It's been a long time since we've last been able to play a proper new release of a SimCity game, with SimCity 4 having been released a staggering 10 years ago. If you happen to feel lenient and place SimCity Societies in the running, then it's still been a full six years since we've been able to indulge in our city-building addictions with a modern release. Fortunately, our wait is almost over, with the latest SimCity game, simply dubbed "SimCity", set to launch in March.
Since March is still a little ways away, EA is allowing us to whet our appetites with an open beta set to take place during the weekend of January 25 - 28 (Friday - Monday). However, in order to participate, you need to sign-up before this coming Sunday, the 20th.
That's not the only caveat to be aware of. EA writes: "The SimCity beta offers Mayors from around the world the chance to play a one hour slice of the game as well as deliver feedback straight to the team at Maxis." As any SimCity fan will be able to attest, a mere one hour of gametime really isn't appropriate for this kind of game. I think 2 hour stretches would have been far more appropriate - or even better, limitless stretches. How else is a company supposed to hold a proper "beta" when they only allow you to play for short bursts? It could be that this is simply not a beta at all, but rather a timed-demo - companies sure do enjoy exercising that "beta" word.
This particular SimCity is surrounded by some controversy, thanks to changes made to certain game mechanics but also because it'll be riddled with "Always-On" DRM. EA has defended this choice since the game is meant to be played online, and could be affected by other communities or variables. However, one must wonder if EA happened to miss the entire Diablo III fiasco.
Nonetheless, the sucker that I am will be playing this during the beta. Will you?