After launching at midnight on Monday evening, EA’s SimCity hasn’t gone too well so far. Server issues have kept many users from playing the game—which requires a constant internet connection—and the result has been something of a customer service nightmare for the publisher and its digital gaming platform, Origin.
A post on Eurogamer points out that angry gamers have been flooding Metacritic with low user-generated scores as a means of publicly protesting and decrying EA’s handling of the situation. As of this writing, there have been 217 positive user reviews, 29 mixed reviews, and 1,160 negative reviews. While these numbers certainly only represent a fraction of the game’s customers, the bad press can’t make EA’s higher-ups happy.
The Eurogamer post reports that EA took the game’s servers offline entirely yesterday in an effort to try and shore up stability and get things running more smoothly. Moreover, the game’s developer, Maxis, posted a message on EA’s forums last night to explain its plans moving forward. Namely: more servers.
“We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm from our fans which has made it even more upsetting for us that technical issues have become more prominent in the last 24 hours. We are hitting a number of problems with our server architecture which has seen players encountering bugs and long wait times to enter servers. This is, obviously, not the situation we wanted for our launch week and we want you to know that we are putting everything we have at resolving these issues.
What we are doing is deploying more servers over the coming two days which will alleviate many of the ongoing issues. We are also paying close attention to all the bug reports we are receiving from our fans. We’ve already pushed several updates in the last few days. Our live ops team is working 24/7 to resolve issues and ensure that bug fixes roll into the game as quickly as possible.”
The last time a game had this rough a launch was Blizzard’s Diablo III from last May. Like SimCity, the game required a connection to the game’s online servers to function—even in the single-player mode. This particular aspect of new games has received criticism from consumers for a while, with the Diablo III and SimCity launches now seeming to back up their concerns.
Will the ongoing SimCity debacle kill the always-on game? Or will publishers finally figure out a way to include this without totally screwing the pooch?
And how’s your experience been so far? Have you been hit with server problems and other hiccups? Or have you been having a good time smashing your city to bits with Godzillas and tornadoes and stuff?