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SimCity's Launch Isn't Going So Well

Electronic Arts is turning off "non-critical gameplay features" to try and ease server load.

UPDATE: We've noticed Amazon has stopped selling the digital version of SimCity, thanks to a tip from a Giant Bomb user. The listing for SimCity says it's "currently unavailable" and the retailer does not know "when of if this item will be available again."

"Many customers are having issues connecting to the "SimCity" servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed. Please visit https://help.ea.com/en/simcity/simcity for more information."

I asked Amazon customer service about it, and was told it's "not currently available due to the issues on connecting to the SimCity servers" and the retailer was "not completely sure when this is going to be restored."

The launch of SimCity has not gone well, and it continues to not go well. It’s going so poorly, in fact, that Electronic Arts and Maxis are going to be turning off “non-critical gameplay features" to try and make it better.

This move was announced by a SimCity community manager on the game’s message boards. These “non-critical gameplay features” include leaderboards, achievements, and region filters.

According to the patch notes for version 1.2, however, the company has now disabled “cheetah” speed, which is now the same as “llama” speed. An official reason wasn’t given in the patch notes, but it’s not hard to imagine the detailed simulations in each city, which must inevitably sync with the game’s servers, is causing a headache for players building cities really quickly.

“We will continue to let you know as we have more information,” said the company. “We know it has been said before, but we do appreciate your patience as we complete this latest update. Getting you playing is our absolute highest priority.”

That’s probably true, but it doesn’t ease the pain of players who have paid money for SimCity, and can’t play the game. We know there will be launch issues in the first 24 hours of a game’s release, maybe even a little longer, but this is unacceptable. Too bad, since the game is supposedly pretty cool!

Make sure to let us know what your experience is like in the comments.

Patrick Klepek on Google+
359 Comments
Posted by MAGZine

@haggis said:

@magzine said:

I'm not arguing it's not one game, I'm arguing that what draxyle originally said is dumb, pointless and baseless. If the servers were up, saving would work fine. The whole game would work fine. That piece of software you bought on the disk would work fine. You can QA and test a game all you want, and they did, and the game. is. fine. The servers aren't. There is only so much load testing and closed beta testing you can do before you just have to flick the switch and wait and see what happens.

Why are you guys arguing with me? You clearly do not know the original scope of Draxyle's argument, and didn't bother to look back to see what he said. I shouldn't have even replied to dumpling because that was evidently a waste of my time, I jsut didn't realize it wasn't the OP.

The problem is that when the servers were up, the saves weren't working fine. They sometimes worked, sometimes didn't. The whole game wasn't working fine. The software on the disk (or the download) didn't work fine. Plus, you know, the game on the disk doesn't work without the servers functioning.

We're arguing with you because we disagree with you, and because we think your comment about the servers and the game being separate products is wrong. Obviously.

It's not obvious, because it seemed as though you were lacking contextual information.

But context isn't important, right?

Also, the server is not a separate product because a server isn't a product in this case. The game is.

prod·uct

/ˈprädəkt/

Noun
  1. An article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale.
Posted by fisk0

@n2nother said:
@armaros said:

@n2nother: Right, so all the people that couldn't play games like Heavy Rain on the PS3 when Sony got hacked and they took down their network for that extended period of time were just imagining it?

Heavy Rain was released over a year before the PSN hack, but I see what you are trying to get it. That game could still be played, as well as the single player of Portal 2 which came out during the PSN hack debacle. You don't need to sign on the PSN to play a single player game. So if they couldn't play those games when Sony got hacked, they were doing it wrong.

I don't know about Heavy Rain or Portal 2, but there are several single player games on PSN that require you to be signed in to play them. During the outage Bionic Commando Rearmed 2 was the most notorious, I think, and some Final Fight game was affected too. I've noticed that I can't play my digital copy of Far Cry 3, not even the single player part, when PSN or Uplay is down for maintenance either, so that certainly happens on consoles.

Posted by Nettacki

@n2nother said:

@the_laughing_man

"Thats not needed here dude.

I feel super bad for Maxis I am sure EA forced this all ways online crap on them."

My opinion isn't needed here?

This is an article about yet ANOTHER pc game that has suffered a botched launch. I don't care what publisher, developer, or game it is, I've never experienced an instance where a single player game wasn't playable because of online server issues. Ever. I feel and have felt that consoles are preferable to PC. The game I was looking forward to was Tomb Raider. I bought it, opened it and played it. No sever issues and no graphics card issues.

You may not like it but I stand by my opinion thy consoles are better than PCs.

A couple of people have mentioned this, but even console gaming has its problems in terms of convenience. Some single player games on consoles downloaded from PSN/XBL, and even a few disc games, don't work unless you're signed in the respective game network. You haven't encountered it personally. That doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Need I also remind you that EA is not all game developers and should not represent all game developers that develop games for PC. Also, stuff like graphics card issues are just things PC gamers tend to live with, especially if those issues only affect a relatively small number of users. If in the end is a better gameplay experience on PC than on console, then it's usually worth it.

Posted by haggis

@magzine said:

@haggis said:

@magzine said:

I'm not arguing it's not one game, I'm arguing that what draxyle originally said is dumb, pointless and baseless. If the servers were up, saving would work fine. The whole game would work fine. That piece of software you bought on the disk would work fine. You can QA and test a game all you want, and they did, and the game. is. fine. The servers aren't. There is only so much load testing and closed beta testing you can do before you just have to flick the switch and wait and see what happens.

Why are you guys arguing with me? You clearly do not know the original scope of Draxyle's argument, and didn't bother to look back to see what he said. I shouldn't have even replied to dumpling because that was evidently a waste of my time, I jsut didn't realize it wasn't the OP.

The problem is that when the servers were up, the saves weren't working fine. They sometimes worked, sometimes didn't. The whole game wasn't working fine. The software on the disk (or the download) didn't work fine. Plus, you know, the game on the disk doesn't work without the servers functioning.

We're arguing with you because we disagree with you, and because we think your comment about the servers and the game being separate products is wrong. Obviously.

It's not obvious, because it seemed as though you were lacking contextual information.

But context isn't important, right?

Also, the server is not a separate product because a server isn't a product in this case. The game is.

prod·uct

/ˈprädəkt/

Noun
  1. An article or substance that is manufactured or refined for sale.

Wow. Doubling down, I see. Server access is part of the product. Without it, the game doesn't work. Period. So, if I download the game and don't buy a physical, manufactured disc, is it no longer a product?

Clearly the product is the software--the combined client and server software. Which is why denying access to one half of it (on the server) means that the product is broken. This isn't a difficult concept, you know.

Edited by fleshribbon

@ben_h: well, for me I couldn't play D3 but once in the first week (in the middle of the day), could only randomly connect for almost a month, and lost all sorts of progress with disconnects so I don't know how much "better" it was than this.

I think some people have been wearing rose-colored glasses with respect to how horrible the D3 launch went and at least EA/Maxis is owning up to this and offering a free game unlike Blizzard who seemed to blame it on too many people buying their precious game and provided zero compensation of any form.

Posted by MAGZine

@haggis: I'm not arguing with you. You're arguing with something I agree with and is tangential to the original person's post. Jesus Christ. Go back to the original post I replied to and get some context.

Posted by haggis

@magzine said:

@haggis: I'm not arguing with you. You're arguing with something I agree with and is tangential to the original person's post. Jesus Christ. Go back to the original post I replied to and get some context.

You're not arguing with me? Seems like you are. There's not a lot of context here. Someone claimed the game wasn't ready to be released because the servers weren't ready. Your response was, "what was it about the game itself that is not ready to launch? p.s., servers aren't part of the game itself."

Except servers are a part of the game itself, and as I pointed out, even with the servers up, key functionality wasn't working correctly.

And you've been arguing with me since then. Unconvincingly, but still arguing. I wasn't the only one who pointed out that your perspective on this seems out of date, given the facts. So, if I'm missing some crucial context here, please point out exactly what that is.

Edited by MAGZine
Posted by haggis