Subset offline mode didn’t fit Maxis’ vision for SimCity

Developer responds to SimCity backlash

After a rather eventful day of people tinkering with SimCity in order to play offline, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw has written a “straight answers” blog post addressing the game’s always-on design. Those hoping for a candid response aren’t going to get much more than this, I’m willing to bet:

“The game we launched is only the beginning for us — it’s not final and it never will be,” writes Bradshaw. “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.”

Understandably, DRM and the like as it relates to the online requirement gets no real mention from the developer’s side of the conversation. Fair enough if online-centric features were a core component of the SimCity vision, but, one has to admit that the execution of said vision was — as evidenced by the troubled launch — lacking, to put it nicely.

Jordan Devore
Jordan is a founding member of Destructoid and poster of seemingly random pictures. They are anything but random.