Train2Game News: SimCity apology games announced

SimCityLast week on the Train2Game blog I announced that due to the problems that SimCity have had since launch, EA will be giving away a free game. The company have now announced those games in the following press release:

Our SimCity Mayors are incredibly important to the team at Maxis. We sincerely apologize for the difficulties at launch and hope to make it up to you with a free PC game download from Origin.

Starting today, every player that has activated their copy of SimCity will receive an email that will give directions on how to redeem this offer, and you can also find more information on our FAQ. We’ll be opening up the redemption portal country-by-country so some of you may see it a little sooner than others. The portal will be live worldwide for everyone to select their game by March 22. We don’t want any of you to miss out on your free game, so please note that you must register your copy of SimCity before March 26, 2013 at 06:59 AM GMT and you must claim your free game by March 31, 2013 at 06.59 GMT.

At Maxis, our studio values dictate that we innovate and create something that is quirky, complex and challenging. Sometimes this bites us in the butt, but our servers are green and we’re seeing record numbers of players all online and having a great time.
Here is the list of games that you will be able to choose from once you are able to redeem. It’s a great list of games across the whole EA portfolio, so pick one and add it to your Origin library on us!

Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
Bejeweled 3
Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
Plants vs. Zombies
SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

We’re getting great feedback from our fans and know that many of you are having fun and exploring this whole new expression of SimCity. We’re humbled by your patience and passion for the game. Thanks for building something very special with us, together.
And now please enjoy a disclaimer from our head legal Llama…

*THIS OFFER DOES NOT CONSTITUTE A CREDIT, CHARGE, DEBIT OR GIFT CARD. OFFER EXPIRES MARCH 25, 2013 AT 11:59PM PST. VALID FOR NEW PURCHASES OF SIMCITY (“PRODUCT”) THAT ARE REGISTERED TO YOUR ORIGIN ACCOUNT BY MARCH 25, 2013 AT 11:59PM PST.  FREE PC DIGITAL DOWNLOAD GAMES NOT DOWNLOADED FROM ORIGIN.COM BY MARCH 30, 2013 AT 11:59PM PST ARE FORFEIT.  ELIGIBLE GAMES SUBJECT TO CHANGE.  VALID WHEREVER PRODUCT IS SOLD. LIMIT ONE OFFER PER PERSON. CANNOT BE COMBINED WITH ANY OTHER OFFER, GIFT CARD, REBATE OR OTHER DISCOUNT COUPONS. OFFER MAY NOT BE SUBSTITUTED, EXCHANGED, SOLD OR REDEEMED FOR CASH OR OTHER GOODS OR SERVICES. RETAILERS, DISTRIBUTORS AND EMPLOYEES OF ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. AND THEIR AGENCIES/AFFILIATES ARE NOT ELIGIBLE. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED, TAXED OR RESTRICTED BY LAW.  SEE APPLICABLE END USER LICENSE AGREEMENTS AND DISCLOSURES ON WWW.EA.COM.

*Users who are beneath the minimum age required to access interactive online services will automatically be granted a copy of SimCity 4: Deluxe Edition and Bejeweled 3 instead. These games will be added directly to your My Games library over the coming days.

Train2Game News: Sim City server issues

SimCityAs you may know if you tried to play the new Sim City game when it first came out it had terribly bad server issues. Train2Game has been sent a press release from EA about the issues:

Here’s a quick update on the problems we were experiencing with SimCity – and a little something extra for people who bought the game.

The server issues which began at launch have improved significantly as we added more capacity. But some people are still experiencing response and stability problems that we’re working fast to address.

So what went wrong? The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta.

OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it. In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent. It’s working – the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent.

So we’re close to fixed, but not quite there. I’m hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us.

Something Special for Your Trouble

The good news is that SimCity is a solid hit in all major markets. The consensus among critics and players is that this is fundamentally a great game. But this SimCity is made to be played online, and if you can’t get a stable connection, you’re NOT having a good experience. So we’re not going to rest until we’ve fixed the remaining server issues.

And to get us back in your good graces, we’re going to offer you a free PC download game from the EA portfolio. On March 18, SimCity players who have activated their game will receive an email telling them how to redeem their free game.

I know that’s a little contrived – kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy. But we feel bad about what happened. We’re hoping you won’t stay mad and that we’ll be friends again when SimCity is running at 100 percent.

SimCity is a GREAT game and the people who made it are incredibly proud.

Since sending out this press release the problems seem to have been sorted. Players have been able to connect to their cities in the game for nearly 8 million hours of game play time and game crashes have reduced by 92% from day one.

Train2Game News: SimCity Closed Beta

SimCityFan excitement for the release of SimCity has been growing. In order to give even more fans a taste of the game before its March launch, Maxis is proud to announce that it will be holding a second SimCity Closed Beta.

The franchise that laid the foundations of the city building simulation genre is back, empowering players to create the world of their imagination! Electronic Arts Inc. today announced that SimCity is breaking new ground in 2013. SimCity for PC, a brand new entry in the franchise is currently in development at Maxis Emeryville, and was revealed at GDC early last year.

Lucy Bradshaw, Senior Vice President of EA’s Maxis Label said “We’d like to thank the millions of fans who have helped make SimCity synonymous with the city-building genre. This is a franchise that means the world to us at Maxis and we’re happy to be bringing it back home where we are re-imagining it for an entirely new generation of players. Using our proprietary GlassBox Engine, SimCity for PC will equip players with the tools to play the most sophisticated simulation of its kind. We are dedicated to making sure the experience – no matter the platform – has the fun, flavor and playability that has been intrinsic to the franchise since its birth.”

The second SimCity Closed Beta will be running from 1400GMT on February 16 to 1400GMT on February 17 and will feature an enhanced version of the one-hour slice of gameplay that delighted fans in January. Fans who haven’t already signed up for the beta can do so at www.SimCity.com/beta. Hurry, sign-ups end at 1400GMT on February 11.

To whet fan appetites even more, Maxis today unveiled a new trailer showing off the Limited Edition exclusive content, which can be seen below

SimCity has been rated PEGI 7. To stay up-to-date on the latest regarding SimCity, and to pre-order now, please visit www.SimCity.com.

For a full list of conditions, please visit www.SimCity.com/betadisclaimer

Train2Game News: GameCityNights coming to a place near you

The GameCityNights festival is going nationwide. The event annually held in Nottingham it is now hitting the road.

The festival celebrates everything from the game world with previous keynote speakers from Crytek UK, Harmonix music systems and Sony London Studio.

This years event is sponsored by Edge Magazine, SimCity, Maxis, EA and more. Previous years the festival has had no financial support so to get such big names is a big step forward.

“After three years of Nights gigs in Nottingham and loads of brilliant guests and audience members, it seemed like a good time to share the love,” says Iain Simons, director of GameCity. “The one thing we love more than doing GameCityNights events is driving – so this really is the ideal combination for us”

More details of the event are soon to come – it’s guaranteed to feature many playable games, intimate talks and panels with industry icons. There’s also the GameCity Arcade: a free space for indie devs to put their games. All the games will also feature on Edge’s website.

“So if you’ve got something to say or a game to show, get in touch,” says Simons.

If you have been working on a game lately and are looking for a place to show it and get feedback from the public, this is a good time.

Dates and locations are below:

November 13: National Media Museum, Bradford
November 20: BFI Southbank, London
November 21: Dublin Science Gallery, Dublin

January 24: Antenna, Nottingham
January 29: Arnolfini, Bristol
January 31: Junction, Cambridge

February 5: MAC, Birmingham
February 22: Animated Exeter Festival
February 23: GEEK2013, Margate
February 25: Carriageworks, Leeds
February 26: FACT, Liverpool

For more details on the event go to nights.gamecity.org