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Platform(s): PC
Genre: Simulation
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Developer: Maxis
Release Date: March 5, 2013 (US), March 8, 2013 (EU)

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'SimCity' Offline Mode Quite Possible, Says Insider

by Rainier on March 13, 2013 @ 2:07 p.m. PDT

SimCity is a true rebirth of the franchise that brings the depth of simulation that has been the series hallmark for more than two decades and marries it with next generation accessibility and a robust multiplayer mode, giving players the power to change a world together.

SimCity engages a new generation of PC gamers as they take charge of their own customized cities and build a world that co-exists alongside friends. For the first time in SimCity franchise history, players' decisions have long-lasting repercussions that extend beyond their city limits. Together, players address real global challenges such as climate change, the search for renewable resources and natural disasters.  It's up to the players to decide whether to compete or collaborate to shape the world of tomorrow – for better or for worse.

EA has run into one issue after the next since the launch of SimCity, and, contrary to early "raving" reviews, customers are up in arms about not being able to play the game. Last week, Amazon even stopped selling the digital edition of the game after it had received numerous claims from its customers.

The bottom line is that the EA servers could not handle the traffic, and with SimCity being "always on," it requires you to have an Internet connection in order to play — preventing gamers from playing the game at all. As a result people were asking, "Why is there no offline mode?" to which SimCity studio boss Lucy Bradshaw said:

"With the way that the game works, we offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers so that the computations are off the local PCs and are moved into the cloud. It wouldn't be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team."

In the meantime, a lot of people have been tinkering with the game, and since they're unable to play online, they decided to give it a try offlinesuccessfully, it seems.

The most interesting piece of news comes from a "Maxis insider," who claims that:

"The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they're doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they're not doing anything. I have no idea why they're claiming otherwise. It's possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I'm clueless."

The "insider" further contradicts Bradshaw by stating, "It wouldn't take very much engineering to give you a limited single-player game without all the nifty region stuff."

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