Sim City – Dealing With Server Down Time


Update #3: Maxis continues it’s attempt at damage control following the release of SimCity. Now they’ve released a statement for their plans to restore service to consumers –

“Thousands of players across the world are playing and having a good experience – in fact, more than 700,000 cities have been built by our players in just 24 hours. But many are experiencing server instability and consequently, the rollout in North America has been challenging. It’s also now evident that players across Europe and Asia are experiencing the same frustration. Our priority now is to quickly and dramatically increase the number and stability of our servers and, with that, the number of players who can simultaneously access the game. We added servers today, and there will be several more added over the weekend. We’re working as hard as possible to make sure everyone gets to experience the amazing game we built in SimCity.”

Update #2: It appears that another patch 1.2 has been deployed in an effort to alleviate the stress on the SimCity servers. The only problem is that said patch disables the highest speed of simulation available in SimCity. Needless to say it’s not an ideal fix.

Update: EA has responded to the SimCity community via the forums assuring that they are hard at work deploying more servers to amend the game’s network issues. The representative goes on to state that the team will also be disabling some of the “non-critical” features of Sim City.

A patch will be deployed to all active servers that will disable the game’s non essential features. Such as leaderboards, achievements, and region filters, features that Maxis asserts “will in no way affect your core gameplay experience.” There’s currently no ETA for when said features will be restored <parameter: string>, but the inclusion of the standard fare form letter thanking players for their patience is also included.

Original Story: It seems like a good chunk of the U.S. fan base that purchased SimCity are having a tough time actually enjoying their purchase. “Always online DRM” has been muttered more than a couple of times as the culprit.

However, this experience is not unlike many other online capable games within the week of release. The last time I picked up a Call of Duty title at midnight I was frustrated to discover my six person squad was frequently either kicked from games, or sitting in perpetual game lobbies. Thus are the growing pains of ultra popular online capable games. It’s typical that X company doesn’t prepare for the inevitable beating their servers are going to experience when gamer’s get home on launch day and fire up their new purchase. SimCity seems to be the latest in that long line of miscalculations.

I’m an advocate in over preparing for almost any challenge. That translates into constant full pots of coffee and lots of poppers on a continual basis. However, in my case the overcompensation could mean a wasted $5, and in the case of a AAA games publisher that miscalculation could lead to a much larger financial debacle.

Like EA says SimCity’s servers will reopen again <paramether: string> so just hold your horses!

Are you experiencing any issues playing SimCity? Thinking about picking it up? Let us know in the comments section.

Dylan Zellmer

I split time between games journalism and making video games. My love of it’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones), fitness and my family define me otherwise.