Second SimCity beta this month

Maxis holding 24-hour closed beta period for upcoming PC game beginning February 16.

Gamers who missed out on SimCity's first beta in January will have another shot to try out the upcoming city-building game from Maxis. The developer announced today a second closed beta period, scheduled to start February 16 and last just 24 hours, ending February 17 at 6 a.m. PDT.

Maxis is accepting beta applicants at www.simcity.com/beta until 6 a.m. PDT on Monday, February 11. Gamers who registered for the first beta will not need to do so again. Those accepted into the beta will receive a unique download code on Saturday, February 16, with instructions on how to get the game up and running.

Gamers accepted into the first SimCity beta period are not guaranteed access to the upcoming beta, though it is possible if they are chosen a second time. The beta is available only for PC gamers.

The developer said it learned a "great deal" from its first closed beta, and this second beta is being held for the primary purpose of testing the game's servers. "We have added more capacity to our servers in order to accommodate the flow of players. This beta will help us stress test them," the company said.

SimCity is due out in full March 5. For more, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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157 comments
cubd1
cubd1

The game is shit. Won't buy it, just like I didn't buy Cities XL or Societies. 

A-Train is better than this, the one that came out in 1989. 

EA is a crap company and we all know that. Only decent product associated with them is BF3. 

Scootman78
Scootman78

Maxis is backed by a billion dollar company (EA) and they still need to have real gamers stress test the servers?  I'm pretty sure the technology is available for Maxis to test the system on their side without having to put the testers at home through a waiting game.  I love most of the Simcity games, but it's apparent they're getting lazy over at Maxis and/or EA.

pathosfire
pathosfire

Hoping to get in beta so I can decide whether to pre-order or not.

trencher10B
trencher10B

We're not getting a sandbox game ... we're getting a box of a game.

HawkeDB
HawkeDB

Already preordered the digital deluxe. Played the first beta and it was awesome, leaving me wanting a lot more than 1 hour of gameplay. :) I love the fact that every single person, car, electrical pulse, sewage, etc is simmed and can be tracked. No more of "this street has lots of traffic so we will show many cars". Excellent sim.

Always online? I really don't care unless servers go down and we can't play. Thats the only annoying thing about always online.

adro191
adro191

most important question that all gamers forgot to ask, and none of interviewers dared to ask ....

will this SimCity make toast?

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

marketing, marketing, marketing... 3 wks before release, beta my a**

Triton
Triton

After hearing this below , I think I will hold off and wait for reviews to come before I buy. Not sure I like where this game is going, will do the wait and see approach. 

Not sue if we have fanboys here but some folks get so mad when you say something that they don't like / or want to hear, which makes me think we may have a problem with the game.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

They may have learned "a great deal" from the first beta, but were absolutely ignoring the feedback regarding the forced online nonsense.

If they would've been listening to feedback, this would've been the last chance for them to write that code that allows you to play offline and save / load offline and simulate the global economy offline as well, with multiplayer being ENTIRELY OPTIONAL.

But they didn't listen nor care, so my so far almost zero interest is now entirely zero.
Too bad, the game itself seems to be ok-ish, despite the town / village sized 2x2 km areas and the lack of all features that made the previous SimCities interesting and entertaining.

Out of a 24 gamer group, none of them will be buying SimCity because of Origin and always online requirement, which means a non-revenue of 1400 EUR to 1900 EUR alone, depending on the SimCity edition.
Now I'm absolutely sure that EA won't give a shit about this, that's perhaps what they spend daily on breakfast and meeting snacks per person, but if I were to spin this further and let my friends ask their friends and friends' friends and then in half a year ask again who still hasn't yielded, it could be a pretty substantial non-revenue report. (interesting for their investors)
Because a majority of them haven't bought any EA game since about 2008 where that DRM nonsense started, these "sales loss" numbers rise up pretty quickly. (Spore, Sims, NHL, NFL, NBA, FIFA, Crysis, Dead Space, ...)
And that's just this one little gamer group, not counting all the sane people around the globe. (the "loss" can easily be in the millions of EUR then)

And all because they're too stubborn to listen to feedback and make their online feature nonsense optional instead of mendatory and punish their customers instead of treating them well.
Anyways, I'm the customer and I'm going to vote with my wallet again and while I'm going to continue to wait for a new SimCity successor I'll be enjoying all the other good games out there that are playable offline.

If they'll ever make it playable offline I may reconsider my choice, but until then I'll watch them with joy not meeting their sales expectations and coming up with a goofy excuse.

boixwunder
boixwunder

always down to sign up for a beta. 


shadowdragon_p_
shadowdragon_p_

If everyone is complaining about this DRM and dumbed down Simcity then maybe one of you should fund a kickstarter to get a real "Simcity" made, albeit without the name "Simcity". Just as long as it's not like Cities XL....

dysonlu
dysonlu

Pot meets kettle for those complaining about the complaints.  Is it because the negative comments about the game make you feel uneasy because you want to buy the game but you're insecure about your decision?

Anyway, this is the Internet.  If you can't stand other people's complaints than disconnect yourself from the Net.

Adavanter
Adavanter

Upon actually listening to the reasoning behind the DRM (which is a joke at best) I figured something out. This isn't even a Sim City I want to play. I enjoy these games solo and they are forcing you into a dumbed down multi-player Sim City.

So what really needs to happen now is we actually get a DRM free Sim City bringing back the actual features we love about it. Meaning giant cities with a lot more management options and no multi-player... Or best yet. Optional multi-player with no DRM.

Avenger1324
Avenger1324

Watched a few of the preview videos and it looks interesting.  I did used to enjoy playing SC2000 and Sim City 3 back in the day, so hopefully this will be a chance to try it out before deciding if I want to buy it.

It's a shame that few games decide to offer demos any more, but then I guess beta tests on this scale are essentially that opportunity.

ollirg
ollirg

Played the Beta and it was boring, barely OK. The economy mechanics connecting to other players is really just an excuse for the DRM, cause it have a crappy effect on the obviously solo gameplay. By making economy something 'Global', they take a great part of the control of the budget management from players, something that really, REALLY suck!

I don't think the old fans are going to like it. just as I didn't. 

Half of the people are angry about the DRM and the other half is just angry at who's angry. But what everyone if missing is the fact that the DRM turned Sims City into a boring social game: You are dependent of others to have a stable economy. Since economy is what defines the road to success... do the math and you'll probably notice the biggest problem of this Sim.

This will be the first Sim City I'm not buyng.

St0Ne4Ge
St0Ne4Ge

I can't wait to build an epic village and watch it grow into a small town.

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

NO ONE GIVES A SH*T IF YOUR  NOT GOING TO BUY THIS GAME. STOP BEING A LITTLE CRYBABY.

Cant wait to play this :-)

fredyellowone
fredyellowone

DRM games are not going to disappear.  Sadly.  And we all know why.

Better get used to it.

That said, that SimCity looks promising.

SmokeyJoeWood
SmokeyJoeWood

Unfortunately, the game can't handle normal-sized cities.  

They've somehow made a sequel that is technologically inferior to its 10-year-old predecessor.

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

I can't wait to buy this game.  That said, EA PLEASE don't go apeshit with the DLC.  I promise if you only release huge chunks of paid content (aka expansion packs) then this game will be a huge success with gamers.

Scootman78
Scootman78

@HawkeDB The other annoying thing about "always online" is that when the developer feels like the game has run its course, you can't play it again.  I can always go back and play the original Simcity or Simcity 2000 whenever I want to, but with the new version, you can only play it as long as the servers exist.  So you're not buying a game, you're renting it.

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

@Adavanter We are forced to dust off Sim City 2000, 3, and 4. I misplaced my copy of Sim City 2000. I love that one because it runs great in the background of any computer.

simc1
simc1

@SmokeyJoeWood In sc4 you could build your huge city and never care about the region. Now the ''region'' concept is pushed forward. If you want a ''bigger city'' you will have it, by building districts and make them work together, and they will. traffic will flow, economy will be realistic, people will move into other areas. I cant see why that would be a problem! I just hope the game is not dumbed down..

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

@ollirg"You are dependent of others to have a stable economy."

thats how economy works in real life bro.

adro191
adro191

@ollirg i like a good challenge, if others dont manage their economy well, then its even a bigger challenge for me. the BETA you played, and i played is just a BETA, not final software. its funny how people are reviewing it on youtube like if it was the actual game. stay positive friend.

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

@2bitSmOkEy trust me, there will be a lot of DLC and money cheats available on the release day

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@KeyStroke Squeaky vagina gets the lube. Some people like to play their single player games on the road when they don't have an internet connection.  On top of that, some people don't like their game to be bricked in a year or two when EA decides their massive DRM schema and tonnes of DRM servers aren't profitable, or a new version comes out so they kill the old version.  Gamers have a CHOICE to not support this kind of game.  Outcry by gamers prompted Ubisoft to include offline modes in their UPlay games.  I ask the same of Origin, and if they won't, I'll keep whining and I won't buy it.  DRM does nothing but HURT paying customers.  If you want to be a sheep, then buy all means, buy it.  If not, speak up.  That's why there are comments and forums :p

quind
quind

@KeyStroke  You seem to be the one who is "whining" the most here. The only one who needs to "get over" themselves is you. I'm guessing you're under 18, which would at least explain the childishness.  (And what's ironic here is I agree with your stance on DRM, heh.)

ZOD777
ZOD777

@KeyStroke Not everyone has fast internet, and even then, some have usage limits.  Depending on the type of DRM, such as Diablo 3, it can be downright unplayable with a slow connection even single player.  Get over yourself.

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

@ollirg   city size and DRM have absolutely nothing to do with one another.

The game looks amazing.. cant wait

ollirg
ollirg

@brainiac1988 I'm not seeking real life in games. I don't want to have my game life dependent on others. That's why i don't play multiplaying games, specialy MMORPG or social games.

But that's just my opinion. I still follow the idea of 'don't like it, don't buy it'.

ollirg
ollirg

@adro191 on the Beta, they showed very clearly that the mechanics of the economy is co-dependent. The budget management as it was, is FINAL. I asked it on a EA Forum, and they replied that is the way things are going to work. 
It's the social era eating my solo game alive and painfully.

KeyStroke
KeyStroke

@mike300zxt You make a valid point Mike. The problem is the perception some people have of the new SimCity. It's no longer a stand alone, single player sandbox game. The new SimCity is a multiplayer oriented, connected online market, and contrary to popular belief, is a very cooperation oriented game. If people don't meet the basic requirements to play, then accept the facts and move on. Not everyone gets to have their cake and eat it too. As for DRM, if you don't like it, make your own game. You can thank the dishonest gamers out there who pirate games for ruining it for the rest of you. The rest of us don't care about DRM because we still get to play. And we will move on without you.

ZOD777
ZOD777

@Glitchedfix I never said anything about my internet connection.  I was merely defending those that Keystroke was bashing.  Besides, not everyone feels the need to play competitive multiplayer.  There are plenty of people that would rather play single player games and not deal with pretentious players like yourself.

KeyStroke
KeyStroke

@quind Judging for your understanding of whining, you just joined the crowd.

KeyStroke
KeyStroke

@ZOD777 Cry me a river. If folks don't have fast internet, thats their problem. I had slow internet for ages because it wasn't available in my area at the time. I couldn't play most MMO's because of it, and guess what? LIFE WENT ON.

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

@Scootman78  No fanboy m8... have owned every console and a proper PC.  In fact ive never played simcity before so im looking forward to this..   

I just think your'e an idiot. No hard feelings ;)  Same on all the other people whining about how they are not going to buy this cause of DRM...   

No one cares about little crybabies. just go play Simcity 4 and keep quiet.

brainiac1988
brainiac1988

@ollirg It is because of the depth of simulation.  imagine what millions of independent citizens each having their own house and jobs, and going their own way around the city will do to your CPU.

If EA didnt provide Maxis with the money, the game couldn't even be developed in the first place. And we'd be playing Simcity 4 for eternity.

If thats what you want, go ahead..  I for one am really looking forward to this new entry in the series.

ollirg
ollirg

@brainiac1988 Even EA acknowledge that the size of the city is small because os the conectivity of the game. I don't like the idea of a DRM, but for me it isn't the major problem of this game. Read my comment below

adro191
adro191

@ollirg @adro191 this game is supposed to be a simulation of real life, hence the name SimCity...besides Maxis has said that you could play a whole region by yourself.. so you're not actually depending on other players

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@KeyStroke it's obvious that you completely missed the point. :p  I know exactly what the game is, and what was in the beta.  I'm not saying the beta is the final game, I'm saying it plays fine as a single player game, and for those who only want that, why force an unnecessary always-online connection? There is nothing inherently multi-player or social required for a single-player experience in the core gameplay. We can agree to disagree. My point is simply that the always-on internet requirement punishes players who just want the single player experience, and in fact punishes all customers by putting a finite lifespan on the game (i.e. it will only work as long as EA keeps SC servers running). Don't expect to still be able to play it 5 years from now.

KeyStroke
KeyStroke

@mike300zxt lol it's obvious you haven't done any sort of research on the game, let alone watched any of the developer videos on SimCity's website. Maybe you should go watch a few before offering your skewed opinions so you don't look like more of an ass. The beta was just that. A BETA. You couldn't even build half the stuff in the game, let alone the 1 hour limit. But since you saw that in the beta, I guess the final game is only going to let you play for an hour each round and limit all your building options to basic infrastructure. Playing with other players was not the scope of the beta, either. In the final game you will be able to join public regions with random players (within viewing distance), or make your own regions and restrict it to yourself or your friends.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

@KeyStroke That's odd, because the beta played like a single player sandbox game.  I don't recall interacting with other Beta participants in any way, shape or form.  I know there will be some multi-player patched on functionality, but it feels like an afterthought, it cripples the game, and is only there as an excuse for DRM.  There are many long-time SC fans who have no interest in multiplayer SimCity...which seems like it's only going to be "visit your friend's city", or complete some simple mission anyways.  Blaming pirates is a cop-out.  People pirate things to work around problems caused by game devs.  I buy all my games, but I also use no CD and no online patches so I can play the games I own on the road.  The pirates will find a way to bypass the online requirement, so all it does is punish paying customers.  It's an over-reaction to dealing with piracy.  Design the game right, have affordable price points, make it easy to buy, and you won't have so many piracy problems.  People are lazy...they pirate things when game devs make it too difficult to obtain and run the game legally and affordably. IMHO

2bitSmOkEy
2bitSmOkEy

@KeyStroke @quind  What are you even on about at this point?  We get it, you have a fast internet connection and you think people that don't just need "to get over it". You've made your point, all you're doing now is making yourself look like a complete ass.

St0Ne4Ge
St0Ne4Ge

@KeyStroke @quind Derpy so annoyed with rabid fanboyz that don't care bout DRM cos mommy already got dem fast internets so screw everyone else not creaming over teh game, these comments are for blind praise only grow up everyone, now im off to the school dance biatcheez

ZoTrAcK
ZoTrAcK

just kiss each other already, you're polluting

KeyStroke
KeyStroke

@ZOD777 Rediculous as in you're doing it yet again... I tried to make a funny, but I guess your rodent sized brain didn't catch that. Lol I'm starting to feel bad for making fun of you. Sorry, I'll let you have the last word since that will make you feel like a big boy.

ZOD777
ZOD777

@KeyStroke Find someone else to value your opinion.  You aren't going to get it from me.  By the way, it is RIDICULOUS not rediculous moron.

ZOD777
ZOD777

@ollirg Good to know.  I would definitely have to pass on the game in light of that news.  I would hate to have my city running flawlessly only to have neighboring cities foul up everything.  Seems like a pretty awful oversight.

ollirg
ollirg

@KeyStroke

"but at it's core is still a single player game."

No so much. Economy is dependent on other players, so you NEED TO HOPE they're doing the best they can with their cities. This, in the light of everything, is much worse than the DRM per se.

ZOD777
ZOD777

@KeyStroke I only edited the comment because I just read that there would be trading allowed with other players resources, but at it's core is still a single player game. 

 That doesn't change the fact that YOU are the hypocrite for complaining about other people complaining.  Trying to change the subject doesn't work, and neither does poisoning the well.

KeyStroke
KeyStroke

@ZOD777 I hope you see the hypocrisy of your first sentence. I laughed when I saw your first comment, before you edited it stating "This isn't an MMO or multiplayer game idiot. People don't want always online DRM for single player games." And please don't try to get all philosophical on me. Your IQ is, quite frankly, not up to it.

ZOD777
ZOD777

@KeyStroke So why bitch about other people bitching?  Kinda seems like the pot calling the kettle black, especially since you used to be in the same boat.  I think you need to take a longer look in the mirror.