So after kicking the couchsurfers out of the study and with the girlfriend away I settled in for a big weekend of that new SimCity game everyone has been complaining about. And hey the 2.0 patch just came out, so they must’ve fixed all the bugs and added a host of new features right? Well, let’s just say Maxis’ approach to version numbering is ‘non-traditional’. In fact since starting this draft article on Monday they’ve released two patches, containing a solitary bug fix each. The version numbering appears to represent the amount of time since launch, since any reasonable person could not claim this game to be out of beta.
The SimCity brand has been through a lot. The last good SimCity was SimCity 4, released back in the start of 2003, but even that wasn’t a true step up from SimCity 3000 until the Rush Hour expansion. Future expansions were theorised but never eventuated, leaving the game’s enthusiastic modding community to push the game engine to it’s theoretical limits and polish SimCity 4 into a kind of modern society simulator come digital train set. Since then, EA have kept original developer Maxis distracted with Spore while conspiring with Tilted Mill Entertainment to ruin the franchise with SimCity Societies and forcing their Japanese affiliates to badly port remixes of SimCity 3000 to DS and iOS. Apparently they also got the work experience kids to make a unique SimCity for Wii but no one actually played it because, you know, it was a third party game on the Wii. EA’s latest betrayal of Will Wright’s legacy is assigning Playfish to develop SimCity Social for Facebook.