Gridlock Plagues the New Online-Only SimCity

This article by the NYTimes:

By STEPHEN TOTILO

 

Releasing a video game that paying customers can’t play is about as consumer-friendly as selling the next Jonathan Franzen novel exclusively on the moon. But that’s what Electronic Arts accidentally did this week with SimCity, an attempted revitalization of its 24-year-old franchise of city-building strategy games.

 

Like its predecessors, the new SimCity lets players lay down roads; zone homes, businesses and factories; place parks; and provide government services and more to manage a simulated metropolis. Players see their cities primarily from high above and are alerted to citizens’ complaints as traffic clogs roads, schools crowd classrooms, and the fire department ends up a truck short of putting out a blaze.

 

All of these issues can be fixed through careful, real-time virtual urban planning. Even the tax code can be tweaked from the series’s longtime default “999” tax plan, which, technically, has nothing to do with the former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

A scene from the new SimCity by Electronic Arts.