by Dan Moren
The game that killed SimCity
Callum Bains, writing for PCGamer, recounts the disastrous launch of a SimCity reboot in 2013 and how it spelled the end for the storied franchise:
When SimCity launched on March 6, it required players to maintain an active online connection to the game’s servers. If that connection dropped, they’d be booted from the game. The problem, simple as it seemed, was significant: there wasn’t enough server space to go round. Players were met with frequent crashes, extreme latency, exceedingly long load times, disconnections, and delayed downloads. Swathes were unable to get into the game at all, left endlessly hanging in the launch menu, let alone experience the fresh multiplayer city building they were promised. The game’s servers buckled under the tidal wave of players trying to connect, and there was no subsidence on the horizon.
SimCity was one of the first games I can really remember playing on my Mac, and I must have spent hours at it1. But the last version I ever played was SimCity 2000, which came out thirty years ago. (How come we still don’t have arcologies?!)
Of course, nothing stays dead forever these days and even though there hasn’t been a SimCity game in ten years, I wouldn’t be surprised if we haven’t heard the last of this particular series. The popular spinoff The Sims is still going strong, so maybe some day they’ll be organized into…cities?
- I also have fond memories of playing SimEarth with my friend on a Mac at his mom’s office, and SimAnt. ↩