EA continues to add servers to alleviate SimCity crush

The ongoing server problems with SimCity's always-on DRM connection to Origin has forced EA to disable several features, and even forced Amazon to...

20

The ongoing server problems with SimCity's always-on DRM connection to Origin has forced EA to push even more servers online. and disable several features. The troubles even forced Amazon to pull the game from its store for a short period of time yesterday.

EA continues to work on the server issue. EA Senior Producer Kip Katsarelis told players that server stability is the number one issue at the moment. "As of right now, we are adding even more servers which will be going live over the next three days. And, our plan is to continue to bring more servers online until we have enough to meet the demand, increase player capacity and let more people through the gates and into the game."

More servers were brought online on Tuesday to handle the initial crush, while at the same time EA issued a hotfix for the game that disabled "non-critical features" such as leaderboards and achievements. A later patch also disabled cheetah speed, forcing players to play at a slower pace.

Amazon briefly pulled the digital version of game from it's store. A customer service rep from Amazon told GiantBomb that the game is "not currently available due to the issues on connecting to the SimCity servers." However, the game was back up and available this morning.

Amazon also put a disclaimer on the game page, reading "Many customers are having issues connecting to the "SimCity" servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed. Please visit https://help.ea.com/en/simcity/simcity for more information." GameFly has also added a link to its SimCity game page directing people having problems to EA's support site.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    March 7, 2013 6:00 PM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Amazon pulls digital SimCity from its store.

    The ongoing server issues related to the launch of SimCity have prompted Amazon.com to pull the digital download version of the game from its store. The limited edition boxed version appears to also be in jeopardy as only two copies were left at the time of this writing.

    • reply
      March 8, 2013 6:54 AM

      I wish EA would just admit they dropped the ball, patch in offline play and then I would buy it. Oh, and then the people who already bought it could play it, too.

      • reply
        March 8, 2013 7:06 AM

        I suspect that all the regional processing is handled server-side, making patching in offline play significantly more difficult even if they wanted to do it.

        • reply
          March 8, 2013 7:08 AM

          Yup, and worse, it's all on EC2. So they'd have to figure out how to take all of the server-side code and bring it into the client.

          It would be a massive undertaking. I suspect EA is rather happier this way, because eventually they can just disable the EC2 instances and boom, game over.

      • reply
        March 8, 2013 7:24 AM

        yes, patching in offline play would obviously be the faster process in getting this mess worked out.

        • reply
          March 8, 2013 7:40 AM

          But then they have to deal with piracy, and then 4 years down the line they can force everyone to buy the new SimCity when they shut the servers off for this one.

        • reply
          March 8, 2013 10:13 AM

          Not true. The overpopulation situation will likely solve itself as most will simply stop trying to play the game out of sheer frustration.

          EA will suffer some frustrations and returns but by in large will maintain most pre-orders and purchases post release. EA just has to look like they are addressing the issue while showing that because of the large profits, their model "works" despite backlash and outcry.

      • reply
        March 8, 2013 9:14 AM

        That will never happen. The game will work in a week or two and everyone will forget and buy the next online-only game.

        • reply
          March 8, 2013 3:47 PM

          Not this guy, I'm in the military and spend a fair part of my time disconnected from the internet and I will not buy a game that cannot be played offline, except for games that are inherently multiplayer like MMO's.

    • reply
      March 8, 2013 7:09 AM

      would amazon give a refund for it?

      • reply
        March 8, 2013 10:16 AM

        possibly. digital returns are a nightmare in general though and most companies will just try to stonewall you.

    • Ziz legacy 10 years
      reply
      March 8, 2013 7:56 AM

      It's not their fault, who knew the game would be as popular.

      • reply
        March 8, 2013 8:55 AM

        it is entirely their fault: they should've learned from previous disasters like assassin's creed 2 and diablo 3. back in 2010, i bought ac2 and every time i wanted to play it i had to relauch the game like 20 times before it even started.

        if i bought this game, i'd be pissed enough to not buy any other game by ea for a few years.

        ea could learn a thing or 2 from valve about customer fidelization; but it sums up in "treat your customers well, and they'll buy again; treat them like criminals and they'll spread the word that you're an asshole"

      • reply
        March 8, 2013 10:09 AM

        They should've known; that's what sales forecasts are for. Even if they didn't know (which I doubt; they probably spent enough on this project to require millions of sales this year to break even), it's irresponsible to vastly underprovision for a service offering, because of the tarnished brand image from a crash-and-burn (i.e.: what is happening to SimCity right now). If you overprovision by a little bit, it will be a smooth launch. You recycle the extra infrastructure to go toward other games.

        But, as I said yesterday, EA doesn't like running excessive infrastructure. They view it as "unnecessary", and cut it down once each January.

      • reply
        March 8, 2013 10:57 AM

        It's the first SimCity game in almost 6 years. Of course it was going to be popular.

        • Ziz legacy 10 years
          reply
          March 8, 2013 11:17 AM

          Hehe I just said that because that's what every company that releases a game MMO etc and the servers get hammered, on release day.

      • reply
        March 8, 2013 11:07 AM

        all they had to do was leave the thing in open beta a few months like anyone would do with a game with new online features, to find out enough about how their tech runs in the real world.

        not doing that for a game that hinges on new online tech for the series is just mismanagement.

        • reply
          March 8, 2013 11:09 AM

          This is an excellent point. So many online games these days do open betas for precisely this reason.

    • reply
      March 8, 2013 8:16 AM

      looks like they put it back up

    • reply
      March 8, 2013 10:29 AM

      Man, every time EA released another turd, even a shiny cool turd I thought I really wanted, I'm reminded why I boycotted them years ago, after the failed release of BF1942. Every fucking game release they're responsible for goes like this, but alas, apparently the gaming masses don't give a shit when they're treated like shit.

    • reply
      March 8, 2013 3:01 PM

      Did nobody at EA pay attention during the Diablo 3 launch? Or do they consider it a win since Activision got everybody's money?

Hello, Meet Lola