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.
Ok, so they don’t care about their long-time fans… That’s cool though, cause they thought of the people who love always always DRM instead. That’s nice :)
And also, there’s apparently tons of advantages with always-online DRM, compared to offer both a social online experience and a solid single player experience. She names just a few in her blog post:
We put a ton of effort into making our simulation and graphics engines more detailed than ever and to give players lively and responsive cities. We also made innovative use of servers to move aspects of the simulation into the cloud to support region play and social features. Here’s just a few:
– We keep the simulation state of the region up to date for all players. Even when playing solo, this keeps the interactions between cities up to date in a shared view of the world.
– Players who want to reach the peak of each specialization can count on surrounding cities to provide services or resources, even workers. As other players build, your city can draw on their resources.
– Our Great Works rely on contributions from multiple cities in a region. Connected services keep each player’s contributions updated and the progression on Great Works moving ahead.
– All of our social world features – world challenges, world events, world leaderboards and world achievements – use our servers to update the status of all cities.
– Our servers handle gifts between players.
– We’ve created a dynamic supply and demand model for trading by keeping a Global Market updated with changing demands on key resources.
– We update each city’s visual representation as well. If you visit another player’s city, you’ll see the most up to date visual status.
– We even check to make sure that all the cities saved are legit, so that the region play, leaderboards, challenges and achievements rewards and status have integrity.
– Cloud-based saves and easy access from any computer are another advantage of our connected features. You can pop from work to home, play the game and have your cities available to you anywhere.
– Almost all of our players play with connected cities. But some chose to play alone – running the cities themselves. But whether they play solo or multiplayer, they are drawn to the connected city experience. And Always-Connected provides a platform for future social features that will play out over regions and servers.
That’s all necessary and usefull for single player games, so I guess it explains why they can’t spend half a day making it playable offline.
Here’s the full blogpost, but it’s a waste of time reading it, cause it’s all bs. It’s titled “Straight answers from Lucy”, even though there’s no straight answers anywhere to be seen (except maybe that they’re not going to offer a offline mode). She’s not addressing any of the information that just surfaced, she just makes up new excuses for why they did it. She doesn’t admit directly that they lied all along, but at least they seem to have stopped arguing that always-online are needed for individual cities.
SimCity is a special game, with a very special community of players, and we’re proud to be a part of it.
They’re proud of what they’ve done. Good for them.