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SimCity sees light at the end of the tunnel

12 Mar 13

It’s been a rocky week for EA and Maxis, but apparently the problems with SimCity are almost at an end.

Rocky weeks are probably a pretty standard thing for EA, dwelling as they do on the proverbial edge of sanity, crawling along a straight razor like a digital snail, refusing to comply with the laws of reason, the universe and the internet, hated and loved in equal parts by gamers everywhere.

I might have over-thought this.

In any case, Lucy Bradshaw, general manager of Maxis, says SimCity’s problems are almost a thing of the past and game crashes have dropped drastically since day one.

“I’m happy to report that the core problem with getting in and having a great SimCity experience is almost behind us.

"Our players have been able to connect to their cities in the game for nearly eight million hours of gameplay time and we’ve reduced game crashed by 92 per cent from day one.”

Now, some of you are thinking “oh, yay, they’ve reduced the crashes by 92 per cent.”

Others will react like me, slamming their head repeatedly against the nearest wall or elderly relative and screaming “WHY DID THEY RELEASE A GAME WHEN THERE WAS ANY CHANCE THEY WOULD HAVE TO EVER SAY ‘WE’VE REDUCED CRASHES BY 92 PER CENT?!’ SURELY THEY KNEW THAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN! THEY’RE ALIVE IN THE WORLD, THEY SAW DIABLO 3! WHAT IS THIS, SKYRIM?! BRING ME A WHISKY, QUICK!”

The whisky part isn’t really necessary, but something has to liven up my days. But on a serious note, since when did releasing broken games become an OK thing to do?

You might argue it’s not broken, but if I can’t play a game I paid $100 for, it’s broken. If I can’t play with a yo-yo because the string comes pre-tangled, it’s broken (what am I, nine? A yo-yo is what I jumped to?)

If I have to download an extra patch just to play a game at launch (Bethesda), it’s broken. If I can’t eat a meal at a restaurant because there’s a powerful kinetic force field surrounding it, that’s badass and I want a force field.

And it’s not over yet. “I had hoped to issue an ‘All-Clear’ tonight,” says Bradshaw, “but there are still some elements coming together. Tonight and tomorrow we’ll be monitoring each server and gameplay metrics to ensure that the service remains strong and game is playing great.”

I know you’re out there, enraged gamers. As Alex Baldwin put it in Glengarry Glen Ross (the best film of all time, fact) “get mad you sons of bitches, get mad!” and as the Lorax put it in, well, the Lorax (you know he’s good because they named a book after him) “unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing it going to get better – it’s not.”

If we pander to developers who release broken games, they’ll give us broken games. If you buy a game at launch, you should be able to play it at launch.

Someone get me a whisky.

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