11
Apr
bart scream

Some of you who've played The Simpsons: Tapped Out, Electronic Arts' Springfield-themed Sim City clone, may have noticed a lack in features when compared with the slightly older iOS version. Namely, it lacked the ability to sync saved games (towns) over Origin, EA's much-derided social gaming platform and store. The latest update to the Android version adds Origin syncing... while leaving at least some players without a town to sync.

TAPPED OUT

While plenty of players were ecstatic at the ability to play Tapped Out across multiple devices and operating systems, at least a few let out a cry of "glavin" at the inexplicable loss, as evidenced by recent reviews in the Play Store and our own tips box. It isn't happening to all players, and the bug seems at least somewhat random: some can sync just fine, others have their town erased and restarted at level one, others suddenly find the game completely unresponsive. There's at least a tiny amount of humor in this glitch - after all, the game begins with Springfield being obliterated in a nuclear blast.

Capture 

This might not be that big of an issue, or indeed, newsworthy at all, if it weren't for the presence of in-app purchases in the free game. If someone has spent real money to upgrade their in-game Springfield, that puts a monetary value on their save (albeit a small one that's difficult to quantify). If some players' save files are indeed gone, and there's no way to retrieve them, EA needs to credit them with at least as much in-game currency (donuts) as they've bought thus far.

We've reached out to Electronic Arts for comment, and will update this story if they respond. In the meantime, dedicated Tapped Out players may want to hold off on the latest update, for fear of losing all progress.

Thanks, Jeremy and Jeff!

Update: EA is aware of the problem and is seeking information on their official Answer HQ forum. They'd like to know your Origin username, device and Android version, and your city level before and after the update. There's no mention of refunds or reinstated IAP, but if you've spent any real money on The Simpsons: Tapped Out, you might mention it in your reply.

Answer HQ: [Info Request] Springfield reset after latest update on Android

Update the second: EA has responded to our inquiry, and it seems that there's at least some chance that players' game progress may be restored. Check the forum posts here for more information.

Hi Artem,

Yes, the team is aware of this and has been helping players restore their progress. A fix is in the works and should be rolled out shortly. Good to check out the forums here for info/answers.

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • Bariman43

    Good job EA *slow clap*

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

      After the Star Wars, The Old Republic: MMORPG, Mass Effect 3 and SimCity. I was wondering when EA's next blunder would happen. Team 17, I applaud you for leaving EA and publishing solo instead.

  • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

    stay classy, EA

    Why EA Won The "Worst Company In America" Award - Forbes
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/04/09/why-ea-won-the-worst-company-in-america-award/

    • Nathaniel Webb

      Well, that story was from last year lol. Still, they apparently haven't learned anything this year either!

  • http://www.facebook.com/alex.te.7 Alex Te

    EA does it again! I also lost my town. Thank goodness i had a titanium backup for it

    • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

      i had a backup and it didnt even help

      • Matt

        I used the backup and restored both data and apk to my previous version. It works ok if I don't update, but as soon as I try the update it deletes everything again. So far I've disabled updates until I hear something from EA. I'm starting to wonder if it has to do with the fact that I frequently flash new ROMs so perhaps my deviceID changing explains why this has happened to me (the reset) with 2 updates in 2 months.

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

          Have you tried updating the app and then restoring just the data?

          • Matt

            Yup...didn't work.

          • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

            yeah that didnt work

        • Jeff

          I am in the same boat, lost my town with update but was able to get apk and data back via Titanium. I am on rooted stock JB 4.1.2, so I don't think your crack-flashing has anyhting to do with it.

      • Adrian Price

        Backup restores fine for me?

  • SEJ326

    I'm one of the people whose towns was wiped out when I updated last night. But this morning, I was still getting notifications on my phone about tasks that I started before I updated were finished. Not starting the game over so I won't play again until/if EA fixes the issue and I can restore my town. Good thing i didn't pay for any donuts so I'm not out any money, just a lot of time.
    I wish I bothered to read the reviews before updating, like I usually do.

    • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

      i spent so much time on the game for nothing now. it sucks :(

  • http://twitter.com/spdivr1122 Stephen

    yup.entire town deleted here. good thing i didnt spend real money on it. so much time spent on it though. it was the only game i actually played on my phone.

  • http://www.AndroidAllies.com/ Max M.

    Sometimes I wonder if EA is an office full of monkeys with computers.

    And other days, I know they are. This is one of those days.

  • http://profiles.google.com/jeremyrreger Jeremy Reger

    Clearly they didn't read when they went through the update... It says "there is already a level 19 game here.. is this yours? would you like you use this? yes or no.. if you choose no.. naturally this will happen to them.. lol

    • dp917

      Exactly, it's probably more so user error than EA fault. Don't remember exactly, but I think there may have been the "tap to continue" like before which could have reset it too.

      • sojibby

        I have a titanium backup of my game so I've tried several times and I know. It says there's a level 1 game on this device but I am level 23. Your options are to click no and start over or click yes and start over. You guys are lucky it just worked for you but don't assume the rest of us are too stupid to read. it is not user error if it doesn't recognize someone's game.

        I can restore my backup and play my old town the game isn't forcing me to update I have to go to play store and do it manually. hopefully this will get fixed soon.

        sorry to all the folks who lost their games.

        • dp917

          Did you try logging in first thing when app opens? First thing I did was click log in in the lower left corner, set up a account, was told there was already a level 20 city do I want to use it, and everything worked.

          • Matt

            I have the same problem as sojibby. Since last night, I tried restoring from Titanium Backup, updating, and entering three different ways, including the one you mention. It has nothing to do with user error for us. The old usertoken in the /data/ folder is not recognized as legitimate and a new one is created. If I continue to use the old apk, there's no problem.

          • Bubs

            I didn't have an Origin account and I didn't have any interest in creating one, so I just clicked to continue as anonymous and that's when it restarted me at level 1 (was level 18). I feel like I got screwed because I didn't want to setup an Origin account.

          • sojibby

            yeah i did. For whatever reason it just doesn't like some peoples' info I guess.

          • deepsheeto

            EA give me a U....give me a suck! Spent so much time on this game and some money, even had fights with my wife for wasting my time. worst company and update ever! And I patiently played through this crashy game! I say bool!

            What a bunch of dinguses!

    • SEJ326

      Except mine didn't say that. Mine says "there is already a level 1 game on this device." I was on level 21.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1615471504 Matt Tater Hodson

      Actually it didn't ask me that at all or I would have said yes. I loaded up the game and it started all over, without telling me there was a saved game already on the device.

    • piersandro

      It's not like you say. I didn't logged in with Origin and my city from level 21 disappeared.
      I restored an ADB backup, all works fine. Reinstalled the update I tried with Origin and it says "There is already a level 1 game..." that is not my game.
      Restored ADB backup an I will not update until EA resolves this issue.

      • dp917

        Did you try logging in first thing when app opens? First thing I did was click log in in the lower left corner, set up my account, was told there was already a level 20 city do I want to use it, and everything worked.

        • piersandro

          I was forced to identify me? No, I can play as "anonymous" (like wrote in the interface) and the game must works like always not delete my game.

    • sojibby

      I'd call u a db but I'm sure you already know. I can and did read several times - luckily I have a backup. it doesn't recognize my level 23 Springfield just says level 1 and either option takes you straight to the opening movie.

    • Adrian Price

      Clearly you are a bellend

  • Steve Green

    This makes me incredibly happy.
    This is why IAP sucks and hopefully at least a couple folks learned a valuable lesson.

    • http://twitter.com/misterE33 Mr E

      that's just mean.

      personally, i don't have a big problem with IAPs, and don't get the hate, at least if the game is free. sure, sometimes they get annoying if you're forced to pay to win, but they're basically like long demos -- remember those?

  • Mr. Mark

    this just after being voted the worst company in america, again. they certainly live up to their title! http://www.forbes.com/sites/insertcoin/2013/04/09/ea-voted-worst-company-in-america-again/

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I have talked to a few former EA employees, and I've heard horror stories, at least about their non mobile divisions back in the day. Lots of politics, overworking employees, rushing, everything I've learned to despise after similar experiences at my first major job.

    • hurrpancakes

      Despite how horrible EA is, they aren't the worst company in America by a long stretch. They don't kick people out of their homes, destroy our environment, etc. etc.

      • Janice Ian

        They just fire 300 people at once to sent project overseas.

        • newbi4567

          I know companies that have fired 1300 people to look for cheaper labor if that's the measure you wanna go by.

        • NoBullet

          You realize this was based on a consumer level, not something going on internally.

      • NoBullet

        On a consumer level, yes, they are. Hence why this was on the Consumerist website. For the stuff you're mentioning maybe the wall street journal should do their own version.

      • Guest

        EA doesnt kick people out of their homes? $60 and then a crapload of money for additional DLC, I think that if you want a complete collection you come to the point that you cant pay for your home anymore

  • http://twitter.com/jorgebpt JB

    I'm glad I've uninstalled this crap long ago.

  • Ashish

    And this is why you don't develop in the production region. What a concept.

  • http://twitter.com/and1945 Andreas Brandenborg

    I am one of the lucky few which game does NOT seem to be erased.

    I did however play this when it was iOS exclusive. Does anyone know if it erases my current game with the one saved, should I opt to sync with Origin?

  • gladgura

    Well EA did Win The "Worst Company In America" Award "Twice". I guess they figured they should play the part... or not?

  • T Loso

    Mine updated perfectly fine last night. I have added several friends Springfields.

  • Kazzingua Kazz

    ADD me: MandySep

  • Donhu Rickerby

    Mine got deleted as well... All i did was update, run game, there was an icon on the bottom left saying log in using origin, i clicked continue as anonymous and bam brand new game.

    -__-

    But hey i backed up before so i'm all good haha

  • fl0
    • http://twitter.com/jtbritto Jonathan Britton

      I can't even get signed in through Origin to submit a reply in that thread!

      • SEJ326

        Same here.

      • http://www.facebook.com/wesley.modderkolk Wesley Modderkolk

        That has to be a new way to just throw away criticism

  • Cluckx3

    Version 4.2.0

    I think I know what happened, hehe.

  • Drizdroid

    I tried for a few hours to get this installed on my TFT-700 in the UK.

    Eventually I got a download using Market Helper, pretending my device was abroad... only to never progress past the first loading screen. (black screen then the app kicks me out)

    Anyone have a solution to play this on my device?? Is it because my Infinity is HD resolution?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000003999549 Mike Harris

    D'oh!

  • fixxmyhead

    OMG!!! thank u for the artcle as i requested this is why i love u AP. i was so outraged cuz i was on lv19, 2 months wasted . now i know why people hate EA and they were also named worst company in america like 2 days ago. tried restoring with Tiba but as soon as i opened the game it wouldnt let u unless u updated. i tried emailing but u have to register wtf is that, looking for answers online, even looked for a phone number or something,. i dont think i have ever gone through such ways just to contact a game developer cuz i was sooooo mad. unless they can return my saved data im done , F**k u EA im never buying your games again

  • Grey

    Signed up for Origin skeptically, Town didn't reset. Figured I didn't spend any money on the game and it's just a casual game. Glad it didn't reset though.

  • http://twitter.com/michaelbuchko Michael Buchko Jr

    I downloaded and installed this game on my iPad Mini a week ago but never actually played it yet. Thank goodness.

  • Ravynmagi

    The same thing happens with the iOS version as well. I started a town on the iPad, but did not use the Origin sync. Built up a nice town, then decided I should sign into Origin and save my town. But instead once I logged into Origin it wiped my town and I had no way of going back.

    I started a new town with Origin sync enabled. But almost everytime I tried to login I would get login errors. If I kept trying I would eventually get logged in. I finally got fed up with Origin sync causing so many login errors, that I turned the feature off. Which of course caused my town to get wiped out again.

    It's a fun game, but EA has managed to make it unfun to play.

  • http://fitoschido.wordpress.com/ Fitoschido

    “I don’t want to be ‘social’. That’s why I play games!”

    This.

    • Arianna

      What about it?

      • http://fitoschido.wordpress.com/ Fitoschido

        It’s only that I prefer “classic” games instead of being part of a network.

  • Lance Miller

    Yeah, this is the third time I've had to start over. The first time, I lost quite a few purchased donuts. I'm not okay with that...

  • QwietStorm

    "I don't want to be social. That's why I play games!"

    LOL freakin gimps

  • mgamerz

    I think the author mistook this game for SimCity

  • Patrick Thompson

    They didn't get voted worst company for no reason. They've truly lived up to it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=817470603 Dan Harris

    So pissed off about this. Was on level 26 and had been playing pretty much since it was released. Updated today and started Lisa and Homer on the snake missions. It then immediately crashed and deleted my saved game.
    So yeah, EA can go and fuck themselves. Cunts.

  • Marcus

    Deleted my town too.

  • Richard

    What a surprise - customers getting fucked over by EA.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Aric-Braun/633639889 Aric Braun

    Thank goodness for Titanium BackUp. Had the game backed up just a couple days prior to losing my Lvl24 save. Have there been any changes? Is it safe to update now?

  • mechapathy

    EA is such a pile of sh*t. Eff them. I didn't even play this game, but I did buy SimCity at launch. Don't think I need to explain my feelings.

  • http://twitter.com/Vizualize a.d.AM

    Just close up the shop EA. Just go away.

  • http://twitter.com/philipleaper Phil Leaper

    Well, this sucks. I have a level 19/20 game that I've spent money on. I can see that the app has auto-updated from the app store, but I haven't launched it yet. Any advice? Sit on it and wait until EA do something, uninstall updates, try it - is there anything I can do to minimize my chances of being wiped out?

    • http://twitter.com/philipleaper Phil Leaper

      OK, I've done it and didn't lose my data. To let you guys know exactly what I did - first I logged in to my origins account online and it prompted me to update the account because something had changed. Once I'd done that, I started tapped out and before doing anything else went straight and logged in to Origins - it picked up my name and asked if I wanted to use that. That seemed to work for me, hope it helps someone else.

    • perfectlyreasonabletoo

      "I've spent money on"

      lol

  • Manny12

    I updated yesterday with no problems... once I thought I lost everything after an update, but it just logged me off and I didn't notice until nothing was there. I signed in, all was fine.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

    So... it IS a Sim City Clone! Ba dum dum!

  • http://droidpanic.com/ Ganix Trejo

    This update is a crap... For god shake... what is EA thinking about?

  • perfectlyreasonabletoo

    "but if you've spent any real money on The Simpsons: Tapped Out, you..."

    ...might just be legally retarded.

  • Kevin

    I restored from titanium backup from March and got my saved game back right where I was before the update.

  • primalxconvoy

    EA made a game where you have to be online to design a town and now said town is broken?

    Hmm...

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/keriyn-theph-di-xan-limited/100000964831199 เกรียนเทพ ดี อันลิมิเตด

    This is a good experimental before EA updates this feature on Real Racing 3 at the end of this month.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000772421683 Forrest Armstrong-Cate

    They should hire the BP guy to make a statement for them http://www.southparkstudios.com/clips/360436/were-sorry

  • simpsons_user

    Hi, to fix this 'issue' sign out of the origin account you logged in with. Your town should be restored because it is tied to your device. Origin signin is optional.

    • SEJ326

      I don't think I can log out of Origin without accepting the "level 1" Springfield that Origin found on my phone and actually going into the game. If I do that, will it delete my level 21 town (assuming it's actually stil on my pnone)? Or can I uninstall and reinstall the game to log out?

    • sojibby

      that's not the "issue" and what you are suggesting doesn't work. the updated game just doesn't recognize some people's save files at all. I'm glad it worked for you but you don't have to assume other people are just idiots because you luckily didn't have a problem.

  • ScandaLeX

    Believe me this isn't the only game this has happened to. I'm STILL waiting on them to fix my Theme Park game. Contacted them a month ago and just like Zynga, when they do contact you it's to ask you to provide the same information you needed to provide when you initially contacted them via support. So far EA/Origin support has been worthless.

    • sojibby

      oh zynga... all my draw something colours disappeared. must have gotten the same advice from 10 different people. poor poor POOR customer service there.

  • Pirate

    Let this be a lesson to you kids - THIS is why you pirate your games. No Origin, no STEAM, no Facebook, no third party bullshit trying to piggy-back onto your games. Yar har fiddle dee dee! EA made a pirate of me!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Shaggy796967 Ryan Conrey

    if u want your town back all you have to do is logout and play without login in. when you don't login it it will come to your town before the update. then you have to create a new orgin account for this game cuz u already have a town linked to your normal email you use for orgin so u cant afdd this one to it . what you do is go to the area where u can click on other springfield and click login but you not gonna use your normal email and login in. you create a new one and after you do its gonna say that they found a springfield on the device is this your springfield click yes and there u go you have a orgin account for you simpson now and can go to other peoples. this is for android as seein the iphone already login on orgin before us android users. but if somewhen can that when they get the hack apk see that it only happen to us android users. but when one of u get the unlimited money and donut hack please send me the link

    • http://www.facebook.com/Shaggy796967 Ryan Conrey

      you do still have the update even after doing this

      • sojibby

        this doesn't work for us. reset to beginning whether logged in or not

  • ambitious216

    This changed my account name from ambitious216 to santithedawg216,along with deleting my whole LEVEL27 Town. I have invested serious money playing this game and my stomach hurts seeing it at level 1. From other accounts my town could be seen,but I cannot log into mine....

  • disgruntled

    fixed my a*** still full of bugs this time its taken my whole origin acc!! towns still there its me theyve reset. 2 days of trying to get a response has left me with less teabags and more grey hair. EA just ignore you til u go away. theyve already spent my cash on more inferior product "development"

  • http://www.facebook.com/gertyb Tom Foo-King Hasemore

    Same happened to me, you just need to delete the game and reinstall it.
    For some reason it thinks you have switched phones, just click continue and you will be back and ready to go!!

  • blah blah blah

    Haha I still got my game

  • ElyseNicole

    uhleese, iphone 5, level 27. please fix it!!!

  • john k

    I was at level 29 now 1.my orgin user name was kenneljon 475 now kenneljon 666. I spent money getting donuts and had everything.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dave.shipman.169 Dave Shipman

    NOT HAPPY.? i had 10700 odd snakes, and needed 12500 to get the last item and the update took it all away,great job EA,you people need to sort out your lives,as not to long ago my son s FIFA 13 was hacked and when he contacted (EA for help they couldn`t even do that right,and my sons game was hacked yet again,so he contacted the yet again and he got the impression that they thought he was making up the story,well EA WHAT HAVE YOU GOT TO SAY FOR YOURSELVES...!! not much i guess,????.

  • based_dude93

    I lost all my stuff too on iphone

  • Morgan Gonzales

    Why would you expect EA or any company to reimburse you for money spent on a game you played. Regardless if you lose data or not its just a silly concept. No one forced you to spend your money on a free game. And you did get instant results for it.

  • Matthew Armstrong

    To be fair to ea they did do their best to fix the problem :P everyone makes mistakes and id like to see any of u forum bashing bastards do a better job than them... epic lol seems like it was isolated to apple mostly... so bottom line is, dont buy apple software :) its incompatible at the best of times

  • worried#

    I lost over $100,000 with update when I was building up on 2nd time of last level then when new level came it flashed then all my money was gone. that's days of work. I'm on the last level and about to have to play it again for the prize since I was ahead but I'm afraid its gonna happen again! Please fix!

  • Evo Love

    I have been playing this game for a long time, about a year! The money I have spent is close to a Thousand Dollars... Today I get an update telling me that my anonymous game could disappear and I better sign up through Orgin, this is such BS because they never said this could effect my town in the future. And when I have tried to sign in to Orgin, it has a glitch that shuts down my app completely. They should really find a way to transfer our anonymous game to Orgin, not start us back at square one. I'm on level 34, I have Krustyland as well as Squidport practically complete and now your going to tell us You Cannot Protect our Towns. We should get a Total refund on all the money I have spent creating these towns. I am so pissed today.

  • Wallay

    What happened? I had a million dollars on level 30 my town was perfect, now its gone! Funk this game im uninstalling

  • Tabi

    I love this game.. I play all day everyday I am on level 36 and now its telling me my device wont save. I dont know what to do eveytime i play its like the movie ground hog day any progress i make it wont save.. this suuuuucks :..(

  • Goodgamesonly

    Did EA just double all donut cost on all items ? I was playing daily in order to get the police car my son despritely wanted. After spend weeks of playing I finally have 20 donuts. Both me and my son were excited and on our way to get the police car only to find out its now cost 40 donuts. Fucking stupid to double price of something that's free to begin with if you ask me. If EA wants people pay then make a price on their game. Don't fucking waste my time. I was being cheap to play this free game, EA is cheaper than me. my time and my sons time far costly than this game. Don't plan to play again

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