SimCity's server congestion was sneezing us out of the game all last week, but it may finally have kicked its launch cold. I've been in the NA West 1 server all morning without once seeing the words "connection" or "error"—just splines reticulating everywhere I look. SimCity's approval rating might be trending up elsewhere, too—its official site now displays the status of every server , and there are green lights from San Francisco to Antarctica. Wait, why is there a server in Antarctica? Don't penguins use Linux?
Anyway, I criticized SimCity's always-online requirement and pitiful launch service in my review , and customers are rightfully unhappy about it, but I think Maxis at least deserves a hug—it's been a rough week. Yes, SimCity should have launched with more servers and a better queue system (and if I had it my way, an offline mode), but it didn't, and Maxis has responded forcibly, doubling the server count and releasing several patches over the past seven days.
I'm still not happy about Cheetah speed being disabled, or the bugs, or the frustration we've all experienced up to now, but a hug doesn't necessarily condone the handling of SimCity's launch. It's just a hug, because while we've been fuming, Maxis has been toiling, and the game is getting better.
Let's hope today's positive experience doesn't dip—if it rises and falls, it'll only fan the flames higher, and EA only has so many games to give away .