As a long-awaited follow-up to my favorite debacle of the century, EA Games released an announcement this morning offering users a free game of their choice, along with a well-meant apology on behalf of the Maxis.
Our SimCity Mayors [players] are incredibly important to the team at Maxis. We sincerely apologize for the difficulties at launch and hope to make it up to you with a free PC game download from Origin.
Starting today, every player that has activated their copy of SimCity will receive an email that will give directions on how to redeem this offer, and you can also find more information on our FAQ. We’ll be opening up the redemption portal country-by-country so some of you may see it a little sooner than others.
Origin users have the option of selecting one of eight games for which to exchange their credit. It’s not a perfect list (Bejeweled and Plants vs. Zombies seem like the typical consolatory ‘have a free game, sorry about our gaffe’ flash games) but there sure are a few surprises. Battlefield 3? Mass Effect 3? While not exactly new releases, a few of these games clock in at the ‘seriously wallet-lightening’ price mark. The entire list of freebies is as follows:
- Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
- Bejeweled 3
- Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
- Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
- Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
- Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
- Plants vs. Zombies
- SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition
This offer coincides with the news that EA’s CEO, John Riccitiello, will be leaving EA for greener pastures at the end of March. The events leading up to his departure haven’t been officially announced, so we can’t really know for sure if it has anything to do with SimCity’s cataclysmic launch. Either way, I’ve stopped watching reality TV and am now following EA’s internet business decisions religiously.
If you’re holding your breath for a discount or a refund, you might want to stop. I’m pretty sure this is the most sincere apology players are going to get out of EA, and I’d rank it in on the better side of acceptable.