Official statements from Electronic Arts claim that the re-imagined SimCity has been released as of 12:00AM EST. Those statements came in the form of a Twitter message, a Facebook post, and even emails to customers who pre-ordered the game. The problem? A large numbers of pre-order customers still cannot access the game… almost an hour later.
EA’s Origin platform reads, “Not yet released.”
Failed product launches on Origin are nothing new. Since the platform’s launch in 2011, the service has been plagued with technical game and payment problems, failed product launches, and massive amounts of negative press for shutting down accounts of paid users. Origin continues to struggle against the more successful Steam video game platform, partially due to the increased service stability that Steam offers, and partly due to other factors such as the overall game library and the number of devices—such as mobile and Linux—supported by Steam.
Almost an hour after launch, Origin still read “Not yet released.” all throughout the Eastern timezone. Meanwhile, reports and screenshots came in from the North American west coast and central U.S. states that showed Origin had begun to allow downloads of the long awaited SimCity. Apparently, the launch of the game worked “backwards” across the North American continent from Pacific (GMT -8) to Eastern (GMT -5).
As of 1:00AM EST, the author of this article, and countless others across the Eastern time zone, were still unable to begin downloading the purchase they made days, weeks, or months in advance.
Update: Almost 2:00AM EST and still, the author has been unable to download the game, although reports of access are becoming more frequent.
Update: Almost 3:00AM EST and a public Tweet from Origin indicates that they have resolved the problem, but it may take up to three additional hours for the game download to become available.
Final Update: The author received an email at approximately 3:20AM EST indicating that the product was ready to download and the update was instanly reflected in the Origin client upon reloading the Games Library.
The author of this article, as a technology columnist and collegiate technology instructor, has had nearly as much fun following, and participating in, the social media frenzy surrounding the failed launch as he would have actually playing the game. However, countless other customers have not had as much fun. Considering that over an hour has elapsed since the initial promised launch time, the author certainly hopes to be able to begin his download soon, and then get some sleep.