It’s time for act two of the SimCity launch failure theater.
When publisher Electronic Arts launched SimCity for Windows in March, the release could only be described as disastrous. So bad, in fact, that EA made the “difficult decision” to postpone SimCity for Mac until August 29.
However, the delay may not have been long enough. EA’s forums are currently crowded with players who can’t seem to get the game to play on Mac computers. A number of players wrote that pressing the “Install” button does nothing. Others claim that the game doesn’t play on earlier versions of Mac OS, despite EA’s claims to the opposite.
“We're aware some [of] our Mac Mayors are experiencing a few bumps in the road,” the official SimCity account tweeted Thursday, linking to a developing FAQ based on users’ expanding laundry list of difficulties simply installing the game.
“Oh my, so nearly 6 months later and you still haven't got a fully functional working game yet? Diabolical,” one Twitter user responded.
While this failure to launch certainly looks familiar, the problems Mac users experienced were completely different from the server errors Windows users faced back in March. Unlike previous iterations of the popular urban planning simulation, the March release of SimCity could only be accessed while the gamer was connected to a server. The one big problem: only a fraction of players could access EA’s servers.
The server issues have been fixed in the six months since launch, but Mac users might not even get a chance to use them given the high rate of installation errors. Even more problematic: while EA is addressing the installation errors, it so far hasn’t commented on user claims that, once the game is running, it looks terrible.
It’s a continuing streak of bad luck for SimCity, which had early critics and reviewers speaking its praises before launch day, and then quickly docking their review scores. Electronic Arts can make the best game in the world, but it’s useless if users can’t play it, much less get it to install.
Update on August 30 at 2 PM PST: A Maxis spokesperson has contacted us with the following statement: "We are pleased to advise that the installation-related issues some players experienced with SimCity on Mac have been resolved."
Image courtesy of Electronic Arts.