SimCity launches in the UK without major connectivity woes

UPDATE: All European servers run into problems during peak evening period on the game's first day of international availability.

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Update: All seven of SimCity's EU servers are now down as the game heads into its first evening of being commercially available across Europe. Numerous GameSpot readers have been in touch to say playing the game became impossible from about 16:00GMT.

"We are currently aware that some servers are not performing optimally and are actively working on them," reads EA's latest update on the matter.

Original story: The launch problems that have hobbled SimCity since its US release on Tuesday seem to have avoided the game's UK launch.

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SimCity was made available in the UK at midnight and, so far, seems to be working. GameSpot has managed to successfully and repeatedly log in to SimCity, which requires a constant connection to the game's servers in order to function, and play the game this morning.

EA said this week that it was "confident" the game's European launch would avoid the same missteps that saw the game's US release completely hobbled by connectivity problems.

"Good news, Mayors--we just added a brand new #SimCity server: Europe East 3. Hop on and start building," tweeted the official SimCity account this morning. In total, two new servers for Western Europe and an additional server for Eastern Europe.

EA's next test will be whether the game's European launch can cope with the stress of the peak evening and weekend period.

Overnight, Amazon pulled digital copies of the game from sale, citing the ongoing server issues, while EA disabled some of the game's features--including Cheetah speed, leaderboards, and achievements--to reduce stress on the servers.

GameSpot's SimCity review has also gone live, where the game received a score 5.0. "The bugs will probably be fixed, the wrinkles smoothed, and the online problems sorted out. What hurts most, though, is that it didn't have to be this way. SimCity's makers looked to MMOGs for ideas on how to bring players together, but didn't absorb the lessons MMOG developers learned long ago on how to implement practical online play. SimCity (the game) isn't the pinnacle of the series, but it's super fun. SimCity (the service) is a disaster," said reviewer Kevin VanOrd.

After posting yesterday to say that EA was committing "everything we have" to fixing the game, SimCity senior producer Kip Katsarelis returned to the EA forums to once again apologise for the troubled launch and to update fans on the current status of the game.

"Server capacity is our biggest obstacle," said Katsarelis. "We launched in North America on Tuesday and our servers filled up within a matter of hours. What we saw was that players were having such a good time they didn't want to leave the game, which kept our servers packed and made it difficult for new players to join. We added more servers to accommodate the launch in Australia and Japan, and then more yesterday to accommodate the launch in Europe. As of right now, we are adding even more servers which will be going live over the next three days. And, our plan is to continue to bring more servers online until we have enough to meet the demand, increase player capacity and let more people through the gates and into the game."

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