More SimCity Drama In The Wake Of EU Release
SimCity experienced a woeful and broken release in the US such that the game is in fact unplayable and even if you can get it working, it is full of bugs and technical issues.It was then with trepidation that gamers awaited the title’s EU release yesterday and while initial signs were promising and it looked as if the US troubles had not followed the game across the Atlantic, it was not meant to be and once the peak evening period hit, the game became unplayable as all seven EU servers experienced problems. How could EA underestimate the server load so severely?
“We are currently aware that some servers are not performing optimally and are actively working on them,” reads EA’s latest update on the matter. So, much like gamers over in the US, European gamers have a game that they paid for but cannot play.
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Prior to this fiasco, EA actually halted all active marketing of the game. The publisher will continue to pay respective parties who are advertising the game but kindly asked them to cease promotion of the game.
The email, which was sent this morning to marketing partners, states EA Origin has “deactivated all SimCity text links and creative and we ask you to please remove any copy promoting SimCity from your website for the time-being.”
An Electronic Arts representative declined to comment.
“To be clear, we are continuing to pay out commissions on all SimCity sales that are referred, however, we are requesting that you please stop actively promoting the game,” the email goes on. “We will notify you as soon as the SimCity marketing campaigns have been resumed and our promotional links are once again live in the Linkshare interface. We apologize for any inconveniences that this may cause, and we thank you for your cooperation.”
Suffice to say, SimCity is a global catastrophe and EA is to blame for releasing a game that was poorly supported and is riddled with technical problems. There is one respite for those of you who have spent money on this burning tower. All gamers who purchased a copy of SimCity will receive a free digital PC title. Anyone with an activated copy of the game by March 18 will be eligible.
Maxis GM Lucy Bradshaw announced the news as part of a blog post addressing the server troubles and how the developer hopes to redeem themselves.
Below is Bradshaw’s entire blog post.
“Here’s a quick update on the problems we were experiencing with SimCity–and a little something extra for people who bought the game.
The server issues which began at launch have improved significantly as we added more capacity. But some people are still experiencing response and stability problems that we’re working fast to address.
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.
Something Special for Your Trouble
The good news is that SimCity is a solid hit in all major markets. The consensus among critics and players is that this is fundamentally a great game. But this SimCity is made to be played online, and if you can’t get a stable connection, you’re NOT having a good experience. So we’re not going to rest until we’ve fixed the remaining server issues.
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.
SimCity is a GREAT game and the people who made it are incredibly proud. Hang in there–we’ll be providing more updates throughout the weekend.
I’m not sure just how much blame rests with Maxis for this but it looks as if EA under-supported the game with a less than capable infrastructure, taped a broken DRM onto it and even the game itself is allegedly riddled with bugs. SimCity actually looked to be a great game pre-release but that’s in doubt now and I don’t think EA, Maxis or the franchise’s reputation will ever recover.