When SimCity first launched, Electronic Arts and Maxis were adamant that the game required an “always-on” connection to supplement your PC with server side computing that would handle some of the game’s more demanding simulations.
Apparently, that’s a bigger lie than “I tried it, but I didn’t inhale” and “I did not have sex with that woman… Monica Lewinsky” combined. (Side note: Bill Clinton was a great President, but when you need a “lying politician” joke, he’ll forever be the go-to guy).
In a blog post titled “Straight Answers from Lucy” on EA’s official website, Lucy Bradshaw, the General Manager of Maxis, has admitted that SimCity could have shipped with a single-player option. But it didn’t because the developer’s thought of the game as 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.
This abrupt 180 comes on the heels of a modder discovering an “offline mode” within SimCity’s code. With this new information, I suspect the number of players who demand a refund from EA will continue to grow.