EA want "to get back in your good graces" with free PC game to make up for SimCity server debacle

To mollify players who bought SimCity, only to be mired in a shambles of a launch, EA have released a statement apologizing for their mistakes and promising a free EA PC game as compensation.

Maxis Label GM Lucy Bradshaw writes in a blog post, “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.”

No word yet on what game, or what selection of games, will be offered to players for the their trouble. Nor is it clear from Bradshaw’s post whether there is a cut-off date on eligibility for this offer. Nevertheless, those of us who are SimCity owners right now will soon receive an email with instructions for claiming the free game.

While it’s a decent gesture, the rest of Bradshaw’s letter explaining what went wrong is unlikely to soothe angry players, as Bradshaw herself admits.

“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,” she says. “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.... The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.”

While that may be true, my own experiences with SimCity today did not lead me to believe the situation is as improved as Bradshaw makes out, and I wonder if part of the decline in “disrupted experiences” is due to players giving up on the game. Of five attempts to login today, I made it into my game exactly once. I played for two hours, and although the connection to the SimCity servers flickered constantly, I was able to continue playing without interruption. But the other four times I tried to connect, the game either failed on launch or never made it out of the server queue. 

As much as Bradshaw and EA might want to change the narrative to one of recovery, from my own experiences and those I see my friends having, SimCity is still a vast distance from anything approaching acceptable or even usable performance. Bradshaw’s letter is a step in the right direction, but it is just the start of what EA need to start doing to fix this launch.

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VinsanityV22 avatarLoki_uk avatar
VinsanityV22 Avatar
4 Years ago

While that's nice of EA/Maxis, especially since I'm 100% sure it will drive traffic to Origin for them (perhaps so much traffic that the site goes down under stress?), but this is NOT something we should forget. As consumers, it's our job to complain about this if we're not happy about this. F***ing EA needs to learn their damn lesson; this isn't cool. No one wants this. Always online is stupid, regardless of how "connected" we are in modern times. What IS cool is buying a game and being able to play it period, and play it in single player. Multiplayer is another mode; it is not an excuse for lack of single player.


For fools who believe the game is actually running so many simulations that personal computers can't handle the load and we NEED EA's great servers to handle it for us, that's retarded too. Simcity is simulation on a MACRO level. If you want micro-simulation, go play the Sims.


Nothing about the way these two handled this was good. And it's something a lot of people, myself included, NEVER WANT TO SEE AGAIN. When the best thing you can say about SimCity is that I got a free, completely different game out of it, THAT'S BAD. You guys are total knobs.


Learn youf effin' lesson EA. No more always online. No more microtransactions. I don't give two ducks what your focus groups say. This is not the future of gaming. This is not something we want. This is not what you should build into all of your future games.


I know you're an awful, enormous, soulless corporation right now. That your current regime is all about investors and shareholders first, and gamers/studios second. That you're really awesome as being really stupid, offending people, and making big, showy, public apologies (like the gay conference you did this week too). But for once, just ONCE in the modern age, please remember that your name ostensibly stands for, "Electronics ARTS". Focus on making GREAT GAMES, that make GAMERS HAPPY. And not dogsh** designed to bleed as much money from us as possible for your army of leeches... I mean, shareholders.


There is no excuse for SimCity and a free game won't change that.

Loki_uk Avatar
4 Years ago

I really want to play this - but I am so glad I decided an always on internet connection was the dealbreaker. I have steered clear of Ubisoft games on launch for the same reason (and been proved so right!).

I still remember the pain that is Microsoft Live when playing GTA4 - my ADSL connection was flakey (turned out the phone cables outside were exposed) and everytime my connection dropped then Microsoft Live went offline which means I couldn't save the game until it came back (and if I had noticed the brief poppup and wasn't paused in game while off in the kitchen). This happened 3 times during 1 long mission I kept on trying to complete and I just game up until I returned to it 3 months later.

I also buy almost all my games in Steam and wasn't keen on Origin although I do have some Sims3 stuff on there. I don't need 2 different game download systems installed at the same time!


I have to say the UK price point on the official Origin site is high too - 45 quid when most new steam games are 30 quid. If I want the delux version (for the British, French and German building kit) then 65 quid? Ouch.