EA have announced they are officially launching an offline mode of ‘SimCity’ in the upcoming update 10.
When EA released the ‘SimCity’ reboot in 2013 it was released as an online only game which made absolutely no sense and resulted in a tide of backlash when no one could actually connect to the EA servers for the entire first week after launch. EA actually had to disable a range of features just to get it to work. Even then, getting online was problematic at best. While the concept might have looked good on paper… to someone, it proved to be a complete disaster. Online only games only make sense if they are based in a persistent world where you can interact with other players or friends anywhere at anytime. This is not the case with ‘SimCity’. Far from it. ‘SimCity’ is still based on building a city using limited resources in individual areas. The key difference with the reboot is that you can now “trade” with other players in your “region”. I tried this several times and the one time I got it to work it was too little too late and my shipping industry just couldn’t recover. Another city in ruins.
Frustrated gamers eventually realised that you could actually play offline for up to 20 minutes before you were essentially kicked out of the session. Picking up on this anomaly, modders managed to successfully force the game into a “debug” mode which essentially eliminated the need for a live internet connection. This contradicted everything EA were saying who insisted that,
“… online connectivity is necessary even for single-player sessions, because portions of the game’s content need to be rendered on Maxis’ servers.”
It appears that after 12 months EA may have actually learnt some lessons from this by finally conceding defeat and adding offline support.
After consistently making serious marketing and PR mistakes over the last few years and winning the dubious title of “Most Hated Company in America” in 2012, someone should have lost their job by now. ‘SimCity’ wasn’t the only title to suffer. ‘Battlefield 3’ had similar connectivity issues not to mention forcing players to pay just for the privilege to get online. A scheme they have now scrapped due to immense consumer backlash.
Maybe EA have finally started listening to their customers, the ones who actually make them money, rather than the incompetent managers they have literally running their subsidiaries into the ground, maybe not. R.I.P Pandemic, Westwood, Origin Studios and Bright Light.
No release date for update 10 or offline mode has been announced.