New SimCity Wracked with Technical Problems

Dennis Faas's picture

SimCity, one of the PC gaming industry's most renowned franchises, has finally received an update. Unfortunately, the new game, while visually attractive, is suffering from some paralyzing technical problems.

SimCity is the first game of its kind in a decade. If you never played the original (or one of the updates, like SimCity 3000), the game challenges players to build their very own city.

Along the way, they must deal with all of the problems faced by city leaders, including crime, natural disasters, and controversial business operations.

DRM Presents Problems

The problem with this new game involves the "digital rights management" (DRM) system put in place by publisher Electronic Arts (EA) and developer Maxis.

Like other major PC games released in recent years, including Blizzard's Diablo III, SimCity can only be played by computers connected to the Internet. That way Maxis and EA can keep tabs on players and ensure no one is hacking or pirating their game.

Unfortunately, like Blizzard, Maxis and EA were in no way prepared for the flood of new players. That meant game servers couldn't handle the traffic rush and crashed. When that happened, people who had paid $60 for the game were unable to play it at all. (Source:

In the past, server crashes like this would have prevented a gamer from engaging in a multiplayer match. But with this new DRM system, it means one can't even play a single-player game.

Maxis Scrambling to Address Server Issues

To address the issue, Maxis is scrambling to update its SimCity servers. It's doing that by disabling all "non-critical" game features, including leader boards, achievements, and region filters.

The firm says this is only a temporary measure but could help the servers handle all that traffic.

"We are continuing to do everything we can to address the server issues," a Maxis representative said. (Source:

"We will continue to let you know as we have more information. We know it has been said before, but we do appreciate your patience as we complete this latest update. Getting you playing is our absolute highest priority."

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