The latest instalment of popular city-building computer game SimCity has not been the smoothest – following server crashes and angry, locked out players.

Following its launch in North America on March 5, servers for the video game, which has a new added ‘online’ element, filled up in a matter of hours. Issues have been ongoing since the launch.

Botched Launch Sees SimCity Gamers Locked Out

As players did not want to leave the game, this kept the servers packed and therefore made it difficult for new players to join.

Peeved fans took to the forums to complain as the company attempted to try and fix the issues, by constantly adding new servers.

Global Issues

Servers were added over the weekend to accommodate the launch in Australia, Japan and Europe and more will be added today (Mon).

Several features of the game, which is published by EA division Maxis, were also disabled to minimalize the pressure on the overworked servers.

SimCity senior producer, Kip Katsarelis, said that server capacity was its biggest obstacle as he stressed what he called the ‘bumps along the way’ of the game’s release.

“Our plan is to continue to bring more servers online until we have enough to meet the demand, increase player capacity and let more people through the gates and into the game,” Katsarelis said.

The release of a patch temporarily cut-off some features including leader boards, achievements and Cheetah Speed, to reduce data stress on the servers and effectively free up space to let more people into the game.

“These are great features that we’re proud of and we’ll turn them back on soon, but our number one priority is to bring stability to our servers. This update also resolved some of the bugs and issues that have been frustrating players,” Katsarelis added.

Test Server to Help?

A test server, used by us the SimCity developers and players to test changes and new features before they are released across all the other servers, was planned for release yesterday. It was hoped this would improve the company’s ability to deploy updates as quickly and accurately as possible.

Users of this test option were warned their experience might be unstable, the test server could be taken down at any time, and they could lose progress in their saved cities.

Disappointed Gamers

SimCity employees took to the game’s forum in an attempt to try and keep players of the game, which was first published in 1989, up-to-date with the latest solutions.

While many fans supported the maintenance work being done, others vented frustration as they experienced difficulties.

One SimCity fan, named ‘Earthrat’ on the EA forum, said: “I am guaranteed a game that performs as advertised and so far that has not happened. I can see a lawsuit over this arrogant position. Word of advice, in the future do a real beta test before you release a game for us to purchase.”

Another, named ‘R0gger’, said: “Could you inform the community better, not during game play, but before? And how much downtime is expected?”

[Image via gametyrant]