Amazon Halts Sales Of SimCity, EA Disables Features To Help Beleaguered Servers

The past few days has been good for would be city builders.

by on 7th Mar, 2013

Not long after the Aliens: Colonial Marines debacle is a brand new one, starring the recently released SimCity reboot from EA.

As we all know by now, a vast number of players have not been able to play the game, due to the servers that one must first connect with, being slammed since its launch almost three days ago.

Last we heard, publisher EA was offering refunds to those who felt dissatisfied enough to want one, but as we've already noted, that's easier said than done.

The most recent development, from the past few hours, is how the digital version of the game has been pulled from Amazon. According to its page:

"Many customers are having issues connecting to the "SimCity" servers. EA is actively working to resolve these issues, but at this time we do not know when the issue will be fixed. Please visit https://help.ea.com/en/simcity/simcity for more information."

Though a physical copy, in the form of the Limited Edition, can still be purchased is one chooses.

Another recent development is how EA has decided to disable certain features that the publisher views as being non-critical gameplay features, in an attempt to allow more people play on the servers.

Via the game's forums is the following statement, from "LadyCoconut", its community manager:

"We are continuing to do everything we can to address the server issues. In the meantime, so that we can give you as good an experience as possible, we are in the process of deploying a hotfix to all servers. This includes various improvements and also disables a few non-critical gameplay features (leaderboards, achievements and region filters). Disabling these features will in no way affect your core gameplay experience.

We will continue to let you know as we have more information. We know it has been said before, but we do appreciate your patience as we complete this latest update. Getting you playing is our absolute highest priority."

As for what has been turned off, here's a rundown of what the just issued 1.2 patch does:

* Fix for crash caused most commonly occurring on servers experiencing lag. This crash would happen most often when claiming a new city when playing in a region.
* Fix for server select dialog not appearing on start-up if the server the player was last on is not available.
* Disabled Cheetah speed. Cheetah speed is now the same as llama speed.
* Crash fix for finding closest points.
* Crash fixes in transport and pedestrian code.
* A fix cities having processing problems associated with helicopters.

The most relevant detail is how Cheetah speed, the game's fastest mode, has been turned off and is how the same speed as Llama speed, which is the game's regular speed (the slowest, Turtle, is still an option).

If one looks around elsewhere in the forums, one will find a mountain of threads, filled with frustrated players. A considerable degree of vitrol is from long time fans of the franchise who are unhappy, not just with the technically issue, but what it ultimately represents. Which is perfectly summed up by one of its forum moderators:

"Real cities don't live in bubbles, real cities are connected to each other."

EA has also stated that they will be adding new servers over the next two days:

"What we are doing is deploying more servers over the coming two days which will alleviate many of the ongoing issues. We are also paying close attention to all the bug reports we are receiving from our fans. We’ve already pushed several updates in the last few days. Our live ops team is working 24/7 to resolve issues and ensure that bug fixes roll into the game as quickly as possible."

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