Sim City: Communication Breakdown

You may remember when the original Sim City event occurred during the big launch.  Basically people all over the world waited to play the long awaited game when it made it’s debut, only to have countless people getting knocked offline and being unable to connect, and just essentially a sad lot due to these extensive EA troubles.

Some users who tried to download SimCity via Origin today encountered a “Not yet released” message. Earlier today, an EA rep said on the company’s forum that there are two possible reasons for the delays: the game is actually not yet released in your country; or your credit card payment failed or was unable to be charged.

“We have also identified a very small number of North American players for which neither case applies and are investigating directly with Origin to resolve. We will continue to post updates in this thread as more information becomes available,” EA said earlier today.

So then it turns out this was a server issue on EA’s part.  Apparently they didn’t do such a fine job estimating how many Sim City players they would have and now server intensive it may be to have every last one of them online all at once on the release date.  Evidently they didn’t even come close.  Which, ok – it happens.  But usually it’s wiser to have more server space than you need, and then scale down after you’ve had a chance to assess load.  Doing it backwards like EA, and you end up with a very unfortunate backlash of hate coming from the very customers who butter your bread.

Gamers are understandably furious at the server issues that have been plaguing the game’s global launch. The US experienced similar problems during the American launch on Tuesday. EA promised they were working to ensure it prevented a repeat performance during the global launch today. Sadly that promise was broken.

Not only this, but Sim City is also set up to require users to be online during play, even when playing a single player game.  This is odd, and seems an awfully wasteful use of server load.  Not to mention user frustration.  Also from were comments from users:

“Want to fix SimCity EA? Get rid of the stupid DRM and servers!
We don’t need them to play a single player game,” wrote one Facebook user.

“It’s a poor excuse to combat piracy as it makes people pirate and break your game anyway.

Once you get past the errors and the glitches, the game itself is addictive, according to IGN. Picture: EA


“Get of your frickin’ high horse. Stop being such a Scrooge McDuck. It doesn’t combat piracy in any way.”

Another person wrote: “Release game with “Always online DRM” wonder why consumers freak out when their servers fail. I love EA’s logic.”

EA Announced its servers had crashed about 40 minutes ago and it has already accumulated more than 100 reply comments, mostly negative.


We remember how awesome Sim City was back in the 90′s, and think it’s sad how companies like EA insist on always “improving” things to the point where they break under the stress and overloaded bloat.  It’s very sad that in EA’s attempt to prevent copyright theft (?), they’ve now angered all the very same people they should be making happy.  Had the extra DRM bloat been imperceptible, they may not have had the problem.  But to crash someone’s opening game night party on the premise of what amounts to your lack of trust in them using your services honestly, is adding insult to injury.

Not to mention, not everyone wants to live in the cloud these days.  Why should you have to be connected to the internet for everything these days anyway?  Heck even Quickbooks tries to constantly call out, and this trend is becoming very pronounced.  Sometimes people just want to play a game that’s between them and their TV, and not having some server on across the world control every ounce of connectivity (and privacy).  It’s unfortunate that EA didn’t realize this in time when they released Sim City.