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EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems 259

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the replacement-game-broken-too dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The SimCity launch earlier this week was a complete disaster. Single player games that require an Internet connection to enable forced multiplayer features (as well as acting as a form of DRM) is bad enough, but then to not be prepared for the demand such a popular franchise has, well, that's just dumb, and Lucy Bradshaw, EA's general manager for the Maxis Label, has admitted exactly that." They did not provide much details, but supposedly anyone who has SimCity now should get "a free PC download game from the EA portfolio." They are unrepentant about the always-online requirement though.
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EA Offering Free Game to Users After SimCity Launch Problems

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  • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @01:12PM (#43126149)
    POSTED BY Lucy Bradshaw ON Mar 8, 2013 A SimCity UpdateAnd Something For Your Trouble

    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 (see linked page at bottom of post)

    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.

    http://www.ea.com/news/a-simcity-update-and-something-for-your-trouble [ea.com]

  • by Joe_Dragon (2206452) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @01:34PM (#43126295)

    Re:The better product is city in motion 2 or some of ideas on kicker starter.

    http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1584821767/civitas-plan-develop-and-manage-the-city-of-your-d [kickstarter.com]

    http://www.train-fever.com/ [train-fever.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 09, 2013 @01:45PM (#43126365)

    Games shouldn't be rentals.

    Well, yes, but if tens or hundreds of millions of people support that business model, then it's going to succeed. The way to once again have games that don't require someone else's permission to play is to buy those kinds of games, not the kind that are DRMed out the ass..

    You get what you ask for.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 09, 2013 @02:03PM (#43126487)

    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.

    Beta tester here: Maybe if their beta lasted longer then 24 hours they would have seen this coming.

  • by BonThomme (239873) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @02:06PM (#43126499) Homepage

    "adding multiplayer" implies nothing was subtracted

  • by Cito (1725214) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @02:07PM (#43126507) Homepage

    A triple A game company that gets it right is companies like EgoSoft who removed all DRM from their X3 franchise and has already announced the new X3 sequel will not contain any form of DRM at all.

    DRM only hurts legit players and lags them up, making games unplayable for legit customers. And cripples PC gamers and PC's

    There are quire a few triple A game companies that know DRM is shit and does not help at all against piracy and it only hurts legit customers.

    People who buy SimCity 5 are total morons if they buy it knowing the DRM it has, cause in a couple years that 59 dollars goes in the toilet when EA unplugs the login server for SimCity 5.

    they've already killed game servers as little as 2 years old in the past. Making money spent on the game totally useless.

    Anyone who defends companies like EA or Ubisoft are just ignorant of the facts, and it's those 2 companies that are destroying PC gaming the most.

    If I had a choice between piracy or selling my company to EA, I'd more than welcome the pirates. Cause Valve already published a study that games without DRM piracy HELPS sales, due to word of mouth advertising as well as most pirates will pirate for the single player action and fall in love with the title and buy it for online play or coop play or to support the developers in general if they enjoy the game as a try before you buy. Which was published by Valve that piracy helps pc game sales.

    it's only companies that use draconian DRM that continue to lose money and eventually blame piracy when it's their own company shooting themself in the foot (See Ubisoft's CEO blaming piracy for last years sales drop, when in fact it was most their games requiring always on DRM such as AC series, Anno 2070, and most everything else they released this past year)

  • by jxander (2605655) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @03:57PM (#43127139)
    Can't speak for Origin (as I don't use it) but at least Steam provides a lot of benefits to outweigh the DRM inherent. I will never misplace or damage a game disk, I don't have to put the CD in to play a game (or swap everytime I change games) I can effortlessly install any or all of my steam games on a new computer, and of course Steam Sales! Plus Steam also provides their own in-game chat, achivement trackers, and a ton of other little things. This. This is how you DRM. Steam's DRM is fairly unobtrusive. Just a quick check-in at start, and away you go ... and it provides plenty of benefits. EA, on the other hand, has demonstrated exactly how NOTto DRM.
  • by AxemRed (755470) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @06:20PM (#43127863)
    SimCity had a closed but free beta. I participated in it. There were no requirements that you preorder the game or purchase anything else.
  • by Cwix (1671282) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @07:29PM (#43128129)

    So I won't get it. Cities XL looks mighty tempting now, though.

    I thought the same thing. Its good, but its not quite Simcity 2k good.

    Personally I am getting my kicks in Tropico right now. Just think Simcity in Cuba.
    Steam has the complete pack with all DLC for ten bucks this weekend.

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Saturday March 09, 2013 @07:32PM (#43128141)

    This DRM is not about preventing piracy,. DRM in games has never been about piracy. Pirates aren't slowed down by this at all. The sole purpose of DRM in games is to prevent your legal rights to resell the games you purchased. Publishers are more afraid of game resales than piracy. Preventing resales will keep the prices of the game higher, and the publishers know this, from EA to Valve (there are no good guys in the DRM world).

    Consider that if you were allowed to sell your crappy copy of SimCity 5 that the market would be flooded with cheap copies by now from the disgruntled customers, from $5-10. From eBay to bargain bins to just giving the game to unsuspecting friends. Consider that after all this screw up the game is still selling for FULL PRICE! $59.99! Note also that the physical copy is also $59.99, you get not even one single cent of discount for buying the digital copy, savings are not passed on to you.

    The most amazing thing is that the same customers being screwed by DRM are also fans of it and will promote it. Just like you are implying that publishers have to do this, if you repeat this lie long enough customers will believe it.

As far as we know, our computer has never had an undetected error. -- Weisert

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