SimCity gamers to get free game from EA

EA is promising gamers a free game to say sorry for SimCity after server problems crippled the game when it launched last week.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
2 min read

EA is promising gamers a free game to say sorry for SimCity. A free PC title to download will be made available by EA after disastrous server problems crippled the game when it launched last week.

EA boss Lucy Bradshaw announced the freebie in a blog post, admitting that the gift is "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."

Gamers buying the new town-plan-'em-up were left frustrated with a lengthy wait to get on the game, which unlike previous versions you have to be online to play. The problems resulted in the game being pulled from sale in various places.

Bradshaw says the disaster was caused by the fact that "a lot more people logged on than we expected. More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta."

"This SimCity is made to be played online, and if you can't get a stable connection, you're NOT having a good experience," Bradshaw continues. "So we're not going to rest until we've fixed the remaining server issues."

In the latest update, Bradshaw says, "I had hoped to issue an 'All-Clear' tonight, but there are still some elements coming together... We need a few more days of data before we can assure you that the problem is completely solved."

Details of how to bag the free game will be emailed to you on 18 March, as long as you've activated your copy of SimCity.

Will you be claiming your free game? What can EA do to make things up to you? Would you rather have a refund? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page -- and for more on SimCity and everything game-related, check out our joystick-waggling chums at GameSpot.