D'oh! The Simpsons: Tapped Out suffers outage (and removal) from overwhelming demand [UPDATE]

UPDATE: The Simpsons: Tapped Out has now been removed from the iTunes App Store. EA has released this statement on the official Facebook fan page for the game: "To make sure you current players have the best possible experience, we've temporarily removed The Simpsons: Tapped Out from the App Store. Yes, as a current player you can keep playing -- and things should only get better as we make improvements to connectivity. Once we have a solution, we'll return the game to the App Store so new players can join in the fun. Meanwhile, thank you for your patience and support."

Since being released in America last week (and being featured by Apple on iTunes), The Simpsons: Tapped Out has become the #2 most popular free iPad app and the #3 most popular free iPhone app. However, with that instant popularity comes a major problem: the game is almost entirely unplayable as of this writing.

For whatever reason, the folks at EA didn't account for the Simpsons' massive popularity, so when the game started to take off, the servers simply couldn't handle the load. EA has publicly responded to the issue on its official Support website, stating that "[t]he response to The Simpsons: Tapped Out has been overwhelmingly positive – so overwhelming, in fact, it has created some connection issues. If you are having trouble connecting, this is the likely cause. We are currently working on a solution, and we'll have more information to share soon. Thanks for your patience!"

Unfortunately, the game has been broken for a couple of days now, so any crops you had growing on Cletus's farm will likely be lost by the time we're actually allowed back into the game. If there's any silver lining to this situation, I suppose we can be thankful for the fan support, as it means EA will (in theory) continue to support the game with new items, quests and features long into the future. We just hope this outage is over sooner, rather than later.

Have you been having difficulties logging into the Simpsons: Tapped Out this weekend? If you had a chance to play the game before the outage, what did you think of it? Sound off in the comments.

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