Developer Maxis is working on making the game playable without an internet connection.
There are bad launches, and then there’s SimCity levels of catastrophic launches. When it was released earlier this year, the always-online game was an unplayable mess. The spectrum of problems ran the gamut from minor annoyances such as long loading times, all the way up to game breaking issues like losing saved data and persistent crashes. SimCity was the poster child of all that was wrong with games which require a persistent internet connection.
Back then, gamers saw the always-online restriction as an extreme means of DRM, something that was denied by both the publisher EA and developer Maxis. The makers of the game have always insisted that the requirement of being connected constantly was to give the experience of being a part of a larger, ever-evolving world which blurred the lines between single player and multiplayer gaming.
Now, seven months on from that disastrous launch, it looks like the city-building title will finally give gamers the option to play offline. General Manager of the Maxis Emeryville studio, Patrick Buechner, has revealed that the developer is actively looking into the possibility.
“Right now we have a team specifically focused on exploring the possibility of an offline mode. I can’t make any promises on when we will have more information, but we know this is something that many of our players have been asking for,” wrote Buechner in a blog post. “While the server connectivity issues are behind us, we would like to give our players the ability to play even if they choose not to connect. An offline mode would have the additional benefit of providing room to the modding community to experiment without interfering or breaking the multiplayer experience.”
There is no indication of when the promised offline mode will be available to SimCity players.