Back when SimCity came out early last year, critics and audiences ripped Electronic Arts and Maxis for being less than forthcoming about the game’s online requirements. What was visioned as a world of user controlled cities interacting symbiotically with one another in a persistent world was seen by players as an always online crutch, forced down their throats for a game that always crashed because the game’s servers were shot. Upset about not even having the option to build cities in the peace and quiet of their own office space, players clamored for an offline mode, which EA shot down as something that would require significant engineering to pull off.
Well nearly a year later, it seems that Maxis and EA have been up to significant engineering as SimCity is expected to be patched to include an offline mode soon. The move goes hand in hand with EA and Maxis seemingly attempting to extend an olive branch to their splintered fanbase as they had announced the addition of mod support earlier this week. Citing the long running positive community involvement of modders with Maxis games, the studio and publisher are desperately trying to save face for the once pristine SimCity brand.
As much as I believe that the addition of an offline mode will make SimCity an curious game, the constant fires being put out by EA and Maxis have essentially destroyed this iteration of SimCity. I’d be curious to experience the game in the controlled confines offline, but the entire time I would be thinking of how terrible the post launch handling was by the company. It will take a lot of time for audiences to forget the catastrophic launch of SimCity, here’s to hoping the legendary franchise makes a triumphant return.