We’ve just heard from EA about how they’re fixing the utter farce that has been the launch of SimCity this week. The game requires an always-on internet connection and they’ve been unable to cope with demand on their servers with gamers losing data or not even being able to activate their copy of the game.
Here’s what they had to say, “So what went wrong? The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta. OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it. In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent. It’s working – the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent. So we’re close to fixed, but not quite there. I’m hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us.”
Yes, EA, that was dumb. Almost as dumb as designing the game with an always-online connection backbone. But at least the experience seems to be stabilising now, although not enough for us to finish our full review yet. To make up for all the drama, EA will be giving away a free game. Check out the details below:
“And to get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game. I know that’s a little contrived – kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent.”
EA are going to provide more details in the next few days, presumably including a list of games players will be able to choose from. Just how keen will EA be to please people? Free Dead Space 3 or NFS: Most Wanted? It would be a nice start. Will EA listen to what the fans are roaring for though, for the game to ditch the forced online connection?
Check out Matt’s review of the launch version of the game and listen to our team talk about it on our podcast too.