The "SimCity" free game offer is finally here. The game's launch has been a huge and highly public disaster due to the game's always-online requirement and a catastrophic server load that EA proved to be completely unprepared for. But EA / Maxis is trying to make things right. Not by making "SimCity" playable offline, even though they could, but by offering one of eight free games to aggrieved players. Read on to find out whether you qualify for a free game, what games are available, and how to claim one.

We've waited on the details of the "SimCity" free game offer for quite some time - EA put it off until the servers were actually working, which they are. And now that the details are here, we can see that the offer is actually quite generous. Players who have registered "SimCity" to their Origin account by March 25, 2013 can choose between one of the following eight games:

  • Battlefield 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Bejeweled 3
  • Dead Space 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Mass Effect 3 (Standard Edition)
  • Medal of Honor Warfighter (Standard Edition)
  • Need For Speed Most Wanted (Standard Edition)
  • Plants vs. Zombies
  • SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition

The "SimCity" free game offer has two notable features: first, players must claim and download their free game by March 30, 2013, which is not a lot of time. Second, players don't actually need to have bought "SimCity" yet: if you want "SimCity" now that it's stable - since it is, after all, a really good game - it's not too late to buy the game and claim a freebie. It feels like a bit of a loophole, but considering the amount of bad blood EA has generated lately - Forbes said its release will become a case study of how not to launch a product - the extra bit of generosity from the "Worst Company in America" can only help.

In case you've been living under a rock or playing "StarCraft" for the last few weeks, the "SimCity" free game offer is a result of the worst launch in recent memory, featuring all the hallmarks of horror: a product that doesn't work and a company that lies about why, and then is exposed for it. The fallout has primarily led to incredibly bad PR, but it may even have played a role in the Electronic Arts CEO stepping down from his job (although disappointing financial results, rather than the 1 million plus copies "SimCity" has sold, were almost certainly more important).

But the "SimCity" free game offer is the first step in a healing process. And it's a reminder that EA does, in fact, make good games. And that "SimCity" is actually one of them: most people love it, besides for the server issues (a very big 'besides'), and besides for some older "SimCity" series fans who miss terraforming and bigger cities. But it's a good game, and now that it's stable, everyone can enjoy it.

Everyone except Mac users, anyway.