Shame on you?
People are justifiably pissed at Electronic Arts and the launch of SimCity. They paid hard earned cash for a game that doesn’t work properly. I would be very annoyed as well if I were in their shoes. I may not demand a refund from EA but I would be irked by the fact that I bought something and it didn’t work right away.
To rid myself of such headaches I simply don’t buy online centric games on day one. Not even week one. I received my copy of Diablo III on launch day (pre-ordered it for $40) and purposely delayed playing it until all the server issues were addressed by Blizzard.
No one should be surprised by this SimCity launch. It is a popular franchise and it needs to be online. Whether or not it should be an online game or not is debatable but the requirements were laid out by EA early on and anyone who was excited enough to pre-order it should have seen the catastrophe that was going to ensue.
Electronic Arts could have handled the launch better. They must have known their own pre-order numbers, so this overwhelming capacity shouldn’t have been a surprise for them. They could have also staggered player enrollment by pre-orders or temporarily scale up their server capacity for a massive launch. The options to mitigate this problem are plenty, it’s just a matter of cost to them.
All this to say both parties could have avoided this mess. Electronic Arts could have handled their launch better and we, as consumers, could have exercised a bit of patience and play it a week later.
Shame on you? No. Shame on me if I fall into the trap of believing in smooth launches of online games.