For now, it's probably not a good idea to check into SimCity if you're visiting with a Mac computer. Following a similar disastrous launch seen with its PC counterpart earlier this year, SimCity for Mac, which launched Thursday, has sent numerous Apple computer users scrambling to figure out why their game isn't working.
A forum post started by frustrated SimCity Mac users on an Electronic Arts discussion board has pages and pages of posts, indicating that the problem could be widespread.
A Maxis representative, however, told CNET that "there are a small number of players who have encountered issues with SimCity for Mac. Our live team is working individually with our players to resolve their issues and get them into the game as quickly as possible."
So what's wrong? Several things, it seems.
Let's get this out of the way first: SimCity for Mac requires OS X 10.7.5, meaning that those with 10.7.4 (and previous) will not be able to play. EA confused prospective users by originally saying the game required OS X 10.7.# -- an obvious misfire in wording. An EA rep noted in a SimCity Mac FAQ that this error would be clarified. Furthermore, Origin doesn't work with OS X 10.9 Mavericks, causing further consternation with those testing the operating system who want to play.
One common error, referred to as a mutexAlert, hinders gamers from getting SimCity Mac to run properly. EA advises that this problem may occur from multiple copies of the game running at once, and that setting the language to English and/or restarting the computer may fix it.
Another issue, where SimCity won't install through EA's required Origin download client, can possibly be remedied, according to EA, by reinstalling Origin using an AppCleaner, or performing one or several UNIX commands in Terminal. Not exactly the most elegant solution, and certainly not a user-friendly one. "Is this a joke? I've waited for this game half year more than PC players and now I cant even install this freaking game," said EA forum user Tidus87PL. "What a shame!"
According to the related FAQ and EA's presence on its message board, the company seems insistent on fixing these launch-day issues. How long it will take these fixes to make the game experience playable for everyone -- as it should be when someone buys a game and installs it -- is anyone's guess, though.
In March of this year, SimCity's PC launch was a complete disaster as gamers trying to access the highly anticipated title faced busy servers, long queues, and unexpected disconnections. Months after launch, SimCity has a 1.4 out of 5 star rating on Amazon based on nearly 3,900 customer reviews -- over 3,250 rated the game a measly 1 star.