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Amazon Stops Selling Digital SimCity

Amazon.com has suspended sales of the downloadable version of SimCity due to connectivity issues with the game. The page carries the following note: "Many customers are having issues connecting to the "SimCity" servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed. Please visit https://help.ea.com/en/simcity/simcity for more information." This note is also on the page for the boxed version, but this remains available for purchase. EA has announced they are adding servers to address connectivity and authentication issues that have plagued the game since launch, and the downloadable version currently has a one-star rating on Amazon based on 929 customer reviews. Thanks Ant via Geek.com via Slashdot.

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31. Re: Amazon Stops Selling Digital SimCity Mar 7, 2013, 20:09 NKD
 
Redmask wrote on Mar 7, 2013, 19:45:
I find your assumption flawed, you're assuming they had enough capacity to meet any reasonable demand at all, let alone whatever numbers you're thinking of.

Well yeah I am assuming some basic level of competence. That could be a mistake though, now that I think about it. It's hard to see how they could have not seen this coming.

They had access to server load data from their testing. They knew what kind of infrastructure was required for X number of users. They had access to their pre-order numbers, which also give you a pretty accurate ballpark of what your total first week sales are going to be. At that point you just need to figure out what percentage of those users are going to absolutely refuse to stop hammering your servers to get in, and what percentage of those users are going to be doing marathon Mayoring as soon as they do get in.

What's the excuse here? Simcity isn't a surprise hit. It was a heavily marketed project with a good budget. They had to have known it was going to sell like weed before a Snoop Dogg concert.

My gut feeling is that whoever did their projections for concurrency at launch way low-balled it. Knowing how many sales isn't as important as knowing "How many people are going to forgo sleep and mash the login button for 3 days straight." And they either fucked that up, or some guy in charge of doing something about that data decided to pinch a few pennies.

I guess we'll never know. I don't expect a company to have no queues and perfectly smooth login process in the first 6-12 hours of an online game. But after 3 days with virtually no improvement, the excuses run out. 3 days is more than enough time to react to any unexpected server load even for the biggest of triple A titles.

Games like WoW get a pass, they were pioneers in a way, but we've had 9 years since then to learn how to launch a high-demand online game. Excuses wear very very thin now.
 
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If you don't like where gaming is heading, stop giving your money to the people who are taking it in that direction.
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