SimCity is making its way to Mac, as promised, but now EA has put a specific date on when that will happen. The city-building simulator will arrive on OS X June 11, EA revealed in a press release today, at which time those who have purchased the game for PC on either Origin or as a physical boxed copy will be able to download Mac-compatible version, too.
The news comes shortly after EA re-enabled Cheetah Speed, which it had disabled earlier to ease server congestion problems. EA also announced that it is working on a major 2.0 update for SimCity at the same time, though it isn’t clear exactly what would be included in that release.
SimCity’s cross-platform compatibility is great news for owners of the title who switch between platforms, and a smart gesture from a company that’s already taking a lot of criticism for its decision to implement an always-on connection requirement for players. EA has repeatedly denied that the always-on requirement is in fact a form of digital rights management (DRM) or copyright protection for the game, claiming instead that its servers play a crucial role in the simulation of the cities themselves.
EA also took the opportunity of the Mac’s release to note that it has sold 1.3 million copies of SimCity to date. That’s up 200,000 units from the 1.1 million it managed to score in its first two weeks of availability, and still impressive given that EA itself temporarily halted promotion efforts from itself and its partners, and that Amazon pulled the game from sale in the face of consumer complaints about being able to log in to its jammed servers.
EA is unlikely to remove its always-on requirement with version 2.0 and the Mac release, despite recently being crowned the Worst Company in America by consumer advocacy blog Consumerist, in part for its handling of the SimCity launch. And given that the Mac-based gaming population is smaller than its PC counterpart, we probably won’t see those launch issues repeated. But it’ll still be interesting to see if EA’s initial missteps prompt a cool reaction to SimCity’s debut on Apple computers.