Cart is empty More

SimCity failure highlights importance of predicting demand

03/11/2013 | Data centers |

If you ever needed a reminder of how essential it is that you have adequate technology solutions when running any business online, then the recent problems faced by one of the world's biggest gaming brands should be it.

This month saw the eagerly-awaited launch of the newest title in the famous Sim City series - one of the most popular PC games since the release of the first edition back in the 80s. It's been ten years since Sim City 4, so excitement among gamers for the new reboot of the franchise was high.

Reliance on servers
However, one concern some individuals raised was the decision to make the new SimCity require a constant connection to publisher EA's servers in order to play - even in single player mode. With millions of gamers around the world expected to log on at launch, the need to have robust servers in place with enough processing power and bandwidth to cope with this was paramount.

Unfortunately, it seems this wasn't the case. EA and developer Maxis seriously underestimated the demand for SimCity, with the result that servers quickly became overloaded. Gamers reported waits of half an hour or more just to get a slot on a server, while crashes once they were playing - resulting in a loss of progress - were also said to be common. As there was no option to play offline, this left many users extremely frustrated.

PR nightmare
As a result, what was one of the biggest PC game launches of the year has turned into a public relations disaster for EA. Unhappy players flooded review sites and comment boards to complain about not being able to play the game, while Amazon even briefly suspended digital sales of the title in the US.

The developers have since been working to increase capacity on their servers to meet the demand, even going so far as to temporarily remove what it described as 'non-essential' features in order to lighten the workload. EA has also offered a free game from its archive to all customers as an apology.

Lessons learned?
What this could illustrate to any firm that runs an online-based business that's dependent on dedicated servers is how vital it is to be able to predict demand and then respond quickly if this exceeds your capacity. Whether you're running an ecommerce website and have a sale planned or are offering an online gaming platform, if you don't have adequate infrastructure, you'll end up with unhappy customers, leading to lost business and a severe reputational hit.

For many firms, this could be an afterthought as ensuring your products are high-quality and your prices are attractive take precedence. But as the SimCity issue shows, this alone won't save you if the back-end systems aren't up to the task. Many commentators have agreed that the core gameplay of SimCity is excellent, with reviews published prior to the problems emerging as uniformly positive.

But the problems with connections have overshadowed all of these and the message for other businesses from this is clear - if you don't plan for demand spikes or have adequate solutions in place to scale up server capacity as required, you could be left exposed to serious problems that will significantly harm your company.

Here are 4 out of 12 reasons why you should choose

Bandwidth pooling

Other providers require extra money for bandwidth you may not even need. differs from other providers by providing bandwidth pooling across all your servers at no extra cost. If your other servers have plenty of bandwidth left, we allow you to pool the bandwidth to another server that requires more. This enables you to save money and you can use your dedicated server more efficiently.

99,9% uptime

High availability of servers are extremely important to our customers, thus we take uptime seriously. We offer 99,9% uptime on all our dedicated servers and third party monitoring to prove it. Moreover, we have a completely redundant network and we can execute network maintenance without any packet loss on your end.

Custom built servers

We are committed to meet the changing hosting needs of our customers. allows you to assemble your own dedicated server with any combination of hardware, memory or processor. By using our user-friendly drag and drop configuration tool you can easily build your own dedicated server completely tailored to your own needs. All you have to do is to drag or click the components you need. Our custom-built dedicated servers provide enterprise solutions which allow you to maximize your IT environment.

Enterprise servers

Here at we are not using desktop machines but only the best servers from Supermicro and Dell which are designed to give you the best performance and to provide energy and space efficiency. Supermicro provides innovative and first-to market technologies and their motherboards are quality-built to maximize customer satisfaction. And Dell servers are built to accelerate performance and expandability but also to increase productivity. Our Dell servers perfectly meet to the most common requests and requirements of our customers.