GAMES PUBLISHER Electronic Arts is working hard to keep its Simcity sequel open for business despite being plagued with problems.
The game was released this week but hasn't gone down well. It has a thousand plus one star reviews on Amazon and the sort of comments on Twitter that would make your grandmother pass out in shock.
Fear not though, you godlike city building architects, because EA is hard at work trying to get it fixed.
SimCity | Server Update ea.vg/X1QuhV— Electronic Arts UK (@electronicarts) March 8, 2013
Kip Katsarelis, senior producer for the Simcity game, has penned a lengthy blog post that says that all these problems, all this fussing and fighting, is part of a learning experience that will benefit both the game and its players.
"You, the fans, are important to us. It's why we got into games and it's because of you that we here at Maxis were able to complete our dream of making another SimCity. This has been an exciting week for us, but as you know there have been some bumps along the way," he said.
"We want to shed light on one of the most significant issues that we are facing right now, as well as the steps we're taking to resolve them so that we can provide you with an enjoyable experience."
The issues are mostly server and capacity based and it seems that EA tried to solve this by throwing more and more hardware at the problem. And then some more for good measure.
"Server capacity is our biggest obstacle. We launched in North America on Tuesday and our servers filled up within a matter of hours. What we saw was that players were having such a good time they didn't want to leave the game, which kept our servers packed and made it difficult for new players to join," said Katsarelis.
"We added more servers to accommodate the launch in Australia and Japan, and then more yesterday to accommodate the launch in Europe. As of right now, we are adding even more servers which will be going live over the next three days. And, our plan is to continue to bring more servers online until we have enough to meet the demand, increase player capacity and let more people through the gates and into the game."
So yeah, EA is bringing more servers online. This can only be a good thing. This is confirmed in another blog post, this one from Lucy Bradshaw, SVP and GM at EA's Maxis, that says thousands of players are in and are building thousands of cities. She said that more servers will be added up to and over the weekend.
"Our priority now is to quickly and dramatically increase the number and stability of our servers and, with that, the number of players who can simultaneously access the game. We added servers today, and there will be several more added over the weekend," she said.
"We're working as hard as possible to make sure everyone gets to experience the amazing game we built in Simcity."
They are not just unloading servers from a lorry. No, EA is cutting back some of the game's features while it grapples with the capacity problem.
A patch, released today, temporarily cut off some features like leaderboards, achievements and Cheetah Speed. This freed up server space and let people into the game, though it did deny them the features.
Katsarelis said that EA was sorry to see them go, temporarily, and promised that they will be turned back on soon. However, he added, "Our number one priority is to bring stability to our servers." µ
Plus the cost of ambition as moonshots eat into the coffers
Spoiler alert: it's probably VeriSign
Did we say cuts off? We meant traps them inside their own home