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SimCity sales top 1.1 million in first two weeks, EA says

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Despite crippling launch issues that led publisher Electronic Arts to offer a free game to buyers of SimCity, the latest version of Maxis' city building simulation has already sold more than 1.1 million copies since launching March 5, according to an announcement.

EA says that 54 percent of SimCity's sales have been through downloads, with 44 percent of total sales directly through the publisher's Origin service. The launch of SimCity has pushed to the number of concurrent users on Origin to record levels, EA says, "now at 1.3 million and rising." The publisher called it "the biggest SimCity launch of all time."

Touching lightly on the online connectivity issues that handicapped the launch of the game, EA said that Maxis "continues to enhance both the core SimCity game and the online service infrastructure" by increasing server capacity "by more than" 400 percent and optimizing server response time.

In a press release, EA chief operating officer Peter Moore boasted of "overwhelming demand at launch that has us tracking well beyond expectations for the game."

While SimCity's server-related reliability issues appear to have been largely addressed over the past two weeks — based on the game's official server status page — ire over the design decisions that led to server outages has continued, with Electronic Arts hoping to quell player discontent with a selection of free games through Origin.