EA Says SimCity ‘Has Recovered From A Challenging Launch’

EA Says SimCity ‘Has Recovered From A Challenging Launch’

Nevermind the bugs: the folks behind SimCity say it’s doing just fine.

In an earnings call today, EA’s Labels president Frank Gibeau had some choice words about the publisher’s disastrous sim management game. He called the launch “challenging” — perhaps the understatement of the year — and vowed it wouldn’t happen again. He also said it had recovered:

I’ll start with Q4 and SimCity — a great game that has recovered from a challenging launch. The short explanation for the launch is that the initial rush of consumers overwhelmed our game service, disrupting the consumer experience. As we stabilised the game and improved service in the first week, fans continued to pour in. So far we are ahead of forecast with more than 1.6 million units currently sold through to consumers. The digital story is particularly strong — nearly 50 per cent of those sales were high-margin digital downloads.

The key takeaway here: SimCity is a highly resilient, global franchise with a long service life in front of it. But we learned our lesson and are now building better processes to anticipate and service demand. This won’t happen again.

That sure is an interesting way to describe a game that has been nothing short of a catastrophe for everyone involved. Cops can’t cross intersections. The traffic system is a mess. Attempts to patch the game have just caused more issues. Why is EA saying the game has “recovered”? I wonder just how many of those 1.6 million SimCity buyers wish they could get their simoleons back.


  • I read ‘launch’ as ‘lunch’
    I was thinking to myself “hardly news worthy… but salad sandwiches are pretty awful”

    • Especially with the “key takeaway” being referred to here, it can definitely change the context of the whole article!

  • Well they can’t say that they will repeat these mistakes in the future, when its extremely likely that they will. Of course they want the “key takeaway” to be on the commercial success of the game. That’s all they want to see.

    Heck, the only thing they probably learned was that you can deliver a terrible quality title, then proceed to lie and make false promises about it for a while, and still sell 1.6 million copies.

  • So, Sims 4 has offline mode, So they did learn a little.

    Will be nice if they released a Simcity game without Origin or Online only so I could have a play.

    • OK great, so now I have that in my head for the rest of the day. Thanks.

  • Did anyone keep track of where that ‘with notable exceptions’ meme went, for when Greenspan described the US economy as healthy in 2007? Or when BP described their safety record in the year of the Mexican gulf spill?

  • It took them several years to make this (they started showing previews at least a year before release) from a decent sized studio, of their 1.6M players they had to give away around 1M free games as an apology, they needed a number of extremely expensive servers, they are still needing to do work on the game that isn’t paying anything and they ran one of the biggest marketing campaigns I’ve seen for years.
    I would find it pretty hard to believe that EA are terribly happy with only 1.6M sales. They’ve likely broken even and that’s about it.

  • ‘This won’t happen again.’
    We will see with their next game release

  • “But we learned our lesson and are now building better processes to anticipate and service demand. This won’t happen again.”

    You mean the thing they assured everyone wouldn’t happen in the first place? Hmmmmmm

  • I particularly like the part where he backhandedly blames consumers for taking up the game and flooding their servers. How dare we!

    I uninstalled it after a couple of weeks and have no intention of ever returning to anything in the Sims range. Solid recovery and solving the problem.

    • This is similar to Rocket saying doesn’t want all the DayZ Mod players to suddenly switch over to DayZ alpha/beta. But you can imagine why.

  • I want my freaking money back EA, your game is terrible, its now an OLD game and u still havnt fixed it… You have wrecked sim city for ever. u are the worst company ever

    • calm down mate its MAXIS fault not EA. the server issues are fixed, the issues now are all MAXIS. the latest patch introduced more bugs than it fixed, the games broken. I stopped playing.

  • They haven’t learned a damn thing. All they got out of this was that they can release a broken game and STILL make a butt-tonne of cashmoney.

    Until I can log in and resume work on the 3 or 4 cities that have fallen to the roll-back bug – this game is dead to me.

  • Wait wait wait, these guys are happy with 1.6mil sales since launch but Square isn’t happy with 3.4 mil for Tomb Raider?

    So are they happy they were able to trick 1.6mil people to buy a broken mess; or is 1.6mil an actual success?

    • Yes, compare a PC only title with a cross platform title… Makes sense?

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