“Beta Testers”?! Does Tapped Out Deserve 3 Candles on the Donut?

Today marks 3 years since The Simpsons: Tapped Out first appeared in the Singapore, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland App Stores. Our first glimpse of the game was at our wiki article being created on February 19, 2012, pictures filtering through through different country’s App Stores and the game’s official Facebook page and a gameplay video uploaded to YouTube on February 22.

The first image uploaded to our wiki on the game, on February 21, 2012.

Hype quickly built up and the waiting paid off with millions, on March 1 around the world, the release date for the rest of the countries the game wasn’t available in, going into their App Stores and downloading the game – but it was so overwhelming that people had trouble trying to get into the game – and the worst part – all those glitches.

An image from that time featuring a corrupted town.

After the launch of the game, the official ”Tapped Out” forum was inundated with users reporting problems, calling one of them the “DC [disconnected] while loading friends city bug”, a major problem which encompassed when trying to visit a friend that is a lower level than you and being disconnected, your town is reset to look like theirs, losing buildings, characters, decorations, land expansions, cash and donuts in the process. This “DC while loading friends” bug was a massive problem during the early days of the game, the bugs and the “positively overwhelming” response to the game’s release leading EA to pull the game from all App Stores (although apparently it was still available in Canada for a few days after).

Throughout the following months EA tried desperately to fix the game, pulling it from the servers in mid-June to try and resolve problems, ending up with players receiving present towns based on their levels, plus an extra 60 Donuts.
60 FREE DONUTS?! Woo-hoo! It’s Donut Christmas! – Homer

But there was something EA missed out:

To thank you for the patience while we fixed this game, you’ve received 60 FREE DONUTS. – System Message
60 FREE DONUTS?! Woo-hoo! It’s Donut Christmas! – Homer
As one of our top players, you’ve received a FREE Olmec Head! Find it in your inventory. – System Message
Ooh, a gigantic menacing stone head! I already have one of those in my basement… but it’s nice to have one for outside too. – Homer
Enjoy this FREE limited-edition Olmec Head decoration, available only to our top players that stuck with us while we made game fixes! – System Message

Yeah, I guess EA must’ve thought it was unfair, or the game was too glitchy or code wasn’t properly written to implement the Olmec Head, which eventually came round with the Friend Points update in February last year.

But anyway, as referenced in the title, “beta-testers” were what some incensed players called themselves during this incredibly glitchy period.

Throughout that summer, EA was hard at work trying to solve the game’s problems, bugs and glitches, and in late August through to September, the game was finally re-released into the App Store (the only reason I got my iPod Touch was to play this), but it wasn’t until the following January and February Android players got to experience Homer’s indignant cry of “Is this what enhanced interrogation is?!”.

Was it YOU all along?! No wonder it’s a 10% chance of getting you in the Mystery Box….

It’s been suggested that the friend action of stealing a Lemon Tree was the main cause of the launch’s glitches, but nothing’s been confirmed to ever prove this. When the ability was removed to steal a friend’s Lemon Tree, it seemed to have been removed forever.

We’ve had a terribly glitchy period recently after Christmas and during, but nothing matches up to this. Go read the official EA forums from 2012. You’ll be amazed at what it was like.

Well, we’ve certainly digressed much haven’t we?! It’s Tapped Out‘s birthday, not a history lesson. But, again, it’s interesting to learn how Tapped Out was born and how EA were un-prescient deluded ******* not realizing how popular the game would have been. It was getting around 5m in the US ratings then, plus 6 million played 2012’s Halloween event! How could they not have predicted that reaction? (Well, the US Postal Service printed 1 billion of their Simpsons-themed stamps and only sold 318m, costing them $1.2m) Either that or they just plain didn’t any more server capacity available to dedicate to the game.

Well, Happy Birthday Tapped Out! We wish you well for the future and another 3 years! Depending on if the attention wanes or they run out of events. But I’m pretty sure we won’t be saying bye to you for a while yet. EA’s made hundreds of millions of dollars off you. You’re a gold mine, Tapped Out, and you shouldn’t let EA treat you like that, with this ever-exponentially-increasing influx of premium items.

But we’re forgetting something else as we digress further more. There’s one glitch from the launch that we see almost all the time, and will probably never be fixed:

We salute you, texture glitch. You’ve brought us many a chuckle over the tempestuous years you’ve been here.

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