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SimCity (2013), despite receiving plenty of positive reception prior to launch, has undergone widespread technical problems since it's launch. Most players who picked the game up have dealt with network outages, problems saving progress, and difficulty connecting to the game's servers. The internet has been abuzz with Electronic Arts' attempts to patch these issues through, and the launch of the game has opened up several discussions about the future of gaming. 

The Reviews

Reviews for the new SimCity were approached in a variety of different ways. Some publications decided to give their full review before the game saw it's formal release. This approach is fairly common, but other reviews saw fault with this system. By playing the game early, the reviewers were not subject to any server difficulties. Most reviewers who played the game pre-release found absolutely no connection isses. Their time with the game was at it's most ideal, which was drastically different from how things were operating post-launch.

SimCity 4 2012-07-26 22-26-56-94

Some review sites decided to give 'incomplete' reviews, stating it was unfair to grade a game that was predicted to run into server issues. Many full reviews of the game came later after the blundering launch, which significantly affected the score of the game negatively.

And finally, the review site Polygon actually changed their review post-launch. While they warned that it would probably occur, it led to an interesting development in review aggregators such as Metacritic (which usually take the first published score and do not change it). 

And now, some questions.

In the case of games with always-on DRM and constant server connection, should reviews always wait post-launch to review the game?
 
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The poll was created at 20:08 on March 12, 2013, and so far 24 people voted.
Should review sites be able to change their review after posting an original score?
 
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The poll was created at 20:17 on March 12, 2013, and so far 31 people voted.


Always-on DRM

SimCity 2013-03-05 15-51-27-71
The server issues that SimCity have been experiencing all stem from one design decision, to have a constant online internet connection to EA servers. The game's newest engine, the Glassbox Engine, was decided from the beginning to utilize a constant player-internet connection. The regions of SimCity rely heavily on a web of players influencing their surrounding cities. The feature is very unique and brings plenty of new gameplay elements into SimCity, but this also prevents players from enjoying offline single player in any capacity. The SimCity series was always known as being a single-player game. This shift in approach has prevented players from enjoying the game by themselves, and instead needing to jump through hoops.

Many players are calling to an end of always-on DRM and constant server connections. Unfortunately, with the Glassbox Engine developed with this feature in mind, it is near impossible to remove this post-launch. More questions:

Do you feel always-on DRM an effective way to curb piracy?
 
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The poll was created at 20:51 on March 12, 2013, and so far 31 people voted.
Should games EVER feature the use of always-online features?
 
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The poll was created at 20:52 on March 12, 2013, and so far 28 people voted.


Player Activism

Gambling HQ
The launch of SimCity led to an explosion of player reactions. Community Review sections of sites such as Metacritic and Amazon were hit with a wave of negative reviews, those which vastly outnumbered any positive reviews. Comment sections on articles related to the launch were full of angry gamers venting about their experiences trying to play the game, as well as the recent trend of DRM and always-online games. The actions of Electronic Arts have also have been consistantly receiving heat. While EA has tried to mend the disparaging opinions by offering a free game to all SimCity purchasers. Many gamers have begun to discuss how they could use their voices to change this trend in gaming. And finally:
What do you feel is the best way to incite change in the industry?
 
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The poll was created at 20:55 on March 12, 2013, and so far 19 people voted.

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