There's no sense promoting a product if the service it's attached to doesn't work, right? Well, that's EA's thinking at this point. The director of marketing has decided to halt online advertisements for SimCity in the way of all the negative press generated because of the company's decision to force everyone online with the always-on DRM.
Polygon managed to get hold of a letter to EA's advertising affiliates, which has a rundown of how EA is managing the LinkShare commission for Origin ads promoting SimCity, reading...
"To be clear we are continuing to payout commissions on all SimCity sales that are referred, however we are requesting that you please stop actively promoting the game," ... "We will notify you as soon as the SimCity marketing campaigns have been resumed and our promotional links are once again live in the Linkshare interface. We apologize for any inconveniences that this may cause, and we thank you for your cooperation."
This won't affect TV, billboard or other physical advertisements currently running. The company will presumably get the advertisements for SimCity back up and running as soon as Maxis can stabilize the servers.
According to general manager Lucy Bradshaw...
"This was a responsible decision by our Marketing team to pause the advertising while we work through these issues. It will resume shortly."
EA has been adding servers to increase capacity by 120%. The company, while denying refunds (after originally stating that they would be handing out refunds) has at least decided to offer gamers a free EA game as compensation for not being able to play SimCity. However, redeeming the free game won't be possible until March 18th.
Gamers have actually come together to petition the removal of the always-on DRM from SimCity so that future generation of gamers will be able to play the game long after the demise of EA.
The outcry has been very vocal given that gamers no longer want to see their future single-player games laced with always-on DRM, mostly because a very similar thing happened with the launch of Ubisoft's From Dust and Activision Blizzard's Diablo III, both of which also had always-on DRM and also caused major trouble for the people who legitimately paid to play the games, but couldn't due to service problems.