Since launching earlier this week, SimCity has been crippled with downed servers, long game queues, and angry players. While these problems have by no means been completely solved by this point, it does seem that Maxis are managing to fix a great many of the issues.
Writing in a blog post, Maxis’ general manager, Lucy Bradshaw, claims that the studio has “improved our server response time by 40x, we’ve doubled the number of players in the game at the same time and reduced server down times.”
They’ve also tried to separate where responsibility lies for development issues, as many complaints are being aimed solely at publisher EA.
Apparently, these server improvements are currently only running on the newly installed servers. So if you’ve been playing since launch and struggling with lag and capacity issues you will not yet be seeing these upgrades. Though Bradshaw wrote that they “are now dedicated to updating our original servers so that those of you who have been playing these past few days can get the benefits on servers where your cities are played.” This does mean that they “will have to take the original servers down one by one to upgrade them.” This does mean there will be more downtime.
Separately from the blog update, Bradshaw and Maxis were responding to questions on Twitter last night. Among the questions was a statement from Twitter user Derek Donovan, who said “I don’t blame your team, you made a really good game, it was just EA’s bad business practices that ruined the game”. Maxis were quick to respond and say “this is on Maxis. EA does not force design upon us.”
Much of the criticism leveled at SimCity’s always-on internet requirement and stumbled launch has fallen on publisher EA’s doorstep, largely because of the publisher’s less than stellar reputation among certain quarters of the internet. Though, recent statements from EA about their commitment to multiplayer-only games may have driven speculation that it was pressure from the publisher which led to Maxis’ decision to not include a single player component to the game.