The SimCity debacle reared its ugly head again today and it continues to look bad for EA.
The latest Godzilla stomp on EA’s city simulation is the news that a modder has discovered an offline “debug mode” that bypasses the always-online requirement of the game. EA has always maintained that their servers provide constant computational support to SimCity players, but this debug mode paints the always-online requirement as little more than a backdoor DRM scheme.
This backs up a recent anonymous tip reported by Rock, Paper, Shotgun that claims SimCity doesn’t require an Internet connection.
“The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise.”
However this brouhaha resolves itself, I think EA’s mayoral aspirations are over.