We knew that a patch for online SimCity was being worked on but we didn’t know when it would become available. Just a little more than a year beyond the game’s launch, that patch is about to go live. A representative from Maxis posted a note in the official SimCity forums today. The post announced that Update 10 would would result in a few hours of server downtime beginning at 6 AM PT.
At 7:20 AM PT, an update to that post noted that the team’s QA department had begun checks to make sure everything was working correctly. Sometime in the next few hours, support ultimately expected that the update and servers should all be live.
As long as everything goes as expected, this update will allow players to create cities and regions free from a connection to the game’s online servers. Without crunching the servers as it did following the game’s launch. Fan outcry was high when server reliability was at its worst in the early months of the game’s launch.
Eventually the game developers succumbed to the idea of reworking the game. The Update 10 patch was made public earlier this year and no longer require online checks. Initially, Maxis claimed moving the game offline was “not possible” due to its infrastructural design.
Releasing this patch a full year after launch might end up being too little too late, but there’s something to be said for a developer actually making good on fixing a problematic design. Reworking the game this way was apparently no small effort according to Maxis in a blog post on their official site. Is this effort enough to bring back players who have had their fill of the early problems with SimCity? Only time will tell.