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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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66. Re: SimCity Pares Down Features to Meet Demand Mar 8, 2013, 09:11 Beamer
 
So, Cheetah speed is killed to preserve server time.

Which means that processing is at least partially, if not largely or fully, server side. Which also explains why the game goes to title if you get a blip in your connection.

On one hand, this means that I could probably play this on my crappy netbook, or even a tablet, if they make a client that has a lighter graphical load.
On the other hand, they never said they were doing that, I never asked for that, and unless that's actually in the plans and you're buying something specifically for that then there's no reason to be offloading any of this to the server.

Well, except for DRM. It's as close to flawless DRM as it gets. But man, I do not remember them advertising this as being run off your computer, or ever mentioning it.


Full price for a game I can't run at ALL due to DRM is just... I dunno, for some reason actually doing the work off my computer crosses the line for me. Can't articulate why I see that as the line. If you make your game so it absolutely under no circumstances can be pirated, but I as the consumer am now bearing the risk, I feel like there should be a discount. The product is less risky for EA, and they'll make more money per user for that. The product is more risky for me. There should be a pricing balance there.
 
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