A Year Too Late, SimCity Finally Has An Offline Mode

Posted on March 18, 2014 by James Conway

Oh, what's that? SimCity finally has an offline mode? When was the game released? March 5th, 2013? Took them long enough.

It honestly feels like yesterday I was writing about how SimCity not having an offline mode was the equivalent of Halo not having multiplayer. EA and Maxis collectively dropped the ball on SimCity and have never really apologized for it, always seeming to take a defensive stance with their creation. 

"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." said Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw back in 2013.

"But this SimCity is made to be played online, and if you can’t get a stable connection, you’re NOT having a good experience." 

I'm a firm believer that video game developers should have the most say in what their game ends up being, not the publisher. They should have the most control over the vision of their product. With that being said, Maxis' vision of having SimCity always be online was completely fucked. 

When they went ahead and made the stupid decision to require everyone who plays the game to always be connected to the internet, that is when they should have sought out fans of the franchise and asked them what they thought. Granted, Maxis and EA probably did do that, but I'm assuming they only listened to the people who agreed with their ideas. 

On top of being always online, the servers you were connected to seemed to have the connection stability of someone using dial up in an Indian call center. The A.I. was also fucked and the map felt much smaller compared to previous SimCity games. Hell, you could have just bought SimCity 4 and got more bang for your buck.

I know I'm beating a dead horse at this point, a horse that's been dead for a year, but I think we need to be reminded every once in awhile that not every game should be always online. SimCity was the perfect combination of bad ideas and bad execution and now we are getting an offline mode a year too late. 

#Sim City, #EA, #Maxis

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