The Beat

LUCY BRADSHAW

LUCY BRADSHAW

General Manager, Maxis Label

POSTED BY Lucy Bradshaw ON Mar 8, 2013

A SimCity Update…And 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

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.

Comments (630)

  1. Comment Flagged +102 -7
    I would like to say that the very worst part about this debut, was the lack of communication between the developers and their audience. Because we are all new to the game, we did not know what to expect, much as you did not know what to expect from your audience. Therefore, when the server would go down mid-game, and the game would not notify you that you're not actually playing, there is no way to save, there is nothing to do but wait for it to crash over and over, you get a little upset.
    Mar 8, 2013
    11 Replies
    1. +1 0
      Just wait untill EA purchases Insomniac Games, then we will be ******.
      Mar 20, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +3 -3
      There are three words that even EA will understand...class action lawsuit.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    3. +16 -9
      Some people got a lot upset. The point is, we wanted some sort of sign from the Maxis/EA staff that things aren't working just the way they are supposed to and that steps were being taken. The launcher provided no clue that anything was wrong. Only after several attempts did it occur to me, by my own intuition, that I was never connecting to the server in the first place. This problem, as with most, should be addressed with communication. I give you props, Lucy Bradshaw, for being the first person on the EA/Maxis end to admit to a flub-up. Thank you for having enough respect for us, your audience, to tell us the truth. Thank you for communicating.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    4. +12 -6
      Dude, stop kissing her ***. As far she is concerned, you are just an idiot willing to pay for the game - make her a bigger bonus at the end of the year. Do you really think they had respect for the gamers in the first place? Also, its her job to communicate. Just saying. She isn't doing any of this out of goodness of her heart.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    5. 0 0
      Let's look at it from their point of view, would you rather the developers be working on the issue and scrambling around trying to fix it or wasting time communicating with you. These things happen, but if your buddy came over and lit your house on fire would you want him to grab a house and put it out or stand there and tell you how sorry he is, how he started the fire, and what caused it.
      Mar 13, 2013
      0 Replies
    6. 0 0
      There are people within companies specifically trained to do this. A company of this scale should have that more than covered, and probably does.
      Mar 14, 2013
      0 Replies
    7. +9 -12
      They seem to have communicated pretty well. They have been talking to the community on reddit. I have finally gotten to play the game today for the real first time.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    8. +3 -8
      Exactly. Their Twitter/Reddit/Facebook feeds were blowing up constantly. Honestly, I don't think we're really entitled to anything. We knew it was Always-On DRM a while ago. unless you are completely green to the internet gaming world, you should have known to expect these things. Guess I'll tak the handout though. Always nice when a company goes to bat for us. Cheers.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    9. +7 -1
      While most of us knew it was "always on DRM", one should expect it to always be "on". That's what we paid for, after all. It simply comes down to the fact that we've paid for a service, and we did not receive that service. If we had not paid initially, it wouldn't have been a problem. Furthermore, this problem has become exacerbated by the fact that Origin's track record for connectivity (especially with multiplayer games) hasn't been great to begin with (think: ME3 multiplayer for the first 2-3 weeks after launch).
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    10. +5 0
      Twitter and reddit are poor communication devices for this stuff. My dad is 54 and plays games daily. He doesn't even know what twitter is let alone how to use it or search for the SimCIty twitter. Most of the older gamers are going to fall into this same category, and if you think there's not a lot of them, especially for this franchise, I have to wonder. The forums are easily accessible and a common sense place to check and have had little to no useful information coming from Maxis or EA.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    11. 0 -2
      They are linked under "Community" on Simcity.com - it's not hard to find them .... in fact I would claim that it is pretty simple if you stop fuming and logically think about "how can I find information about SimCity?"
      Mar 11, 2013
      0 Replies
  2. +110 -31
    So you're going to give us the real Simcity right?
    Mar 8, 2013
    2 Replies
    1. +8 -1
      Will the real Simcity please stand up?
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. 0 0
      Please stand up, please stand up, please stand up.
      Mar 20, 2013
      0 Replies
  3. +37 -70
    Thanks for the gift. You've bought my affection back...tentatively. We'll see...
    Mar 8, 2013
    4 Replies
    1. 0 0
      Can't stress "tentatively" enough. If the "free gift" is something I'm not interested in, it's only going to feel like another slap in the face.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +6 0
      wow, Can I punch you in the face then buy you some icecream to make it all OK?
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    3. +5 0
      to be fair: he'd have to pay you for the punch, then you'd have to give him 1 scoop of ice cream of which you have unlimited quantities to give out.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    4. +3 -1
      Don't celebrate yet, they haven't even said what game it will be and there is probably a reason for that. Chances are it will be a game you don't want and will never play anyway. "sorry you are unsatisfied with our product. We can't give you a refund, but here is another bad product which you will never use to make up for the problem. " top notch customer relations right there...
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  4. Comment Flagged +36 -50
    That's great that you guys are working so hard in the game! Though it's been a rough go I know, from the beta test, the potential of this game! Great for the update and the free game! Now back to Simcity!!!
    Mar 8, 2013
    3 Replies
    1. +1 -1
      Good to see the EA social marketing team is active on the page.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +1 -1
      Yeah - sounds like the EA forum bots are running their scripts. Some marketing persons *ss is in a sling and needs to get at least one positive quote they can give to their bosses from their 'loyal' fans. Glad he could open a free account and post this.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    3. 0 0
      I guess I'm the only internet stalker here because after you mentioned that I decided to Google his tag. It's funny how if someone disagrees with people they must have some ulterior motive. This whole thread is the perfect image of how the world works, I'm surprised no one has taken up arms yet. I'm upset too at the servers but seeing all this negativity is getting to me. Apologies.
      Mar 10, 2013
      0 Replies
  5. Comment Flagged +184 -21
    Can we get an offline patch instead? I would even pay for it:(
    Mar 8, 2013
    14 Replies
    1. +3 -1
      Instead of an offline patch, would you guys agree that a "connect to localhost" option would be nice? The ability to have a server running on your LAN? That way they wouldn't have to change any fundamental parts of the game.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +8 0
      The "online only" model for this game is purely self-serving. The reasons EA purports for making the game online-only are artificial and transparent. What if I want to play the game on a plane? Or someplace I don't have wi-fi? EA, you guys should apologize for THAT, not for the server capacity problems.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    3. 0 0
      also... what happens years from now when EA decides not to support SC5? is our game a worthless $60 disc then? I STILL play Sim City 2000... because I paid for it and I like it. Very sneaky. Not the company and franchise I grew to love at all.
      Mar 21, 2013
      0 Replies
    4. +7 -2
      I agree - this game does not HAVE to be online - they decided that and it is a terrible decision. CitiesXL was able to pull of the exact same capaiblitiy (socially) and most of us have gaming computers that could probably pull of the "Glass Box" engine (granted I can't tell you this on fact as you won't release the specs).
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    5. +12 0
      The server issues and the on-line only junk is why I have not yet purchased the game. Sim City is my favorite game franchise and I was so disappointed by the online only play. A friend already requested a refund from Amazon over this. Too bad.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    6. 0 0
      In the military... often we don't have an internet connection but would like to play the game that I waited years for, and THAT I PURCHASED, on my down time. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE allow offline play.
      Mar 21, 2013
      0 Replies
    7. +11 0
      Exactly. Keep your free game, EA/Maxis. GIVE US AN OFFLINE MODE! I expect it's fairly accurate to assume that the majority of Sim players have NO interest in online multiplayer. We want an offline single player game.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    8. +7 0
      Absolutely. Adding an online mode is an interesting gimmick, but forcing us into it is just stupid, especially when it breaks the game.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    9. 0 0
      Ditto.
      Mar 10, 2013
      0 Replies
    10. +1 0
      just sandbox plus Online validation will do the trick ......
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    11. +6 0
      AGREEEEED
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    12. 0 0
      Hold on a minute.... so I can't play this game offline!? I purchased this to keep me occupied in hospital, what is the point of a game you cannot play offline?!!!
      Mar 19, 2013
      0 Replies
    13. +15 0
      I wouldn't just pay for this, I'd kill for it. I don't care if this is "supposed to be played online" it's SIMCITY not MMOCityBuilder. SimCity isn't supposed to be manipulated by others in a drop in/out setting. If you did a multiplayer function it should be more of a scenario like this: Player One: Are you up for some SimCity with me? Player Two: Sure, how do you wanna make your city/cities suffer? Player One: How about we just spam meteor shower in all the cities? Player Two: Sounds like a plan.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    14. 0 0
      You and me both.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  6. +48 -9
    Thank you for the update. Where was this update yesterday? Or the day before that? I don't care for the free game, but will still probably take advantage of it, but we The Players want MORE communication. Official Communication.
    Mar 8, 2013
    1 Reply
    1. 0 0
      True. That's all I wanted was a little communication to let us know what was happening. Write us an email or something lol
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
  7. +37 -7
    havent been able to play period! Im majorly disapointed
    Mar 8, 2013
    0 Replies
  8. Comment Flagged +63 -34
    I bet you're loving that 1 star rating on amazon....lowest I've EVER seen for a game.
    Mar 8, 2013
    2 Replies
    1. +4 -9
      No need to be nasty, it looks to me as though the people involved are working hard to address the obvious issues. Sure it hasn't been great, but they are making improvements.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +3 -1
      Please point out where s0ck37 has been nasty.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  9. Comment Flagged +123 -16
    Remove the DRM and we will be happy.
    Mar 8, 2013
    2 Replies
    1. 0 0
      well said tho it should be optional for low-end PC's and obiously they cant that right away so first let them fix the current problem then throw the online only away and then work on making larger area's since i saw from the previews that there isnt even room for DLC on the maps atm,
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +3 0
      I'm sure there's no problem with Sim City running a larger map. But why would they give you everything you want in a single $60 purchase? They'd rather sell you incremental DLC updates.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  10. +16 -6
    At least they admitted they made a mistake, anyone have an error saying your city is not processing properly, and when you roll back you cant load it again?
    Mar 8, 2013
    6 Replies
    1. Comment Flagged 0 0
      Unable to load city, just can't play the stupid %60.00 game period. EA = Crooks! -Pissed
      Mar 16, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. 0 0
      yep! happened to me, never got to play that city again...been 3 days now...only city I was doing really good in, of course...
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    3. +1 -1
      They have only admitted the lack of server issue - they have not admitted that their game wrecking DRM is unacceptable to the vast majority of paying customers
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    4. +6 -2
      They didn't admit to the right mistake. The mistake wasn't the lack of server horse power. The mistake was making the whole dang game online, when none of needed to be.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    5. 0 0
      I had this problem last night and it was very disheartening. But this morning all was fixed and my city was fine. All but my last changes were still there.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    6. +5 -1
      But they have yet to admit that single-player DRM is a ludicrously stupid idea.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  11. +88 -11
    Maybe you should think about NOT having this stupid Always Online DRM crap? Yeah? Might solve the problem of bad design and bad decisions on your part.
    Mar 8, 2013
    2 Replies
    1. +5 -1
      Four EA execs stopped by your post to give it a downthumb.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +5 0
      Four EA execs working together wouldn't be able to figure out how to give a downvote.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  12. +26 -31
    So you are not going to give us any details about what game we get, or if we get to choose? So, you are telling me, in 10 days, you are going to give whoever cares to redeem it then, a free game? So instead of letting people play a free game right now while they are waiting for this failure to be fixed, you are going to give people a game when people will be playing the hopefully working SimCity then? Classic EA... Not really showing us you care.
    Mar 8, 2013
    2 Replies
    1. +4 -4
      It will be just like the joke of a promotion the $20 off a future game was for preordering SimCity on Origin. $20 off...sure if you spend $30, oh and did we mention you can only pick out a game from this dust bin with fresh new inflated price stickers calculated perfectly to not come out to $30 easily. Crysis 3 free, then we can talk.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +4 -4
      Good grief, cry a little more why don't you? Have you ever released a game before? I didn't think so. It's not like they are setting up a lemonade stand or something. **** happens, mistakes get made. First time I have seen a company admit they messed up and offered a FREE game to try to make up for it. I remember a WoW patch that broke the game for a week...the offered nothing for it. So stop being a spoiled little child and grow up.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  13. +34 -14
    this is the last time i buy a game form EA and maxis you were a good company, you make the game experience on a hell many eople cant play many people is refund the game when will you understand that you make was WRONG is a bad moment to see the game simcity, you disapointed me UNDERSTAND this game was make for offline not online
    Mar 8, 2013
    1 Reply
    1. +1 -1
      Correction...MAXIS was a good company. This would have been an awesome game had the original Maxis put it out.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  14. +35 -15
    I've just reinstalled Simcity 3000 and 4. I was considering buying this, but after the online requirement, there is no way I would.
    Mar 8, 2013
    1 Reply
    1. 0 0
      I just reinstalled SimCity 4 and Societies to kill time to the SH*t storm dies and 100%of players can play. Feeling it'll be a couple more months atleast
      Mar 10, 2013
      0 Replies
  15. +52 -14
    Why do I want another game to play on your obviously buggy and unreliable Origin service? Giving me another game that has a good chance of not working due to your servers isn't going to make me happy. Giving me an offline version of SimCity will.
    Mar 8, 2013
    2 Replies
    1. +2 -4
      No, it is not Origin's servers which caused the problem. It was the SimCity servers. Don't you get the point?
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +2 -1
      Origin's servers were the problem at launch with the game not being released yet. Not to mention Origin is spyware and if given a choice between it and steam/gog/gmg/gamersgate I pick any of those others 10 out of 10 times.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  16. +18 -5
    I started a region with two friends the day simcity hit, I CAN NOT load my first city, and my friends CAN NOT access the global markets, nor do our citizens move between each city. So out of the 3 people I know playing, 3 of them are having a disrupted game play experience. Now you're taking features away from us in the name of "fixing the game" which is such a load of BS on so many levels. I am highly disappointed in this release, and this is the second time preordering an EA game burned me.
    Mar 8, 2013
    4 Replies
    1. +3 -4
      Did you not read what she wrote? She said she knows, chill out.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +1 -1
      My point was "80% of people..." is either extremely optimistic or very misleading because everyone I know that plays is still having a disrupted experience.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    3. +1 -3
      Stop buying their games until they clean their act up. Vote with your wallet.
      Mar 8, 2013
      0 Replies
    4. 0 0
      I would but they don't offer refunds on downloaded software!!
      Mar 12, 2013
      0 Replies
  17. +38 -19
    Can i use that 'free gift' to refund my simcity purchase? Im totally disgusted right now.
    Mar 8, 2013
    0 Replies
  18. +23 -13
    Well. At least that's something. At the very least you are acknowledging what we're going through and I respect that.
    Mar 8, 2013
    1 Reply
    1. +2 -1
      They aren't acknowledging what players are going through. they refuse to admit the real mistake. They shouldn't have the always-on DRM in this game. SimCity was not meant for that. The always-on DRM is the real issue, and the servers not handling the load is second.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  19. +39 -26
    An update that's informative, honest, and doesn't talk down to customers. Whatever the state of the game, this is PR done right. Thank you!
    Mar 8, 2013
    6 Replies
    1. +2 -1
      This isn't good PR at all. Lucy Bradshaw and EA are slapping you in the face. Nowhere does she tell you that they made a bad design choices. Nowhere does she say they messed up and take any blame. It's just a minor problem she tells us. A problem caused because we're too popular!!! Here's another game (which we won't name) on some future date that may have the EXACT SAME FLAW. She's not even LISTENING to her customers. This isn't just about a 'minor annoyance' of server capacity - this is about always-on DRM destroying good games. It is fundamentally broken model that requires games to be online to be played and did not communicate that to customers before they bought. Nowhere does she offer to redeem or refund angry customers. Nowhere does Mrs Bradshaw even ACKNOWLEDGE any of those complaints. Sadly, they're throwing you a bone - which they won't name. It's a slap in the face to our intelligence by avoiding talking about the issues we're raising about their games and marketing strategy. I am not buyiing another EA game until this DRM is gone. Thank you Lucy Bradshaw for being a complete corporate stooge and PR lackey. Thank you EA for helping me, from now on, to support the budding Indie game development community.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    2. +3 -2
      This is not PR done right. They are dodging the core complaint that they did not listen to their customers and kept the game online only. They should be saying they are developing an offline patch. Ironically they have probably lost so many sales it far outweighs the pirating factor.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    3. +2 -9
      Oh jesus christ, what a whiny ***! it IS in fact good PR. They didn't have to offer any free goods, or an apology for that matter. This stupid generation of children that want instant gratification makes me sick. Boohoo my game doesn't work right as soon as it's launched. If it makes you that upset, go suck start a shotgun and save the world some trouble
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    4. 0 0
      You & people like you that support shotty business practices such as this are nothing short of purely moronic. You support EA & Maxis & are basically telling people not to hold a company responsible for a product that came out & obviously has major issues with it. I remember back when video games didn't get patches & if the company released & it was unfinished they would own up, pull it from the shelves & FINISH THE DAMN GAME, instead of saying "Well sorry, here is a free game, that we won't tell you what your getting, to make you feel better."
      Mar 11, 2013
      0 Replies
    5. +4 -1
      Funkfoo, when you release a triple A for anywhere between $60-$80 people SHOULD expect the game to work. This isn't an indie game, they aren't asking for $10 to try the pre-alpha game. I don't see anyone asking for free stuff, they are asking for the game they paid for to work. You're the only one impressed by "here's a free game". This isn't good PR, its "drop a free flashy object on the ground to distract the idiots" PR. Good PR is actually addressing complaints head on (like the forced always online complaint which is what the core of the anger is from). People would be ok if they could play offline while they waited for the server issues to be worked out. But EA is forcing people to be online and then don't have the servers to handle it, did they not have pre-order numbers? How do you underestimate demand by this much?
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
    6. +3 -1
      You're a sheep. This is a bribe for something that could've been avoided in the first place. Don't be so blind to accept it.
      Mar 9, 2013
      0 Replies
  20. +2 0
    So the Global Market and the Global Stats will be available?
    Mar 8, 2013
    0 Replies