Wed. Sep 18th, 2019

The Balfour Institute of Esoteric Culture

The Internet is a dark and terrible place

SimCity 2013 is just the saddest little failure

3 min read

SimCity 2013, from 2013, is not the real name of this particular videogame, it is in fact simple named “SimCity”, this is a lie, SimCity was released in 1989 and is one of the classical bedrock videogames of an entire generation of poor bastards.

It was a massively successful series of video games, all about building a city, supplying it’s inhabitants with services, designing the layout of the city and generally being solid simulators.

The intial 1989 game has been released on just about everything:

  • Acorn Archimedes
  • Acorn Electron
  • Amiga
  • Amstrad CPC
  • Atari ST
  • BBC Micro
  • Browser
  • C64
  • CDTV
  • DESQview
  • DOS
  • EPOC32
  • FM Towns
  • iOS
  • Linux
  • Mac OS
  • Mobile phone
  • NeWS
  • OLPC XO-1
  • OS/2
  • PC-98
  • SNES
  • Tk
  • Unix
  • Windows
  • X11 TCL
  • X68000
  • ZX Spectrum

Not bad eh? In 1993 a sequel was released in the form of SimCity 2000, which I never played as a child, my graphics card couldn’t handle 256 colours, on 16.

Followed in 1999 by SimCity 3000, which sold a million copies in six months, which by 2000’s standard, hell even by today, it pretty fucking good for a niche simulator game. Hell, most sources report that the game end up selling around five million copies by 2007.

SimCity 4 came out in 2003, adding cool features like regions, enabling you to essentially building cities and then zooming out to an over-world, where all the cities you could see would then interact with each other, in a fairly limited way true, but cool nonetheless.

SimCity 4 would sell somewhere around two million copies fairly quickly too. But then came the Sims and basically wrecked everything, combine that with a couple of crap games from Maxis, the developer, and the result was a TEN YEAR GAP.

And then came SimCity 2013, one of the early attempts at “Games as a Service” it essentially shoehorned in a whole bunch of online elements, like cooperative multiplayer and leader-boards and then made the entire game online-only.

SO TINY! SO FUCKING TINY!

“EA wanted to make it more of a platform, an ongoing platform, that they’d sort of build and develop on,” Quigley explained. “And so that […] mandated, kind of, the server and online stuff. Which, in retrospect — I mean, obviously — was the fatal flaw in it.”

Yeah, this was a failure of infrastructure before anything else, a million people logging into the game at once drove the servers into the abyss and EA had to basically go all out fire-fighter to fix it.

The game never really recovered, and worst of all, only sold two million copies, the same as the previous game had, after ten years, EA’s moronic executives obviously expected much more.

Didn’t help that the entire Online component and always online requirement, the developers told the customers that there was server-side calculations involved in the requirement, could be disable totally by removing two lines of code.

And offline mode was introduced in a later patch, the game got a bunch of crap DLC and a moderately okay Expansion.

EA don’t learn at all, Maxis no longer really exists, the Sims is a shell of idiots buying the same expansion over and over again and SimCity?

Go buy Cities Skylines instead.

MICROSCOPIC!

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