Maxis Apologizes for ‘SimCity’ Failures; EA Offers Free Game

Published 1 year ago by

SimCity Apology Free Game

By now, gamers have already heard about the launch of SimCity and its epic failure. Those that haven’t, make sure to read our comprehensive post about the game’s many problems. They’ve watched, or experienced first hand, as the game’s servers were crippled by gamers seeking, what else, to play the game.

We saw it previously with Diablo 3, but luckily for Blizzard they’re a developer that has slowly ingratiated itself with the public at large. Electronic Arts? Not so much.

And so now EA is in damage control mode, doing their best to placate any and all SimCity players who have discovered their money might be better off burning in trashcans somewhere. That said, SimCity developer Maxis isn’t letting this PR nightmare get the best of them, they’re actually approaching it head on (finally!).

Maxis finally issued an official statement on EA’s blog, which is filled with explanations and promises of improvement, but more importantly they’ve done the two best things any company in their position could do: admit they messed up, and offered a goodwill gesture. And like Sony and the PSN outage, this token of forgiveness isn’t so bad.

To be fair, Maxis never admits that the always-on requirement was a bad idea — despite numerous claims to the contrary prior to and after SimCity‘s launch — but they do admit they made a “dumb” mistake by not realizing just how many gamers would turn up on launch day. According to the blog post, which was written by Maxis’ General Manager Lucy Bradshaw, “more people played and played in ways [they] never saw in the beta.” Yes, Diablo 3 too had a beta, and it did nothing to prevent these types of issues.

But now on to the good stuff: the goodwill gesture. For any gamer who has purchased a copy of SimCity before March 18th, EA will offer one PC game from their “portfolio.” Ostensibly, EA is saying “sorry our game is broken, here’s a free game.” That means, even if you were holding off on buying SimCity after reading about these problems, it might be worth it just to get an extra game.

However, the blog post does not mention whether it will be one specific game or if players will get to take their pick from EA’s entire portfolio. If EA was smart they would let players pick whatever they wanted — nothing spells good will like a free copy of Dead Space 3 or Crysis 3. Or, if gamers wanted to be really cheeky, they could pick up a second copy of SimCity. You know, because the game is built for multiplayer.

Either way, it’s somewhat comforting to find Maxis’ response is more than just, “Oops.” Moreover, the fact that a free game is being thrown into the apology should do well to placate the masses. And for those who have been experiencing little to no problems — free video game.

Do you think that EA offering a game from their portfolio is a decent apology? Would you rather just get a refund at this point? Is EA damned if they do and damned if they don’t with SimCity?


Source: EA

TAGS: Electronic Arts, Maxis, PC, SimCity


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  1. The entire point is that Sim City is a multiplayer game. However, there is absolutely nothing multiplayer about it at all. If you create a new public region, no one else can see it, meaning no one else can join it. If you try to join an existing region, it only displays a list of regions that are full.

    Bottom line: All this BS for a “multiplayer” game that I am only ever able to play single player. Thanks Maxis.

  2. Bahahaha anything that hurts ea or maxis is okay with me. Both companies are awful

  3. A free game? I bet it’ll be a pick between their worse selling games. No Dead Space 3 or Crysis 3. Surprise me, EA.

  4. Wait, it’s only March 9 now, so that means we can buy Sim City now KNOWING about the free game and we’ll get a free game??? So 2 for 1?? Hm… Might not be a bad deal if I can get Dead Space 3 since I have 1 and 2 already… Hopefully they’ll announce which games we can pick from before the 18 so I can hold off until then to buy it, lol.

    • Good point, now I might too.

      • @ATG

        Well, like you said though, it could be limited to certain choices and that might mean only crappy games…

        But right now I can’t find Sim City for cheap anyway, and it’s not like I’m a huge fan of the series so I’m not really willing to pay $50+ for it…

        Although while searching, I found Tomb Raider for PC for $28, which is a great deal and the reviews for the game has been really good…

  5. Alright, anyone find this game for $40 or less anywhere? I would have thought with all of these problems it would be cheaper… Still seeing them for $50-$60…

  6. Well on Origin in Denmark it is $87!!

    Unbe-froggin-lieveable! make it half price and maybe maybe i’ll consider. Still waiting fro that crack…

    • Still waiting for that crack?? Yah, it’s pretty much because of people like you they have to do this stupid always online DRM stuff in the first place…

  7. Hmm, now where was this massive amount of public apology and placation about… say, 6 months ago?

  8. Well im surprised, if its any free game then the new tomb raider for me (sexy lara croft >:3)

    • It’s just EA…Tomb Raider is Square Enix/Crystal Dynamics…NOT EA. Read the article…besides it does not make sense that a gaming company would be selling another gaming companies game for free. There is so many wrongs in that that it’s wrong…If you love EA this is the time. But, I don’t love EA so…this is whatever to me and their Origins is complete b*******. Trying to rip off STEAM in a crappy fashion. But you should get Tomb Raider. It was amazingly worth it!

  9. Well im surprised, if its any free game then the new tomb raider for me. But i doubt ea will be prepared to give away their best titles for free.

  10. We don’t want a free game. We want to play SimCity without having to be online.

    • Exactly.

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