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EA 'confident' in SimCity Europe launch after disastrous debut

The launch of the new SimCity game was a complete shambles for US gamers following server crashes.

Luke Westaway Senior editor
Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.
Luke Westaway
2 min read

Aspiring town planners were left fuming last night, as failures with EA's controversial Origin platform saw the new SimCity title rendered unplayable for many gamers. But EA claims its servers will be shipshape for the European launch later this week.

16 hours ago, EA acknowledged the server crunch that accompanied the game's stateside debut, stating on Twitter, "We are experiencing overwhelming demand which is keeping some users from accessing their games."

Thanks to EA's anti-piracy measures, SimCity requires a permanent Internet connection to play. Understandably then launch day puts a lot of strain on the publisher's servers, but apparently the gaming mogul didn't invest enough in keeping its tech upright during this demanding time.

Angry gamers took to score-aggregator Metacritic to voice their frustration, where SimCity currently has an average user-review score of 2.9 out of 10. "Despite my flawless Internet connection, EA's incompetence has forced me to postpone a game I'd like to play on my own anyway," one writes.

"On my partners 2nd attempt to play this game," another commenter fumes, "she was told the servers were at full capacity and could not play until 235 minutes had elapsed."

You can download SimCity online, though even if you buy the physical disk you'll be reliant on EA's Origin gaming platform working as promised. "I have a physical disc," one disgruntled gamer tweeted. "It just brings up Origin and tells me my product key's been used."

EA has moved to reassure gamers outside of the US, tweeting, "We're making changes to prevent further issues, and are confident that Origin will be stable for international launches later this week."

SimCity is out in Europe on Thursday, and hits the UK on Friday 8 March. Critical reviews for the game so far have been positive, though one gaming site has lowered its score in the wake of the server problems.

The issues are reminiscent of similar server woes that marred the launch of Far Cry 3 back in November. Are publishers punishing gamers with excessive anti-piracy measures, or is always-on gaming the future of the medium? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.