The only thing I wanted last night was to spend a relaxing evening plopping buildings down, building schools and commercial buildings and watching little sim people roam around my city creation. But EA was hell-bent on destroying my experience at every turn.
It all started at 9:01pm PST, when Sim City was supposed to be locking on the hell platform that is Origin. Me and a few friends were all spamming each other over Origin IM, waiting for the game to change from “prerelease” to “released” so that we could all download it. Despite the Sim City official Twitter announcing earlier that day that the game would unlock at 9pm PST, and despite having announced at 9:00pm that “the game is available for North America”, it simply wasn’t unlocked in Origin. And since there wasn’t the ability to predownload, everyone was waiting to download the game and hammering the servers all at once.
Slowly, one by one, my group of friends started to gain access to the download. I was the very last of everyone I knew — mine didn’t unlock until after 10:00pm, over an hour late. Now, don’t get me wrong, I understand staggering the release so that the servers can handle the flood of traffic. However, first off, couldn’t they have started this staggering at 8pm, or even 7:30, so that people who planned their evenings around a 9pm announced launch wouldn’t be inconvenienced? Or better yet, if EA would have gone the Steam route of allowing everyone to download the game in the weeks prior to the release – the servers would have been just fine. Anyway, that’s only the first half of my frustrations.
After logging in finally and figuring out how to invite my fiance to build on a region with me, I started my metropolis. The game itself is a ton of fun, scary levels of addicting, and it’s pretty attractive to look at. After I had just purchased my City Hall and started looking at my population, I got a popup that wasn’t closeable. My entire screen was locked up and I couldn’t do anything but kill the client. This wouldn’t have been a huge problem if I wasn’t greeted by a freaking 30 MINUTE QUEUE when logging back in. At this point it was well after midnight and there was no way I was waiting in that when I should be sleeping.
Alas, my experience with SimCity was fleeting. I really enjoyed the 20 minutes that I actually got to play, but I had a pretty frustrating evening overall. I hope tonight is a better experience.