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SimCity Connectivity Issues Leave Game Almost Unplayable



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.

Connection issues mean many players simply can't play SImCity at the moment.

Connection issues mean many players simply can’t play SImCity at the moment.

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.

There’s also an issue where Surface Pro users can’t even access Origin to play the game. As IGN points out, however, there are ways around that.

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.



  1. RunRunRun

    03/06/2013 at 5:19 pm

    The solution to this kind of situation is very obvious: Only multiplayer is supposed to be OPTIONAL, not required. Why multiplayer even exists in a SimCity game is mind-boggling enough, but to shoehorn it in to every player’s experience and severely curtail many of the features which made SimCity the gem that it is in the first place (saves you can reload–isn’t that a basic feature of all games? uhg, never mind–, terrain editing, cities larger than a small suburb, etc), and backtracking on things that are available in flipping SimCity 2000 is simply stupid. The only goal here was to ram an awful DRM scheme down the customer’s gob, and I’m sad to see that so many people gladly ate it up. This is a power/money grab by EA, and nothing else. They don’t want people making more fun for free through mods, when you can pay them $30 to add in basic features and a skin pack. This whole situation is about removing consumer choice and control over a product for which you paid. EA owns this game; you only rent it. If this is the future of games, you can count me out.

    • Paid 81$ for simcity duluxe edition like a fool

      03/06/2013 at 6:18 pm

      what he said

    • Justin

      03/06/2013 at 6:44 pm

      And this is why I didn’t and won’t buy. I will continue to play SimCity 4

  2. wevenhuis

    03/07/2013 at 5:22 am

    Goes to show that a game is as good as the sum of its parts.

  3. hatingEA

    03/07/2013 at 5:33 am

    Still unplayable. Predictable.

  4. Maleck - Site Admin

    03/07/2013 at 6:35 am

    Seems EA wasn’t thinking of his country folks who have limited internet/download time. I can’t even begin to play Sim City because it requires an update, an update that by 5%, used up 20% of my download allowance for today. How irritating and frustrating that they require us to be online! Not happy!

  5. Yo

    03/07/2013 at 12:19 pm

    This whole thing is just stupid. Like Runrunrun said, why force the online aspect? And like this guy on a youtube video said, that’s supposed to work against pirating, but they supposedly already found a way around it. Point is, this will decrease sales instead of increasing them. Only reason I bought it was out of (wrong?) loyalty to the title itself. I’m not sure if I made the right decision

  6. hawaiisb

    03/08/2013 at 12:00 am

    I can’t believe I spent 80 bucks on an unplayable game that forces me through the web to play.

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