The debate around an always-online requirement for SimCity continues, with Maxis SVP Lucy Bradshaw firing another salvo in the wake not only of revelations from an anonymous Maxis engineer that the servers weren’t really doing any simulation, but proof from a modder that offline mode was completely workable.
“Always-Connected is a big change from SimCities of the past,” writes Bradshaw. “It didn’t come down as an order from corporate and it isn’t a clandestine strategy to control players. It’s fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity. From the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind – using new technology to realize a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world.”
Bradshaw also discusses other benefits of the connected model, such as cloud-saves letting you play from multiple locations. “You can pop from work to home, play the game and have your cities available to you anywhere,” she says.
“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.”
“So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes. 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. 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. The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology.”