Maxis: 'we could have built an offline mode' in SimCity

Perhaps the most-wanted feature of any SimCity player is an offline mode, as evidenced by this hack. Officially, Maxis' latest release requires an always-on internet connection, which has been the root of the game's many problems at launch.

Lucy Bradshaw, general manager at Maxis, directly addressed the possibility of offline play. Bradshaw answered the question "could we have built a subset offline mode" with a rather disparaging response: "Yes. But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision."

Her admission that an offline mode could have been built into the new SimCity directly contradicts earlier statements, which suggested that online connectivity offloaded some of the game's computational load onto EA's servers.

In a blog post titled "Straight Answers," Bradshaw says that always-connected play will provide "a platform for future social features that will play out over regions and servers. The game we launched is only the beginning for us--it's not final and it never will be. In many ways, we built an MMO."

Unfortunately, it means longtime fans of the franchise will not be able to play the game as they want to--at least, not officially. Bradshaw says that "We recognize that there are fans--people who love the original SimCity – who want [an offline mode.]" But, apparently that audience is moot because there are "thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality."