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simcity 2013

SimCity’s ruinous launch will at least end in a free game for any player who activates the city-building title before March 25.

SimCity suffered from launch woes that prevented gamers from logging on for days following the March 5 launch. Publisher Electronic Arts refused to offer refunds to angry fans, but it did promise a free game to everyone who purchased the title. The promotion starts today and continues through March 30. Origin users who qualify, meaning they activated their copy of SimCity by March 25, should receive an email explaining how to get the game.

EA just sent the following email to its registered SimCity owners:

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Our SimCity Mayors are incredibly important to the team at Maxis. We know we messed up and want to sincerely thank you for staying with us. The good news is we have solved most of the major issues and players are really enjoying the game. We’re getting great feedback from our fans and know that many of you are having fun and are exploring this whole new expression of SimCity.

As a small token of our appreciation, we are offering you a free EA PC game download on Origin. Mayors who have authenticated their copy of SimCity on Origin by March 25 can select a free game through a redemption portal inside the Origin desktop client later this week. We’ll be opening up the redemption portal country-by-country so some of you may see it a little sooner than others. The portal will be live worldwide for everyone to select their game by March 22.

Players can choose any one of the following:

  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Standard Edition)
  • Need For Speed: Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

While EA is positioning this as a conciliatory gesture, it comes across a bit like another opportunity to promote the publisher’s franchises. Had EA allowed customers to choose between one of these games or a refund, many gamers might more willingly forgive the company.

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