Despite Issues, SimCity's Launch Was Biggest In Series' History

by Jeff Cork on Mar 18, 2013 at 08:07 AM

Even though the game took heat for a less-than-optimal launch, EA is calling SimCity a success. Maxis' city-building game sold more than 1.1 million copies within the first two weeks of its release, making it the most popular installment in the series. EA said that more than half of consumers (54 percent) chose to download the game instead of purchasing boxed copies.

According to EA, more than 5.7 million cities have been incorporated since launch, holding more than 780 million combined buildings. If you linked all of the road sections and railroad tracks together, you could circle the planet 40,000 times.

“SimCity had a great weekend with sales strong across both North America and Europe, adding to overwhelming demand at launch that has us tracking well beyond expectations for the game,” said Peter Moore, EA's COO. “SimCity is one of the storied brands in gaming, and Maxis delivered a game re-envisioned and engineered for the online age.”

EA may have underestimated how much bandwidth the online age requires. Server overloads and other issues kept some players from playing the game days after its launch. EA increased server capacity 400 percent and made a variety of other under-the-hood changes to the game, as well as offering affected users a mea culpa in the form of a free game.