Free SimCity DLC that is going to make you rage

2 min read

EA games have announced they are releasing some free DLC for SimCity which is something that people are normally very excited about.. yet I have a feeling this offer is going to bring out the anger in the comments.

For the next 6 months you can download the LEAF charging stations so that your SIMS can start driving electric cars around your city.

What’s more these charging stations add a hit of happiness to the area, don’t produce refuse or sewerage and every Sim who starts using electric cars will become happier.

So what’s wrong with it? It’s free, makes the game better and doesn’t have a downside?

Well the clever person in the corner has noticed that LEAF is capitalised as it is a brand name. It’s actually the name of the new Nissan electric cars and that’s the catch. Nissan have paid EA for this honour and as soon as you drop a charging station into your city it will also brand the floor of the charging station with NISSAN in red letters.

So you are getting something free in your game that is paid for by a third party and the only possible negative impact is that you get to see the Nissan logo. Personally I think it’s absolutely genius and the sort of realism in games that I crave.

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But I know I’m going to be in the minority here as it’s EA and we are bound by gamer law to hate EA (except Battlefield) and secondly we’ve already paid for the game so adverts should exist right? Except you didn’t pay for this DLC and you are not forced to have it.


Last Updated: April 3, 2013

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Gavin Mannion

I for one welcome our future robotic overlords

  • Going to create a lot of smug though…

  • GTO

    Aslong as you can opt out fine. I don’t want advirtising in my games but if it is free and I have the option not to use it then fine.

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    Hmmm, wonder if certain games will become cheaper if subsidised with ad sponsors?

    A slippery slope indeed.

    • Games already have product placement, good luck if you think it’s going to make them cheaper though!

      • Admiral Chief Erwin


      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        I love bile-flavoured Tracy. She kicks open the door, punches the first guy she sees in the mouth, and then orders a strawberry daiquiri…. like a BOSS! 😀

        Hehehehe! Kindred-spirits we are…

        But I absolutely agree, this isn’t a way to cut costs or to make the game cheaper for the user, product placement has always been about adding more to the coffers, with very little benefit to end-users.

        • Boom! Thank you sir.

    • FoxOneZA

      ANDRoiD is teh proofs you seek little Gwashopper…

      • Admiral Chief Erwin

        Nah, those are INTRUSIVE ads

        • FoxOneZA

          Those ad’s make games free. Paid versions come without ad’s but cost.

  • Sir Captain Rincethis

    This creates a sick trend. GT5 is going to cost us more, and I can see them following a similar route…

  • Sir Captain Rincethis

    So, if I dl this, do I get carbon footprint points?

  • I think it’s completely arrogant. Yes, in real life things are slathered in advertising, but the Nissan charging station is just effectively a hack. It does nothing negative, it adds happiness for free, as far as I’ve heard it doesn’t even affect your electricity grid which a real life charging station would – if such a thing existed. They’ve all but guaranteed you’re going to add it and they’ll get more exposure. Yes, I know it’s optional but my god, they’re really pushing it.

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      You must feel really strong about it to not only post a comment, but to post a lengthy one 😛

      • Lol! I just think that EA mustn’t try and slip shit like this under the radar, they shouldn’t be forgiven for Sim City’s terrible launch, nor for its dire AI issues, so they mustn’t be forgiven for this.

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          Tracy for President!

          • I’ll upvote that!

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Hehe 🙂

    • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

      I’m with you on the game balancing side of this. It really should fit in with the entire game’s overall mechanics. Electricity isn’t free and so this charging station should have an effect on the electricity grid.

      • If it were balanced it would be fine. Oh and apparently you can see the bright red NISSAN logo at almost every zoom level, so there’s the aesthetic side to consider as well

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

          Now if only product placement would allow games to sell slightly cheaper…. Said no one at EA… Ever

        • FoxOneZA

          There’s a free 2013 Viper for Forza 4 but instead of having the roads painted all over in VIPER, Turn 10 went and added a virtual model to interact with in AutoVista

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Tracy gets it, and she just hit that nail right on the head.

      • Ultimo_Cleric_N7

        Ya. aah, good ol EA…..

        • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew


        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)


        • That Tall Twit

          One million up votes for you.

    • Ultimo_Cleric_N7

      Yip totally agree. If we condone this rubbish we will soon be using our Pepsi rifles to snipe Ford Tanks in the BP Amazon Forest.
      Absolutely unacceptable.

    • Anon A Mouse

      If I look at the picture it looks like solar panels at the top of the station so maybe it is completely self sufficient? That being said there should still be balance in the game or what’s the use then.

  • Deon Steyn

    Watch McDonalds,KFC,Walmart,Apple,etc. appear in SimCity soon.

    • Danny Baromen

      As long as they pay MAXIS (not EA) directly and the DLC is free or “affordable” why not…

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      Imagine if it detects your current hardware config and pimp an opponents component….

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      They can advertise the following, and I will be ok with it:
      -Did I mention beer?

      • Wtf101

        And Playboy. Definitely more Playboy… I want my Sims living it large in SinCity

  • Danny Baromen

    Hmmm… Lets hope that displaying the NISSAN logo all over my cities will reduce traffic too…

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    I don’t mind too much hey. As long as it doesn’t cost me anything.

    Now, if I had to pay for DLC that was branded… Well then I would simply have to go on a RANTpage!

    • Admiral Chief Erwin

      Hmmm, should have registered that one, then you would have to pay me royalties…

  • Admiral Chief Erwin

    But what happens after 6 months……..

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)


  • EA will be charging you to advertise in SimCity

  • Deon Steyn

    It’s not that I hate EA,it’s just that they tend to do the following…

  • It’s Relevant to the setting of the game, I guess there is nothing really wrong with it though. Though I’m not a fan of in-game advertising. it just feels wrong in a way. Alan Wake was just bad … That was one aspect I really hated … “Hey look to your left, There over on that billboard!” A real life Cellphone service provider ad in a fictional setting ……. ye ………

  • Visions of being owned in Battlefield by someone wearing a Nike branded Flak Jacket just flashed across my mind

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Jim starts laughing out loud, rolls a little on the floor, and plays a real simcity game… SIMCITY 4.

  • Reaver

    “Personally I think it’s absolutely genius and the sort of realism in games that I crave.”

    I’m with you on this one.

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Yeah, life is kind of like SimCity, once your ethernet cable is unplugged, it’s game over… #SimCityIsSoReal

  • Scruff304

    For a single player game I can kinda understand why people don’t like having advertising throw at them mid game. I guess it can be kinda off putting… But online play I have no problem with it.

    I remember many years back some people were raging at the fact the were adverts in C.S 1.6 maps. For me, I don’t understand the issue. Rather charge them a fee to stick up a logo, then charge me a fee to buy a map pack/add on…

  • Anon A Mouse

    Can’t see anything wrong with this to be honest. I think this is a very well thought out marketing campaign and far better than having a pop-up or something similar. This is the same as in (mostly racing) other games that have the giant monitors on corners with flashing adds. The fact that it’s free and that you don’t have to get the DLC is further proof that this was actually well thought out. So well done to Nissan for showing EA how it should be done ;P

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Gavin, I’m just curious why are you so soft on SimCity? I’ve seen you absolutely shit on this practice in other games, but with the current SimCity, your shields are at maximum and you’re defending it like a lone knight, against the dirty peasantry horde…?

    • FoxOneZA

      Sometimes, on a twilight afternoon whilst sipping some on Glenn Tea, game reviewers give certain games like MoH:Warfighter an A 😛

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        lol, Are you suggesting that game reviewers are governed by the phases of the Moon, and the calming nature of Glenn “tea”?

        But to my credit, I gave MoH a B, which amongst gaming circles is like slapping it with a trout, and spray-painting 50% on its back… (i.e. calling it average).

        • FoxOneZA

          Exactly that. Sometimes there’s an external factor influencing one’s review score.

          I’m trudging my way through MoH currently on PC and it’s one gorgeous looking game with a very confusing story. A B seems good right now due to a gameplay that works and all that eye candy.

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Doritos? Cough Cough!

            You’ve turned into a PC gamer? What the hell Foxy? Where’s your console soul?

          • FoxOneZA

            Cheese Curls!

            No, not really. I’m using my Xbox controller on my PC and since my PC is more powerful than the Xbox and PS3, I hooked it up to the TV.

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Good man! I recently played DayZ with an xbox controller. I felt like a man!

          • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

            Another one turned to the light side 🙂 Welcome @FoxOneZA:disqus

          • FoxOneZA

            I still need to play ME3, Halo 4, GoW: J, GOW: A and Uncharted Collection amongst the console games.

  • matthurstrsa

    It would be fine if the game stayed balanced, but its almost like a cheat. To up happiness and improve your city with no downsides, install this patch/DLC. It should definitely at least cost electricity.

  • Trevor Davies

    I don’t see a problem with this in a game like SimCity, adding retailer-specific buildings can make it interesting. The only things I would want to see is that what’s added is balanced & relevant to the game, and if it’s something small like this then it should be free – you shouldn’t have to pay to be advertised too.

  • Skande

    I have been waiting for this for ages, companies having ads in your online games. CS:Go with a new banner at a certain place each map, Sims with actual items, random billboards of companies in MMO’s. Coke stand in the middle of a DoTa map. All in the name of cheaper games….? Must say stuff like that wouldn’t even bother me but yhea a lot of people would really hate a BMW poster at the entrance of their Tier 900 WoW dungeon 🙂

  • stfenix

    it is totally optional to download and install. and this is a city simulator. a city without a mickeyd’s aint a city i tell you!! and this is nothing new to maxis… Sims Stuff anyone? IKEA? – stuff you would actually want in your house. Katy Perry? – would love to have her in my basement* i mean house… Agreed about the balancing issues though. if it brings positives it should bring its negatives as well. And to NOT advertise in the world’s largest medium of entertainment would be very STUPID. product placement is everywhere… in movies (looking at you skyfall) and in tv series. It was bound to happen in games sooner or later. so embrace change. it is inevitable.. except from a vending machine.

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