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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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103. Re: More Big Picture Details Mar 10, 2013, 12:57 Beamer
HorrorScope wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 12:38:
Beamer wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 11:41:
NewMaxx wrote on Mar 10, 2013, 11:03:
So, where's the developer groups, the programmer unions?

We've been through this before and it's a bad idea.

You already mentioned SAG. The other movie unions are a better example, but SAG still works. Do you know how those work? Short-term contracts. No one in a movie-related union (and the same goes for theater-related unions and, in most cases, music related unions) has a long term contract. Instead they're hired for a project.

When the project ends, they're out of work until they find a new project.

Entertainment is an industry unions just don't fit with extremely well. At least right now there's a tiny bit of job security after a project ships. With unions there'd be zero. We're probably working towards that in general, anyway...

If there were no unions are you saying the studio would keep the workers on without a project? To me it is like house building, construction workers are job to job union or not. They hope to find a builder that can keep them busy, like I assume those that make movies hope the studios have several movies in the pipeline where they jump to the next, if you are good.

As for game programmers unionizing, well they certainly are being taken advantage on vs any other typical programmer/artist. They'll try making outsourcing games if they did, that would most likely fail. They deserve it imo, I wouldn't work in that environment if I had any choice in the matter.

But they do have a choice in the matter.

Entertainment jobs tend to be crappy, and pay poorly, because they're desirable. Outside of the top X% any game developer could have gotten better pay and benefits had he used his computer skills to go into corporate America.

Unions usually reflect this. As you mentioned, the key grip or boom tech on a movie hopes there's another film waiting. But he's mostly an interchangeable piece, and that next movie could be a few months off. In reality virtually anyone that knows how to operate a boom mic can do that job. Same for most movie jobs. Outside of the key creative pieces everyone else is just executing the vision of another person, and by and large there are dozens of other people that can do it every bit as well.

Music for the discerning:
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