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Post by Eorl @ 11:21am 09/03/13 | 37 Comments
Continuing the troublesome launch of this weeks recent SimCity title publisher EA has reportedly asked certain affiliates to "please stop actively promoting the game" in the wake of the on-going server issues affecting many users (thanks Polygon).

The report comes as an email was obtained by Polygon which was sent to all affiliates of EA Origin's LinkShare program, detailing that EA has "deactivated all SimCity text links and creative and we ask you to please remove any copy promoting SimCity from your website for the time-being."
"To be clear we are continuing to payout commissions on all SimCity sales that are referred, however we are requesting that you please stop actively promoting the game," the email reads. "We will notify you as soon as the SimCity marketing campaigns have been resumed and our promotional links are once again live in the Linkshare interface. We apologize for any inconveniences that this may cause, and we thank you for your cooperation."
Earlier this week SimCity launched to a rather rough start, with a large amount of players being placed in queues or unable to connect to the servers, a new method that comes from the consistent online-only DRM that EA and Maxis have chosen. Yesterday EA took drastic steps to help combat the overwhelming numbers by deactivating certain online features such as leaderboards and "Cheetah" mode in order to help facilitate server loads and promised to continue rolling out fixes to address the server instability.

To add injury to insult a recent EA forum post by senior producer Kip Katsarelis (thanks Destructoid) has stated that - in what could only be an incredible amount of PR spin - apparently the server issues are a direct cause from "players [...] having such a good time they didn't want to leave the game, which kept our servers packed and made it difficult for new players to join." Katsarelis also ensures that the recent online features that were cut out will make their way back into the game "soon, but our number one priority is to bring stability to our servers."



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Latest Comments
thermite
Posted 11:44am 09/3/13
Well Kip's a little prick isn't he
trog
Posted 11:47am 09/3/13
Damn those pesky customers, always getting on and tying up server resources to ruin it for everyone.
carson
Posted 12:06pm 09/3/13
And this is why you don't buy games with draconian DRM. No matter how good the game is. Just wish more people didn't support devs that do this s***. I feel for those who paid for the game and can't even play it.
fryzeegunner
Posted 12:17pm 09/3/13
carson is right, they're scumbags
ravn0s
Posted 12:22pm 09/3/13
this screams that there won't be a solution to the servers problems any time soon.
copuis
Posted 12:22pm 09/3/13
in the basic mind, I can see how this works

they have a fear that people will pirate the game, so they spend $X amount on trying to protect their income,

however at some point, they need to look at how much business they are losing due to loss in clients due to people not wanting to deal with s*** DRM, (and loss of future sales due to bad experiences with DRM) vs how much business is kept due to DRM

I mean, lets be honest here, how many people have had a cracked copy of a game in the past, that have ended up buying it in the end anyway?

hell I think I've bought like 4 copies of UFO over the years
carson
Posted 12:48pm 09/3/13
lets be honest here, how many people have had a cracked copy of a game in the past, that have ended up buying it in the end anyway?

A vast majority of games I have pirated I end up buying. The only reason I pirated it was because I am poor and/or I wanted to try it before I went and paid for it.

Or, when they have f***ed DRM like this.

To amend my comment earlier, I actually don't think I feel sorry for people. Almost all PC gamers know what EA is like, and if anyone was following the Sim City hype, would also know you needed an always on connection.
TiT
Posted 01:51pm 09/3/13
I think ive lost my town, just logged in and its gone?
ravn0s
Posted 02:14pm 09/3/13
you're no alone TiT, lots of people have reported losing their progress.
Mantorok
Posted 02:25pm 09/3/13
SimCity 2000 is currently the top seller on GOG.com
ravn0s
Posted 02:34pm 09/3/13
there's also a tropico 4 sale on steam
TiT
Posted 03:16pm 09/3/13
no i just worked out if you connect to a different server your city is not there its only saved on the server you load too.... WTF its 2013!!!!
thermite
Posted 03:22pm 09/3/13
To amend my comment earlier, I actually don't think I feel sorry for people. Almost all PC gamers know what EA is like, and if anyone was following the Sim City hype, would also know you needed an always on connection.


You should feel sorry for me, cos.. I said so.
OK here's why: I've never bought an EA game, I've never used origin, and all the game I have bought recently require an internet connection to use, either because they're multiplayer games, or because they connect through the microsoft thing. I do know it's annoying, but I also didn't think it would affect me in any noticeable way since my computer is always on the internet.
I knew not to preorder, I even told other people not to, but then the day before I thought.. f*** it.. Ausgamers gave it 94, it's clearly worth it, and I'd like to be playing it ON THE NIGHT.

Still haven't got my CD Key btw.
Hogfather
Posted 03:27pm 09/3/13
Dunno about the 'draconian DRM' thing because people inexplicably exclude Steam from that advice. The problem is that the game currently doesn't work, period.

Always online DRM doesn't matter to me at all if the game is always available.
Eorl
Posted 03:41pm 09/3/13
I think that is the key concern here Hoggy, in that while always-online connection isn't new and isn't that bad, its not being able to actually play the game due to queues, constant server crashes or in some peoples situations not at all. I liked Diablo 3, it was interesting and different to the old school model that I was used to but what annoyed me the most was the launch and how it was just impossible to play the game as soon as I had finished downloading.

Honestly if the launch wasn't this bad there would probably be less hate and more "hey this is new and interesting." I think that's what Steve's review was trying to get at, that this is a game that is interesting and different, however the botched launch hasn't help showcase that.
Mantorok
Posted 03:54pm 09/3/13
Dunno about the 'draconian DRM' thing because people inexplicably exclude Steam from that advice.
Steam is hardly draconian. Steam lets you play offline, and there's flexibility on top of that. It's possible to release a game on Steam that doesn't require Steam to be running or even installed to play. Few developers/publishers want to take advantage of this though, Paradox Interactive is the only example I can think of.
carson
Posted 04:00pm 09/3/13
Dunno about the 'draconian DRM' thing because people inexplicably exclude Steam from that advice. The problem is that the game currently doesn't work, period.Always online DRM doesn't matter to me at all if the game is always available.

I can still play my single player games offline with steam. I didn't have the net for about a week while I was moving place but I could still play all my singleplayer games through steam without a hassle. If I had sim city I would not be able too. If I go somewhere with my laptop and have no internet I can still play games through steam, not the case with games like Sim City.

If Steam and/or Valve or any other developer had an "always online" thing for any single player game I would not support them. The steam model I can get behind. It's still DRM, but it's not invasive and doesn't stop me from being able to play singleplayer games offline (unless there is third party DRM similar to Ubisofts.)

The only way developers and publishers will learn that this s*** isn't kosher is if consumers don't buy a product until this type of DRM s*** stops. I just wish more people didn't support games that do this.
fpot
Posted 04:07pm 09/3/13
Yeah, what those guys said about Steam. It has an offline mode.
Dazhel
Posted 04:13pm 09/3/13
there's also a tropico 4 sale on steam

Tropico 4 + all the DLC for ten bucks is a pretty bloody good deal.
Purchased.
SquarkyD
Posted 04:36pm 09/3/13
yeah pretty much never going to buy this game unless an offline patch is made. As a game to have on my laptop to kill time it would be awesome - however I'm usually offline during these times. Seriously WTF does a single player game even need always online DRM for!!!
copuis
Posted 05:03pm 09/3/13
it would be a b**** if you wanted to play this, on say a long trip, on the aeroplanes
arkter
Posted 05:07pm 09/3/13
is it playable yet? :S
Hogfather
Posted 05:59pm 09/3/13
Yeah, what those guys said about Steam. It has an offline mode.

Dunno, every time I've needed it it hasn't worked.
tspec
Posted 06:00pm 09/3/13
I would be interested to know with these online only games, sim city would be a prime example what happens when the game is considered end of life and they want to start decomissioning servers, it's going to happen one day. I'm sure a lot of people would love to hang on to the cities they've created, I'd really like to hope they'd release an offline patch.
WirlWind
Posted 06:23pm 09/3/13
Hog, you're probably doing it wrong then :P

You just go "reload in offline mode" and it reloads into offline mode for ages (I had mine in offline mode for like a month when I moved for example).

Not sure about it not working, never had an issue between my 2 computers, my brothers, my mothers and my few friends who use steam regarding offline mode. Not saying it can't happen, but if it is, chances are you're in a small minority of people :P
natslovR
Posted 06:26pm 09/3/13
They make an announcement and a few months later turn off the servers.
arkter
Posted 07:14pm 09/3/13
is it playable yet? :S
Jboy
Posted 08:01pm 09/3/13
To all those that bought it, it's already done I guess but I wouldn't buy games from EA, I guess I have no right telling people what they should and shouldn't do but if you keep supporting a company that treats customers this way and implements always on drm you'll just be encouraging them to keep using such methods. Unless they release an offline patch I wouldn't support such bulls***.
Beanith
Posted 08:20pm 09/3/13
Ubisoft only recently bodged a fix so you can play Settlers 7 in offline mode. So you can play single player with none of the DLC,... joy

Released almost 3 years ago, I think it was one of ubisofts first attempts at the always online model and that worked... when the auth server wasn't been dos'd or server errors stopping people from australia playing at all.
paveway
Posted 08:27pm 09/3/13
Arkter i played all day (literally all day, f*** it is a time waster) on oceanic 1 and 2 and it was fine
Tanaka Khan
Posted 08:40pm 09/3/13
I was on and off during the day, had fun and learnt a lot. Hoping to spend all day tomorrow playing.
Superform
Posted 09:18pm 09/3/13
if you bought this crap you deserve what you get
Zapo
Posted 07:13am 10/3/13
I requested a refund on Friday. I have the money back in my back account but I still am able to play - the game hasn't disappeared from Origin yet. I'm sure it will eventually, but in the meantime I hope I appear on a report somewhere about people who have claimed refunds.
TicMan
Posted 07:32am 10/3/13
I've probably clocked in about around 20 hours, including time spent with game running on one screen while I 'work' on another since launch.

First server I played on was Oceanic 1, then went to join a mates region on Europe East 1 before joining up with another mate last night on Oceanic 2.

If anything, I've had a much better launch experience with SimCity than D3.
Zapo
Posted 07:46am 10/3/13
Have you actually been able to trade/engage with your mates properly though? I was playing with someone on Friday night and, ignoring the frequent disconnection messages it was taking 15-20 minutes before actual resources that I was selling or vice versa would become available. Kinda makes it hard to play.
TicMan
Posted 08:06am 10/3/13
Seems to be working, I haven't noticed them not working.. if I get an emergency then his services came to help out (ambos, fireys, police, etc). When I build the industry add on for the city hall he said he could build the recycling plant, treatment plants, etc.

Granted we're still young cities but it all appears OK so far.
Monkeez
Posted 10:36am 10/3/13
It took about half an hour for the gift I sent to my other city to come through, so I think there are still some problems with the trading.

I was able to play all day yesterday on Oceanic 2 which was good.
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