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SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand

A post to the EA Forums from SimCity senior producer Kip Katsarelis explains the measures they are taking to address launch issues with the new SimCity, which include a server hotfix and a version 1.2 patch, but apparently no refunds (contrary to an early statement that said these would be offered). Word is they have temporarily cut off some features to help their servers cope with demand:

Server capacity is our biggest obstacle. We launched in North America on Tuesday and our servers filled up within a matter of hours. What we saw was that players were having such a good time they didn't want to leave the game, which kept our servers packed and made it difficult for new players to join. We added more servers to accommodate the launch in Australia and Japan, and then more yesterday to accommodate the launch in Europe. As of right now, we are adding even more servers which will be going live over the next three days. And, our plan is to continue to bring more servers online until we have enough to meet the demand, increase player capacity and let more people through the gates and into the game.

Earlier today, we released a patch that temporarily cut off some features including leaderboards, achievements and Cheetah Speed to reduce data stress on the servers and effectively free up space so that we can let more people into the game. These are great features that we're proud of and we'll turn them back on soon, but our number one priority is to bring stability to our servers. This update also resolved some of the bugs and issues that have been frustrating players. You can read all about it at

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31. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 7, 2013, 23:08 Dev
This is just sad.

So when they calculated capacity, they just assumed that people who are the die hard most fans (who pre-order without reviews) will only play for a few minutes and let someone else take a server "slot", so they only needed the capacity to run something like 1% of the total pre-orders?

And did they even bother to add servers to help with the problems before they launched in those other countries?
If they had a tiny clue, they would have used those servers for USA, announced a last minute delay in launching all the other markets, while they got it stabilized. Then at least the rest of the world would only be complaining about a launch delay (which isn't unheard of) rather than having the same crappy experience. It would also have fixed the problems faster (well if server capacity was their only problem).

I'll re-iterate what I put in the other thread
Dev wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 21:58:
BTW, I think a lot of weirdness reviewers/players are experiences (like cities saying they are out of water when they have way more than they need), and the rebounding thing where a city bounces between two extremes is due to server issues.
I think the game has to contact the server every few seconds/minutes to do some sorta processing of your city (such as hey, he's got high water supplies, does he actually get to have the buildings marked as supplied?) and when those requests are delayed or lost, then it can't verify they are supplied.
It would be pretty stupid to do something like that, since it adds to server load and should be done on the client end. But, they likely did it because they either didn't think it through, or were trying to do this as some form of online integrated DRM thing so that the online requirement couldn't easily be hacked out.

I'm more certain than ever they have a lot of processing going on in the server end, or maybe its all copy protection stuff where every minute it polls server "am I authorized to let this user have his water, electricity and sewer perform for 30 more seconds?"
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