If that building on fire is recently released SimCity and the firemen trying to quell the blaze represent EA then you’ve got something of an idea of what’s going on right now.
Instead of trying to cover everything that’s happened in the past two days (SimCity released on the 5th of March 2013) I’m going to let the rest of the internet help me.
Wow… Wow! Ok, whew, let’s get started!
SimCity still isn’t working for gamers all over the world, and the problem only seems to be getting worse for EA and Maxis.
SimCity requires players to always remained connected online, even for a single-player experience. This is counter to most video games where players can still play a portion of the title offline in the event of online problems.
Didn’t we see this same issue not that long ago? I’m being sarcastic; Diablo III had the same sort of issues. People had bought a product they could not use. Thank you always-online requirement!
Here’s a gem from Arc Technia, the headline is worth at least a full eye-roll:
EA “confident” it can avoid repeat of SimCity launch debacle
Kyle Orland, from the same article goes on to say,
The SimCity Twitter account is suggesting that players running into problems loading their cities switch to other servers, but it fails to mention that existing saved games and cities-in-progress are inextricably tied to the server they were created on (though that issue is directly addressed in an official FAQ regarding server waiting rooms).
Let me end this with a quote from Lee Hutchinson, senior news editor over at Ars Technia. He puts it well:
You show me a game with an online component whose launch hasn’t been a total fucking debacle of biblical proportions, and I’ll show you Santa Claus. Neither of those things exist. Heavily online-focused games have had lol-tastic catastrophic launches dating back to Ultima Online. Shit, even before that.
The primary problem is that it’s impossible to accurately judge launch day loads, and even if it were possible it’s economically unfeasible to scale an infrastructure to handle launch loads and ALSO to handle regular production loads. You either sink too much money into launch infrastructure and are left holding unneeded equipment, or you screw up the launch and things eventually fall in line with the infrastructure you DO have.
“The cloud” and outside elastic compute resources are most decidedly *NOT* a viable solution, either, at least not for almost every single game out there.