The executive at the centre of the SimCity server calamity has said the past ten days have given developers at Maxis "the most challenging situation that any of us have ever faced".
In an interview with CVG, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw reflected on how the game's disaster launch has thrown her studio and post-release plans into disarray.
"I feel like I let them down, this was my responsibility," she said.
Since its release last Tuesday, SimCity has legitimately outraged a large group of players due to its failure to manage demand ever since the game's servers went live.
"I can't reveal numbers but I can say that we experienced a significant increase in demand in the days leading up to the launch and it caught us off guard. It was our fault that we underestimated our fans and to that end, we should have known better," Bradshaw said.
"We know that this is our fault so we're giving SimCity players who were affected a free EA PC game download via Origin. We'll have more details for that on March 18."
Now looking to put the nightmare launch behind her, Bradshaw offered advice to the games industry at large:
"Never underestimate the power of your fans. All of the sales data, charts and graphs can't tell you the entire story. Test your game in the real world as much as possible because your players will challenge your game in ways that you never thought possible."
She added: "I've been at the Maxis studio almost 24/7 since we launched on March 5 and I have an open rapport with each and every one of them. I've been a part of Maxis since 1997 when I was brought in to oversee development on SimCity 3000 and I've worked with a number of people on the team for years.
"I feel like I let them down, this was my responsibility, but I tell them what we all know: SimCity is a wonderful game and that we should all be proud of the effort that went into making it. I'm taking every step possible to bring the game to stability so that the rest of the world can enjoy all of their hard work."