EA: SimCity offline mode 'didn't fit with our vision'

Maxis GM says developer recognizes some fans want offline mode, but even more are praising the game's always-on features.

Electronic Arts has admitted it could have created an offline option for SimCity, but developer Maxis ultimately chose not to so as to keep with the "vision" of the city-building game.

In a note to fans today titled "Straight Answers From Lucy," Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw explained that SimCity is an always evolving product, similar to a massively multiplayer online game.

"The game we launched is only the beginning for us--it's not final and it never will be. In many ways, we built an MMO," Bradshaw said.

"So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes," she added. "But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision. We did not focus on the 'single city in isolation' that we have delivered in past SimCities."

Bradshaw said Maxis understands that longtime fans of the SimCity series are upset the game does not accommodate offline play. But at the same time, she said positive responses to the game's always-connected features has been numerous.

"We recognize that there are fans--people who love the original SimCity--who want that," she said. "But we're also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the always-connected functionality."

Earlier this week, an anonymous Maxis employee claimed SimCity's servers aren't handling the kind of computations the developer is suggesting and that an offline mode is possible. In addition, a modder this week found a way to play the game in an offline state.

EA and Maxis' decision to have SimCity require an always-on Internet connection has proved highly controversial since the game's hobbled release last week, with Maxis insisting that the online requirement is to enable social play.

Written By

Want the latest news about SimCity?

SimCity

SimCity

Discussion

994 comments
Ultramarinus
Ultramarinus

Don't try to force feed multiplayer and coop on games that have been single-player for a quarter century. Launch a spin-off or something. I didn't ask for Sim City Online. I asked for Sim City.

neplou
neplou

" Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw explained that SimCity is an always evolving product, similar to a massively multiplayer online game.

"The game we launched is only the beginning for us--it's not final and it never will be. In many ways, we built an MMO," Bradshaw said."

Guess I will wait a year for Free-to-play to be implemented...

neplou
neplou

"Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw explained that SimCity is an always evolving product, similar to a massively multiplayer online game.

"The game we launched is only the beginning for us--it's not final and it never will be. In many ways, we built an MMO," Bradshaw said."

I guess I will wait a year for Free-to-play to be implemented then...

CaoSong
CaoSong

"but even more are praising the game's always-on features" 

Complete BS right there. EA is now telling us what we praise? I haven't heard a single person "praise" the annoying always online feature... wonder if they're trying to tell us everybody likes it so we'll "fall in line" and just accept it... Yeah I got Mass Effect 3 for free and since I was given SimCity as a gift I actually got it for free as well... but the first 3 days I had it, I got to play maybe 2 hours total thanks to EA's always-on features and sucky server issues (which I still deal with at least once every time I play)... who in their right mind would praise them?

Frankly I haven't seen a single reason the game has to be always online... I find myself playing alone in a private region or in a private region setup by a friend more then anything, If EA released an actual official poll asking the people who bought the game if they'd prefer an offline mode, EA would apparently be shocked to learn that the vast majority do not wish to be forced to always be online in order to play the game they just bought.

Clearly this game should have been like it was meant to be. A single player game, with LAN/Online optional. I honestly wonder these days of EA actually believes the stuff they say.

mikesla11555
mikesla11555

All I have to say is that by the time the players are finished playing Simcity, and moving on to something new, most players will paid a few hundred dollars because of all of the expansions, or DLC's most call it now-a-days. The whole point of EA doing what they have done is not about piracy (they would like you to believe that), it's about milking players for everything penny they can before they move on to the next great game, or get tired of playing Simcity.

Have fun guys paying 300 or more dollars for a game that should only be $60.00 dollars.

MirkoS77
MirkoS77

They're still taking us for idiots, even with their pants around their ankles. "Didn't fit in with EA's vision of DRM" is more accurate. What morons. I'll play Simcity in a while. I hear it's one of their "freemium" games so I'll have to take advantage someday. Mahalo EA!

IMPACT_17
IMPACT_17

Oh, I see, so you supposedly wanted to create a game with deep online interactions between players. Well, I don't see anything wrong with that. I also don't see why that has the eliminate the OPTION of playing offline. DRM of this magnitude is disgustingly greedy, and, judging by how much modders have been able to toy with the game, hurts the actual consumer more than anyone who had pirated the game.

IMPACT_17
IMPACT_17

Oh, that's neat. So supposedly you wanted to create deep online interactions between players. I don't see what's wrong with that, except why that has to eliminate the OPTION of simply playing offline. DRM of this magnitude is disgusting, and judging by how much modders have been able to toy with it, hurts the actual consumer more than anyone who pirated the game.

copkill
copkill

OK, who are the fckfaces that have been giving positive feedback on the always-online feature...

jhcho2
jhcho2

EA: SimCity offline mode 'didn't fit with our $$$'

Corrected

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Still..  other SimCitys are better.. Surely EA have a agender behind this

Barzenak42
Barzenak42

Until I can play it offline when I want...they do not get a dollar .

jonnykronic
jonnykronic

In the corprate world "not in our vison" usually means that they honestly don't care about what we (the puplic) actually wants. Having an online only sytle game will cut down on any type of pirate copies of the game. Which is understandable, but it hurts a lot of customers at the same time. I stayed away from Dialbo 3 for that reason, and sadly I am staying away from this too.

megakick
megakick

only reason Sims is offline is because Sims Online failed....

Serpentes420
Serpentes420

"enable social play"? If they were interested in enabling social play then it would be an option, not required.  At best they can say they are forcing social play on people.  Its anti-piracy DRM and everyone knows it.  Why can't a company be the least little bit honest about things to their consumers for once?

sundown19
sundown19

Always online DRM doesn't fit with my vision as a gamer.

MrDouglas
MrDouglas

Your vision was never mine to share, EA. Credits to swedish metal band Misery Loves Co. for the great title of their second (I think) album.

fredwv
fredwv

pay to win is here to stay

shanethewolf
shanethewolf

Too bad your online mode didn't fit the vision of those you expected to buy your game. 

feliciamcat
feliciamcat

This woman's attitude reminds me of bioware's attitude toward Mass Effect 3's ending 

"Yeah well, some people may hate it but TRILLIONS OF PEOPLE LOVE IT we are swimming in positive feedback . We love our fans"


Bulls*i t these people hate facts lol

OldKye
OldKye

Actually in all honesty i wonder what the creative brainstorm for this game looked like.

EA:"What can we do to better control our customers?"

Maxis"Well we can put in a 20min timer that kicks them off if they aren't connected."

EA:"good, good but that's only one line of code they could delete that what else?"

Maxis:"we could hold their saved games hostage on our severs so they can't play their city's then."

EA:"But what if someone makes a way to save it to their computer?"

Maxis:"We make them log in just to launch it tell them it's a Multi-Player only game.*room laughs*"

EA:"I like it if anyone complains Lucy you Lie to the consumers make them think we had nothing to do with this. Also have support censor our support number to limit complaints.

I'll have our viral marketing guys put out online what a great game it is. Offer our usual "Digital Deluxe" version*room laughs* I don't know throw super hero's or European land marks in people eat that stuff up.  

Then when it comes out remind everyone we don't offer digital copy refunds and call it a Day."

dexfm
dexfm

ppl from EA have a fucked up "vision". In general gamers that play SimCity are not mmo players, quite the oposite. And mmo players that play simcity games, they do it to evade the mmo for a while. This game is designed to invest more and more money in it. Don't dream on bigger landscapes without paying for it.

OldKye
OldKye

Well Simcity 4 had online regional support, larger city's, Terrain editing, Highway and train track modifying exe..... 

So I mean if you look at the bright side it only took them ten years to add..... well..... I mean..... they did take out a whole bunch of...... They put online DRM in it.  That's new!

MegaPhilX2
MegaPhilX2

Ok, I'm going to finish this quote for her since it went nowhere as it was: "We recognize that there are fans--people who love the original SimCity--who want that, but we're also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the always-connected functionality, so we're just going to ignore the others who want an offline mode."

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

This is just a load of shit. Look, lady, nobody is complaining about the game having online features. Those features, however, should be optional. This is a single-player game that should be able to be played offline. The reason that online features are not optional is because they are actually just a thinly veiled attempt to prevent piracy. Nothing more. Don't insult our intelligence with your ridiculous statements. It has already been proven that if you remove just two lines of code from the game, it functions just fine offline. Stop lying. You are making yourself look ever MORE stupid.

Instead of spending so much time lying to your customers for damage control purposes, how about if you fix the fucking game? How about if you let one of your devs spend the 15 minutes required to make the game work offline, then release that patch? If you do, I might actually buy the fucking thing.

kb8618
kb8618

Yes I "praise" EA for making me rollback a city 5 times in one hour

mtouchprod
mtouchprod

I love when they keep saying "This was always our vision" and "We designed this game as an online-only from the very beginning."

I feel it's very mature and bold of them to be willing to make that so clear. "Oh no, we didn't make a mistake, or fail at something: We walked right into stupidity with our eyes wide open, and with every intention of fucking this up."

copkill
copkill

@SIDEFX1  

You reminded me of Simcity 3000 and 4. I just installed them again and put 4 hard hours into starting to build up a city in SC4, and I've got to say; it still holds up incredibly well and is actually MUCH better than the new SimCity, even if it's mostly for the fact that the available space for a city is like easily ten times bigger.

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@jonnykronic The sad part for me is I've been playing Simcity since the original DOS version. Now I won't be able to play it anymore because I simply will not support this Draconian DRM. They are punishing me and a lot of other loyal customers even though we haven't done anything wrong.

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@shanethewolf Unfortunately, the mindless masses bought it anyway. That's what needs to be stopped. It's no different than voting. The uneducated continue to keep putting the same types of idiots in office. That blind voting affects us all. In this case, people are voting with their wallets and thereby putting more bad game policies out that that affect us all.

JJMikhail
JJMikhail

@OldKye I will add a little that, not to steal your thunder of course.

(Lightening strikes outside EA Headquarters with evil laughter from everyone in the room).

Heh heh heh... wait a minute... that's not funny at all, sort it EA!

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@dexfm They know damn well it's not an MMO. They are just trying to slap that label on there, thinking that we are stupid enough to believe the always-on DRM is something more than an anti-piracy measure. They are punishing honest customers. That's all there is to it.

stev69
stev69

@MegaPhilX2 "so we're just going to ignore the true fans of the game who have probably been supporting Sim City for the last twenty odd years and milk the brain dead morons who pump all their money into shallow facebook games all day. But just incase there is any misunderstanding, people who actually like Sim City go fuck yourselves we want money."

Just thought I would elaborate somewhat. 

Shango4
Shango4

@Jennaralize can you watch any of these  this movie on netflix? :)

nasser_m200
nasser_m200

@mtouchprod 

that why I stopped preorder games after Diablo III uless I'm sure it's single player stuff.

IMPACT_17
IMPACT_17

@Diablo-B @IMPACT_17 What I meant that they are being so overprotective of their product that it is hurting their legitimate customers more than pirates (as evident by Skidrow's crack).

jaialin
jaialin

@Diablo-B @IMPACT_17 He probably meant that it's grubby. I think people will pay to play a good product, as he clearly has.

Jennaralize
Jennaralize

@petez34 @OldKye He did! And after 7 weeks, it grew into a magical spy tree, with microphones of it's own weighing down it's branches like apples in an orchard. :-)

stev69
stev69

@RoadStar1602 @dexfm Its a devious way to do it, it isn't an MMO but they make it into one, it has far less features than a true MMO, it will make just as much cash as a typical FTP MMO. And it doesn't have to compete with the market leaders in the genre and go up against all the inevitable "pfft its just a WoW clone" hate to start with. Fortunately people are waking up to the fact that EA are a bunch of shits and are making themselves heard.

Jennaralize
Jennaralize

@Shango4 Oh yah! There are a few Nick Cage films on there! :-) 13 at the moment I think

RoadStar1602
RoadStar1602

@nasser_m200 @mtouchprod I preordered Diablo 3, then waited in line at Gamestop at midnight to pick it up. Then I got home and installed it and couldn't log in and play for 2 days because I couldn't log into Blizzard's server to play my $60 single player game. After that I was treated with constant lag issues and many, many times when I could not play my expensive single player game at all because the servers were down.

Do not pre-order games or support this kind of nonsense.

nasser_m200
nasser_m200

@RoadStar1602 @nasser_m200 @mtouchprod I don't trust blizzard anymore and they better do some films rather than games lol. for all that time they where delaying DIII, I was thinking they where improving the game but after I ended the game it's stupid and combat wasn't rly fun at all and I can't play it again after I endede the story. I won't buy any hack and slash game unless it's called Torchlight , mods and coop making it far better than DIII

bosmafia
bosmafia

@RoadStar1602  

Dat feeling...