SimCity senior producer Kip Katasarelis issued a statement to fans this afternoon about the outages that have stopped fans from playing the always-connected game since its launch on Tuesday. The multiday issues has frustrated fans who already paid for the game and raised issues about whether publisher Electronic Arts should offer refunds.
Katsarelis [right] didn’t outright apologize, but in the statement he said, “You, the fans, are important to us. … We will be posting regularly to keep you up to speed on developments, so please check back for updates. We are committed to doing everything we can to deliver a stable and enjoyable experience and we thank you for your continued patience and support.
“This has been an exciting week for us, but as you know there have been some bumps along the way. We want to shed light on one of the most significant issues that we are facing right now, as well as the steps we’re taking to resolve them so that we can provide you with an enjoyable experience.”
He said server capacity hit the limit on Tuesday a few hours after the launch in North America. He said that players were having so much fun they didn’t want to leave the game, which made it hard for new players to join. The company added more servers to accommodate the launch in Australia and Japan, and EA is in the process of adding more over the next three days. The company will bring servers online until it can meet demand, increase player capacity, and let more people into it.
He acknowledged that EA released a patch that temporarily “cut off some features including leaderboards, achievements and Cheetah Speed to reduce data stress on the servers and effectively free up space so that we can let more people into the game.” EA will turn those features on once the servers are stable. The patch has also fixed some bugs.
The move to disable features evidently prompted Amazon to stop selling digital copies of SimCity. Rumors surface on Twitter that EA had banned a player for requesting a refund, but EA tweeted that it will not do so. EA also pointed players to its usual policy on returns and cancellations. The policy says that players can return any game within 14 days. The policy relates to physical games purchased on Origin, but EA is evidently directing people to the page regardless of whether they bought physical or digital versions.