The European SimCity Facebook page states that people should soon (or maybe even right now) be able to download the game’s launcher ahead of the official release date of 8 March.
That post reads as follows: “Our friends at Origin have enabled early authentication for SimCity for customers in Europe. This will allow you to download the SimCity launcher in advance of release and will help get you into the game as quickly as possible once it unlocks in your region.”
Of course this isn’t the full game itself, just the game launcher (said to be around 100mb.) Unless pre-loading is also switched on, you’ll probably just be left looking at the launcher when the servers crash again on the 8th.
Still, at least you’ll have that.
Welcome to ‘always-online’ gaming: a future in which you’re expected to always be online, but the publisher’s servers won’t be.