The launch of SimCity has been nothing short of a burning flaming mess. After a successful beta, the launch was highly anticipated and long awaited. First it was the US launch that highlighted server issues, but that didn’t stop the launch in Australia and now Europe and the issues followed.
The biggest issue has been the requirement for an always-on connection to Origin servers to play the game. There’s two parts to a successfully connection, the user’s machine and the server. The big failure in this relationship has been the server-side. With overloaded servers, users are collectively freaking out online.
Official SimCity forums, Twitter and Facebook accounts are being flooded with complaints. The problem has been so bad that Amazon has now placed a disclaimer on it’s purchase page. Furthermore The Verge are reporting that EA have ceased their marketing campaign and requested that affiliates follow suit.
It does look like the technical support are working hard to increase capacity and the number of servers in each region, but this problem is now days old and many customers have had such a bad experience that they are looking for refunds.
It’s a disappointing start to what is a really enjoyable game (judging from the beta). There’s no doubt that EA will get the server scaling under control, but the debrief about how all this went down will be the most interesting. Clearly scaling your city is a lot easy than simulating server loads and preparing for a big launch. SimCity is certainly not the first title to have issues at launch and won’t be the launch, but with the requirement to be connected even during single player, it just seems idiotic right now.
SimCity have posted an update on their official Australian blog.
Hi everyone! My name is Barrie Tingle and I’m one of the Live Operation Producers on SimCity. Since I am directly involved with the live service of the game, I wanted to take the time to update you about all the changes we’ve made recently, hopefully some you’ve already noticed.
The biggest change is that we’ve added three brand new servers (EU West 3/4 & EU East 3) yesterday. And today we added yet another (Oceanic 2). The addition of these new servers is our ongoing commitment to ensure we get everyone into the game. In addition to the new servers, we also issued a patch today that not only contains server optimizations, but also resolves a number of crash fixes, including one that commonly occurred on servers experiencing lag. For the full details and fixes, you can view our patch notes. Between these new servers and the patch yesterday, we’re seeing more and more people successfully play, and most importantly, have fun.
We’ll be giving you more regular updates as we continue to improve the experience, so this is just the beginning. To get the latest news and updates, be sure to follow our Twitter account and visit our official forums.
The team here at Maxis wants to thank you all for your continued support and patience. Happy building, Mayors!
General Manager of Maxis has just posted an update on the EA blog announcing that those who have activated the game will receive a free EA PC Game to download from their portfolio. There’s not detail on what that game is, but if it’s not something decent or recent, get ready for more outrage.
At this point most of the comments are suggesting this won’t stop until EA remove the DRM restrictions on the game, but that remains very unlikely at this point.