EA Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw took to EA's blog for three updates over the weekend to talk about the progress the company has made in making SimCity a bit more stable for players. In her first update on March 8 Bradshaw said that they had increased server capacity by 120 percent and that it had proven to help more people get in and play the game. Bradshaw also said that the number of "disrupted experiences" had dropped by roughly 80 percent."
On a related note Bradshaw offered an olive branch to those gamers who bought the game and suffered through all of the connection and disconnection problems last week in the form of a free game:
"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."
In a second update on Sunday Bradshaw said that the "core problem with getting in and having a great SimCity experience is almost behind us. " While she wasn't prepared to declare an "all clear" on the technical issues that plagued launch week Bradshaw was happy with the progress the development and support teams made by the Sunday update.
Finally in a third update on Sunday, Bradshaw said that they are continuing to deal with the technical issues plaguing the game including lag and server-capacity issues. To do that they had to take down the original servers one by one to upgrade them. Hopefully by the time you read this story that process will be complete and the game will be working for everyone that bought it.
The moral of this story is that if you are going to use a system that requires a constant connection, it is probably in your best interest to be very very prepared. EA was not prepared for this with SimCity and they should have been – SimCity, after all is a brand that is familiar even in households that haven't played games in twenty years. In other words people who don't normally play games any more likely rushed out and bought this new-fangled SimCity game because they remembered the game from decades ago…