The phrase “going offline” isn’t always a negative connotation. Thanks to publisher Electronic Arts and developer Maxis – who attempted to bring back SimCity last week – we have met the conditions for where we very much want something to “go offline.” No, we don’t want SimCity to disappear. We want it to let players play the game without hassle, without the requirement of being always connected to EA’s servers.
Unfortunately, Maxis has no intention of offering such a thing at the moment, even after the horrendous and totally unnecessary launch issues SimCity faced last week.
SimCity is not a multiplayer game, but there are social features that allow players to work together, and EA has used that gimmick to control the playerbase. Because of this, SimCity requires all players to be connected at all times to its servers in order for players to actually play. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing entirely solo.
When SimCity released last Tuesday with a $60 price tag, players and the media were rightfully furious that the game was oftentimes unplayable, delaying sign-ins, losing progress, booting users, etc.. You can read the whole story here, but needless to say, it was a mess, one no one should have ever had to deal with.
Players were vocal about the always-online DRM months before SimCity released, and they were right. Now players want an offline mode so they can play their game without having to rely on internet and external servers that can stop operating at any time, and some have even offered to pay for such a patch. Maxis is listening, but they aren’t going to let you play offline anytime soon.
We have no intention of offlining SimCity any time soon but we'll look into that aspart of our earning back your trust efforts.— SimCity (@simcity) March 9, 2013
That doesn’t mean it’s never coming. Server capacity for SimCity was drastically increased over the weekend and Maxis is still working to get the game to 100%, but as we know, EA doesn’t support games forever. SimCity may be a platform for future expansions and development, but either way, they will stop hosting servers like they do other aged titles and when that point comes, SimCity won’t be playable at all. So, expect a patch eventually that lets players to play offline, just be willing to wait.
The fact that they’re “looking into it” means it’s possible.
Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and let me know if Maxis should support an offline-mode.
For more on SimCity:
- SimCity: A Launch Failure of Regional Proportions
- The 5 Biggest Lies ‘SimCity’ Taught Us
- The 5 Lessons ‘SimCity’ Taught Us