June 30th, 2017

SimCity Crest DLC touches a nerve – DLC to boycott for ethical reasons

SimCity Crest DLC

Last month Maxis released the free DLC for the Nissan Leaf which at the time received a mixed reaction from the community. As it was free, gamers could get their hands on the new electric car charging bay as an option if they were happy with the brand advertising on the DLC.

Today things took a turn for the worse with the announcement of the Crest DLC for the game. This new DLC is only available in North America and to obtain it you would have to purchase a Crest or Oral-B product to obtain a code. The FAQ on the new DLC reads as follows:

Q: What is included in the Attractions Set?

A: There are five attractions: Giant Garden Gnome, Dolly the Dinosaur, Llarry the Llama, MaxisMan Statue and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. Each attraction adds happiness and will also act as tourist destination in your city. You will have a choice of redeeming the Attractions set, The Sims Social SimCash, or a $5 off Origin coupon.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: There is no in-game charge for the Attractions Set; however, you will need to purchase a specially marked Crest or Oral-B product in order to redeem the code. Look for the orange sticker on pack. Please visit with crest.ea.com to learn more about this promotion.

Currently the SimCity DLC that’s been released can be consumed in a couple different ways.

  1. Free but its branded with a product (Nissan Leaf)
  2. You have to purchase another unrelated product to obtain a key to unlock DLC. (Crest DLC)

The new Crest DLC gives players access to new attractions for their cities including a Giant Garden Gnome, Dolly the Dinosaur, Llarry the Llama, MaxisMan Statue and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine. The DLC enhances the game by bringing happiness to low wealth Sims and attracting all three wealth classes of tourists into your city.

As an avid SimCity player I would love to have access to this new DLC but EA and Maxis have stepped over the line with this new content as far as I’m concerned. I would be more than happy to pay for the DLC directly, I do not want to have to buy a product such as Crest to obtain it. I wouldn’t even wash my pans with Crest.

This deal between Crest (Proctor & Gamble) was more than likely arranged before the release of the game but it is extremely worrying for a few reasons.

Let’s take a look at what EA and Maxis are encouraging gamers to purchase. Crest is owned by Proctor & Gamble, and anyone who is diligent about the products they purchase will know that P&G are not exactly an ethical organisation.

As an avid advocate to alternatives to animal testing, I was well aware of P&G’s involvement in testing cosmetics on animals which has been going on for decades. I’ll point you at P&G’s own website for their own take on animal testing.

Sometimes, to ensure that materials are safe and effective, we must conduct research that involves animals. This is a last resort. We consider such research only after every other reasonable option has been exhausted. The vast majority of our tests do not use animals and our ultimate goal is to completely eliminate animal testing.

Contrary to the statements on P&G’s own page, animal welfare organisations state that P&G’s involvement in animal testing is more prolific at P&G than they admit.

After today’s Crest DLC announcement I am absolutely appalled that EA and Maxis would strike a deal with a company such as P&G.  For this gamer EA has stepped over the line and I would hope that anyone with a conscience would boycott this particular DLC and encourage EA to release it either as stand-alone purchasable piece of DLC or for free.

Of course Maxis and EA are not forcing anyone to buy these products but I assume there will be no other way to gain these game features without buying them.

Oh and finally, when was SimCity released on the Ps3 and 360 as the picture shows. Did I miss something?

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  • Paul Younger

    Founder and Editor of PC Invasion. Veteran PC gamer of over 22 years.

    • Elly

      I will download the car DLC but I won’t be getting the crest one thanks. Perhaps EA didn’t give this collaboration much thought or maybe they did and simply figured what the hell.

    • Ryan

      Wow, this is so low it’s comical. Reminds me of the movie Fierce Creatures.
      “It’s not just any tortoise, it’s Bruce Springsteen’s tortoise!”

    • Reginald P Fuppelthorpe

      As a former P&G employee I can say that the lab animals tend to have better, more active and free lives than typical household animals.

      As for the tests themselves, when they do happen are administered in such a small quantity that it has, in my experience, not affected the animal’s day to day life in the least.

      You ought to put more effort into caring for stray animals and looking for abusive owners. Shame on you.

    • Elly

      @Reginald P Fupplethorpe

      What a heavy handed attempt at deflection. A 5 year old could have done a better job.

    • Alindar

      Ryan but it’s not unusual for companies to not notice the whole picture when striking deals like this. I am sure Maxis are not the only company to go “low” if digging in to it.

    • Mxx

      Paul Younger, somewhat ironic that anti-spam captcha below this comment is an ad for SpeedStick, a brand of Colgate-Palmolive, which states:
      Animal testing is only conducted where specifically required
      by regulatory agencies or where alternative testing methods are
      unavailable to ensure the safety of our products. In such limited
      instances, the tests are conducted only at contract testing facilities
      that meet both government standards and the more rigorous
      requirements established by Colgate with input from animal
      welfare groups.
      So they also do it…

    • covona

      Why can’t EA find ethical partners to work with? There are lots of them who always seem to have promotions.

    • Joshua Richmond

      Any reputable organization that uses animal models for their research takes greater care and consideration of their subjects than any pet owner, any day of the week. Not only is it federally mandated to have a vet on call for any health issue, but the staff on site is required to provide constant care and attention to the housed animals. On top of that, for research’s sake, it is necessary to keep a standard in the quality of your subjects, so it simply makes sense to ensure the animals are in the best condition possible as to eliminate noise in your data.

      Please educate yourself before jumping to erroneous and idiotic conclusions.

    • det


    • Eli

      Pretty much spot on Joshua about animal research. Oh it’s sure nice to have happy-fun ethical feelings over something, until you realize that 30% odd percent of the worlds population would be dead without it. And people who are against it, would be committing 10-15% of the population to death if it hadn’t been used in the past.

      Boy sure is good to feel morally smug, while letting people die.

    • Kojang

      @Eli See the link in the article. https://www.drhadwentrust.org/

      As you said, “used in the past”. I think we have somewhat advanced beyond it when it comes to cosmetic testing. At least Europeans banned it which is progressive as there is no place today for cosmetic testing on animals and no requirement. Nice article.

    • Boris Johnson

      I think the whole idea of advertising inside a game is tacky. They did this when they took over the Burnout series (another game series gradually ruined by EA) Making a purchase of any product required to redeem DLC is even more so, regardless of animal testing. It is sad to see a once great game series decline into the pit of eternal stench…

    • hrrathul

      Better animal testing than human testing. Anyway, the whole animal cruelty thing is a huge myth. That being said, I don’t like Crest so I won’t be buying it just for virtual goodies in a game.

    • Oak

      Good. This isn’t an issue I expect to see on a game site. Questioning the tangible support of a morally questionable industry or company’s practices. It’s so easy to sit back and lap up entertainment at face value and to hell with the implications of that because ‘it doesn’t affect me’. The majority do and will always do so and that’s their prerogative (lucky for them) but for those who give a shit (and I like to count myself in that number) it’s good when it’s singled out for special attention in this way.

    • Shyghar

      Hang on a minute… wasn’t DLC for Simcity going to be free branded or purchasable for a small fee? I don’t remember them saying pre-release that some DLC would only be available by buying third party products. Is that a knew thing. Have EA had this in a previous game?

      And I agree there is no place for cosmetic testing on animals in 2013.

    • themeros

      They are really shameless. The game has been nothing but criticized, full of bugs and an embarassing launch and they still have the audacity to pull this off just a month after when none of the biggest problems have been addressed?

    • Asteria

      Food for thought EA.

    • Roger

      Hey this animal testing thing, I love animals but I’d much rather a product be tested on animals first to make sure its okay for us humans. People say it ethically wrong I think it would be wrong to put something on the shelf which as not been 100% tested first.

    • Steven

      At least you have the option to boycott it – the offer is only available in the USA, I’m in Australia so couldn’t purchase the product to get the code in the first place.

    • johnnydumblore

      Ah, the rancid smell of the holier-than-thou internet warrior. Whoever wrote this article deserves a public flogging. It’s goddamn oral hygiene products, not crack. If you don’t want them, don’t buy them. It’s not like EA is saying “Hey, kids! Sell granny for meth and then use that meth to get money to buy overpriced DLC!”
      Remove head from sphincter then review.