Two days ago I already reported about the SimCity 2013 launch disaster. A small update from my side as a customer. The key provider where I originally a license (g2play) informed their users about regional issues from the keys they got from EA. Hence they could not send out the keys until EA would correct that. Up-to this point EA neglected to do that. So yesterday I ordered another key from a provider who claimed his keys did work. I indeed received a Deluxe edition key that does work. More after the break.
However, I installed the game and then when you start it up you'll notice that all servers are too busy to connect you. People are put into a 20 minute holding pattern before the game retries to connect. Inevitably I was able to connect, however got kicked out after two minutes as the servers dropped the connection, I logged in again, this time I was able to select a landscape to select a city. Then .. the server kicked me out again.
After the 3rd try and an hour later I finally was able to to get the game started and buold a city. After five minutes you immediataly start to run into city size limitations, btw it's rediculous how small the cities can be. After playing a good 30 minutes, the server connection was lost again, my city gone ...
Frustrated as I was, I halted playing the game. What a FRICKIN DISSASTER, Dang .. Maxis / EA. How badly have you guys been prepared, how much limitation did you fire off at your paying customers, not to mention that once you start to play the game you pretty much already are asking 20 bucks for extra DLC.
More news though, EA removed the Cheetah mode of SimCity and as you may have expected, a lot of PC gamers got angry with that decision. Funny thing is that things did not improve and EA's servers went down once again. In an unexpected turn of events, EA has also decided to suspend the game's marketing campaigns.
According to Polygon, EA Origin sent an email this morning to affiliate partners, stating that it has deactivated all SimCity text links and creative:
"To be clear we are continuing to payout commissions on all SimCity sales that are referred, however we are requesting that you please stop actively promoting the game," the email reads. "We will notify you as soon as the SimCity marketing campaigns have been resumed and our promotional links are once again live in the Linkshare interface. We apologize for any inconveniences that this may cause, and we thank you for your cooperation."
Meanwhile thousands and thousands of end users at Amazon have now rated the game with yes ... one star, just read some of the 1500+ user comments.
I have one work for Maxis -> REDICULOUS and yes, I am a hardcore RTS fan, I have played and bought all your games from the very beginning, I am 100% your target audience. Not only is the game not working, it really isn't that good is it?, then you get greedy with the DLC, and meanwhile you guys aren't communicating to your customers either.
I honestly believe that everybody should get their money back, I mean full proper refunds. If I purchase a car that can't drive ... I'd demand the same thing.
However the one thing that EA apparantly CAN communicate over twitter is this: Regarding recent confusion: In general we do not offer refunds on digital download games. Please review our policy!
So EA is refusing to refund players who are unhappy with SimCity's disastrous launch. One player posted a transcript of a text chat with Origin customer support in which he asked for a refund but was rebuffed. When the customer linked Hatam's original post, the support rep replied, "You can request a refund, but ... it is also the our [sic] discretion to process a refund. When the user said he would call his bank and dispute the charge, the support rep told him, "If you choose to dispute it, your account will be banned."
This update just came in from EA Lucy bradshaw General manager for the Maxis Label:
Here’s a quick update on the problems we were experiencing with SimCity – and a little something extra for people who bought the game.
The server issues which began at launch have improved significantly as we added more capacity. But some people are still experiencing response and stability problems that we’re working fast to address.
So what went wrong? 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.
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. It’s working – the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.
So we’re close to fixed, but not quite there. I’m hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us.
Something Special for Your Trouble
The good news is that SimCity is a solid hit in all major markets. The consensus among critics and players is that this is fundamentally a great game. But this SimCity is made to be played online, and if you can’t get a stable connection, you’re NOT having a good experience. So we’re not going to rest until we’ve fixed the remaining server issues.
And to get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game.
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.
SimCity is a GREAT game and the people who made it are incredibly proud. Hang in there – we’ll be providing more updates throughout the weekend.
Lucy, too late too litte ? Multiple days after the release finally a public statement ? So in the last 48 hours you have increased server capacity by 120 percent.
Well, I just connected / started with the game again, guess what I got kicked out as the servers are full ?! ...
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