Last night EA and Maxis launched Sim City 2013 for certain regions, anxious as I am I pre-ordered this game myself back in February. To date I have not received a key (even though EA was very keen to take my pre-order money). Things however are escalating, there are game delays, frustrated end users and server issues as well. Here's the thing, EA did not allow preloading the game, so once it was released their servers simply could not take it anymore. Hence they halted delivering Keys towards their sales partners, they on their end can't distribute the Origin keys to the customers (like me). More after the break.
So here I am sitting, waiting on a key. But then when you load up EA's twitter account ... you'll notice I am not the only one with a problem. The entire launch seems to be one massive failure.
The company stood its ground that there would be no preloading of the game before the launch as their services would prove stable enough, but the assumptions were obviously wrong. Users warned for months that the company should allow preloading but the company consistently said that they believed their services would handle the capacity and demand at launch. They also said that the development team were ”working to polish the game until the very last second.”
Inevitably, as soon as the game actually launched and some users were able to get their keys, the servers slowed to a crawl. If you were lucky enough to actually redeem your key and start the download it would be too slow.
"We are aware of an issue affecting customers trying to download The Digital Deluxe edition of SimCity. We are working to correct this issue," EA said in a tweeted statement overnight. Later, even after the problems were officially "resolved," EA warned that "due to server load it may take up to three hours for your game to unlock.”
The Origin support forums are predictably loaded with complaints about download and login problems. A community manager had to hop on this morning to apologize and explain the process for requesting a refund.
It doesn't stop there though, if you got lucky, got the game and want to play .. there's DRM requiring you to always be online with the game talking to EA's servers. With these pretty much being down .. well you can imaging what's happening there.
Simcity buyers have done the same thing and have taken to Metacritic to voice their disgust about the game, with it already seeing a 3.8 out of 10 rating. Many gamers will remember something identical happening with Diablo 3 last year, another online-only title. EA said that it had learned from the mistakes of that title, but apparently not.
Well, EA. I do hope to at least receive my key by the end of the week as really, is was just the first wave of SimCity's worldwide launch
Wether or not I can download and play the game, well ... to be continued.