FreeSO, an unofficial remake of the discontinued MMO The Sims Online, has closed the recently launched project temporarily after interest on launch day greatly exceeded expectations on how many players would be interested, causing the servers underpinning the game to crash.
The game launched on January 6 and the sole developer, Rhys, was expecting a maximum of 200 users when he originally launched the game, but 1000 players tried to sign in and play at once. The final straw was when 500 requests were made to the API server at once, which caused it to shut down instantly.
This, combined with a high percentage of Brazilian players —a language Rhys doesn't speak — and a small DoS attack, led Rhys to shut the game down for a while while he works out the next steps.
These could be a long way coming, as Rhys is now back at university and claims he needs to focus on his final year project. He's pledged to re-launch the game when his servers can handle it.
Speaking in a post on his blog, he said: "Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like it was ever actually meant to be – I was hoping I could get a lot more of the required features done, and sort of hoping that some of them wouldn’t be necessary with a rather small playerbase. It turns out that all of these are completely necessary, as manually moderating thousands of players without some kind of automated assistance (reports, transaction flags, botting flags) would cause some kind of mental breakdown.”