simcity big

Two weeks after its release, Electronic Arts said that SimCity has sold more than 1.1 million copies despite server problems that prevented most users from logging in after the launch.

Redwood City, Calif.-based EA said the sales make it the biggest SimCity launch of all time. And about 54 percent of the sales have been digital versions of the game, downloaded directly to players via Origin or other digital download services. EA acknowledged that it had a difficult launch, with players having a hard time logging in to the always-connected single-player game for the first week or so.

“SimCity had a great weekend with sales strong across both North America and Europe, adding to overwhelming demand at launch that has us tracking well beyond expectations for the game,” said Peter Moore, chief operating officer for EA. “SimCity is one of the storied brands in gaming, and Maxis delivered a game re-envisioned and engineered for the online age.”

Gamers have set new records for peak concurrent users on Origin, now at 1.3 million and rising. In two weeks, SimCity players have logged more than 15 million hours of online gameplay. They have built 5.7 million cities and built 780 million buildings. The players have built enough road and railroad tracks to circle the globe more than 40,000 times.

In response to the downtime, the Maxis studio has increased server capacity by more than 400 percent, improving server response times 40 times, EA said. Players can play up to 16 cities at once, so the number of cities created will probably far outpace the number of games sold.