Electronic Arts servers hosting SimCity online play were overwhelmed after the California company released its Maxis Studio game on March 5, and problems continued through the weekend. However Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw said in a blog post that the “core problem” from the launch was close to being resolved. SimCity players have connected online for a combined total of about eight million hours of game play and crashes have been cut by 92 percent since launch, according to Bradshaw.
SimCity’s launch may be long remembered as a complete disaster, but in a new update, Bradshaw, aimed to alleviate the sour mood by promising to fix the connectivity calamity and deliver a free game as a peace offering.
“To get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio,” said Bradshaw. “On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an e-mail telling them how to redeem their free game.”
“We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent.”
So what went wrong? “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.”
– Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw
There’s no further information about what type of games SimCity players can choose from , but it seems likely that people could choose from a predetermined selection of titles on Electronic Arts’ Origin digital game store. Bradshaw said in the note that the employees of Maxis feel bad about what happened, and she acknowledges that the free-game offer may come off as “a little contrived ” .The offer may calm down stressed out gamers who purchased SimCity and couldn’t get a refund on Origin.
Bradshaw goes on to explain that the situation facing SimCity since its launch has “improved significantly” as the company continues to enhance network infrastructure and add servers.
Ever since its launch on March 5, many gamers trying to play SimCity experienced disconnections, lengthy queues, and other server-related woes. The primary issue revolves around EA’s requirement for an always-on Internet connection to play (even in single player mode), and the total error of EA not preparing enough servers to support heavy traffic after the highly anticipated game launched around the world.