After last week’s disastrous release, EA now claims that the new SimCity is almost up and running.
But is this really true? And what does the future hold for the much loved franchise?
SimCity 5’s Failure
SimCity cannot be played without a solid internet connection, and a solid connection to EA’s servers.
This by itself would be enough to cause gamers great frustration.
But the issue exploded into the spotlight when it became clear that EA had not prepared its servers to handle the number of customers who purchased the game.
Almost everyone who eagerly purchased SimCity received an unplayable game. And some of those players then found that EA isn’t offering any refunds for their apparently defective product.
Now, more than a full week after the game was launched, many owners are still finding SimCity to be barely playable, despite EA’s reassurances.
The Heart of the SimCity problem
The general consensus is that this whole problem is nothing more than a blatant case of Digital Rights Management or DRM.
The theory is that every single SimCity user needs to be identified and tracked in order to ensure that no one is playing a stolen copy of the game. Thus, SimCity can only work online.
But after such a disastrous release, many observers are arguing that SimCity is the perfect case study against DRM.
Some SimCity 5 Fans Are Taking Action
Nearly 70,000 unhappy SimCity fans have signed a petition on change.org, asking EA to remove the ‘Always Online’ DRM.
Another petition at Maxis has garnered 7,500 signatures. It asks that EA create an offline mode and bring back some popular SimCity 4 features.
And a Kickstarter project has been launched to build a SimCity alternative called Civitas.
Civitas is designed to be a modifiable, DRM free game which is planned to contain and improve upon many of the features of SimCity.
It is still a fair way off achieving its Kickstarter goal of $250,000, but with enough awareness, the game may become a reality.
What’s Next For SimCity?
That’s the big question, isn’t it?
How will EA respond? We’ll just have to wait and see at this point.
Tell us about your SimCity 2013 experience below.