EA Responds to SimCity Complaints; Gamers Launch Non-DRM Petition

SimCity (5) Senior Producer Kip Katsarelis posted a statement on the EA forums Wednesday night, addressing the issues surrounding the inability to download and/or play the game, and other bugs.

Players began to flood the Origin servers early Wednesday morning after the game officially went retail, a game that relies on an internet connection to EA's network. But due to the overwhelming flood, wait times have been horrendous, and many new SimCity owners – many of which simply want to play the single-player aspect -- can't even install or play the game.

In the blog, Katsarelis called this week "exciting" although many gamers will likely disagree. "We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm from our fans which has made it even more upsetting for us that technical issues have become more prominent in the last 24 hours," he said. "We are hitting a number of problems with our server architecture which has seen players encountering bugs and long wait times to enter servers."

Katsarelis goes on to report that the team is putting everything they have into resolving the issues at hand. "What we are doing is deploying more servers over the coming two days which will alleviate many of the ongoing issues," he said. "We are also paying close attention to all the bug reports we are receiving from our fans. We’ve already pushed several updates in the last few days. Our live ops team is working 24/7 to resolve issues and ensure that bug fixes roll into the game as quickly as possible."

Katsarelis calls on fans to be patient as the team works to fix the issues. Meanwhile, there are plenty of gamers who are having a bit of fun playing the new SimCity installment. He points out that in a single 24 hour period, more than 38 million buildings have been constructed, nearly 7.5 million kilometers of roads paved, and more than 18 million fires started.

Over 40 million pipes have also filled up with virtual poop. Yummy.

Naturally a number of replies to the post weren't very positive. "If you failed to predict volume for this game, based on pre-order sales alone, someone is grossly derelict in their job," one disgruntled customer stated. "This is not tough stuff to figure out and you KNEW going into launch that the server capacity would be inadequate. That's a problem."

"Just realized the irony that a game focused on building infrastructure is unplayable due to a lack of infrastructure," one Twitter user posted. Another annoyed gamer launched a petition on Change.org that requests EA to remove the "always on" DRM from SimCity and future games.

To keep players up-to-date on the reports, the team is making postd regarding game updates, EA is keeping a thread open here. Gamers can also jump on Twitter and use the #SimCity hashtag to keep track of all the complaints submitted by SimCity 5 players, some of which demand a full refund. Ouch.

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  • deadlockedworld
    "Just realized the irony that a game focused on building infrastructure is unplayable due to a lack of infrastructure," one Twitter user posted.

  • joafu
    Was so excited for this until I heard about the always-online DRM, then I knew EA wouldn't be gaining a sale from me. I'm experiencing Schadenfreude for how this clusterfail has turned out- not towards my fellow simcity lovers, I hope you can all get refunds if need be- but towards EA for having their villainous plan fail on a grand scale.
  • edogawa
    You know, I am really getting sick and tired of hearing about EA and their crap. How can a company be so incapable of listening to the customers. Single player DRM is beyond ridiculous, it hurts the paying customers only, and it never stops games from being cracked.
  • easucks
    Whoops, looks like EGAY pulled a Diablo 3
  • tjosborne
    Was gonna get this, not now. Lost 2 sales EA, if I bought it my bro would have too.
  • wildkitten
    The real reason D3 and now SC5 have server issues isn't because they didn't know there would be, it's just that they don't want to go to the expense of having enough server capacity for the intitial rush only to have an excess of server capacity in a couple of weeks when things settle down. They build their server needs based on what is needed for the long haul so to speak.

    That is not a defense of them however, merely a reason why they didn't learn from D3. It's short sighted and shows the accountants are making the final decisions rather then the game makers. Of course if there were no always connected requirement these issues would not exist in the first place and sales likely would have been higher by at least one copy (as I would have bought the game).
  • Darkerson
    As much as I love Simcity, and have been really wanting to play this new one, I learned my lesson after last year, when Diablo III came out, the servers crashed and burned, and no one could play. Screw that! Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. No offline support, no purchase.
  • blackmancer
    EA - "its in the game (after you login, find your download, download it, make sure the DRM works, authenticate, suffer poorly executed code making you wish you had torrented it)"
  • ricardok
    EA doesn't care about us, they want their $, and that's all.. DRM is hurting customers? I don't think they even know how to properly create a DRM..

    BTW, give it a week and we will have a crack floating around.
  • sscultima
    a post on IGN brought up a good point as well. If a company that runs servers for their games even to just play single-player and always need to be online, then if that company goes under and no other company is willing to pick up those servers, then how will you be able to play your $60 game? companies can drop at any time, i mean THQ blew up almost right after darksiders 2, what would have happened to all the gamers who bought it if it was also online only.