Electronic Arts often has terrible launches for their multiplayer games, with FIFA 13 being the prime example. SimCity, their newest adventure, is now plagued with server issues across almost all worlds, and this has lead to a huge amount of complaints and unsatisfactory experiences.
If you have ever used Twitter, you may have seen #EAservers flying up the trending boards a few times. EA not only suffers from poor predictions on how many people will use their multiplayer features, but it has been pretty slow to stop the server issues from happening. FIFA 13 is still reportedly kicking people out of Ultimate Team due to server issues at peak times.
This time it isn’t just a minor inconvenience on the gamers part though, it was the whole experience being took away from the gamer. EA decided that SimCity would be a fully online game, to keep DRM always-on and make sure people didn’t cheat or use anything outside the original rulebook.
This made servers extremely full and many users lost significant portions of time and work on their city. Maxis and EA have both said they are shocked by the amount of people that bought the SimCity game, but this is yet another slip up in the numbers.
Many core gamers have ranted about the always-on DRM being a rather terrible way to keep away piracy and people will find ways to curve around it, as they do with many “always on” experiences. A user may be capable of downloading SimCity without connection and then adding the DRM file after they signed up for their digital copy.
Sadly, EA seems to be going more and more into the zone the music industry was before iTunes. A foggy, misplaced idea that piracy will go away if you put DRM or lock layers on the product. What makes piracy decline, and many experts have agreed, is good competitive pricing and simple ways to play the game.
EA will offer a free game as compensation for gamers losing time on SimCity. These games will include anything from EA’s portfolio, including the new Crysis 3 game. A Maxis spokesperson has said most server issues will be resolved by the end of the week, although we aren’t banking on the game being entirely playable.