SimCity had one of the most catastrophic launches in video game history. Even after the server problems went away, fans slowly found out the game was a city-building mirage, with many key features and mechanics simply not working. Somehow, at EA, this qualifies as a "success".
Speaking with VentureBeat, EA Games' Frank Gibeau said:
In retrospect, our biggest takeaway is that we are lucky that SimCity has an enormous number of loyal fans. That first week after launch was really rough — an experience nobody wants to live through again.
Since then, we’ve sold more than 2 million units, and the number of people logging in and playing is holding steady. SimCity is a success. However, underestimating demand in the first month was a major miss. We hope that the game and the service we’ve provided since then meets the fans’ high standards.
Makes you wonder how many people are "holding steady".
The fact he gauges those sales, most of them based on preview coverage and pre-release media, as a success, tells you everything wrong with major publishing today. Forget the way the SimCity brand has been poisoned. Forget the constant hassles users experienced for weeks after launch. Forget the way they said they'd be ready for the launch and then weren't. Forget the glaring holes in the game's core design.
They managed to convince two million people to buy a busted game before they found out just how busted it was, so, success! Great job guys, high fives all round.