SimCity's long-awaited offline mode nearly here

Game update that will introduce much-requested feature is in "final testing," Maxis says.

SimCity's long-awaited and much-requested offline mode is almost ready for release. Maxis said on Twitter that Update 10, which introduces the new mode, is "in final testing."

"Almost there, Mayors," the tweet says.

SimCity's launch last year was plagued by widespread server woes that left the game--which required an online connection--completely unplayable for some. Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw said in March 2013 that an offline mode "didn't fit" with the company's vision for the game and later explained that introducing such a mode would require significant engineering work.

But in January 2014, Maxis finally revealed that an offline mode would indeed come to SimCity. When the mode goes live, all of your previously downloaded content will be available to you without an Internet connection.

For more on the engineering work Maxis needed to do to get an offline mode for SimCity ready, check out this technical breakdown by lead single-player system engineer Simon Fox.

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eddienoteddy

Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
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63 comments
bloody-hell
bloody-hell

So either there's a problem with the comments system or GameSpot staff / LifeFyre mods are cleaning up without comment deletion notification or a reason why.


There's no sugarcoating, these are facts - game still requires Origin DRM client and an EA account, still has only tiny buildable areas, still has a broken RCI model, still has broken agent AI and nonsensical behavior, still has broken regional trading, ... the list goes on and on.

Again, as said in the comment that magically disappeared without reason - this game has way bigger issues than the online requirement.


By the looks of it, Eddie seemed to have linked to the wrong SimCity / published the article for the wrong game. ("sim-city" from 1990 instead of "simcity" from 2013)

halofreak3487
halofreak3487

"...and later explained that introducing such a mode would require significant engineering work."

Yeah, the game itself needed significant engineering work before it was released to the public. Almost a year later and you're still trying to fix major game play issues. How about letting us build on all that unused land? Or will that require you guys to go back and read all that code that you weren't properly trained for?

deadpen
deadpen

TOOOO LATE for off line mode (still add it though), how about letting me build on the 500,000 sq, miles of unusable map?!?!

ilke444
ilke444

On lunch day my friend bought game and could not play it for 10 days, after that was battling with disconnects for months. This EA  decision is way to late. They dont care about customers. . .

LickTheEnvelope
LickTheEnvelope

Meanwhile Banished is a better town simulator anyways, can usually be purchased for around $15, and was made by one guy. 

admonster08
admonster08

I stopped playing coz od cit y plot size 

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

Yay, I guess.  The only other major limitation of the game now that comes to mind is the city size.  Which is pretty significant, though I do like how they tried to make the pieces a bit more intimate in how they all come together.


With the online requirement gone, I could see recommending the game to someone on sale for $10 or something.  The parts that worked were fun for a while. 

hampton2003
hampton2003

I forgot you were even working on this

Sarg1010
Sarg1010

"the new mode, is "in final testing.""

So it's almost being done coded and is going to be out the door soon with out any sort of QA being done. Gotcha.

vicsrealms
vicsrealms

Sorry EA, but you missed my $60 when it first came out with that online mess.

XxXeroxX
XxXeroxX

Please EA, sell this franchise to someone else who is dedicated on making a game worth buying. Could you guys imagine Civilization 5 being the developer for SimCity? It would be spectacular. 

Caanimal
Caanimal

Sad to say I stopped playing the game after about 2 months.  The online only thing was annoying but what bothered me more was the size of the maps, they were ridiculously undersized and once you hit a certain population size became horrible to manage...  The game wants you to make a city of millions but the size of the plots can't support more than a few hundred thousand.  What's really sad is I used to play the older SimCity games for hundreds of hours, I think I have about 75 hours total into SimCity.


Personally I'd love to see an entire "region" opened up as a single map instead of having 4 individual cities...

Kayweg
Kayweg

Too little, too late for many i suspect, and if you read/listen around, the game has far more severe problems than it's "online only" approach.

Still, good news for those who do play the game....so, good on them.

glacius_x
glacius_x

Do people really care about this still? It seems to late.

Lattata
Lattata

Too late. Sim City was a catastrophic failure and it will never recover from such.

lostn
lostn

Too little too late EA.


You just keep ruining good studios.

Vexov
Vexov

Seems pointless, but now its free from EA's ..... .. creeper grasp.

foxrock66
foxrock66

Does anyone actually care about this after so long?

whocaresrly
whocaresrly

This game had an offline mode about 2 months after release, why waste their time?

FBohler
FBohler

Larger maps, anyone?

thrombosis45
thrombosis45

It's too late, EA, no one cares about SimCity anymore. It's yet another corpse of a game franchise in your wake. How the hell the Sims has survived can only be attributed to that game's core audience of bubble-headed girls who will buy ANYTHING for their precious dollhouse simulator.

northArrow
northArrow

Hopefully the modding community can make this game what it should have been in the first place. 


First and foremost we need larger city plots and customizable regions

HaloinventedFPS
HaloinventedFPS

The game is really fun, if it launched with an offline mode & all the patches it's gotten, it could have been PC's GOTY, but of course EA has to rush it out buggy & with always online DRM, god damnit

Tigerbite2
Tigerbite2

Arrrrrrrrr Matey.  TO THE HIGH SEAS.

yzeng
yzeng

no bigger maps no buy

bouff
bouff

I've been wanting to play this game ever since they announced it (or at least since I read about the announcement). but as my internet connection is very unstable I never bought SimCity, but as soon as this "off-line" mode is available I'll be buying it

simc1
simc1

I played SimCity 4 probably more than any other games out there... SC5 was a total letdown, and will still be after this patch. The soul is gone

Cloud_imperium
Cloud_imperium

Sim City 4 is still best in the series , offline mode won't make this game better . I am glad that gamers voted with their wallets to force them to bring offline mode though .

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

@XxXeroxX  Kind of agree, though Firaxis already has their hands full with X-com, plus their own franchises.


The last 3 SimCity games were all from different teams.  Eventually they will either straighten them out, find a better design team that fits, or sell the license to someone else as you suggest.


It's been a painful lesson, but I think EA did learn a lot of things not to do from this experience.  At least they've already committed to not making the same online mistakes with The Sims 4.

nyran125tk
nyran125tk

@XxXeroxX  yes, that would be good. they should do it. I reckon its because the original maxis guy isnt there anymore and hasnt been there for years.

adro191
adro191

@Caanimal  Totally agree!, I played this game a lot in the beginning, and after few months stopped, frankly i tried going back but everytime i go back, I end up playing few minutes then switch it off. 


completely lost my interest, what a shame as it had very high potential.  

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

@glacius_x For some it is too late, however as far as I see it Sim City may be coming to an end after the release of the offline mode and all EA/Maxis has to do is flip the switch. I also do not see another SimCity being made for a very long time. In my eyes, EA/Maxis never fulfilled any of the hype that had pumped up so many before release and it is a shame for one of the oldest publishing houses around.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@FBohler Or at the very least make it easier to run every map in a region yourself.  Setting the regions to private and running every town is actually a pretty fascinating way to play, from a strategy point of view. 

Grimkillah
Grimkillah

@FBohler  

Yes, I don't want to be a town planner, I want to build a metropolis.

FBohler
FBohler

@northArrow The tiny map killed this game. I wouldn't care to play only online if the maps were larger.

FBohler
FBohler

@HaloinventedFPS GOTY? Not with that tiny maps... When the city starts to get nice, you're out of space.

Lu_Shen
Lu_Shen

@Cloud_imperium  Sim City 4 was great until about 3 hours in when it became impossible to control traffic.

LickTheEnvelope
LickTheEnvelope

@lonewolf1044 @glacius_xThat's stupid.  This should have been the easiest game ever to make people happy with just look at the recent success of 'Banished' on Steam, which is a $20 town Simulator made by 1 guy.  EA and Maxis just completely ignored fans of the series then botched the server side completely on launch.  A shining example of how not to make a simulator game.

olddadgamer
olddadgamer

@FBohler @HaloinventedFPSA fun way around that is to essentially make it offline.  Set up a region, set it to private, and run every city yourself.  Hop between them.  


Makes you feel like you've taken over the whole tri state area. 

sabas10
sabas10

@Lu_Shen @Cloud_imperium  There are some great mods out there for SC4 that actually fix the traffic problem. Not to mention the Rush Hour expansion already improved things.

lonewolf1044
lonewolf1044

@LickTheEnvelope @lonewolf1044@glacius_x True, but it went beyond the launch fiasco with the bugs that was rampant and they are still trying to get the bugs but with every bug that is taken care of more just appear and some of the bugs that was thought to be fixed come back. The game should have been named "Patch City" and not Sim City.