What was initially hailed as a reboot of the SimCity series—with all of the technology updates (including 3D graphics) to introduce it to a new audience—has become a thorn in EA’s side.
The launch was stifled by so many technical problems that the company held off marketing the game, and retailers like Amazon pulled it from its virtual shelves. It was rendered unplayable by issues like lengthy queues and disconnections. Would-be gamers immediately took to the Internet to voice their frustration.
After initially suggesting they would not offer refunds, EA has finally responded to disgruntled fans by announcing plans to offer a free game to those who were affected. If you have activated your copy of the game, you should have received an email (they were sent out on March 18) with detailed instructions on how to redeem a free EA game. Here are the games available to SimCity owners:
- Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
- Bejeweled 3
- Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
- Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
- Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
- Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
- Plants vs. Zombies
- SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition
In a statement explaining the issues and apologizing for them, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw said, “A lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played, and [they] 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. . . The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.”
“We feel bad about what happened,” she added. “We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent.”