Wednesday 6 March 2013

Ten years I’ve waited. The new SimCity looks visually stunning and the game itself appears to have the best mix of complexity and usability. No more running pipes – just drop in your roads and your power, sewage and water are ready to go. So why haven’t I rushed out to pick up a copy?
You have to be online in order to play it.
It doesn’t matter if you just want to try a single player city, you have to connect to the EA servers in order to launch the software.  The servers are already maxed out and a lot of gamers are unable to get in. I’m a little leery of dropping a sizeable chunk of cash for the opportunity to be at the mercy of EA’s budget decisions.
And what happens down the road if they stop supporting the game?
The always online requirement works for games like Call of Duty because few players even bother with the single player campaign, they’re in it for the online play (and who wants to waste time on a campaign that’s ten percent gameplay and ninety percent cinematic anyway).
It works even better for Blizzard, where users pay a monthly fee to access their characters.
Maybe that’s the plan with Sim City? Perhaps they have plans to release DLC that requires a subscription fee. You download the ‘Space Exploration’ module and pay five dollars a month to use it… The digital rights management angle is probably the main reason for the always online requirement, but I have a feeling that they’re going to lose more sales from this requirement than they will from piracy.
Either way, if I can’t play it offline, I’ll pass for now.