Yesterday, Lucy Bradshaw, Senior Vice President at Maxis, live tweeted from 12:00-12:45pm to discuss and answer questions about SimCity and what went wrong. Anyone could tweet to @SimCity and use hashtag #AskLucy to make sure they got their questions answered. This is the official statement Lucy posted, after the event.
I’m happy to report that the core problem with getting in and having a greatSimCity experience is almost behind us. 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 everyoneinto 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 good news is that tens of thousands of new players are streaming into the game every day and the confidence our fans have shown is truly humbling. I can’t begin to explain the way a development team feels when something you’re proud of is threatened at launch. Our biggest fear was that people who love this franchise would be scared off by bad reviews about the connectivity issues.
But you put your faith in us. You bought the game with the understanding that we’d quickly fix the server issues. For that support – that incredible commitment from our fans — we are deeply grateful. As the general manager of Maxis, I want you to know that we cherish your faith in us, and the love you’ve shown for this franchise.
Thank you very much.
ORIGINAL / UPDATE #1:
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.
I think Maxis is on their way to earn back the trust of their customers, and while it may not do much to help save “EA”s face, it will make considerable improvement overall. As of today, the servers have been more stable and I’ve seen less complaints. These guys are working around the clock to ensure a proper experience, things are getting better.