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SimCity developers reconsidering always-online requirement

Published Oct 4th, 2013 8:15PM EDT
SimCity Offline Mode

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Although it looked like the PR nightmare of the SimCity launch (both of them, in fact) might never end, EA and Maxis did eventually solve the worst of the issues with the game. By most accounts, the new SimCity is running much smoother, and the team at Maxis has been releasing regular updates to expand the amount of content within the game. Despite the relative calm, there is still a vocal group of gamers who want the option to play the game offline, and a post on the SimCity blog on Thursday seems to indicate that the team has heard the pleas of its community.

General Manager Patrick Buechner said in the blog post that Maxis now has “a team specifically focused on exploring the possibility of an offline mode.” The company cannot guarantee when or if the offline mode will surface, but Maxis sees the benefit of allowing players to visit their cities offline, which would also open the game up to a very active modding community.

The always-online requirement has become commonplace in the video game industry, but gamers are beginning to push back as the severity of the restrictions grows. Microsoft had to back down from many of its always-online plans for the Xbox One after potential customers erupted with nearly unanimous disapproval.

Blizzard has also faced backlash for requiring Diablo 3 players to connect to the internet, and although the Blizzard does not plan on following in the footsteps of Microsoft or Maxis, the developer has decided to shutter the controversial real-money auction house after months of negative feedback.

The coming revolution of always-online requirements might be inevitable, especially as developers, publishers and console manufacturers continue to look for ways to cut down on piracy, but the gamer resistance clearly isn’t going down without a fight.

Jacob Siegal
Jacob Siegal Associate Editor

Jacob Siegal is Associate Editor at BGR, having joined the news team in 2013. He has over a decade of professional writing and editing experience, and helps to lead our technology and entertainment product launch and movie release coverage.