In an internal memo sent around the EA offices, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw admits to mistakes made and how they plan on solving them. This is largely by solving the server issues but also includes working with the media to try and reduce the impact this debacle has made on their review scores. Separately, EA have contacted online stores selling the game and asked that they do not advertise that SimCity is on sale.
Polygon managed to get hold of the internal email sent around Maxis’ staff by Maxis’ general manager Lucy Bradshaw, in which she says “SimCity is a software achievement that everyone at Maxis is extremely proud of. I am also thankful for all of the hard work put in by our marketing, EA Global Publishing and Origin teams, which drove very strong Day One performance around world […]Then we launched it.”
Many players have been “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.” As a result, she said, Maxisneed 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.”
She also said that Maxis are are “working one-on-one with media to manage […] as closely as possible” the effect these problems will have on the game’s review scores. (My customary gold bar has not arrived, Maxis.) She also says, with admirable candour, “I’d like to say that it’s not fair — that the game score shouldn’t be punished for a server problem. But it is fair. […]SimCity is an online game and critics and consumers have every right to expect a smooth experience from beginning to end. I and the Maxis team take full responsibility to deliver on our promise.”
In light of this statement, EA have reached out to their online distributors asking them to “please stop actively promoting the game”.
Rob reported earlier how EA have said they will be giving a free game to all those affected by SimCity’s frustrating launch.
So, by my count, it looks like EA have done four of the things Tim said they should to solve the problems of SimCity’s launch:
- Stop selling the game Stop adertising the game
- Give up the first batch of DLC for free, as a thank you and apology Give away free game
- Start communicating clearly with customers Leak internal memos
- Own up. Say sorry. (Via leaked internal documents).
What’s still missing is “Refund their purchase if players ask for it”. Instead, Origin’s Twitter account has been reminding players that “In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games.”