SimCity PC beta next weekend

Play a one-hour slice of the game between January 25 and 28.

Maxis' reboot of the Sim City franchise will be getting a closed PC beta (not available on Mac) from January 25 to January 28, offering a one-hour slice of the game ahead of its release on March 5.

Revealed by the SimCity Twitter feed, to participate gamers will need to sign-in to an Origin account and fill out a form on the game's beta page.

Be warned, though - at time of writing the beta page is a touch unstable. "Heads up, Mayors -- if you're having trouble viewing the #SimCity beta page, try a hard refresh and clear your cache," reads the game's Twitter feed.

"We are extremely excited with our progress so far and would especially like to thank you the fans for your continued participation and support," reads the signup page for the SimCity beta. "We are humbled by your passion, it fuels us to work even harder to make the game we’ve been dreaming of, and deliver the SimCity you’ve always wanted."

The SimCity reboot is attempting to create communities of players, but its choice to use always-on DRM has been a controversial one. Maxis has repeatedly said its choice to do so is for the benefit of its users as the game intends to feature an interconnected social world.

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75 comments
trencher10B
trencher10B

Can't wait for this game! ... to die horribly.

MK-Professor
MK-Professor

It is more like a sim neighborhood 5 LOL Maxis expects me to build a city in a  area 2x2km?

dawnofhero
dawnofhero

According to EA, the game can't run properly without an online connection... hmm. Heads for valid argument, tails for bull$&*T.

farcorners
farcorners

always on DRM means I am not interested.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

A fair warning to those interested in the beta test should be given - Don't use your actual Origin account (if you have one), but create a new one just for this beta, because if EA thinks you know something they do not (like a bug or "cheat"), your account gets a total ban : http://www.cinemablend.com/games/unreported-simcity-bugs-can-get-you-banned-from-your-origin-account-51617.html

Isn't it nice of EA to invite you into a "beta" which you're allowed to play for 1 hour (yes, just 1 hour, no you didn't misread that, just 1 hour) only to allow them to ban your account for any reason they can make up ?

If that's true, I'll be laughing even harder than I already was, as I'd find it hard to believe that people would actually bend over that far for EA.


I briefly thought about giving it a try on a freshly installed PC with a random test account address only to format the PC again after the test to get rid of this Origin trojan again, but I think I'll just pass on this entirely as it's just not worth the trouble.

My crystal ball already prognosed that their authentication servers aren't going to hold up to the "unexpected influx of beta testers" (all 1000-ish of them) and that there'll be permanent disconnects, performance problems, network lag and other "technical difficulties". (most likely another reason why they limit you to just 1 hour of beta testing time)

BlackSquare
BlackSquare

What pisses me off is when I'm running Steam and then they make we run another program to verify it on top of that. Ubisoft and EA have annoying background programs CONSTANTLY checking. On the other hand, Kalypso has a login thing and that is it. It doesn't hound you like EA and Ubi.

Bowser05
Bowser05

I love Maxis. I hate online-DRM, but I understand the necessity...and most games I've play that do this have some really neat interconnectivity so I'll live. Can't wait until this comes out.

Skyflier
Skyflier

I remember what happened when Cities XL required an Internet connection to play...  Where is it now?

mssangol
mssangol

Why do people hate always online-DRM so much?

If they can handle it on the server side, it isn't that all bad.
I mean, do people plan on playing SimCity on the go?
And it's not like you're kicked out of the game if your bandwidth is a little unstable. They have explained how this would work out on the official blog.

If EA sometime in the future pulls the plug, they would certainly make an offline-patch.  

Kabbalistica
Kabbalistica

EA? LOL! I'm not buying anything from that big squad of vampires sucking up all the goodness in gaming...

Skyrim25
Skyrim25

To bad its EA, or I would get it. Ive had so much memories of Sim City in the past. That was before EA went down hill.

osirisx3
osirisx3

its been ages since i last played it cant wait.

da_funk4
da_funk4

terrible terrible terrible

invizo
invizo

so again, another instance where the business motivates the consumer to pirate the game for the superior drm-free version experience.

skunknuts
skunknuts

I'm not creating an Origin account for this.

ianbradley26
ianbradley26

If I remember correctly, last I heard from EA, they said DRM never again after Sims 2. I am waiting for a release of Sims 2 without the DRM. Will it happen? Looks like no. And Sims 3 now has DRM? Is that?

SirNormanislost
SirNormanislost

DRM has never really bothered me but what does piss me off is when an amazing single player game like sim city has multiplayer forced on me..... and thats just one of this games problems im so glad i still have sim city4 to fall back onto

VarietyMage
VarietyMage

I can't watch this train wreck.  It's Jay Wilson all over again, with one of my favorite game franchises.  When people start deliberately start sabotaging their cities to destroy other player's cities, it'll be the end of the SimCity franchise.  And it's coming.  RIP SimCity, I'll miss you.  :(

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

In all seriousness, every single one of you who purchase EA products are supporting the behavior of EA directly. If you really feel like EA is destroying gaming, a purchase is your vote that they continue.

Have fun in beta!

Krauklis
Krauklis

So how many franchises has EA killed/ruined or made so repetitive i can't even play them any more? C&C, MoH, NFS(i know the games are not really bad but just boring arcade races with no soul), and it seems SimCity is going to be next. Smaller city's no single player at all, no mods, over 9000 DLC's 

jookiyaya
jookiyaya

Yikes, looks like everyone is complaining about the DRM here, youtube, and the site forums. People are NOT happy and on top of that, they are complaining about the size of the cities, and how 'cartoon-y' it's becoming.

I have a strong feeling that because of this, the hype is slowly dying and consumers like us will have to wait for a Simcity 6. I'm very disappointed... =(

CaesarIIII
CaesarIIII

Always-on DRM = Fail!!! 

Steam already tried that, and not only didn't stop piracy, it encouraged cracked versions of Steam. Then they learned their lesson, and added a offline mode.

Patchezs
Patchezs

I have no problem with jumping through hoops to prove I've bought the game legitimately. But the idea that an internet connection is just another system requirement is flawed. I can control the parts that go into my PC, but I can't control when my internet connection might suffer an outage, or likewise for EA's servers. Why should I need to be dependant on EA's servers or my internet connection to play a game that has always been traditionally a single player experience? I don't mind having a multiplayer option, but I don't want to have to suffer trolls and griefers just to enjoy the game on my own. 

What happens in two or three years time when EA pulls the plug on this SimCity? Are we all just out of luck? Do we get any kind of refund?

It's just so insulting that they call their DRM strategy good/necessary for the player experience. What a load of corporate doublespeak crap.

ObiWan86
ObiWan86

WOOOOO!

*when i see origin*

nevermind...

theKSMM
theKSMM

How much confidence can I have in the beta software if they can't even get the sign-up web page working properly?  Sheesh.

Zabc0
Zabc0

"Origin"

And there goes my interest,

x-TwilighT-x
x-TwilighT-x

I don't mind DRM, doesn't bother me, I have interwebs. Thus I will be getting the game.
However, if EA is so ignorant to think that it prevents piracy... well that's just naive. 

Morokoo
Morokoo

"Quote: You can't do shit without the internet."

WELL! I shall not be getting this installment. Didn't really like the bright "unrealistic" art style of this one either.

Ahh.. EA.

Tobinius6
Tobinius6

Thanks to EA's decision to turn all of their games into always online multi-player (even single player games like sim city), that need to be accessed via Origin, I am going to be saving a lot of money. 

Thanks EA. ;)

nigelholden
nigelholden

Ugh!  I'm so interested but I made a rule about no games with always on DRM.  Have to keep standards. 

cirugo
cirugo

"Maxis has repeatedly said its choice to do so is for the benefit of its users as the game intends to feature an interconnected social world. "

They lie.

mike300zxt
mike300zxt

I'll try the beta if accepted, but I'm doubtful I'll buy a game that requires always on internet...especially a strategy game that I'd play when travelling with no internet access.

vishisluv7
vishisluv7

"...will need to sign-in to an Origin account and..."

Hmm? No.

Gladestone1
Gladestone1

Its funny every one on here is crying about drms..Get over it there here to stay.Farcry 3 has a drm i bet every one of yall bought it..Also Dark souls has a drm i bet every one down below who said screw drms bought that game as well..Tropica has a drm as well..I know many of yall bought that game..So all of you guys are making me laugh..They will all requir some sort of drm in the near future..Its to stop people like some of yall who dont buy there games..Its tough situation for all but its here to stay..Dont buy games get a ipad than..Even some ipad games have drms..

C-P-30
C-P-30

@dawnofhero we will all see when it gets cracked and you don't need internet connection, but if it doesn't work properly even with a crack then good job, wait this is EA/Orgin/Joke Anti-Piracy, give a week before working crack is out. hope the game is good either way and always support the companies which games you like.

invizo
invizo

@mssangol 

several reasons,

1. They can look at contents of your hard drive w/o permission

2. It lags your game in some noticeable way (Assassin's creed series DRM lagged you with every kill you made as it checked the online server for validity)

3. Computer Resources donated to shitty DRM

4. Relying on EA to have a stable always-on server is ROFL in itself (look at Diablo 3 launch).

5. 99%% of DRM games don't support mods

6. 99%% of DRM games nickle and dime you to death w/ DLC

7. The developer spent all that extra money and time to make their DRM instead of developing a decent sequel to their franchise.

8. There is NO benefit to DRM


eddieham13
eddieham13

@skunknuts I got origin for BF3 and the C&C Ultimate Pack which is all the games including the old one.

Other than that, steam all the way.

nigelholden
nigelholden

@vishisluv7 Exactly right. This could be the game where this behavior ends... if we just don't purchase it.  EA acts as though gamers are crack fiends and they supply it on their terms.  But the reality is that they are addicted to our money. If a big game like Sim City doesn't sell because of exploitative DRM practices, that would send every publisher a strong message. 

thorn3000
thorn3000

@Krauklis how many franchises? mass effect for example, dead space might be another example (we will have to wait out a few days till DS3 comes out to be sure on this one though)...

green_scorpion
green_scorpion

@brainiac1988 A guy who calls himself 'brainiac' advocating for Origin and calling other people retards because they dont like DRM.  I'm at a loss for words.

thorn3000
thorn3000

@CaesarIIII hmmm well, Origin actually has an offline mode, with all of todays games you can play them offline, you need to be online only for the first registration...not sure simcity will be like this too, but I strongly suspect it will...

Patchezs
Patchezs

@speedracer3190 Doesn't sound like it. The game will require a constant connection to play. Also, doesn't seem like it'll offer a meaningful single-player experience, as you're game will be affected by the inter-player global economy.

green_scorpion
green_scorpion

@Gladestone1 I cant speak to DRM because I play console games mostly, but I refuse to buy games with online passes.  That means I didnt play the last couple Assassins Creed games or those recent Tekken and Dead or Alive games.  I love Tekken, buy the way.  Its not like there are no games available without online passes or DRM.

Timmy_Gwar
Timmy_Gwar

@Gladestone1 Yeah man, DRM's don't do what they are intended to do unless they are intended to be marketing tools, which isn't far off. You can't just accept things because they are happening. Plus, look at the statistics, pirating is on the up and up, and up. I'm not saying that I pirated anything, but I actually don't buy games that have DRM outside of Steam; and that's only because I consider Steam to be in the same category as PSN and XBL.

pal_080
pal_080

@Gladestone1  But it's always online DRM for a Single-player only game, that's the problem, it's utterly unnecessary, and doesn't actually prevent piracy.  The DRM doesn't bother me as much as some other things though.  Mostly I just don't want to support these new U-play and Origin platforms that Ubisoft and EA are forcing upon people.  I don't like needing different 3rd party programs (and accounts) for all my different games.  Also I highly expect  this Sim City to be very bare bones with many many, micro transactions and "expansions" supported (ie. The Sims)