Simcity choose to make its latest version online only. And, has found out what it means to be a 24x7 service with painful PR results and customer frustration.
I am sure for the data center crowd this is an entertaining event. Here are some nuggets that have me questioning what they were thinking to start with.
In their latest update they sing the praise of resolving issues. Well, 92% of them.
I’m happy to report that the core problem with getting in and having a great SimCity experience is almost behind us. Our players have been able to connect to their cities in the game for nearly 8 million hours of gameplay time and we’ve reduced game crashes by 92% from day one.
In the third update they said they upgraded their servers. The initial were 11. I think the EA folks gave the operations team a bit too little money.
First things first: we’ve been making great strides towards improving our servers. In addition to adding several new ones the past couple of days (including the addition of Antarctica today), we’ve been applying upgrades to 11 of our initial servers. What does this mean? We’ve beefed up these servers to allow for a larger capacity that will not only allow more players to get in, but will also help address a lot of the connection issues we’ve been addressing.
And, they figured out they needed a test server.
Also, we’ve released a new Test server today. As you may have guessed by the name, we’ll be using this server to test changes and new features before we deploy them to all of our other servers. Before you ask, yes, you can play on it. In fact, we’d be grateful if you did. Just note, because this is a test environment, you may experience some unstableness as we push new data to improve non-test servers.
Q: What is it for?
A: This server is used by us the SimCity developers, and players to test changes and new features before they are released across all the other servers. This test server will improve our ability to deploy these updates as quickly and accurately as possible.
Bet you are a bunch of people inside the company saying, we should have gone to the cloud instead of deploying our own physical servers. Especially if all you had to start with was 11.