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So much for “not possible”: EA is adding an offline mode to SimCity, free of charge, ten months after fans demanded it.

SimCity was highly anticipated in spring 2013, but suffered a terrible launch SimCity 2013 - The Tale Of a Terrible Launch & a Terrific Game [MUO Gaming] SimCity 2013 - The Tale Of a Terrible Launch & a Terrific Game [MUO Gaming] SimCity was one of the first PC games I ever played when it was first released in 1989 - I was just 7 at the time. You'll understand then why this game holds a particularly... Read More that ultimately led to an apology and a free game for everyone who bought it. Overwhelming server traffic meant SimCity, designed to be online-only, was basically unplayable for weeks.


This prompted players, many of whom weren’t interested in the online parts of the game, to request an offline mode. They were told it wouldn’t – and couldn’t – happen.

Critics said EA was needlessly adding online features to a single-player game to prevent piracy. Whether that’s the case no longer matters, because EA is backing down.


Offering the offline mode, according to single player lead engineer Simon Fox, required a lot of building from scratch.

By the time we’re finished we will have spent over 6 ½ months working to write and rewrite core parts of the game to get this to work,” wrote Fox in a blog post. “Even things that seem trivial, like the way that cities are saved and loaded, had to be completely reworked in order to make this feature function correctly.

The offline mode will be included in Update 10, and ensures people who pay for SimCity will be able to play it if EA shuts down all servers.

Of course, online play wasn’t the only criticism of the game: comments on our site have argued that the cities in the game are too small and that the AI isn’t as in-depth as promised. Some gamers will tell you there are reasons to stick with 2003’s SimCity 4 5 Reasons To Go Back To SimCity 4 [Opinion] 5 Reasons To Go Back To SimCity 4 [Opinion] The city builder is a genre that’s nearly disappeared over the last decade. It’s a victim of the market. City builders aren’t the kind of flash-bang titles that big publishers usually love, but they’re also... Read More . But if you liked the new SimCity, and wanted an offline mode, you’ve got it.

Source: Sim City Blog

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  1. Swetank R
    January 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    Its great news my sister will not complain me again!

  2. John Smith
    January 16, 2014 at 5:57 pm

    What a liar, being in a gaming industry it is essential to have an offline game before putting it online. What a bull.... practically, what we do is create an offline game and integrate mysql/etc and make it online..................... *creating offline game itself is the foundation of the game* It is similar to playing Skyrim in steam, where you can play offline and steam will synchronize the saves file......

  3. Keefe K
    January 16, 2014 at 5:51 pm

    Well, companies like EA can try to herd their customers in the direction they want to go, but unfortunately they underestimate that they're just as stubborn as they are! So unless they want the game to be unsuccessful, and not have good input, then they must listen to customer feedback. Glad to see EA has come around to that, as maybe after the changes take place, I'll look into buying it. The main reason I held out for so long is because it requires an online connection, and SimCity is more of a game I'd play because the rest of my games aren't working (because the internet is down).

  4. Tom W
    January 16, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Wasn't there someone who nodded offline play into SimCity within a week or so of it being released? I'm sure I heard that somewhere.

    • Justin P
      January 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      That's what the gaming press reported, but I'm not sure any modders actually got it to work.

    • Tom W
      January 16, 2014 at 5:21 pm

      The way I would do it is to simulate a local server. This would be a lot of work for modders, because they would have to basically reverse-engineer the entire request set, but it would be fairly trivial for the developers themselves. It's not perfect, but it would at least have allowed a quick-fix offline mode while they do all of the work that they claim went into this change.

    • Justin P
      January 16, 2014 at 6:06 pm

      A lot of people wanted that, but I guess EA/Maxis decided to rebuild chunks of the game instead.

  5. Tim B
    January 16, 2014 at 4:25 am

    Is it me or does that quote sound like the guy has really been put-out by this?

    "We did it, but it took TIME, and EFFORT, and we had to re-write a bunch of stuff. And _really_ it was lots of hassle. But you're welcome I suppose."

    • Justin P
      January 16, 2014 at 2:52 pm

      Yeah, he just kind of seems annoyed, doesn't he?

  6. Bruno C
    January 16, 2014 at 12:54 am

    EA's "always online crap" is gone. Now it's Blizzard's turn.

    • Justin P
      January 16, 2014 at 1:01 am

      Doubt they're going to budge, but then again they didn't face near the backlash EA did. We'll see, I suppose.