Sims Online fan-made remake crashes at launch due to huge flood of players, plans closed beta

Players want more from the ill-fated social MMO.

"After many years of waiting, crying, and playing, we have finally made it to the end," so reads the video description for FreeSO's launch trailer—a player-made reimagining of the defunct since 2002 MMO, Sims Online. After just one day of going live its servers were flooded with keen would-be players, and it was forced to be pulled offline as a result. That so-called 'end' looks a little further away than first thought, however its creator is determined to get it back on track. 

A reimplementation of The Sims Online's game engine, using C# and Monogame, FreeSO picks off where the original game left off some 14 years ago minus a subscription model outwith EA's servers. That first part grossly affects how players start off this time round because whereas paying for The Sims Online netted you a starter pack of sorts that was used to buy a house and learn skills within a private area, FreeSO sees players begin with nothing in a shared zone named Sunrise Creator—a space which was designed to cater for "a maximum of 200 initial users." 

 Over 1000 players attempted to access the debut arena, a large number of which came courtesy of a Brazilian fansite. Besides creating obvious English-Portugese language barriers, the unexpected influx created server input issues and thus the game was taken offline. FreeSO's creator Rhys recounts the above in greater detail in a blog post titled 'Surprising Results! Notes from the ashes of my servers.'  

Rhys has since laid forth his or her plans for steadying the ship which involves: reaching out to both English and Portuguese-speaking admin and moderation teams, automated moderation which aims to "flag the few suspicious behaviours" of the unscrupulous players attempting to spam the free registration system, redesigned code to cope with more players, and a forthcoming invite-only closed beta to help test all of the above. 

Rhys rounds off the above-linked update with an honest note: "I’d like to end this post by saying that we will not be accepting any donations until at least a server is open for players to see the game running for themselves, so be wary of any requests for money posted on social media. The TSO community has been burned once before, and I don’t want it to happen again in case for some reason we fail."

The process of getting FreeSO back online is ongoing, however updates will appear on the game's blog.