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Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues

EA announces that the Windows edition of SimCity is now available in North America, saying the OS X edition of Maxis' urban planning reboot will follow sometime this spring. The SimCity Website has a blog post from Kip Katsarelis where the Senior Producer on the project offers some thoughts on what to expect. The first review scores are up on Metacritic, where it has so far received much acclaim from critics, while the user score scrapes along the bottom, as many gamers are using this opportunity to voice disapproval of the game's DRM, which requires it to be played online. On that topic, the Origin twitter account has a steady stream of tweets explaining delays in distributing and unlocking the game though the Origin service, which is struggling with the demand, at various times saying the delay to unlock the game would span 90 minutes to as much as four hours. Polygon has word from Origin global community manager Marcel Hatam that the service is still struggling, and they note a post on the EA Forums sympathizing with frustration at the delays, and offering refunds for unhappy customers. They explain that they understand how important pre-loads are to a smooth launch, and apologize that they could not put this knowledge to use in this case, saying: "This didn't come together for SimCity unfortunately, for which I again apologize." Here's part of the release announcement:

Everything is intelligently simulated in this new SimCity, from all of the Sims in a city, to every kilowatt of power pulsing through a region thanks to the powerful GlassBox Engine. It is the most expansive city management game yet where multi-city gameplay across regions delivers a larger playing field. No longer are players relegated to playing one single city, now they can manage and play up to 16 cities at once. Each city can have different specializations; they can share services and trade resources; they can help or even hinder each other; every decision a player makes in each city has impact in the broader region. Its up to the player to decide where and how they play.

For the first time in the series multiplayer is added to the gameplay giving players a new dimension to the game, as decisions impact both the city and the region, creating new ways to play by collaborating or competing to earn achievements. Underpinning SimCity is a live service that simulates real-time updates and pushes them to players in the form of new challenges and achievements. Players will track their progression alongside their friends and the world for the most polluted city, the richest city and more. Whether players play by themselves, with their friends or with the rest of the world, SimCity will challenge players to create the city of their dreams answer the question what kind of mayor will you be?

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30. Re: Ships Ahoy - SimCity; Refunds Offered for Launch Issues Mar 5, 2013, 11:07 nin
Enough monkeys have pre-ordered this that it's already a success.

Yes and no. I'm sure they thought Dead Space 3 was a hit on launch day, too. But you also have to factor in how many people are buying this next week or next month. And the more word of mouth gets out about the various issues, the more it's going to hurt that (hello, A:CM).
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