REDWOOD CITY (CBS SF/AP) - The creators of "SimCity" are hoping players don't move on after connectivity issues plagued the game's launch last week.
The updated edition of the 24-year-old metropolis-building franchise released last Tuesday requires players to be online - even if they're constructing virtual cities in the single-player mode. Several gamers weren't able to log on after "SimCity" launched, prompting some retailers to stop selling the Redwood City-based Electronic Arts Inc. game.
Lucy Bradshaw, general manager at "SimCity" developer Maxis, said Friday more wannabe mayors logged on than they anticipated and that the developers have been increasing server capacity since the snafu.
"More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta," said Bradshaw. "OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it. In the last 48 hours, we increased server capacity by 120 percent. It's working - the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically."
Bradshaw said EA would give players a free PC game to compensate for the hassles. Players who registered copies of "SimCity" will receive details on how to download the free game March 18.
"I know that's a little contrived - kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy," she said. "But we feel bad about what happened. We're hoping you won't stay mad and that we'll be friends again when `SimCity' is running at 100 percent."
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