Maxis: SimCity woes are 'almost behind us,' but still not ready to give the 'all-clear'

Maxis reports that SimCity game crashes have been reduced by 92 percent since the game's disastrous launch last week but that it needs a few more days before it can say the problems have been solved.

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Maxis says the troubled launch of SimCity is being rectified, but the developer isn't ready to give the "all-clear" just yet.

Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw has said the "core problem" of being able to actually connect to the game is "almost behind us." Game crashes have been reduced by 92 percent from day one, according to Bradshaw, and nearly 8 million hours of gameplay time have been logged in total.

Bradshaw says server architectures have been optimised and response times shortened, and Maxis has released a number of patches to help makes things easier; the latest, patch 1.4, fixes the problem of the game getting stuck when switching servers.

The updates mean that Maxis is now "getting virtually everyone into the game," but the developer is not yet ready to issue an "all-clear" for SimCity just yet. "We need a few more days of data before we can assure you that the problem is completely solved and the game is running at 100 percent," says Bradshaw.

GameSpot UK's Danny O'Dwyer, Chris Beaumont, and I were all playing last night on various European servers, but with occasional connectivity errors.

SimCity, which requires a constant connection to the game's servers in order to function, has suffered from major issues since its launch in the US last Tuesday, and claims that the UK launch would go by without a hitch were proved wrong before the end of its first day on sale. EA has switched off some of the game's features to help the servers cope and will offer a free game to anyone who has purchased SimCity to apologise for the inconvenience.

Finally, Bradshaw once again apologised for the game's tumultuous launch. "You bought the game with the understanding that we'd quickly fix the server issues. For that support--that incredible commitment from our fans--we are deeply grateful. As the general manager of Maxis, I want you to know that we cherish your faith in us, and the love you've shown for this franchise," she said.

Discussion

173 comments
mikesla11555
mikesla11555

We all know where this heading, and that is EA has a horrible reputation on removing their game servers after a short period. I use to purchase their golf games, and the straw that broke the camels back was when just after 3 months they pulled their online game servers.

See, the way I see it all, EA is about milking the public for everything it's worth, and they will keep their servers running until they figure that very few people are left playing the game, and as always they will drop their servers because they cost a small fortune to keep running, and not to mention the amount of staff to keep working out the bugs,m and trouble shooting the system.

Expect EA to drop these servers just like any other gaming server they have put up. So expect that to happen... Once they do, people will all be up in arms about it, and all they have to do to shut everyone up is to offer up a new game for free like they are doing now, and that keeps the little lemmings out there happy as pigs in shit until they decide on what else they can come up to milk you some more...

Barzenak42
Barzenak42

DRM can be blamed but in this day and age most of the US gamers are not pirates.  We buy what we enjoy.  Some pirate to test the waters before spending if there is no demo.  I been gaming over 20 years and the few games I did crack I learned it was not worth  it.  I found issues with stability and took the chance for viruses and other crap being able to be put on my machine.

Always on drm seems to never work well for the consumer.  Diablo 3 was a mess.  MMO's have issues with server trouble and people paying and not being able to play.  Sim City is a game that should have a cd check or just an online check to authenticate it but keep it simple so people can play it on laptops  on the move.

I simply did not buy it nor will I.  Goes back to when Starforce was a drm of choice....if you do not agree...do not give them your dollars.

Spitf1re-us
Spitf1re-us

Online-only is just asking for disaster at some point. EA has botched every major multiplayer game launch in recent memory. They never seem to supply enough servers to meet demand.

jimrhurst
jimrhurst

I really like this game... as long as I can get on a server, get back to my private region and play it as if the rest of the world doesn't exist.  The minute I have to think about or remember that other players are out there, it intrudes on my enjoyment. Yes I paid for it, and I'm getting my money's worth.  Sure, I won't be able to play it in 10 years.  There are so very few games I ever do that with, and I'll live with it.  But even though I'll defend the game and my purchase, the insistence that it MUST be online is simply asinine.  It plays fine, nay _better_ if you ask me, when I ignore all of its social features.  I couldn't even find a region with an empty city to even try to play it "as intended."  And if I did, since there is no save /load, its totally possible to paint your city into a corner and just abandon it.  And that screws the other people in your region more than you'd think.   Overall its a neat idea, but it is blatantly obvious that it should have been optional.

IrrationalBeast
IrrationalBeast

You got me, I'm a paid shill for EA.  I'm the guy they send to the GS office to muscle around Kevin and Carolyn when they give bad reviews and I deliver the bribe money for when they do good reviews.  You're all so clever.

IrrationalBeast
IrrationalBeast

We are the reason we can't have nice things.  I don't blame game developers for putting DRM stuff in game when they spent the last two decades losing money hand over fist to unscrupulous pirates who get off stealing anything and everything that anyone puts out.  Look at your dusty old box of pirated xbox games and you'll have the answer to why we all have to put up with DRM.

IrrationalBeast
IrrationalBeast

Sorry kids, if consumers could be trusted and weren't rampant thieves then all this DRM wouldn't be necessary.  

You say "offline multiplayer" and I hear "I want to steal this game".

Grow up and pay the developers you cheap entitled crybabies, DRM is a reaction to your complete lack of scruples.

IrrationalBeast
IrrationalBeast

Picked it up Friday and have put in over 30 hours with only one minor issue (A server reboot at like 4am Saturday morning) otherwise everything is working as I imagine it is supposed to be working.  

The game is lots of fun.

ASnogarD
ASnogarD

A funny thing about the online part is that you cant really play that well with others... 

I mean a mate started up a 16 city game for us to mess about in, its on server x however server x has a 20 min before it will even try logging in, but server y is open now. Now you may say ah well move the group to server y if its not too developed yet BUT in an hours time server y becomes too busy and server x is now up. We cant all work on a region because the chances are very slim all of us could actually get on the same server, and even if we did its pure random luck if we could ever managed to get back if we leave the game for a spell.

It happens in single player too, I have cities in 3 servers as they keep becoming too busy so there is no continuing here, you are at the mercy of the servers which place you get to play in... want to carry on developing that casino joint on server z, fuck you only server y is up, or you could wait 20 - 50 min and maybe we will let you in.

 The game itself is quiet fun and I have had a number of hours of enjoyment out of it, its just a pity the online and DRM issues plague honest customers while EA ignores the core issue ... too busy counting its ill gotten gains again.

bloody-hell
bloody-hell

Potential customers told Maxis and EA way before release that they do not want, nor care for a permanent online requirement for this title, then again in Maxis' AMA on Reddit, then again in previews and now again in the reviews.

The score this game received post release is the result, so this bad reception shouldn't be of any surprise to them.

They had more than enough time to rethink their approach and change development to result in a product which their customers would actually be glad to put money down for, but chose to ignore all that feedback.

Until it is playable offline with the same feature set as the current online only version and doesn't require EA's Origin, I'll continue to not buy this and do my best to warn and inform all potential customers about what they're getting themselves into.

It shouldn't be that hard to code in the offline save / load routines and simulate the region offline (just a little bit of manipulation of "global market" and resource sharing numbers that any CPU can easily handle) and allow parameterisation of that for custom region settings.

Make it playable offline, remove Origin exclusivity and requirement, allow private servers and we'll talk - do none of that and you'll keep being disappointed about the game's reception and bad sales figures.
All this marketing toon from Maxis is doing is trying to do damage control and talk nonsense (before release, in interviews and now post release).

The game itself is actually not that bad, despite all the limitations which are improvable / fixable, it's for the most part primarily "only" about the online requirement and EA's Origin exclusivity and requirement why customers chose to not buy this.

vassago_
vassago_

Origin's connection to SimCity is still a MESS. Friends are playing the game in my Origin list but I join the game and it shows NOBODY PLAYING. The chat is broken, too. What the hell.

jeremy-
jeremy-

One more thing, posting EA/Maxis propaganda about the game being fixed when most of your userbase is complaining about the game being broken is ridiculous.

I suggest GAMESPOT reframe from posting 'opinions' from EA upper management about the game being fixed until they INDEPEDANTLY VERIFY that it is actually god damn true, because it isnt. Sure it kinda works, as in, you dont get denied IN to the server 90% of the time, its about 10% now, is that actually good though? about what about the 1000 other issues now that we are inside the game and it crashing all the time.

The fact you posted this tripe makes me want to switch to another gaming review website. Might use IGN for a month.

jeremy-
jeremy-

@IrrationalBeast You are a sad little man you have responded to like 1000 comments on people about the fact the game is broken and have some irrational reason to defend it. (you responded to my issue my broken 300k city that infinitely loads about 4 times alone).

Not really sure what your problem is, and i know you dont work for EA as they wouldnt have paid staff commenting on forums that act so ridiculously.

I think your problem is the truest sense of fanboyism. 

You so loved Simcity and wanted it to be good, that you just cant actually fathom to believe it is a broken piece of BS. So you delude yourself into thinking that it is actually great and has potential and you have posted so many comments now and you are so invested in the game that you are actually posting like a deranged loony. Stop posting on 1000 comments about the game being broken and just deal with it. Post if you have something useful / constructive to say.

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

@IrrationalBeast You are a sheep believing the piracy hype.  How much were you paid?

Your argument here is akin to, "She was asking for it - look at what she was wearing."

ssdd_again
ssdd_again

@IrrationalBeast

Look 'kid', people like YOU are the reason WE cant have 'nice things', by going out and buying this invasive rubbish and installing on your machine you're encouraging EA to just carry on doing it.

Its more likely that Developers are losing money because it costs noticeably more to develop a game these days than it did twenty years ago or even ten years ago.

Piracy isn't the real issue anymore. EA just want to stick their noses in and watch/manipulate everything we're doing and use us as sales mules on Facebook/Twitter. I don't work for free and especially not for EA. Another reason for the mandatory connection is to squeeze some more money out of the naive suggestible types like yourself as they can't get in your face with relentless marketing material if you're offline.
It won't be long before they roll out micro-transactions, expansions and/or DLC for SimCity; pushing the overall cost of the game through the roof.  So no, its not about piracy. Its about EA persistently taking the piss. And the fact that you're calling us thieves isn't just insulting, it's depressing. How can you be so oblivious to the blatant issues with the business model and the game?. Or are you really that ignorant?.

Not to mention the fact that EA can and will turn off the servers at some point, rendering this game nothing more than a glorified Facebook rental title.

What happens when the more nostalgic amongst us fancy playing it in 5 years time?. Nothing, because it won't be online anymore. I won't pay for a product that I won't own. . and no I won't try pinching it either (even if that was possible). All I want to do is play offline in private (and maybe have the option of playing with others online, be them strangers or friends). Paying for the damn thing isn't the issue.

I buy games that deserve to be paid for ; I refuse to buy crap that insults gaming and/or has been ruined, usually by EA. I do it in the hope that these Devs will change their ways. In spite of the fact that moronic sheeple like you are happy to bend over and say 'That's ok, EA, go ahead'.

dejol
dejol

@bloody-hell Exactly the same here. 

Offline singleplayer, private multiplayer and no origin and you get my money. Turn it into a release like the other SimCity games. Until then NO!

The game itself is absolutely amazing.

dejol
dejol

@jeremy- They didn't say that this is true.... They simply told us what the Maxis representative said.

IrrationalBeast
IrrationalBeast

@jeremy- coming from someone who most likely doesn't own the game and has never played it.  I've put over 30 hours in with one minor issue.  Get over your blind nerd rage against EA and find a more productive way to vent your hostility.

IrrationalBeast
IrrationalBeast

@jeremy- @IrrationalBeast lol I hadn't played SimCity in like 8 years.  No fanboy.  I think the game is fun.  I am thinking that it is more your hatred of EA that is driving YOU to extremes.  Why are you even here?  If I don't like I games I tend to ignore them and do something else.  In fact, the reason I bought it was because of all the irrational hatred being funneled towards.  I'm glad I did!    

IrrationalBeast
IrrationalBeast

@EvilShabazz @IrrationalBeast I'm actually pretty pissed because I brought Keven $20,000 and a round trip all expenses vacation to Phnom Penh and he only gave it a 5.0 he promised to at least give it an 8.5.

IrrationalBeast
IrrationalBeast

@EvilShabazz @IrrationalBeast a million Simoleons.  BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  As if it is worth paying someone to shill for piracy.  Take off your tinfoil hat and get over yourself, you aren't worth a nickel of anyone's time.

zsmaniac
zsmaniac

@ssdd_again @IrrationalBeast  

I would buy this game except for the sole fact mentioned above......... once the servers are shut off the game is over. I have been playing SimCity 4 in anticipation of this release. That game is like 10 years old! So If I buy this game for $60 dollars I won't be able to play it in 10 years from now. I wouldn't blame them for shutting down the servers, but I'm not paying that kind of money to just rent a game. 

dejol
dejol

@ssdd_again @IrrationalBeast 100% correct and consider DLCs and microtransactions confirmed.... EA officially confirmed microtransactions in all their new games and DLCs.....well it's EA ofcourse there will be DLCs

JoiLambell
JoiLambell

@cirugo So the further down i was scrolling was also realising that GS should start to award the "very special troll badge" ! ;)

McCool69
McCool69

@thorn3000When the developers have made a deal with publishers that is where the money should be channeled. It's not up to you to decide, the developers have already made that decision for you. It is exactly the same as with musicians that decide to publish their work via a record company in return for (typical) stuff like financing of the recording itself or money up front. The artist have made their choice about who should get the money from the product - no one forces them to do that, but most are too greedy to finance stuff themselves.

This is the way business works - the final transaction is between the one that is authorized to sell the product to you, not to people further back in the chain that has already gotten paid or will be paid as a percentage of the final sales price.

jeremy-
jeremy-

@IrrationalBeast @jeremy- you must be full of it as the game developers themselves admitted 90%% downtime for the first week. As for peopel with issues like mine, losing a 300k city that i put 12 hours into. see: %s EG, unable to process city, lost progress, rollbacks, in my case infinite load issue. A week on, and you can actually get in the game (most of the time)....Game "working" for 90%% of people is a failure because the defection rate should be closer to 1%% not 10%%. Not fixed yet, dont post propaganda that it is.

jeremy-
jeremy-

@LE5LO @jeremy- so you think IGN is 'bad' yet you read pointless news on both places, or check to see if the story is elsewhere to reply to a comment? rofl... very insulting bro you sure showed me.

Why are you defending GS for posting an article which would probably encourage people or at least lower their defense for buying a shitty game. your point is irrelevant. There are probably 50 game sites that dont publish propoganda for shitty titles.

Now if you'll excuse me other than showing the first EA fanboy they are wrong I'm going to continue boycotting this site and not reply to further emails i get about comments.

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

Keep responding, precious.  I bet your hands are shaking while you type.  LOL

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

I love letting you make yourself into an idiot.

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

Kettle, meet the pot - tinfoil hat - LMAO - you don't have a clue. You're a self-righteous, ignorant punk without a clue.  Not worth a nickel, yet you spent the time... moron.

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

And you keep responding.  Your buttons are so easy to push, princess.

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

If I knew where you lived, I'd rob you just on principal.

EvilShabazz
EvilShabazz

@IrrationalBeast Yet, your arguments don't have a leg to stand on.  I just like making  you respond because you're an ignorant fool - it makes you look even dumber, the more you post.

dejol
dejol

@IrrationalBeast @dejol @bloody-hell You failed to notice something.... I said that if they fix the problems I will buy it. If they don't fix the problems(always-on DRM for example) there is no way to pirate it anyway.

Why do you think the devs of singleplayer games make money even though their games are piratable? PEOPLE BUY THEM BECAUSE THEY SUPPORT THE GOOD DEVS. 

piskinhu
piskinhu

@IrrationalBeast @dejol @bloody-hell the only irrational guy it's you... If a person really likes a game, buys the game, period... How can you explain games like AC, Fallout, Skyrim, ME and many many others are very easy to pirate and STILL HAVE enormous amounts of buys? if a game it's good you pay, period... Even LOL, that it's free, i believe people still would buy the freaking game... Company's need to grow up, and steal 60$ for every game that comes out (good or bad) it's just stealing from us...

jeremy-
jeremy-

@IrrationalBeast @jeremy- Read the previous comment halfwit, i was explaining how my 300k city broke and they told me to call their phone support as they cant fix it via livechat, and that it would probably be broken for weeks. rofl at EA fanboys defending a broken product.

LE5LO
LE5LO

@jeremy- I defend them because the focus of this site and community is games, the same cannot be said for IGN.