EA Offers Free Game to Early SimCity Adopters

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EA Offers Free Game to Early SimCity Adopters

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EA stresses that it is trying its hardest to rectify the problems with SimCity servers, and offers gamers who buy the game before March 18 "something special for their troubles."

SimCity's launch was really bad. The servers issues became so terrible that Amazon refused to sell the game and EA had to turn off several features and eventually bow its head in defeat by telling people to stop advertising the game. Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw knows the hardships early adopters faced trying to play the game, and is extending an olive branch in the form of a free game.

"And to get us back in your good graces, we're going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio," Bradshaw said, after apologizing profusely for the game's server issues. "On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game." Bradshaw offers no information on what the free game will be.

"I know that's a little contrived - kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We're hoping you won't stay mad and that we'll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent."

Bradshaw offers a bit of insight into how the whole house of cards came tumbling down in the first place, telling us that "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." Despite this, she says EA is committed to fixing the problem as quickly as possible. "In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent." She says that the server issues which began at launch have improved significantly since increasing their capacity.

Bradshaw wants all of you SimCity fans to hang in there, stressing that "The consensus among critics and players is that this is fundamentally a great game" and "we'll be providing more updates throughout the weekend." She hopes that the sever issues will be fully resolved by Monday.

Source: EA

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Free game: Sim City 4, so you have something to play offline!

Sorry EA, still not interested in your shitty game.

This comes from the Maxis gm, get someone directly from EA to say it >.>

Methinks this will cut into Maxis's cut, not EA's.

As long as you need to have "always online" as a part of your game, it will never, ever be anything but a game not worth your money. The simcity game on Facebook is a better investment.

There are rumors if you accept the free game, its means you are agreeing that you cant bring this to class action lawsuit status.

Which means not many people trust this.

Now they can get Sim city 4!

Seriously though, something seems off, EA may be a tad demonised on this site but there is reason behind it. I smell a trick.

marurder:
This comes from the Maxis gm, get someone directly from EA to say it >.>

Methinks this will cut into Maxis's cut, not EA's.

Funny you should mention that. But this isn't how publishing works.

As I understand it, you have developers and publishers. In this case anyway, Maxis (The Devs) Are commissioned by EA (The Publisher) to make a game. They give the Devs a budget and this covers their living expenses. This is all money to hire people to do things right. Make sure people do things right. Because. You know it's not like they have to buy materials to make the game. Developers for big publishers rarely EVER see money from the game. The only money they get is if the game sells well enough to justify continuing investment into that Developer.

TLDR - Devs don't get money from game sales. They get a lump sum to make a game. And if it does well they get another lump sum to make another.

If you're going to offer a free game, tell people what it is. It's only common sense, but then so is getting enough servers to cope with demand and they sure ballsed that up.

TopazFusion:
The "free game" is probably the new Command & Conquer.

Could be wore, could be the older Command and Conquer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer_4:_Tiberian_Twilight

Desert Punk:

TopazFusion:
The "free game" is probably the new Command & Conquer.

Could be wore, could be the older Command and Conquer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer_4:_Tiberian_Twilight

I still have nightmares about it. I'd like to think that it will be something half-decent, but I'm not holding my breath.

kailus13:
If you're going to offer a free game, tell people what it is. It's only common sense, but then so is getting enough servers to cope with demand and they sure ballsed that up.

The wording of her statement suggests that you'll get to choose your own game from EA's full library. But.. that seems a bit too good to be true?

MercurySteam:

Desert Punk:

TopazFusion:
The "free game" is probably the new Command & Conquer.

Could be wore, could be the older Command and Conquer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Command_%26_Conquer_4:_Tiberian_Twilight

I still have nightmares about it. I'd like to think that it will be something half-decent, but I'm not holding my breath.

Why did you have to remind me of that game??? Now i'm going to be in a bad mood all day

I never trust those "mystery prizes". If they don't want to tell you what it is, then it's probably crap.

They could've just removed the DRM by now, but they'd rather do everything to prove that it's a good idea.
EA deserves every bit of hate that they get for being that stupid.

This free game me thinks can be one of these options

- Their cheapest game (Or an old simcity game, they can't cost much now right?

- BF3, either the vanilla game or with the Back to karkland / Armored kill / Close quarters / Aftermath expansions
The newest expansion, end game, comes out in a few week. Ea will most likely count on people buying end game then, so they can still make money off it.

to get it you have to sign a NDA saying you waive the right to compensation :P

Well, since I am affected by it, and in germany there are no real class-action lawsuits like you have them in the USA, afaik. I will happily accept it, but I fear it is something I already own. Or something I don't like. EA released a lot of shit over the years, so they have much to choose from

"The consensus amount... players is that it's a great game"?

she hasn't looked at the metacritic user reviews, has she?

Or she's lying.

Yeah, gonna go with lying.

Lets see...

Abused beta as a publicity tool instead of using it to test - check
Cut so much off server capacity to cut costs - check
Lied to the EU and then UK public about those launches not having the same issues - check
Blatantly setting up a beloved franchise as yet another platform to drip feed DLC crap on loyal fans - check

Wonder why fans are so mad, luckily I didnt pre-order nor am I a early adaptor as I am not a sheep like many unfortunates are.

I hope the lesson gets learnt THIS time : DO NOT PRE-ORDER!

I say this even if Valve announces HL 3 with a new HYPER SOURCE II SUPER ENGINE and free CS:SIISE for pre-orders with a AWP free even in the pistol round.

DO NOT PRE-ORDER.
Wait and see, as customers its the publishers job to convince us its worth our money so instead of falling for cheap marketing tricks, make the publishers show they have a worthy product for our cash instead.
I am not saying boycott this or petition that, simply wait and see how the product is like...send the word back to the Koticks and EA's that we are not sheep for them to shear all day long.

Ultratwinkie:
There are rumors if you accept the free game, its means you are agreeing that you cant bring this to class action lawsuit status.

If you're in the US, it doesn't matter, you already waived your right to litigate when you clicked agree on the EULA and downloaded the game. EA have been doing that for a couple of years now.

If you're in Europe they can't do that, such stunts are illegal.

fix-the-spade:

Ultratwinkie:
There are rumors if you accept the free game, its means you are agreeing that you cant bring this to class action lawsuit status.

If you're in the US, it doesn't matter, you already waived your right to litigate when you clicked agree on the EULA and downloaded the game. EA have been doing that for a couple of years now.

If you're in Europe they can't do that, such stunts are illegal.

EULAs are easily dismissed when taken before a real court

Ultratwinkie:
There are rumors if you accept the free game, its means you are agreeing that you cant bring this to class action lawsuit status.

Which means not many people trust this.

You cant bring up one anyway if I recall rightly. Take a peak at your Origin smallprint.

Longstreet:
This free game me thinks can be one of these options

- Their cheapest game (Or an old simcity game, they can't cost much now right?

- BF3, either the vanilla game or with the Back to karkland / Armored kill / Close quarters / Aftermath expansions
The newest expansion, end game, comes out in a few week. Ea will most likely count on people buying end game then, so they can still make money off it.

The article says its from its catalogue, I'm assuming it'll be any similar priced title available on Origin.

Maybe try an open beta next time?

Someone, somewhere will find a way to break your game. Intentionally or otherwise.

itsthesheppy:
"The consensus amount... players is that it's a great game"?

she hasn't looked at the metacritic user reviews, has she?

Or she's lying.

Yeah, gonna go with lying.

People are obviously going to bomb that aren't they? Since when does anyone around here care what the fuck Metacritic scores are?

I've heard great things about the game from people who actually can play it.

It is a fun game when it works. I was a little frustrated that I wasn't able to figure out how to use the mines right away, but it really was a fun game. I was rather laid up after a car accident and surgery just before it came out, so I was able to play at odd hours, and it worked wonderfully for the most part. I look forward to them getting the rest of the game fixed up.

Why not just give users what they want and put in an offline mode? Would certainly make EA seem a little less like giant dickheads.

So their solution to the server problem, is to increase server traffic by allowing people a free game? I did not realize they had bandwidth to spare.

fix-the-spade:

Ultratwinkie:
There are rumors if you accept the free game, its means you are agreeing that you cant bring this to class action lawsuit status.

If you're in the US, it doesn't matter, you already waived your right to litigate when you clicked agree on the EULA and downloaded the game. EA have been doing that for a couple of years now.

If you're in Europe they can't do that, such stunts are illegal.

No EULA protects from broken, not working ,ineffective products, or false and misleading advertising. Put in front of a real court, they can easily fall apart. They are only ever going to be as good as the lawyer that is defending them.

I've just noticed that all of the Escapist articles on the SimCity debacle feature a city being torn apart by disasters.

Very clever!

CardinalPiggles:
Someone, somewhere will find a way to break your game. Intentionally or otherwise.

Yeah, EA already did it to themselves.

I can't wait to find out what piece of crap/outdated game EA will be offering as 'compensation'. Maybe the 1983 classic Pinball Construction Set?

Thanks for the game, EA. But that's not sufficient. Fact is, your business decisions rendered the product you sold defective, and will certainly do so again for all such future products. You are at fault, and unrelated gifts don't fix the issue. There is just one way to fix it: Stop employing your broken business practices. Now. And permanently. Learn from Ubisoft's hubris, and mend your ways before your future sales suffer the consequences.

Talk about damage control.

Well from what I hear even with the severs back up and running the game has very little in the way of replay value with the small maps being filled up in less than an hour and entire regions getting full way too damn quick. It appears the "It's a great game when it works" argument may have been a bit off.

Steven Bogos:

Bradshaw offers a bit of insight into how the whole house of cards came tumbling down in the first place, telling us that "The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected.

Given that mere months ago Diablo had a catastrophic launch with the same problems, this explanation gets zero sympathy or understanding from me. Towards EA, who would make the server-capacity preparations, I'd think, anyways. Maxis I have a lot of sympathy for having their reportedly-awesome game, and likely reputation, kneecapped by the ire drawn by EA, even moreso if its as has been suggested above, that the cut for this placation is coming out of Maxis' end.

I'm sure someone's going to point out how every corporation, not just games but other ones too, always low-ball server estimates due to the costs involved with operating them, but that doesn't change the fact its the consumer who's suffering for it and I can only hope the damage from this debacle is enough to scare EA and other launches off from underestimating their requirements.

Having been able to play the game I have to say that when you can play, its totally addictive, forget about the DRM and server issues, this is an awesome game. Me and a few friends have tons of projects to build regions and play together. And no I have not been payed to say that, its just my honest opinion as a long time player (since simcity the first like a lot others)

So about those server issues...I am in the it business and I can totally understand whats going on! No matter how well you plan and try to make your launch perfect its almost impossible to get sizing right when its a new game, new product. Yeah you can say "throw as many resources you can at it" but sometimes it just doesn't work. I have seen that happen and you struggle trying to find solutions and installing servers in hours instead of day.

Shitty servers? From the look if it they are using Amazon EC2 so they are totally into the cloud. Most likely the ones who have been cutting on the cost are upper management and now they are going back to their admins begging for them to solve the problem. Funny thing is, probably someone over there is saying "we told you".

**expecting a storm of throlling on my post**

Here's a thought. Instead of giving people a free game, how 'bout you ALLOW THEM TO RETURN THE BROKEN ONE. LIKE YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE FROM THE BEGINNING.

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