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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 http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/9341807.page

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67. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 09:17 WaltC
 
Quboid wrote on Mar 8, 2013, 08:00:
No they didn't, that's misrepresenting what they said.

"That is just a performance decision," Quigley told IncGamers. "Given that was the performance constraint we decided to work under, we built a larger region environment and a bunch of the multiplay to work with 2km cities. At some point in the future, especially with mainstream computers become more capable, we could certainly make the city sizes larger."

He said that as a mainstream game, it needs to run on "your dad's PC" as well as yours. But as PCs get more capable, he claims the update will come at some point. "We'll eventually get around to expanding the city size but I canít make any promises as to when."


Not the same as holding it back as a feature.

Doesn't the fact that the game was required to utilize network servers contradict their own statement as you have quoted it? They say they didn't build in bigger cities because current computers weren't powerful enough--then they add that they built the game to run on "Dad's PC". EA ships plenty of games that won't run well on "Dad's PC" *and* that run locally, so if this EA game consumes that much in the way of resources in order to run, then it will quickly clog up and destroy the network that's attempting to run critical parts of the game. Unless EA is using "Dad's PC" for their servers then this statement makes little sense at all. The power of the local computer is not an issue here. The power of EA's network is the issue. Very poor game design, very poor.

It really makes no sense at all for EA to make a game dependent on a network to help run parts of the game--and then talk about the constraints of "Dad's" local computer to explain why they didn't build in bigger cities. The bottleneck here is the network, not the local computers the game is running on.

If EA was really aiming for "Dad's PC" then the game should have been strictly 2d, and the networking model should have been dropped (What if "Dad" is still on dial up?) EA is surely talking out of both sides of its mouth here.

IMO, EA was simply trying to do a Diablo III with this game. They are getting what they deserve for worrying more about piracy than about the quality of their game for paying customers. EA has its priorities exactly backwards.
 
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