This week EA released SimCity, the latest iteration of the popular city building franchise, but connectivity issues plague the game, leaving even the single-player game unplayable for many.
Unlike previous SimCity games which were single-player, offline affairs, the new SimCity adds the ability to play online with friends. The trouble is EA requires gamers to have a stable Internet connection even when they want to play the game alone. This, paired with poor servers on EA’s side makes the game almost unplayable.
The problems started when users tried to download the game early Tuesday morning from EA’s Origin service. With so many users trying to download the game, downloads were painfully slow, with many taking to Twitter to complain about the lack of a pre-load option. After downloading the game, players encountered more issues.
Some players were unable to get online to play the game, not because of their connection, but because of EA. The number of gamers trying to play the game overwhelmed EA’s servers, and continue to not work well as of this writing. Many users encountered error messages asking them to try later, even if they just wanted to play alone.
Even when in the game, some players get knocked out of the game because of server issues. As Polygon notes in an update to its review of the game:
As many worried, today’s launch of SimCity has brought a number of server woes and instability with it. Some players are unable to connect to EA’s servers to download the game. Others are unable to sign into SimCity’s always-online service to start a game. Others are suffering from disconnections while in-game, which often results in lost progress and bizarre glitches. Our own reviewer, Russ Pitts, has suffered disconnected sessions this afternoon that resulted in lost progress, corrupted avenue placement, and twin monster attacks.
The issues cause Polygon to revise its score from an almost-perfect 9.5 to 8.0.
For users who like to play on the go, the issues will likely continue after EA solves issues with Origins, simply because mobile data isn’t always that reliable. To even play the game on a laptop or Ultrabook while outside or a Wi-Fi hotspot users will have to tether their device to a smartphone or mobile hotspot. Users than have to hope the connection remains steady and that it doesn’t take up too much data.
By all accounts, SimCity is a very fun game, but like the recent Diablo III the launch has numerous issues connected to the publisher forcing all users online. Eventually the situation will likely improve for desktop gamers, but gamers that like to play while on the go or traveling (in-flight WiFi is notoriously slow and expensive) the issues won’t leave any time soon.