Maxis Offering Free Game to Angry SimCity Players
While the server problems surrounding SimCity’s first week have now hit the mainstream media in outlets like The New York Times and Slate, many gamers are still supremely pissed off at not being able to get the full, functional experience that they thought they’d paid for. Maxis, the studio behind the game, and EA, its publisher, have been hit pretty hard with criticisms from customers and reviewers alike, but it seems as though there is some work being done to rectify the situation.
Case in point, today Lucy Bradshaw, general manager of Maxis, posted an update on EA’s page to explain what seems to have gone wrong:
“The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta.
OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it. In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent. It’s working – the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.
So we’re close to fixed, but not quite there. I’m hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us.”
In addition, EA and Maxis will be offering up a gift as a way of apologizing for the frustrations that have become pretty widely known by now:
“…to get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game.
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 SimCity is running at 100 percent.”
The details aren’t totally clear as of right now: will it be a voucher for any game in the EA portfolio? Will it be available for anyone who buys and activates the game between now and March 18? Or will it only be for gamers who were hit with server problems?
Regardless, it’s a decent enough olive branch from EA. What do you think? Assuming that the server issues are fixed after this weekend and you get your free download voucher, will that be enough for you to forgive the publisher for the botched launch? Or is this simply too little, too late?