Ongoing problems with the latest version of SimCity led Amazon to briefly stop selling the game. The web retailer stopped sales late on 7 March as players reported continued problems with the city building title.
The latest version of SimCity was launched on 5 March and, like many current games, demand players stay online as they play. EA has also taken steps to fix login delays by turning off some features to lighten the load on game servers.
Prior to this latest release, SimCity was a stand-alone game, but EA has added the online element to infuse the title with more realism. Now player cities exist as part of online regions and share some characteristics of those virtual environments such as pollution, crime and essential resources.
The online requirement is also seen as an attempt to curb piracy of the title as a web connection is required even if a player shuns the chance to connect their cities to others. However, the requirement for all players of the game to be connected has led some to wait 30 minutes or more to play. The server problems have led to sluggish response times, crashes and other bugs.
Amazon’s sales suspension of the downloadable PC version of the game only lasted a few hours, but it has put a warning note on the product page about the “issues” with the game. These have contributed to the one-star score purchasers have given SimCity on Amazon.
An official discussion forums and on its Twitter feed EA has apologised for the trouble players have had. In one of its latest messages, an EA spokeswoman said it had added server capacity and rolled out a quick fix to SimCity servers to speed up game play and get more people into the game.