With the SimCity server situation still dire, despite Maxis cutting non-essential game functions, EA's decided to put a hold on the game's marketing probably with the hope that with fewer potential customers hearing about the game, there will be fewer new players joining the game and making the situation worse.
In a letter to EA Origin LinkShare affiliates, which Polygon has managed to get its hands on, EA's stated that it's "deactivated all SimCity text links and creative," and asks its affiliates to "please remove any copy promoting SimCity from your website for the time-being."
SimCity has had so many issues with its servers that Amazon pulled the digital download from its shelves at one point. It's only recently back on sale on Amazon, with a warning to expect connectivity issues until further notice.
The entire situation is reminiscent of Blizzard's disastrous Diablo III launch, though the worst of the connectivity issues were worked out within the first three days. Despite Maxis's frantic work into fixing servers, it looks it'll still be a while before all the kinks are worked out, especially since EA's decided that getting fewer players to buy the game is the current best solution.
I'll second the opinion that EA is killing the marketing because the game clearly doesn't need it. Even if the publicity is bad at this point, the game is clearly so immensely popular that marketing would yield very little return on the dollar. I mean, they even talked about it on Bob and Tom on the radio this morning. It's everywhere.
I'll support Maxis and SimCity even with the birthing pains. I want there to be a future for SimCity and expansions for this one.
Amazon Marketing Consultant: "No amount of marketing dollars can compete with the size of the shoe in your mouth, at this time."
EA Controller: "You are over re-acting... WE HAVE SOCIAL BENEFITS IN OUR GAME!!!"
Amazon Marketing Consultant: "Have you seen ANY of the internet in the last 2-3 days sir?"