EA botches SimCity launch, Amazon stops sales

So, SimCity has been released – the fifth instalment in this venerable series of fantastic games. However, just as everyone suspected, the game has been completely ruined by the always-online DRM. So much so, in fact, that Amazon has ceased selling the game. Update: and it’s only getting worse – EA has suspended all marketing efforts for SimCity, and has asked third parties to do the same. Wow.

SimCity requires no introduction – from the first game onwards, it has captured the minds and hearts of gamers the world over. SimCity 2000 is my personal favourite, but I have played all versions to death. I was eagerly awaiting SimCity (no version number), but sadly, the game has been ruined even before it’s been properly released.

The game requires an always-on internet connection to connect with EA’s servers, partly because of online components, but mostly because of DRM. During a Reddit AmA with Maxis, the game’s developers, the problems were already predicted, and they panned out: EA’s servers couldn’t handle the load, and the game became unplayable for large groups of people who just paid €60 for the privilege.

They were greeted by waiting screens, unable to play the game.

EA had to act, and they did. They have released a patch which… Disables several features of the game. Ironically, it mostly disables features that supposedly required the always-on connection in the first pace, such as leaderboards and achievements. A more dramatic step is the removal of the ‘cheetah’ speed. This is the highest simulation speed in the game, and at least in the way I play the game I require it – I switch between pause (build mode) and cheetah (develop mode).

As a consequence of all the troubles with players being unable to, well, play, Amazon has decided to remove the digital version of the game from its virtual shelves, while the physical copy now carries a warning about the game.

I don’t think EA could have handled this any worse. None of the gameplay features require always-on connectivity; you can play the game entirely on your own. It’s this kind of – pardon me – shit that makes people hate you, EA. You just ruined SimCity.

43 Comments

  1. project_2501 2013-03-07 10:52 pm EST
    • thesunnyk 2013-03-07 11:19 pm EST
      • BushLin 2013-03-07 11:32 pm EST
        • zztaz 2013-03-08 12:06 am EST
      • Laurence 2013-03-08 1:31 pm EST
    • Drumhellar 2013-03-08 12:00 am EST
      • zztaz 2013-03-08 12:28 am EST
        • lucas_maximus 2013-03-08 8:13 am EST
          • Wafflez 2013-03-08 11:09 am EST
          • lucas_maximus 2013-03-08 1:16 pm EST
          • aaronb 2013-03-08 11:47 pm EST
          • ze_jerkface 2013-03-09 8:35 am EST
    • MacTO 2013-03-08 12:07 pm EST
  2. Nelson 2013-03-07 10:56 pm EST
  3. tomz 2013-03-07 11:08 pm EST
  4. stabbyjones 2013-03-07 11:17 pm EST
  5. WorknMan 2013-03-07 11:21 pm EST
    • Delgarde 2013-03-08 2:16 am EST
    • JAlexoid 2013-03-08 7:51 am EST
    • peejay 2013-03-08 2:03 pm EST
      • WorknMan 2013-03-08 5:11 pm EST
        • WereCatf 2013-03-08 5:50 pm EST
  6. Casey99 2013-03-08 12:49 am EST
  7. mattymoo 2013-03-08 3:17 am EST
  8. kwan_e 2013-03-08 3:45 am EST
  9. tuaris 2013-03-08 6:41 am EST
  10. cyrilleberger 2013-03-08 7:45 am EST
  11. judgen 2013-03-08 8:13 am EST
  12. Invincible Cow 2013-03-08 10:46 am EST
    • mightshade 2013-03-08 1:08 pm EST
  13. Tony Swash 2013-03-08 1:54 pm EST
  14. Chrispynutt 2013-03-08 4:26 pm EST
  15. zeos386sx 2013-03-08 4:31 pm EST
  16. smashIt 2013-03-08 7:48 pm EST
    • project_2501 2013-03-09 10:36 pm EST
  17. Tuishimi 2013-03-09 8:40 am EST
  18. _QJ_ 2013-03-11 1:25 pm EST
  19. jweinraub 2013-03-11 4:29 pm EST