let you know what I find out.
In the meantime, I encourage everyone to send as many emails and even letters as you can. Bluebell Flora started a great thread, a long time ago, that provides contact information for some major players at EA: http://forum.thesims3.com/jforum/posts/list/457402.page
It only takes a few minutes to send an email--feel free to copy mine if you like!
My father is in IT so he is pretty savvy with computers and even built a gaming computer specially for sims and it wouldnt work. Kept shutting itself down! SO he gave me his mac because he felt so bad that he couldnt make it work.
I dont regret going to mac, its so seamless and user friendly and i need it for graphic design. But man oh man I wish its support system on the sims was better
I cant fathom why ea , and even some users, still keep saying its a mac/pc fault! its the dam game, always has been always will be! i have never played a game that is riddled with bugs like the sims is
After the Pets patch, I had Exception Raised errors, Error 12 when saving, enormous drag on the rest of my computer when the game was paused, and I can't collapse the game to the dock.
I now have *base game only*, fully patched, and NO custom content. I *still* get the drag on my computer when the game is paused.
I can't have a browser open with the game *paused*, because I just can't type. Too much lag. I never had that before when I had an overstuffed game up to patch 1.24 and up to TLS.
So I don't see how this could be my computer. My computer didn't change between 1.24 and 1.27.
This attitude of this EA reps, like "Well it couldn't possibly be OUR fault! It must be your computer!", is really bugging me. Believe it or not, EA, every single Mac in the world is not somehow mysteriously broken. This one might actually be on you guys.
Thanks for sharing. I read you entire e-mail and I am glad that you got through some of the EA folks.
Within a week of the 10.7.2 Lion Update, I immediately e-mailed/called EA about the graphics glitch issue and since (maybe) the problem was quite new then, they shut me out immediately. I was told that my Graphics card (Intel HD Graphics) is not supported and/or Lion OS is not compatible. I personally do not believe any of these because I have a 2011 MacBook, and they have a 2009 Sims 3 Game.
I sincerely hope that they respond to you and to the others who are waiting.
By the way I can play the game but with reduced specs/game options. The eyes are still glitchy but I can see my sims when I zoom out at a certain distance.
I can see my sims at a certain distance when I zoom out, which is pretty annoying. I also 2011 macbook pro with intel hd graphics and I dont think that they are telling the 'truth' by saying that it is not compatible because our problem is about Lion, not the 'real' graphics.
I am running my trusty 2009 MacBook Leopard 10.5.8 with NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card and RAM, GB and MB to spare. The problem I have been having is primarily with the game randomly freezing and crashing to desktop--I haven't struggled too much with graphics issues (knock on wood), although I have had a couple of minor glitches here and there. Fingers crossed!
Edited to add: Of course the first thing I tried to do was create a horse, and the game promptly froze. Good one, EA! [/sarcasm] Hopefully I will be able to play in other towns if I act as though horses don't exist, which I wasn't able to do before. It's not what I paid for, but it's something--at least until someone in the Sims studio gets their act together. I'll be letting Kenneth Benedict hear about this when I hear from him next!
Dear EA/Sims 3,
I have been playing the Sims games since the beginning. You have taken for granted myself and many other dedicated customers by casting undeserved blame on Apple and Macintosh for YOUR mistake. If the Sims 3 Pets was not market ready, then why did you release it? If the Pets expansion was causing problems with Mac computers, which I presume you must have been aware of unless you're extremely incompetent, then why did you release it?
You have vehemently denied wrong doing on your part, when it's obvious you were guilty of false advertising. Your Mac computer customers should not be forced to buy new software to make this game run, when on the packaging for the game, the Mac requirements are listed as: Mac OS X 10.5.7 Leopard or higher. If the game requires higher and not Mac OS X 10.5.7, then you should have elucidated your claim.
If you valued your Mac customers at all, which you say you do when looking at your Mac forum, "A whole area dedicated to our beloved Mac folk," you would either fix this problem, or refund every Mac customer who has registered a complaint with customer service. You have disappointed many customers, and have disgraced this game's name. Consider yourself warned that you have lost a customer in me, and I will warn any others who consider purchasing any of your products that they will be disappointed.
A very disgusted customer
I read from the other threads that other players have some problems with the pets.. so let's just watch out for that.
Thanks, and enjoy your game!
Simmerchick--that is a great letter! It's really articulate and makes clear exactly how you feel about the complete lack of support we have received. If you have a minute, and if you haven't already done so, would you mind sending it on to EA directly? The fact that a "guru" hasn't made a peep in this forum in nearly a year suggests that EA really isn't paying much (any) attention to the complaints we make here. Just another proof of their "customer first" attitude! [/sarcasm] Here are three email addresses--just copy and paste your letter into the form, and maybe you'll hear back from somebody:
Senior Director of Customer Support
Link to email form online - http://info.ea.com/contact_info.asp?id=83
Director of Operations at Customer Support
Link to email form online - http://info.ea.com/contact_info.asp?id=84
Worldwide Head of Customer Experience
Link to email form online - http://info.ea.com/contact_info.asp?id=132
Thanks so much! Again, I'm a total broken record but everyone should send their complaints to these guys directly, as well as tech support and customer service. They need to know how we feel or nothing will change!
I've been buying my Sims stuff on hard copy from almost the beginning, so when I jump to a PC (which lord willing will happen early next year) I won't have to re-buy anything. I used to be a diehard Apple fangirl, and I've used Macs since high school (20th reunion was not long ago)--so it was not easy to decide to get a PC. But I just can't justify the high price of a Mac when the games are either nonexistent or this glitchy. I still remember before Maxis became EA, when they were a "Mac shop" and PC users griped about how much worse the graphics were for them. It's so sad. But that's how it's evolved.
Ok! So I have the same graphics card as you do! I have been LOOKING and LOOKING for someone! Do you have the no fluff on pets issue????? I do and I am desperate to find a solution. I chatted with an EA rep today and they took the dreaded "It's your computer" stance, and when I followed their instructions, it made my game unplayable. I wasn't having any issues before. So please let me know! You can Private message me if you want so we don't clog up this forum. look forward to hearing your experiences!
My specs/Installed Games:
2011 13” MacBook Pro
2.7Ghz Intel Core i7
Intel HD 3000 512Mb
- Base Game, WA, HELS, Amb, FL, LN, OL, Gen, TL, Pets
- I have alot of CC
Also in this URL, some of the captured pixellated sims are mine:
And these are pics I took from yesterday after the 1.29 Patch (and one glitch I saw)
Thank you for the additional information you sent to me. I can most certianly empathize with your situation, and I want to do everything in my power to assist.
As you stated, you have troubleshooted this issue extensively, therefore, I would like to provide what I've seen resolve this issue with Macs.
Can you please provide me with your current graphics card? Also, your current Operating System on your Mac? I believe you currently have the most up-to-date version of Leopard.
The reason I am requesting both of these is because certain graphics cards are having issues with The Sims 3 Pets. Additionally, even when an OS version has been updated, which is supposed to update the graphics card driver, it actually does not (from what I've seen). For example, I had a customer update to the most recent version of Leopard for 2011, and he driver ceased to be updated and actually was from 2009. After this user upgraded to Snow Leopard, her graphics card driver was updated to 03/2011. This also completely resolved her crashing/freezing issues.
I look forward to hearing back!
Good: this means EA tech support (or at least Kenny B!) has been noticing a pattern to this problem, which means they might be a step closer to figuring out how to fix it.
Bad: I suspect he's going to suggest that I upgrade to Snow Leopard. Which has apparently worked for some people, so that's all good, but...are YOU going to give me $30, Kenny?
I replied with my specs. I'm really looking forward to hearing his response, and I don't mean that in a mean way. It's nice to know that he is actually listening and trying to come up with a solution, rather than just saying "Hey, you should've bought a PC!"
I've been having problems too. Actually, for ALMOST ALL of us who downloaded the Mac version of Sims 3 PETs, you get these problems when trying to install: "codec overrun" or "illegal seek" when it was purchased. I CAN'T EVEN INSTALL MY GAME!! Apparently, I'm not the only one, all you have to do is look at the Amazon page for it.
When is EA going to admit that this was an EPIC fail and take responsibility so I can get my money back for a game I can't even play.
Thank you EA,
I will never buy a game of yours again.
lol i gave up on my mac and i actually am shopping for a PC now. Im sorry and i hope you get to play your game soon.
Mac's device driver updates have always been tied to the OS version. What this means is that in order to update any device driver, you need to update your whole Operating System to the later version where that device driver is included in. Unlike for Windows PC, where one can simply download the driver updates from the OEM Manufacturer for that OS version.
The good thing is that updating Mac OS is fairly cheap compared to switching from XP to Win 7, for example.
Due to that device driver update alone, is why I don't understand why people want to game on a Mac. Each patch (or EPs & SPs) EA release most likely would need latest drivers - this has been the case since as far as I can remember playing Sims franchise.
This business model Mac adopted for drivers is however not an excuse on why Lion is having all this issues with the Sims 3 games. That I think is the fault of both EA and Apple. No one should be told to downgrade their OS when they purchase new systems just because one application is not supported on the new OS version. :evil:
It's not that I want to "game on a Mac", really. It's that I have a Mac, which does so so so so SO many other things that I want it to do, and I would also like to be able to play my ONE computer game (seriously, this is the only game I play) without having to buy a whole other computer. :-) I'm not a hardcore gamer; I understand that for people who are, it makes more sense to buy a PC. But my MacBook is an absolute dream in so many ways, whereas I personally have had really disappointing experiences with PCs when it comes to things besides games. I don't think it's unreasonable to want to play Sims on the computer that I use for the entire rest of my life, when the game is supposedly compatible with my system. I'm not trying to make my MacBook be something it's not. I feel like a lot of other Mac users are in a similar situation here.
And jairus_sims: Kenny B does seem nice, and as I mentioned, I do get the feeling that he's listening to me and actually trying to solve my problem rather than feeding me form responses. A user in another thread once said something like "imagine what a nightmare it must be to be an intelligent EA customer service rep, surrounded by idiots all day every day." I think Kenny B is probably in that boat, poor guy!
I'm in the exact same boat. I bought a Mac because of the many benefits it has for me as a student, not because I want to play the Sims on it. But, since I do like the Sims oh-so-much, and since my 1.5-year-old Mac meets and exceeds the "requirements," I think it's pretty unreasonable that my game has been completely unplayable since I got the Pets expansion. I can't play for more than 5 minutes without my computer completely freezing up. So, so, so aggravating...
I'm having the horse problem where every time i try to make/see/adopt a horse it freezes causing me to restart the computer. I'm running a MacBook with 10.5.8 and a NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics card.
From most threads I read where users downgrade (from Lion) or upgrade (from Leopard), the game can then be started. Notice I said "started", not played! :?
But this brings up another issue I have with computer users, you cannot force a machine to do something it is not made/programmed for. One does not expect the dishwasher to wash clothes or vice versa, do we? We know the dishwasher is not made to handle clothes, so we don't even try! Each machine has its own set of limitations.
The Mac has and always will be labelled as a non-gaming machine as long as game developers never bother to develop on Macs natively - porting code over is a poor substitute as compatibility and other performance issues are introduced.
Which brings us back to my gripe about the System Requirements, doesn't it? One wouldn't think the Mac can play a game if it is not advertised as Mac-compatible.
And...also create a vicious cycle to others who want to purchase Macs with the sole purpose of playing Sims.
To my mind the problems here are 3 fold- EA, Apple, (their GPU vendors) and the users ourselves. All our expectations are not meshing, thus the miscommunication. And where there's miscommunication, anger and blame follows.
EA really need to step up with their Customer-facing communications, and not on Marketing new products alone. With the issues people have with the in-game Store mode, I'm surprised the Sims 3 Store business model can stay in business and being lucrative. I suppose they have the completists among us to thank for that.
Wow! That turned out 4 paragraphs longer than I planned.