'SimCity' Receives Offline Mode In Update: EA Subsidiary Maxis Announces Upcoming Single-Player Patch; Is This Too Little Too Late?

on January 13 2014 1:36 PM
SimCity update
Is this newly announced offline single-player mode too little too late to save the "SimCity" community? Electronic Arts

After a disaster-filled release of “SimCity” in March 2013, Maxis, a subsidiary of Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA) announced in a January 13 announcement that its flagship game will be receiving an offline single player mode.

According to a blog post by the General Manager of Maxis Emeryville studio, Patrick Buechner, the offline update will be provided as a free download for all SimCity players as part of Update 10.

Buechner continued explaining that the update will allow players of “SimCity” to play the game offline, allowing for modders to add content to the game without affecting the “SimCity” online universe.

Some mods such as the central train station are currently available on third-party “SimCity” mod sites. Maxis and Electronic Arts have also provided rules and policies that serve as guidelines for the “SimCity mod community.

As for when you can get the offline update, no specific date has been announced as developers are currently still working on Update 10.

This announcement signals a huge reversal for the “SimCity” development team who previously claimed that the game’s cloud-based architecture kept “SimCity” from being played offline.

Here’s what Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw (now Maxis Senior Vice President) had to say to Polygon back in March 2013:

“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.”

Furthermore, modders quickly disproved the claim that “SimCity” relied on cloud computations on social news site Reddit and YouTube.

In addition to the online requirement controversy, “SimCity” faced several launch issues with its online multiplayer components, which forced Maxis to disable certain multiplayer gameplay features, leaving the “SimCity” community outraged.

Can EA and Maxis invigorate the “SimCity” community with this upcoming offline update, or is it too little to late to save “SimCity” from all their missteps? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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