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SimCity Could Have Been Offline Game

March 18, 2013

By Paul Thomson :: 4:39

Hack to play SimCity offline.In a blog post today, Lucy Bradshaw, General Manager of the Maxis label at Electronic Arts, admitted that the game could have been developed to run in a completely offline context.

However, she argued, the developer vision for the game was never that of an offline mode experience. From the beginning, the plan was to have connectivity required. Electronic Arts “rejected [the] idea [of offline play] 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.”

The company has come under strong fire over the past two weeks for the lackluster performance of the long awaited SimCity game. Critics say that Electronic Arts failed to plan for the huge numbers of people purchasing and playing the game, and the company’s response to beefing up the back-end infrastructure has been too slow.

A few days ago, enterprising hackers on a forum dedicated to the new game found that they could enable indefinite offline play capabilities simply by altering a few lines of code in the software. This revelation was a direct counter to Bradshaw’s earlier claims that a “significant” amount of back-end technology was required to keep SimCity running, and prevented offline play.

While server access is still necessary for any global or regional interactions in SimCity, the majority of the code runs on your own machine, not on Electronic Arts’ servers.

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