EA Issues Apology for SimCity Launch Issues, Offers Free Game

To call the SimCity launch a disaster is unfortunately not an understatement. We’re starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel though. After days of frustration, the servers are finally starting to stabilize. Several features are still disabled such as cheetah speed and leaderboards, and region play (where you can share resources between multiple cities) still isn’t working as advertised. But in general, the game is now playable with interruptions few and far between.

With that being said, there’s still a long way to go before SimCity is running optimally, and EA knows it. They’re also very aware of the damage this rocky launch has caused not only to their brand, but to the reputation of SimCity itself. While most critics have reviewed the game itself and not the servers, some have chosen to review the game based on these last few days alone (with very low scores, and that is their prerogative). The fans have been even less understanding, with the average User Score on Metacritic currently a pitiful 1.5 out of 10.

EA hopes to make it up to us. Here is what they said in a post titled A SimCity Update…And Something For Your Trouble:

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 happen to agree that SimCity is a great game (when it works), and I hope the team over at Maxis and EA can turn this whole situation around.

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