Preventing the SimCity (Unnatural) Disaster
Graphical representation of launch day.
While disappointed, I don’t believe that anyone was overly surprised by the severe launch issues that SimCity has gone through. Immediately being compared to the issues seen during the release of Diablo 3, the whole incident became another example of an ill prepared developer/publisher for the success of their video game. In many ways, this is becoming par for the course. Gamers tend to be relatively forgiving in these cases, but mostly in situations where the product is still worth the wait. By many accounts, SimCity seems like it is.
All that being said, I got a little irked by some of the blogs that started coming out on the subject. It was the ones that stated, and I am paraphrasing here, that testing a game’s launch day volume is extremely difficult if not almost impossible. I understand the fact that the internet is a place to share one’s opinion, but that statement really gives EA a long leash with the matter. While I might moonlight as a blogger, my day time persona is a software performance tester for a major institution that services millions of customers. Believe me when I say, where there is a will there is a way. There are countless methodologies and tools available to the world that can performance test any manner of computer software. While I understand that it is not easy, it might be time that we put responsibility where it is due in this case.