Ten years after the release of the incredible SimCity 4 in January 2003, SimCity 2013 was released on March 5 at midnight. Three weeks in, after a terrible and rather disappointing launch, the new SimCity is still suffering from a multitude of problems all across the board. From a growing list of in-game bugs and glitches, to a restrictive always-online requirement to play the game, players have been struggling to get a hold of a working server and sit down to build some cities.

SimCity 2013 was promised to be the next big thing in city-building simulators. With a brand new GlassBox engine and all the pretty graphics, it had a lot going for it. That is, until release day. With all the statistics available to the developers, it’s strange that it never occurred to them that with tens, if not hundreds of thousands of pre-ordered copies of the game, there would be massive server issues on launch.

The game was “released” at midnight, but most people weren’t even able to download the game until four days after release. The always-on requirement on games has supposedly been put in place in an attempt to reduce piracy, but all it has done is upset honest and loyal fans.

Players have been waiting patiently for this sequel for just over a decade now, and with all the promises that it put on the table, everybody was very excited for the launch. The server issues served mostly as a distraction and kept sales going with a promise of better connectivity and better servers in the very near future. As the servers got better, more people got on, started playing and then, as if the server issues weren’t enough, the game actually turned out to be flat-out broken. It seems to be an unfinished product, not even unpolished, but entirely unfinished.

Statements were released by the lead developers, which revealed how the game was developed to be more of an MMO than an actual city-building simulator. It seems that the developers followed their own vision and forgot all about the loyal fans of the original franchise that have been following this series since the release of the first SimCity in 1990.

Earlier last year, Maxis claimed that modding tools would be available to the community, but it seems that EA’s will have total control over the game. EA announced that they would be banning all people who modify any of the game files. EA has since refused all refunds on the game and banned people for requesting refunds or cancelling credit card charges back on their accounts.

As it stands right now, it is more of a paid beta-testing stage of the game than an actual game. Server issues still persist and the developers are avoiding all major questions through every kind of twist and turn imaginable. It seems that EA and Maxis used the name of the franchise to generate the best publicity and marketing for this game, but as far as things go, they have simple taken people’s money for an incomplete version of a game.

So long, Mayor Defacto.

By: Yoseif Haddad

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