EA pledges to commit 'everything we have' to fix embattled SimCity servers

EA promises to install more SimCity servers over the next couple of days, after shaky launch leaves people unable to play.

Many US customers are still unable to connect online to EA's recently released SimCity, leading the company to take the game's servers down yesterday in an attempt to fix the stability issues that have hobbled the game since its launch on Tuesday.

SimCity requires a constant connection to EA's servers in order to function.

Last night SimCity's senior producer Kip Katsarelis wrote a message on the EA forums to apologise for the continuing woes, detail what EA is doing to fix them, and pledged that EA is working around the clock to iron out the game's server issues.

"This has been an exciting and challenging week for the team here at Maxis, the culmination years of planning and development," said Katsarelis. "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."

"While the ongoing issues are troubling, we can also see that players are really enjoying the game. In a single 24 hour period, there were more than 38 million buildings plopped down, nearly 7 and a half million kilometers of roads laid down, 18+ million fires started and (my favorite fact) over 40 million pipes filled up with poop."

"This team has put everything into this game and won’t stop until things are smooth. We ask our fans to be patient as our team works diligently to fix the issues. We share your passion for SimCity and thank you for your support and understanding."

EA is also keeping a forum thread actively updated with its work on the game's servers. "We are aggressively undergoing maintenance on the servers and adding capacity to meet demand. Performance will fluctuate during this process. Our fans are important to us, and we thank you for your continued patience," reads the latest update at time of writing.

Yesterday, EA said it was "confident" that the game's issues would be ironed out ahead of the game's UK release on Friday. GameSpot's review of the game is currently in the works.

Written By

Hi! I'm Martin, for some reason or another I have managed to convince the people who run GameSpot that I am actually wor

Want the latest news about SimCity?

SimCity

SimCity

Discussion

462 comments
macca366
macca366

Why would I want the ability to run a game I bought with my money reliant on someone else's machines? If not for immediate cases like this, in the future when they decide its too expensive to keep their SimCity servers running 24/7 and decide to shut them down.

Okay, I'm not that stupid, I realise its not about what I want, but what EA wants. But even then, you would think they would have tested if their servers could handle the strain of an actual release. Don't they owe at least that sense of responsibility to gamers? If they don't seem to trust gamers with the responsibility to play the games they own without constantly being 'connected'? I get so mad over this ****. I can't possibly see it as an ongoing or mainstream thing, I just think companies know its a fine line before we lose our s***. Maybe this will teach EA some kind of lesson, after they've chipped away at treating customers worse and worse with their micro-DLC and peppering good franchises like Mass Effect, Dragon Age or Dead Space with bull****

jenovaschilld
jenovaschilld

Wish there was an offline mode to play, that sure would brighten alot of peoples day. 

SAid many times before, but doesn't hurt to say it again. 

This is where a class action lawsuit against always online, DRM would come in handy, but you sign all rights away when you click on the box that you have to just to log in and play the game. 

IceCweam
IceCweam

Key word here is "promises". EA specifically chose this term because they know promises can be broken easily. EA needs to do a serious beta extension and also release a hard copy of this game. They took r jobs! I mean they took r money! 

JoeGamer1234
JoeGamer1234

Uh huh! This is what we can expect with all of this DRM bullshit that these companies are trying to force down our throats. This "always stay connected" bullshit is going to be gamings downfall. And this is a prime example. If I bougt Sim City I would have DEMANDED my money back from whatever retailer I bought it from and that included the digital version too. See there... now look where your digital versions got you. You have something on your system that you may or may not be able to return. If I have a physical copy than I can promise you that I can raise enough hell with the respective retailer to get my money back. Good luck with that online shit. You'll just get email after email with no results. FUCK all digital and FUCK DRM servers!

Setzera
Setzera

To simplify things we need to go back in time a little bit, to when dial-up was all we had.  "Games should only try to connect online when it's absolutely neccesary, like playing with others".  Just because the internet is always-on now, doesn't mean we want to be.

fern420
fern420

still no new servers EA....still cant play, 4 days after release ...so glad i preodered this almost a fucking year ago right?......."atleast buy me dinner before you fuk me in the ass" 

floted
floted

They are not fixing it. just waiting for the player count and interest to die down. no future plan i believe, to even mitigate other launches on this kind of platform if there are...

Zloth2
Zloth2

You would think with all those MMOs having this exact problem over and over again, they would figure it out.  Maybe it's just more economical to let the first few weeks be awful rather than pay for hundreds of massive servers that won't be used a month later?

sam628
sam628

looks like l will find the simcity in the bargain bin for $1 :)

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

The fix is astonishingly easy.  Disable the always online bullshit.

People who play single player and ignore online (possibly a majority of players) will stay away and your servers will stabilize, and people who want multiplayer will no longer have connection and congestion issues.

Wow, it's so simple.  Why didn't anyone at EA think of this?  I mean, only someone like the Worst Company in America could ignore something this obvious.  Oh wait

SavoyPrime
SavoyPrime

Requiring a constant connection was obviously a huge mistake.

Evenphilip7
Evenphilip7

I think Maxis is an excellent game development company that releases unique games with a wide appeal. That being said, I am not the least bit sympathetic to their plight. 

Game companies must STOP releasing non-MMO games that require an online connection! IT IS COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE!!!

Evenphilip7
Evenphilip7

Martin, I've got to side with Kevin on this one. I spend more time playing Xbox 360 than I do PS3, but the PS4 looks great. Microsoft will have a difficult time topping this, especially if they have some always-online, Kinect required, or no used games bulls%it going on.

torres_unix
torres_unix

Simcity is NOT an MMO, kill the DRM if you want to save face EA!  Otherwise you will sink exponentially lower than you are now.

makryu
makryu

I'm glad that anyone stupid enough to buy this game is taking it up their hinds to the balls. I'm ashamed that there are such mindless people out there who call themselves gamers.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

There is no doubt professional reviewers are getting paid off on reviews. Some of these games the scores on metacritic I just dont believe it.

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

Glad I didnt buy this, but I might go play some sim city 2000 which is still one of my favorite games and I prefer 2D for this type of game.

hampton2003
hampton2003

i would not be surprised if this is the #1 torrented game of 2013.

ken_archer17
ken_archer17

The issue with this game is not just the servers. It's the GAMEPLAY. If you play this game, you'll soon realize that this is a SHALLOW SIM CITY GAME. Management told the development team to focus on internet-related code but the game is SO SHALLOW. 200,000+ maximum population limit? Are you kidding me? Is this SIM TOWN?

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

With that many people buying and playing this they dont care what you guys say about the DRM or whatever. Money has spoken people will accept always online and this kind of DRM so its not worth talking about vote with your money.

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

How about you DON'T FORCE PEOPLE TO BE ONLINE TO PLAY IT!!?!?  It's not an MMO.  It's a game most people would primarily play by themselves.

Come on game industry, you know it, we know it.  Always online DRM SUCKS.  SO GET RID OF IT ALREADY.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Or one guy makes a patch to remove the DRM and the game now works.

jorge69696
jorge69696

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Everyone that bought this, deserves it for supporting a shitty company. Eat shit.

YummyMango
YummyMango

Though I am against lawsuits every now and then but frankly in this case I will be very happy to see a huge lawsuit against EA for breaking customer trust, selling defective product and refusing the return policy. The thing is when big companies start doing things like this and get away with it, other corporations will follow the trend and the real customer suffers. 

Just to make a couple extra bucks they have trashed their brand. Paid critic scores wont do shit. I am 100% sure next time all the people who are disgusted at this moment will NEVER buy a single game from EA which requires always online connection. Way to go EA.

rrooney
rrooney

Don't you love paying $60 to be EA's beta tester.  Get used to it, people.  EA can eat my shorts and die.

Derpalon
Derpalon

You still don't get it EA. The correct course of action is to get *less* servers. Specifically, zero. Because it's a SINGLE PLAYER game and shouldn't require an online connection to begin with.

MamaMiia
MamaMiia

Maxis, please divorce EA. It's a very unhealthy relationship.  You can find someone better, trust us.

electro57
electro57

Still more poop to be filled EA.

Chico_Azteca
Chico_Azteca

In a sense, every single person who bought this deserves this and much more for supporting it

PetJel
PetJel

@sam628 By that time the servers will be offline and you can't play anymore lol

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@Thanatos2k Problem is, they made the servers part of the equation, it's not just an "always connected" thing, the servers actually run some of the calculations, so you can't just disable the requirement (They locked out the "fastest speed" to lower the strain on the servers).

What they can and SHOULD do, is to release their server hosting code so anyone with a server can host the bloody game (Even locally). I'm completely open to the idea of the server hosting software requiring an authentication connection back to EA servers, hopefully to grab a token once an hour/day/week, but at least then you can host your own private server and run a local game.

PS - Obviously it would be ideal if you could host the server without any type of internet connection, I just think it's doubtful that this will be an option.

cirugo
cirugo

@Evenphilip7  

no.  MAXIS devs spent a year fighting with people who kept telling them the problems with their design decisions.  This failure needs to be owned by them as well and it is well-deserved.

asendedtrunks
asendedtrunks

@makryu PERHAPS more people buying the game and showing EA the problem, then blasting websites with low review scores and signing petitions to make as much noise as possible is more effective than simply not buying the game though? I mean all that not buying the game will do is make EA convince themselves that the game didn't sell because people don't like SimCity, or that there was a feature they didn't put in to the online services that they have convinced themselves everyone loves and wants.

I'm not saying which way is more effective, just that people have their own reasons for buying things and what you think is right isn't necessarily so; and calling people stupid and mindless for buying the game is just childish.

Disclaimer: I didn't buy the game because I felt it was way too overpriced, I'll get it when the price drops considerably.

makryu
makryu

@hampton2003 Probably not "piratable" until they give up the always online requirement.

ken_archer17
ken_archer17

SIM VILLAGE is the more appropriate term.

FlameBoyBen
FlameBoyBen

@jorge69696 come on mate, don't do that, us consumers have got to stick together. we already have the odds stacked against us, we shouldn't be infighting

 I personally haven't bought the game because of a personal boycott on EA, but I also feel the pain of my fellow gamers.

 Such business practices are unacceptable

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

@rrooney Their beta tests were even done during short time periods to test server load as one of the issues.

Rippletonz
Rippletonz

@Morphine_OD Wow.  They truly have no shame at all.

"You can of course request a refund (But we're not going to give it to you or tell you why, don't be silly!)"

dark_sith_
dark_sith_

@Morphine_OD  I am at a loss for words. This really needs to reach the courts. Now I'm so glad for opting out of purchasing this game. One less headache in life.

zyxe
zyxe moderator

@MamaMiia and, even if they can't, they're still better off alone! ;)

chrono625
chrono625

@Chico_Azteca The people who bought this game deserve to have a working product and be able to play it the moment it is installed on thier PC. EA is a shitty  company and deserves as much bad press as possible for this.

forsites
forsites

@FlameBoyBen @jorge69696 

Well no, ones who bought deserve this and much more, supporting EA by buying this games means you are supporting online DRM scheme, and in PC world, this is not acceptable. so they are whining and crying to play the game, but its their fault in the first place. 

Now as i said in the previous post, this game will be the most pirated game in this year which leads that all of these efforts and money on servers will be wasted for nothing. 

Rippletonz
Rippletonz

@chrono625Agreed, I'm sure the majority of people who bought it had no idea about AODRM or the problems it could cause.  We shouldn't be blaming our fellow gamers for what EA has done wrong.  Point the anger in the right direction.  

canelacandy
canelacandy

@chrono625 @Chico_Azteca But if it wouldn't have problems people wouldn't learn and continue to buy always-online games, so in some way this is good for the future of gaming

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

@canelacandy @chrono625 @Chico_Azteca Not really, I don't see this as a deterrent. The game would have to fail miserably, I mean, the D3 fiasco was BAD but that didn't stop EA from being grossly incompetent.

If the D3 fiasco had any effect, EA would have tried to be better prepared.

Derpalon
Derpalon

@canelacandy @chrono625 @Chico_Azteca Sadly I have to agree, this is actually good news that an always-online game had a catastrophic launch. Hopefully it should serve as a lesson to raise awareness of the dangers of intrusive DRM encroachment which all too many people have gone complacent to.