Owen WilliamsFormer TNW employee
Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.
We wrote two days ago about the botched launch of SimCity and now, three days after the release the game is still unplayable for most.
Last night, the official launches of SimCity in Australia and New Zealand took place. Despite EA saying that it was “confident that Origin will be stable for the international launches” the game was mostly unplayable at release. Users are still reporting chaos; if they’re able to actually connect and play for a while they are losing their cities or just being kicked out altogether with a “servers are down” message.
Following the issues and a huge slew of demands for refunds from users, Amazon has announced that it has suspended the purchase of digital downloads of the game due to “many customers having issues connecting to the SimCity servers.” The SimCity subreddit is filled with users posting methods to obtain a refund, with many reporting that EA is refusing to fulfill refund requests right now.
Today, EA announced that it would again be adding new servers to handle the load (those servers run on Amazon AWS, by the way) and they would be releasing a patch to address problems. The patch includes a fix which disables “cheetah” speed, meaning users won’t be able to fast-forward their cities for now. It also fixes a number of crashes users were experiencing that completely corrupted their installations and would require a recovery process.
Additionally, EA said that they would disable “non-critical” game features such as leaderboards, achievements and some region level features to help alleviate the issue as part of a hotfix being rolled out to the SimCity servers this morning.
It’s not like any of this should be a surprise to EA. In an interview with Kotaku last year, Kip Katserelis, producer at EA said:
“But what of the debacle of the Diablo III launch and the fury of players who couldn’t play a game they wanted to play solo because Blizzard had trouble keeping its servers up and error-free? We’ve got experience from Spore and Darkspore,” Katserelis said, citing other recent Maxis games. “EA is an on online company. We’re definitely watching what’s going on at Blizzard, and we’re putting in backstops and checks to try to prevent those kind of things from happening.”
It remains to be seen if any of these changes will fix the issues, but with the problems continuing into day three now, we sure hope so.
Images via Simcity Subreddit / JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images
Lower Image via Reddit
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