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.
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.
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.
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.
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.