There's one word beginning with S which is on everyone's tongue this evening, and that is servers. In particular, those of SimCity, released today in Australia at retail and in EA's Origin store. After what seemed to be an unbelievably problematic launch in the United States, EA's Australian division are now under the pump the fix the overcrowded Oceania 1 server which crashed around two hours ago.
Despite the fact that Oceania 1 is indeed back up again, it is, like most other SimCity servers, quite unstable, with some people getting in while others are rejected from joining or thrown out. Despite the fact that gamers can join any other server, from EU East 2 to NA West 1, many choose to stay on their own local server. It also doesn't help that cities are locked to servers, meaning you loose your city if you switch servers. Oh, and the fact that you need to be online to play single player.
Of course, the hate has come barrelling in. Metacritic has probably nearly crashed under all the pressure, with SimCity only receiving a user score of 2.1 (correct as of time of publishing) with many giving the game a score of zero. As user Busterofwar puts it, "good luck playing this game in 10 years. The servers will probably be down then and you'll be locked out of your single player game. SINGLE PLAYER!". Metacritic user Ashin sums it up as "another EA train wreck".
To try and reassure the gaming world that they are here to help, EA have taken to both Facebook and Twitter to state that "We [EA] are aggressively undergoing maintenance on the SimCity servers and adding capacity to meet demand. Performance will fluctuate during this process. Our fans are important to us, and we thank you for your continued patience". Matthew Lang is one person who has lost patience, threatening on Twitter to take this issue to the ACCC, and under consumer action law, EA would have to face quite a hefty penalty.
For the meantime it seems, all there is left to do is wait. Just don't expect a review any time soon.