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After the troubled released of SimCity in March of last year many gamers weren't able to get online for days, or weeks because of network outages and a policy that the title had to be online to play, publisher Electronic Arts is releasing a version of the game that can now be played offline.
Players have long asked for a mode for offline play. Electronic Arts and developer Maxis were at the brunt end of gamer hate for a epically catastrophic launch of the always-online game that buckled under the weight of hotly anticipated update to the classic series. The consequences of which rippled into the always-online announcement of the Xbox One and that backlash that eventually reversed it.
Today, Maxis chief Patrick Buechner wrote in the SimCity blog that offline mode will be added to the game as a free download with Update 10. "When we launch it, all of your previously downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without the need for an internet connection," he said.
This new offline mode will save games locally instead of saving them into the cloud. All per-excisting saved cities and regions will be accessible when gamers long on to play.
Buechner concluded with one last plea: "From me, and everyone at the studio, thank you again for staying with us."
The launch of SimCity was a complete cluster-fuck. Servers were totally unprepared for the number and demands of players. Games had to be saved online and the game could only be played while online. The complete lack of single-player and server issues meant that fans who picked up the game would have a shiny new beer coaster but possibly not a playable game for the first few weeks after launch, causing some retailers to pull the product from its shelves.
Recently SimCity is up and running fine and this addition of a single-player option really is just trying to make up for the bad press – with reason - received during the launch. Undoubtedly with a rocky popularity at best it also gives the option for EA to back out of its online obligations should it decide to do that.
What do you think? Is a single-player alternative going to make you finally break out the cash for SimCity? Or is it too little, too late?
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