To the surprise of no one, SimCity launched and then fell flat for many players.  Either failed downloads, failed connections, server queues or just plain old bugs, many people were unable to play the recent installment in the classic series.

While I think the concepts behind the game are pretty cool, I do have reservations on a few items:

  • It requires Origin to play, no matter where you buy it.  I have a dislike for Origin for many reasons, the least of which is their EULA and shoddy customer service.
  • It’s from EA, a company who is charging players for a priority queue to play the game.  Now that’s brass balls folks.
  • The city size is 80-90% smaller than in previous versions.  Hitting 500K population is an achievement.
  • Due to the former, cities must work together in a region to support each other.  Cool concept until one of those cities decides to stop playing and you suddenly lose all your power.
  • You can “finish” your city relatively quickly, in a few hours.  Past Sim games took quite a while to reach a prosperous city.  To me, this is going to hurt the longevity of the game as once you’re at maximum capacity, every corner is filled and you know a change in direction (say from Power to Knowledge) would destroy your region, why bother?
  • Always on DRM.  If Diablo 3 taught me anything, it’s that always on DRM for a single player game is one of the stupidest things ever seen.  If it’s single player, I want to be able to play offline for when I don’t have the internet.  That’s why I have a laptop.

It just seems like a wasted effort on a game that had a lot of potential.  I am hoping that EA and other companies learn from this and find some middle ground between letting players actually play the game and securing their games (like a once every 2 week ping to the server).

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