The launch of SimCity has been disastrous for EA so far. Despite repeated assurances that their servers would be able to handle the day one load, this always online city simulation game has been plaguing its players with connection failures and infinite loading screens since the game’s release. Now EA has come up with a temporary fix: disabling many of the game’s online features.
“We are continuing to do everything we can to address the server issues,” said an EA Community Manager on the SimCity forums. “In the meantime, so that we can give you as good an experience as possible, we are in the process of deploying a hotfix to all servers. This includes various improvements and also disables a few non-critical gameplay features (leaderboards, achievements and region filters). Disabling these features will in no way affect your core gameplay experience.”
In addition to disabling non-critical game features, EA has said that they will be adding new servers in the next few days which should alleviate many of the connection issues players are experiencing. They have also said that they are confident that their European territory launch will go over far more smoothly than their North American launch.
Unfortunately, EA has not yet considered the best fix for this solution -- allowing the game to play in an offline mode. This is a city simulation game after all, a traditionally single-player game. Granted, the ability to trade with other player’s cities is nifty but it’s not an absolute must have. Many view SimCity’s “online features” as merely a shiny paint job over an always-online DRM policy. This unfortunate bout of server failure is exactly why always-online DRM doesn’t work.
EA has said that they will have more information for us in the coming days and that the game should get stable soon. “We know it has been said before, but we do appreciate your patience as we complete this latest update, said EA. “Getting you playing is our absolute highest priority.”