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EA offers free game for suffering Sim City players

EA offers free game for suffering Sim City players

Sim City requires a constant internet connection even in private cities that are essentially single player modes.

EA has admitted that it has made mistakes with Sim City's servers and is offering players a free game by way of apology.

Writing in a blog post, Maxis label general manager Lucy Bradshaw pinned the server issues that the game has been suffering from during its launch were due to the simple reason that more people logged on than they were expecting compared to the beta.

She also admits that not expecting more people to be playing was 'dumb' and explained that server capacity has been increased with the number of disrupted experiences dropping significantly.

Sim City players who have activated the game by March 18 will receive an email from EA with instructions on how to download a free PC game from the publisher's portfolio.

"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 Sim City is running at 100 per cent,' said Bradshaw.

Sim City is the fifth game in city building series, excluding Sim City societies and various spin offs. Launching last week, its requirement for a persistent internet connection in order to run, even in single player modes, led large numbers of its players to be locked out due to server failures.

As a result of the server stability issues, Amazon decided to pull the game from its online store, citing performance issues. EA also removed some features, including leader boards, achievements and region filters, to try and increase stability.

Bradshaw also talked about the possibility of creating an offline-mode for the game, saying "We have no intention of offlining SimCity any time soon but we'll look into that as part of our earning back your trust efforts."

Good Old Games took advantage of the much-talked about server problems the new game was facing and tweeted: [i]'Server problems? DRM-free SimCity 2000 needs no internet to play AND it's only $5.99.'[i]

13 Comments

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Harlequin 11th March 2013, 09:10 Quote
they`ll probably be giving away swtor as an apology.....
damien c 11th March 2013, 09:15 Quote
A few people I know who play this game or atleast try to play it, say it's the worst in the series by a long shot.

Whilst the issues should not have happened in the 1st place atleast they are offering a form of compensation even if it is, a free game that potentially people don't actually want but atleast it's something.
mi1ez 11th March 2013, 09:45 Quote
Quote:
the simple reason that more people logged on than they were expecting compared to the beta.

I would have played the beta, except that it only lasted 24hrs, EA only gave about 15 minutes warning before said 24hrs began, and the download was massive and slow.
loftie 11th March 2013, 10:13 Quote
I'd laugh if it was SimCity Societies.
rollo 11th March 2013, 11:53 Quote
offline mode will never work due to the way they have setup the game.

game install is bearly 4gb most of the data is server side, along with the bulk of the actual city stuff.

Traffic, population, Building of structures, maintaince work is all server side. Not to mension you kinda require more than 1 person to play with on some of the bigger maps.

Game works the same with diablo 3 does you have limited data on your pc and your constantly aquiring it from there servers.

Im enjoying the new ideas that a city cant have 1million people in it like in the old days but your 13 city region could have 5-7million people no problem.

Game has become alot more micro management as you setup multiple cities for different purposes. Tutorial shows that.

on the free game not sure i care either way but i can buy my friend a game he doesnt own and we can play it online together at least so its not a major hardship.

In the end of the day PC piracy is the reason games like diablo 3 and now sim city have headed the way they have done blizzard learned from WOW if you can not pirate the game then people will have no choice but to buy it and the sales diablo 3 earned kinda proved that they did little wrong in that reguard.

I expect more pc games to head to this online model where you require the servers to actually do anything and not just for game activation which is the current model.
Panos 11th March 2013, 12:21 Quote
A friend of mine called me over the weekend to see the game. Had it pre ordered until two weeks ago. Where decided to wait and canceled my pre-order

Few things. DRM issues aside.

a) Too many quirks. Seriously, pathfinding is serious flawed.
b) TOO SMALL MAPS. In 1-2 hours, you have covered up the whole map, and you are on demolishing to rebuild-upgrade.
c) Requires specialization on cities, which is fine.

However, you need to rely on your neighboring cities. If one of them folds on services, the whole region is folding. Example. The city with the power provider had a nuclear power station meltdown, because the university students/commuters from another city got stuck or "disappear" due to server sync issue.

Result? The nuclear power plant melted. Creating huge amount of radiation that moved across with the wind. Cut off the electricity to 3 cities that used it. One of them providing water. Which cut of the water across the region. So fire brigades couldn't operate. And mass protests, fires etc.

Was a roller coaster after that. And on home region where my friend controlled all region.

Consider what's going to happen on regions where you play with others.

And that only because of server sync issue between same player cities. And couldn't remedy the issue by plugging power stations, because there was no space to do so. Had to build the whole infrastructure to support one (water, fuel, education etc). Which was impossible at that state.


So until they make the maps bigger, at least to be able to sustain a city minimal functions, is no go for me.

Cities XL with NEXL mods is much better. Or SC4 with NAM mods.
Lance 11th March 2013, 12:28 Quote
Now I agree that these problems happening because of servers is annoying, however having played for a bit now I have come to a few conclusions:

1) Small cities may be annoying, but it does mean you have to rebuild carefully, which means its actually harder to play.

2) Disasters like meltdowns mean that you have to carefully think out how you're going to get around the problem, not just in one city but in many.

3) People moan too much about germs ;).
s1n1s 11th March 2013, 17:45 Quote
Arrr! it's time to start sailing the seven seas matey
DXR_13KE 11th March 2013, 19:46 Quote
I wonder if pirates are having these problems...
s1n1s 11th March 2013, 20:17 Quote
not out yet be a while till it's cracked or if even does same as diablo 3 alot of game content is kept server side
Bogomip 11th March 2013, 23:18 Quote
Its "more people playing the final game" shocker. The sceptic in me thinks EA didnt actually sell as many as possible and this is a cunning rouse to get more people to pay the fifteen basquillion pounds it costs to purchase :)
do_it_anyway 12th March 2013, 09:34 Quote
If its true that most of the data is held server side, then I would be interested to know how the pirates are playing.
And, playing devils advocate for a while, its nice that a free game is offered. When I bought TDU2 it was soooo poor in so many respects and the servers didn't work. After 3 days I gave up, but the publishers never even apologised. At least EA is trying to say sorry.
Panos 12th March 2013, 10:54 Quote
What pirates are you talking about?

When this game is pirated, going to be the day that we will be able to play it offline with the blessing from EA/MAXIS

The servers hold 50% of the game files & content, many of which are content/files that are downloaded on your PC and wiped as soon as you log off.

It will take months for pirates to be able write the whole server code, and for that they require people with legal accounts to sniff all the data. Which is a threat for a banned Origin account. Because lets not forget. Origin is scanning your system all the time.....

They moders haven't manage to put back online the Cities XL the last 2 years for heaven sake.
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