Saturday, March 9, 2013

Virtual cities left abandoned as 'SimCity' server issues persist

Virtual cities left abandoned as 'SimCity' server issues persist

SimCity was expected to be one of this month's most popular games, yet many early fans have been unable to play due to persistent server issues.

Issues stem from the game requiring all users to be connected to EA's servers to make use of always-online community features and to act as anti-piracy digital rights management.

Two days after the game's U.S. launch, users are still having difficulty connecting to servers, prompting the game's developer, Maxis, to respond.

"This has been an exciting and challenging week for the team here at Maxis, the culmination of years of planning and development," Maxis Senior Producer Kip Katserelis wrote on the EA forums.

"We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support and enthusiasm from our fans which has made it even more upsetting for us that technical issues have become more prominent in the last 24 hours."

Rebuilding SimCity

Kasterelis' message continued:

"W e are hitting a number of problems with our server architecture which has seen players encountering bugs and long wait times to enter servers.

"This is, obviously, not the situation we wanted for our launch week and we want you to know that we are putting everything we have at resolving these issues."

Katerelis outlined that Maxis is looking to add more servers by the end of the week to help fix the connection problems.

"What we are doing is deploying more servers over the coming two days which will alleviate many of the ongoing issues.

"We are also paying close attention to all the bug reports we are receiving from our fans. We've already pushed several updates in the last few days. Our live ops team is working 24/7 to resolve issues and ensure that bug fixes roll into the game as quickly as possible."

Elsewhere on EA's forums, a Maxis community manager indicated that a hotfix is being deployed to all servers which will disable some of the gam e's online features to provide a better connection.

"We are continuing to do everything we can to address the server issues. In the meantime, so that we can give you as good an experience as possible, we are in the process of deploying a hotfix to all servers.

"This includes various improvements and also disables a few non-critical gameplay features (leaderboards, achievements and region filters). Disabling these features will in no way affect your core gameplay experience."

Last year, Activision Blizzard's Diablo III, which also used an always-online internet requirement, suffered similar server issues at launch. The game is set to launch in the U.K. Friday, and how well that goes is at this stage questionable.

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//PART 2