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    SimCity launch hobbled by server strain; EA offering refunds


    Hellken

    05 March 2013 • Story by: Julian Benson

    simcity%20server%20crash%20lnas.png

    Surprising no one, the launch of SimCity was mired in problems as a result of both the game's always-on internet connection DRM and the lack of an option to pre-load game files. In response to all the issues surrounding the launch, EA are offering a refund to anyone who's been affected by the issues.

    Details below.

    For those of you living in the United States, you may have been looking forward to spending today wearing your self-made mayoral hat and robe whilst delving deep into constructing the perfect city in the newly released SimCity. Yet when the designated switch flicker over in EA towers flipped the heavy binary bar on the side of the US servers from "NO, thank you" to "YES, please", the servers quickly overheated from the traffic load and promptly fell over.

    The problem was two-fold.

    Firstly, EA hadn't allowed pre-orderers to download the game files before launch. Usually publishers using digital distribution let you pre-install the game so that on launch day you're all set to start playing. Because EA didn't it meant that everyone who was now able to play SimCity all tried to download a copy of the game at the same time, causing a massive server-stopping drain.

    Answering why there were no pre-loads, EA's Origin global community manager, Marcel Hatam, said in a complaints thread "pre-loads are very important, which is why we usually offer them (as we did for all of our last big releases like Crysis 3 and Dead Space 3). This didn't come together for SimCity unfortunately, for which I again apologize." Comforting words.

    The second issue was that once players did get the game installed they found that there was no space on servers for them to play. This caused numerous problems because not only did it stop people from playing, those that could get into a server often weren't able to get in with their friends, defeating the much-touted social aspect of the game. Also, players found that they could not play a city-build between servers. So if you built a city on one server, lost connection and were unable to get back in, you'd need to start all over again on a different server.

    It all sounds a little ridiculous.

    In response to the launch day trouble Hatam said " If you regrettably feel that we left you down, you can of course request a refund for your order at http://help.origin.com/contact-us , though we are currently still in the process of resolving this issue. "

    With the European launch due for the 8 March, hopefully EA are sorting out pre-loads now.

    Cheers, PC Gamer.

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    Gurning_Chimp

    Posted

    *BONG*

     

    HARK! For I hear the death knell of this beloved franchise.

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    nataniels3

    Posted

    How ironic that the social stuff, the reason for so many compromsies isn't working.

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    chicagoflo

    Posted

    I wonder if this repulsive greed by EA will force Maxis to smarten up and quit. Start your own title, no more of the BULL $%&^!

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    blunder

    Posted

    Lalalalala....

     

    /blissfully starts dragging FAR-2 networks around, and saving progress to my hard drive.

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    Hellken

    Posted

    I feel bad for all the video game store workers and credit card companies that have to cancel or refund the orders. This will be a bad week for them. 

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    A Nonny Moose

    Posted

    Well done, EA.  Heads should now roll in the Marketing Deparment and the Board Room, but will undoubtedly roll in Maxis instead.  But they were just following orders, ja?

     

    Heads roll up hill.  To the Senate of the United States according to the losing scenario of SC4.

     

    No pre-downloads for the pre-order purchasers?  Could it be that the so-called gone gold game is made out of fool's gold?  It wasn't ready, and it still isn't.  I've seen at least one image posted on this site that shows graphics failures (clipping trouble).

     

    Servers not big enough?  PCs can never do this job.  No doubt the servers in the U.K. are no better, and there isn't time to replace them.

     

    When will EA realize you can't sell vapourware to very many people before the world catches up to you?  Frankly, I rather hope this fiasco tips them over.  They will find they are not to big to fail.

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    bcnurse247

    Posted

    Just thinking about all those poor simpletons who said "DRM doesn't bother me, I'm always connected to the internet anyway".

     

    Are they seeing the bigger picture now, I wonder.

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    Hellken

    Posted

    Just thinking about all those poor simpletons who said "DRM doesn't bother me, I'm always connected to the internet anyway".

     

    Are they seeing the bigger picture now, I wonder.

     

    I predicted this would happen. Even if you had good internet connection, it won't protect you from server failures. And I knew the idea of not allowing "normal" saving/loading was a doomed idea from the beginning. 

     

    I expected people to eventually see the bigger picture now but I never expected hundreds of people to demand refunds in the first 24 hours. This is a "Public Relations" disaster for EA.  

     

    told-you-so-meter1.jpg

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    Mithrik

    Posted

    And on top of that, this game was even more hyped than Diablo 3, even catching media from other news networks not specifically from the gaming community. It only adds to the heap of deception and shame that EA has around itself.

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    KingGab

    Posted

    what a scam. glad I didnt buy

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    rjamesp

    Posted

    Farmville 2

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    packersfan

    Posted

    Yup, told you so. Online requirement is death! By forcing EVERYONE to use online to play the game, you are setting yourself up for huge amount of strain on the servers. MAKE IT AN OPTION, then the people that want to play that way will hop on your servers and not EVERYBODY...glad I wasn't drooling and gnashing my teeth at the chance to play this game.

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    JamieRamsey2005

    Posted

    Interestingly enough you possibly can get a refund, but the hassle involved is intense. I spent more than 3 hours waiting on chat support. Only to be sent a phone number to call after 15-20 minutes discussing the issue with the representative via chat. I was told that they aren't giving refunds by the rep.

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    SS3K

    Posted

    I predicted this would happen. Even if you had good internet connection,

    it won't protect you from server failures. And I knew the idea of not

    allowing "normal" saving/loading was a doomed idea from the beginning.

     

    so glad I didnt waste my money on this tosh, big game companies what bring back old games from the past always screw it over.

     

    I will never buy a game where you always need to be online, EA will always try and make it hard to get your money back and they will try and keep every penny they can get.

     

    Will Wright did the right thing to stay away from this project, I bet he could see its failure too!

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    Wustmann

    Posted

    I find it the most frustrating that EA said that the SimCity release would go on without a hitch and that none of these server issues would occur. It is a slap in the face to all of us.  Well EA, message received,  you did it.  You've lost me as a consumer. You've given the SimCity franchise a horrible name and, most importantly, you've lost a strong, passionate fan community. Congratulations!

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