EA's SimCity Launch A Disaster-Fueled Nightmare; Company Reneges On Refund Promise

rated by 0 users
This post has 5 Replies | 0 Followers

Top 10 Contributor
Posts 26,187
Points 1,186,095
Joined: Sep 2007
ForumsAdministrator
News Posted: Fri, Mar 8 2013 3:00 PM
Three days ago, EA launched the latest version of SimCity. Opinions of the game itself have varied widely. Pre-launch reviews were generally positive, though a number of publications criticized the heavy reliance on multiplayer, small city sizes, and the fact that other players can deliberately sabotage hours of careful work. All other characteristics, however, have been overshadowed by the game's disastrous launch performance.



How bad is it? Bad enough to make Diablo 3's launch look good. To date, EA has disabled online features, forced the game to run slowly, and implemented login queues. It hasn't delayed plans to launch the game in more areas, and sure enough, gamers in those countries are now experiencing the same problems US-based players are having. To be fair, delaying the game launch might or might not have made sense -- Germany's servers aren't going to be handled by the same infrastructure as US servers -- but continuing the rollout in the face of these problems suggests that either the issues were expected, or that the company doesn't know how to fix them.

Thousands of players are apparently also locked out of previously saved cities, with no information on when or if they'll ever be able to access these games again. EA's attempts to manage the damage have mostly succeeded at pissing everybody off. Yesterday, an Origin Community Manager, EA_ComRaven, posted the following (Full text available via Google Cache):


Now, the company has backpedaled from that announcement -- as documented below:


Click to enlarge

Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw told Kotaku today that "700,000 cities have been created in one 24-hour period," but internal memos that have leaked to game journalists suggest that the company believes the hammering the game has taken is justified -- while arguing that the reason no game servers are localized in Asia is because "there is a lot of piracy in Asia, so it would be difficult for the time being." This had the side effect of pissing off every EA customer on an entire continent. Amazon has taken the unusual step of putting a warning on the Sim City page, stating that "Many customers are having issues connecting... we do not know when the issue will be fixed."

One of the problem with launches like this is that customer behavior changes in ways that actively make the problem worse. I've seen it before in multiple MMO launches and with Diablo III -- when login queues are long and connectivity is a crap shoot, customers who manage to log in take steps to stay logged in. This further exacerbates the problem when login attempts are being tightened to keep servers online.

I loved the original SimCity and several of its sequels, but the multiplayer, always-online requirement, and backtracking on the refund issue have personally turned me off the game. In this case, only part of the problem is launch-related. Playing SimCity with other people sounds interesting, but not at the expense of building large cities -- and not if other players can purposefully wreck your city by leading you to rely on them for key resources (like power), then pulling that resource out from under you unexpectedly. Multiple reviews have indicated that if this occurs, the city may well enter a decline that's impossible to stop.

EA will eventually fix the problems -- but there's no reason to hand them your money until they do.
  • | Post Points: 80
Top 10 Contributor
Posts 5,053
Points 60,715
Joined: May 2008
Location: U.S.
Moderator
3vi1 replied on Sat, Mar 9 2013 11:43 AM

Hacked/pirate version that saves everything local and works better than the one people are paying for coming in 5... 4... 3... 2...

I loved SimCity back in the day, but I'll be damned if I'm giving EA any money.

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 100 Contributor
Posts 1,072
Points 11,625
Joined: Jul 2009
Joel H replied on Sat, Mar 9 2013 1:33 PM

You can't. All traffic is handled server-side, like D3.

I think funding Civitas would be the better way to go.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 150 Contributor
Posts 516
Points 4,150
Joined: Jun 2012
RiCoFrost replied on Sun, Mar 10 2013 8:01 PM

I was about to take it back however Im glad I didnt. I am playing the game now and it is rather fun and addictive :)

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 11
Points 100
Joined: Jan 2012
tjlis2004 replied on Mon, Mar 11 2013 9:39 AM

Once again EA proves that they don't care about the game or the player just money. Unfortunetly for us they keep buying more and more good game titles and turning them into crap. Either by ruining the game play (C&C) or by dumb ideas (Sim City) are just some examples. The worst part is they are starting to get a Monopoly. Buying up any franchise that has a good game. EA used to make pretty good sports games. They need to focus on that and the BF3 series and get out of the other genres, as they have proven they don't have the compitency to develop a game with the player in mind.

  • | Post Points: 5
Not Ranked
Posts 11
Points 100
Joined: Jan 2012
tjlis2004 replied on Mon, Mar 11 2013 9:39 AM

Once again EA proves that they don't care about the game or the player just money. Unfortunetly for us they keep buying more and more good game titles and turning them into crap. Either by ruining the game play (C&C) or by dumb ideas (Sim City) are just some examples. The worst part is they are starting to get a Monopoly. Buying up any franchise that has a good game. EA used to make pretty good sports games. They need to focus on that and the BF3 series and get out of the other genres, as they have proven they don't have the compitency to develop a game with the player in mind.

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (6 items) | RSS