The saga of SimCity’s botched launch this week continues in much the same way it began: angry customers and EA still scrambling to find solutions to try and put a stop what’s become something of a PR nightmare. Yesterday we learned that Maxis would be adding servers to relieve some pressure, but for some it seems that might be too little, too late.
Last night, GameInformer reported that Amazon temporarily pulled its listing for digital copies of SimCity, citing the server problems that have prevented users from playing, and linking to EA’s help center page for the game. As of this writing, the retailer is selling the game, but the link and warning of the server issues remains. However, the damage may have been done: as you can see from the game’s user rating, it’s got just one star. Ouch.
Meanwhile, developer Maxis’s general manager Lucy Bradshaw offered a statement to Kotaku about the situation:
“Thousands of players across the world are playing and having a good experience—in fact, more than 700,000 cities have been built by our players in just 24 hours. But many are experiencing server instability and consequently, the rollout in North America has been challenging. It’s also now evident that players across Europe and Asia are experiencing the same frustration. Our priority now is to quickly and dramatically increase the number and stability of our servers and, with that, the number of players who can simultaneously access the game. We added servers today, and there will be several more added over the weekend. We’re working as hard as possible to make sure everyone gets to experience the amazing game we built in SimCity.”
Oh, but that’s not all! The GameInformer post also explains that EA started offering refunds to gamers who bought physical copies of the game through Origin—but not to those who bought digital copies. That’s because:
Regarding recent confusion: In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games. Please review our policy https://t.co/nn5xsqVNKh
— Origin (@OriginInsider) March 7, 2013
Yikes. Overall, no matter what your feelings about EA as a company, usually their games do work. This time around, however, I wonder what the publisher will do to try and smooth things over. Many fans are (and have long been) demanding an offline-mode for the game, since even the single-player mode requires an internet connection through Origin (which, of course, is what’s led to the current cluster-fudge).
Tell us about your experiences with SimCity so far in the comments!