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'SimCity' boss explains omission of offline mode

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SimCity requires an always-on internet connection because the game was built with multiplayer and social features in mind, according to Maxis boss Lucy Bradshaw.

The studio executive addressed the user backlash over the omission of offline play in a recent blog post, insisting that its absence was creatively motivated.

SimCity 2013 screenshot

© EA



"Always-Connected is a big change from SimCities of the past. It didn't come down as an order from corporate and it isn't a clandestine strategy to control players," she wrote.

"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 realise 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.

"We put a ton of effort into making our simulation and graphics engines more detailed than ever and to give players lively and responsive cities. We also made innovative use of servers to move aspects of the simulation into the cloud to support region play and social features."

SimCity 2013 screenshot

© EA



Bradshaw went on to say that Maxis could have included an offline mode in the game, but that would not have fitted in with its vision for the project, which she compares to an MMO.

"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," she added.

"We recognise 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.

SimCity 2013 screenshot

© EA



"The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology."

A modder recently posted a video on YouTube of a hacked version of SimCity running offline, with building permitted beyond the restrictive city limits.

> Read Digital Spy's review of SimCity

Watch a trailer for SimCity below:

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