The Biggest Video Game News Stories of 2013 (So Far)

SimLockdown: a study in civic engineering failure, hubris.

The launch of the latest SimCity last March brought a host of problems and left excited players gnashing their teeth and pounding their limp wrists against the cold dying earth. The problem was so widespread and persistent that even Amazon resorted to adding a warning to customers that the game might not be playable at the time of sale.

Playing the new SimCity reboot required users to remain connected to the web, and one of EA’s servers, at all times. While this does serve a game function, it populates nearby landscapes with other player’s cities, it’s primarily a Digital Rights Management (DRM) measure. Which can be annoying since you need a constant connection to prove you bought the game you’re playing but worse when EA’s servers totally crapped out and left many players locked out of the game and fantasizing about old, simple mechanics of SimCity games.

EA’s response was not to update its DRM with a patch to solve the problem or stagger servers, but to strip the game of its features, cutting the multiplayer aspect totally. So you’re playing an always-on, online game, by yourself. Saddest SimDay ever.

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