Faith Check: Will SimCity's Servers Hold Up Next Week?

Keyboards plugged in? Mouses at the ready? Cool. We're about to hit the launch of another big-deal PC game: Maxis' SimCity, back from a long hiatus and looking pretty good.

But SimCity will also be the latest PC game to demand that users maintain a constant internet connection. We went into the similarly connection-demanding Diablo III hoping for the best, and wound up with a game that was regularly rendered unplayable by widespread server problems in the opening days. We're wiser now, and more wary. We know the score. This could be a bumpy ride, at least at first.

While the launch of any online game brings with it some expected server woes, it's still not too much to hope that a game that offers no offline mode will have everything in place to assure early players a seamless experience.

I thought I'd do a pre-release gut-check: How would you rate your faith in SimCity's servers?

With 1 being "It'll be a disaster" and 10 being "It'll be flawless," how do you think SimCity's servers will hold up on launch?

Any further thoughts on the game? Did you participate in any of the betas they've done? Do you get the sense from the betas that the servers are ready?


    Terrible idea, servers will crumble, as usual EA will pass the buck to an ISP or some technology partner.

    I'm going with 1.5 cause someone will have an offline-play crack available within 24hours of release as usual......which will make up for the fact that logging in will be a mix of impossible and herrendously slow...

      My understanding is that the internet connection isn't just a DRM thing that can be circumvented. Some things are stored server side so the only way to crack it would be to recode chunks of the game. I'd assume this will take longer than any teething issues with servers.

        Thats right. Massive chunks of the game will be missing without net. They have put most of the background marketing etc in the cloud.

      I read a journalist report from the event where EA had sixteen of them at a table playing on their private server in house. During the six hours of play the server went down about six times and had to be reset. That was for sixteen people. At one point the EA staff blamed this journalist for charging his laptop which they said affected the server power.

        Yep, you have to watch out for them dodgy laptops, they can bring so many high end servers to their knees!


    Never been a single case where "Always on DRM" ever running smooth on launch, especially for a big title like this... Diablo 3 is the best example for this.

    (Geez why dev nowadays making it hard to play a simple building sim game)

    i think the severs will hold up as there is now way in hell sim city will get 6million people all trying to log in at once( ala d3 )and EA will most likely have double the amount of servers needed ( just like swtor)

    Having that said that, i wont be playing it and i wont be pirating it because EA are cunts

    Diablo III issues only lasted a few days? I thought it went on for a few weeks... I imagine the server issues eased up once people threw the game in the bin.

    The Beta had all servers operational and couldn't handle player load. In a beta. This game is going to break the servers completely on release. It won't hold up, and I'm looking forward to the backlash articles : )

    Their servers couldn't handle a press preview. I doubt it can handle all the people who were foolish enough to actually pay for this.

    Its pretty rare for a online game to run smoothly at launch, especially when a publisher like EA is behind the wheel. I doubt it will launch well.

    I was getting excited for this, but the always on DRM has turned me off. Too many negative experiences in the past - I'd rather play something else.

    I might think about getting this game 3 months after launch when servers should be more stable and bugs ironed out. I have little faith in EA.

      not to mention, cheaper as well.

    I'll get it once it's on Steam. Same with Crysis 3.

      i doubt that will happen. Why would EA use steam anymore, they have their own DRM platform. And they are trying to make it as popular as steam so they are like major competitions now. I still love Steam a lot more though. Origin kinda suck!

    Oh man.... disappointed to say the least that this is the way it's going to be.
    This one game that had me a little excited about using my new rig to game with.
    Oh well..... Arma III it will be then.

    Not a chance. I have enough problems with EA's servers on a normal day. Can't even imagine what the will be like at launch for SC

    Well at least they'll HAVE some servers, unlike Battlefield 3 where it seems these days the only servers are ones that players have paid to rent.

    I hope to God that it's a 1 out of 10.

    Not because I hope gamers are disappointed, but so it will go so badly it's reported in finance media and hurt their share price via bad publicity. That's pretty much the only thing that would get them to reassess the prickish practice.

      I think it's a total dick move to hope that they fail. SimCity is one of the oldest, best and most respected gaming franchises ever and it'd be terrible for something like this to ruin its reputation and user base.

        If they screw the pooch, they're still going to attract the casual crowd like they did with The Sims. Failing to reach their probably lofty targets is the only way they'll ever change their DRM policy.

          You make a fair point. I just wish it wasn't SimCity that has to fail to prove this point.

    So I was just walking through JB HiFi and I noticed the promo boxes for Simcity (they had a whole wall with them). In the corner next to the G rating, it says “Gaming experience may differ online”. What does this mean? Is this EA trying to pre-empt the inevitable server issues?

      No, that's fairly standard for any game with an online component.

      Because, while the game itself is G, if you get online and somebody starts threatening to rape your mother or builds a city in the shape of a giant cock then obviously it's no longer G-rated, but that side of things is out of their control

        Ah right, should have thought of that.

        That said, I'll still keep my cynical glasses on.

        ...or builds a city in the shape of a giant cock...

        I'm probably going to build a city in the shape of a giant cock.

        Last edited 01/03/13 4:09 pm

    I'm pretty sure they'll fall over. When they said that they needed to offload most of the processing to their servers, I thought - "So, your servers are gonna be more powerful than the computers of your entire fanbase?" Think about that. They sell a million copies - that's a million Core i5 equivalents or higher. Yes, servers are more powerful, and can be optimised due to known, consistent hardware, but by that much? We'll see...

    Anyone for error code bingo?

    Ill def buy this game, but will be among the first to install the Server Hack when it becomes available...

    I think I'll try this game out next year, when the servers are more stable, and the price more reasonable. :)

    I had no problems in the first beta test, EA servers are generally very fast through Origin. I'm hoping there aren't many issues at launch because I'm buying it on the 7th when it comes out. I'm in Australia if that makes any difference.

    I do not like the idea of single-player games being tied into always-on DRM, it is ridiculous that you can't play while updates are applied and being an Aussie it always happens at the worst possible time for us. Unfortunately I have played D3 to death and am currently playing SWTOR (ftp) so I am contributing to the support for this type of DRM (which it essentially is), but I'm not going to miss out on a great game out of spite. I've been obsessed with Simcity since 1990!

    0. Between one and 10 that's my faith in their servers running smoothly in the launch window. Rounded to the nearest decimal place.

    I think I'l send them anger cupcakes. Though these will be special cupcakes that have their flavor online so you can share the exact taste with friends. However if, for any reason you lose connection to our flavor servers the cupcakes will have no taste at all. They'll look pretty on the shelf but what's the pint of cupcakes that just sit on a shelf?

    Im hoping the servers will hold up, only problems i had with beta was that there was a 1 hour time limit for building a city then it was reset. EA better be ready for the overflow because we dont want to wait.

    i'm torn between this. I want to support a good, intuitive game. but i will NOT support this DRM bullshit. It actively ENCOURAGES me to torrent it, and why not?

    Buying it means i support this kind of crap, and that i will just deal with it, and that i dont have 100% access to my own game. But if they see that their game has been pirated 300,000 times, maybe they will take a long hard look at it.... ahahaha, yeah right.

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