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EA Adds SimCity Servers; Promises Free Game

A post on the EA website by Lucy Bradshaw has the latest word from the Maxis label general manager to discuss the fairly disastrous launch for SimCity, their online-only urban planning game. She explains what's going on with the game, and promises those who have suffered through its launch will be rewarded with a free game. "And to get us back in your good graces, were going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game," she writes. "I know thats a little contrived kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. Were hoping you wont stay mad and that well be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent." Here's word on the current status of the game:

The server issues which began at launch have improved significantly as we added more capacity. But some people are still experiencing response and stability problems that were working fast to address.

So what went wrong? The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta.

OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it. In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent. Its working the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.

So were close to fixed, but not quite there. Im hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us.

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97. Re: EA Adds SimCity Servers; Promises Free Game Mar 10, 2013, 11:03 NewMaxx
deqer wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 01:38:
Haven't you been reading? It's all about the publishers now. Game dev now a days have publishers in the mix, and business models for making money.

It's the same in any content creation business. Movies? Production studios. Which have the MPAA while the actors have SAG. Music? Labels, and they have the RIAA. Print industry is basically run by the publishers, and you had Google step in as a sort of pseudo-RIAA. These are capitalistic trappings for industries that used to be either government-sponsored (largely monarchs and their cabinets, rarely parliaments) or paid by private individuals (like classical music, arts of the Renaissance, etc.).

Yet part of that Enlightenment-inspired capitalism also pushed for individuals to produce, like the pamphlets of Thomas Paine and revolutionaries in France and over Europe. That's more consistent with how the game industry began, as the games were made by individuals who usually put their own money up. However, this profit over time meant attention to the industry and encouraged investment, and that leads back to the East India Company style roots.

So then you have progressives pushing for unions so the workers get equal rights, and trade unions to protect specific industries and sub-industries. If you're following me so far you'll see my mini history lesson is intended to illustrate that a relatively new artistic industry like video game design must go through these growing pains. So, where's the developer groups, the programmer unions?

Simple - they're the content distribution centers. Apple, Google, and Valve will take the lead in this. Crowdfunding will take over for the publishers and enable the developers to form their own indie unions/agreements. EA will be unable to produce like all other developers (we see them dying on a daily basis, and the console industry is clearly collapsing) and will just become Origin, much like dinosaurs are today's birds.

That accounts for both the mobile and PC markets; even consoles get more play out of their "arcades" and a few exclusives than they do anything else. The AAA's will remain, don't get me wrong, but they'll be like blockbuster movies with advertising tie-ins and back-patting, but at the end of the day very few will be taken seriously beyond the year of their creation.
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