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HindustanTimes Thu,28 Aug 2014

Game Reviews

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SimCity climbing from launch wreckage
AFP
San Francisco, March 12, 2013
First Published: 17:54 IST(12/3/2013)
Last Updated: 17:59 IST(12/3/2013)
Screenshot from 'SimCity E3 Gameplay Trailer'. Photo: AFP

The hugely popular SimCity game is rapidly recovering from its trouble-plagued launch but problems are yet to be completely eradicated, company officials said.



Electronic Arts servers hosting SimCity online play were overwhelmed after the California company released its Maxis Studio game on March 5, and problems continued through the weekend.

However Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw said in a blog post late Sunday that the "core problem" from the launch was close to being resolved.

SimCity players have connected online for a combined total of about eight million hours of game play and crashes have been cut by 92 percent since launch, according to Bradshaw.

Engineers were updating servers on Monday, taking some offline temporarily to do work, according to status reports fired off on Twitter by EA.

"Finally got onto a server," a Twitter user said in a message mid-day Monday. "My cities have been deleted. This is unacceptable. What a waste of money."

A 10-year wait ended on March 5 with the arrival of 'SimCity,' a computer game that challenges players to build thriving cities in the face of conditions such as limited funds and climate change.

The sequel to the city-building computer game that factors in real-world consequences of energy choices, urban plans, and policy decisions debuted in the US for $60 a copy.

"I can't begin to explain the way a development team feels when something you're proud of is threatened at launch," Bradshaw said.

"Our biggest fear was that people who love this franchise would be scared off by bad reviews about the connectivity issues."

She said it would be a few more days before EA could be certain the problem is solved.

Millions of people have played SimCity since the computer game designed by Will Wright was first released in 1989.

The original title won a broad, devoted following and led to a successful line of "Sims" strategy games in which players manipulate worlds and animated characters in simulations of real life.


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