Maxis says an offline mode for SimCity is “impossible”, takes full responsibility for the debacle

Posted on March 10, 2013 - 8:40pm by Ryan Conway

We’ve got some more SimCity news fresh from the presses, which includes the (im)possibility of taking the game offline, Maxis’ sense of responsibility, and the new 1.3 update. 

Let’s start with the most disappointing bit of news first shall we?
 
As we all know, the entire mess surrounding SimCity’s launch revolves of the game’s use of DRM, which forces players to stay connected to EA’s servers in order to play the game, which caused the servers to crash because it couldn’t handle the sudden influx of players. So as you can imagine, lots of people were rightfully pissed off because they were unable to play the game they had just purchased. 
 
During a recent Twitter Q&A with the Maxis staff, many unsatisfied customers asked the developer to patch an offline mode, in order to prevent such an occurrence from happening again, which is a great idea and should have been implemented from the start. Unfortunately, adding offline is impossible, according to Maxis GM Lucy Bradshaw, who had this to say during the session:
 
“We have no intention of offlining SimCity any time soon but we'll look into that as part of our earning back your trust efforts.
 
"The game was designed for MP, we sim the entire region on the server so this is just not possible."
 
The Q&A took another interesting turn when one user started to rant about EA’s involvement with the game. Bradshaw didn’t take too kindly to this, so she responded with a rather surprising admission (which likely confirms the legitimacy of a recently leaked Maxis memo):
 
"Hey, this is on Maxis. EA does not force design upon us. We own it, we are working 24/7 to fix it, and we are making progress."
 
Finally, the developers have just launched a new update, alongside a new server dubbed Antarctica 1. The 1.3 patch should fix the issue of players getting stuck when switching shards in the server menu and it also makes it easier for players to locate the servers in which their cities are located. 
 
Here’s a summary of my thoughts regarding these developments: 
 
The revelation of an offline mode never becoming a reality flat out sucks but at least Maxis is trying to come up with an idea to make it up to the players and the 1.3 patch, along with the recent server adjusts, are a great leap forward.
 
As far as Maxis taking all of the blame for the situation goes, I don’t think it’s right. Even though it was Maxis' (wrong-headed) decision to make the game online only, EA provided the servers, which failed, so it should be taking blame for this as well. But I do apologize for previously placing all of the blame on EA.  
 
Oh and Maxis, how could you not see the demand for an offline single-player mode? It was clear as day!
 
Sources: JoyStiq and Polygon
 

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