SimCity’s online problems are nearly over according to Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw, who claims that crash reports have been reduced dramatically since launch day in a new post on the SimCity website.
“I’m happy to report that the core problem with getting in and having a great SimCity experience is almost behind us,” Bradshaw wrote.
“Our players have been able to connect to their cities in the game for nearly 8 million hours of gameplay time and we’ve reduced game crashes by 92% from day one. A combination of optimizing our server architecture and response times, deploying these enhancements on both a series of new and the original servers and issuing a few critical client updates has achieved getting virtually everyone into the game and, once in, having a great time building cities and sharing regions.
“I had hoped to issue an ‘All-Clear’ tonight, but there are still some elements coming together. Tonight and tomorrow we’ll be monitoring each server and gameplay metrics to ensure that the service remains strong and game is playing great. We need a few more days of data before we can assure you that the problem is completely solved and the game is running at 100 percent.”
The latest SimCity game, launched in the UK last Friday, is the first to require the gamer to have a constant connection to the internet, which has caused log-in issues and regular crashes as the EA/Maxis servers have buckled under the strain of millions of gamers looking to play at once.
As a gesture of goodwill towards all those who bought SimCity and were affected by the online issues, EA will also be offering a free digital download of one of their titles for all those who registered the game before March 18. If you were holding out on buying the game until the problems were fixed, you may want to reconsider if you want to take advantage of the free game offer.
Bradshaw has also posted a lengthy apology on the official SimCity website. You can read it in its entirety below:
“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.”