Electronic Arts and Maxis finally announced Monday what SimCity owners have been asking for since the game's launch. The city building simulation game will receive an update soon that will allow it to be played offline.
When SimCity launched to PC gamers in March 2013, it came with an always-on internet requirement that rendered the game unplayable at first. Those issues were slowly resolved but the always-on requirement remained despite the complaints of fans and evidence that it served more of a digital right management (DRM) purpose than a game function.
"Offline is coming as a free download with Update 10 to all SimCity players," Maxis General Manager Patrick Buechner announced. "When we launch it, all of your previously downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without the need for an internet connection. We are in the late phases of wrapping up its development and while we want to get it into your hands as soon as possible, our priority is to make sure that it’s as polished as possible before we release it. So, until then… testing, testing and more testing. As one of the final steps, we’re putting Offline into the hands of some of our most hardcore players, the DevTesters. This group of volunteers is going to put Offline through its paces before we release it."
Update 10 will allow players to play Regions on their own in a single-player or with others in multiplayer. The single-player mode will store save files locally though. Existing online functionality will not change.
Buechner seems to be particularly excited about the modding possibilities that the new update will bring.
"Bringing the game Offline means big things for our wonderful community of Modders. They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game. Modding is a big part of our studio’s legacy and we’re excited to see what you guys create," he said.
No release window was provided for Update 10 but Buechner says that it will be releasing more information on the Offline mode soon.
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