EA will be offering a free game to SimCity players as compensation for the game's ongoing server issues.

In a statement issued by Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw last night, EA said that it was "close to fix[ing]" SimCity's launch issues, which has rendered the game unplayable to some players, "but not quite there".

"In the last 48 hours we increased server capacity by 120 percent," Bradshaw posted on the EA Blog. "It's working - the number of people who have gotten in and built cities has improved dramatically. The number of disrupted experiences has dropped by roughly 80 percent."

But why wasn't EA properly prepared for SimCity's launch?

"The short answer is: a lot more people logged on than we expected," Bradshaw says. "More people played and played in ways we never saw in the beta.

"OK, we agree, that was dumb, but we are committed to fixing it."

Bradshaw adds that she is "hoping to post another update this weekend to let everyone know that the launch issues are behind us."

Those who have purchased and activated SimCity will receive an email on March 18 telling them how to redeem their "free PC download game from the EA portfolio".

"I know that's a little contrived - kind of like buying a present for a friend after you did something crummy," Bradshaw continued. "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."

Yesterday, Bradshaw said that critics were "fair" to punish the game for its server troubles.

"SimCity is an online game and critics and consumers have every right to expect a smooth experience from beginning to end," she said. "I and the Maxis team take full responsibility to deliver on our promise."

Source: EA.com