Maxis Insider – SimCity Can Run In Offline Mode Without Much Effort

Sim City 5
And the SimCity fiasco keeps going on and on. A couple of days ago, Maxis’ studio head, Lucy Bradshaw, said that an offline mode for SimCity was not possible at the moment and that it would take a significant amount of engineering work from our team to rewrite the game for single player. That was a bunch of crap, and that’s why we did not inform you about this. And it seems we were right, as a Maxis insider told RPS that SimCity can run in offline mode and that a patch wouldn’t take very much engineering.
As the Maxis insider told RPS:
“The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless.”
Maxis and EA are trying their best to force this ridiculous always-online DRM and it’s surprising that some of Maxis developers claimed – in the past – that this always-online thing was a development decision and not a DRM scheme. However, it appears that this was not the case.
Maxis insider added:
“Because of the way Glassbox was designed, simulation data had to go through a different pathway. The game would regularly pass updates to the server, and then the server would stick those messages in a huge queue along with the messages from everyone else playing. The server pulls messages off the queue, farms them out to other servers to be processed and then those servers send you a package of updates back. The amount of time it could take for you to get a server update responding to something you’ve just done in the game could be as long as a few minutes. This is why they disabled Cheetah mode, by the way, to reduce by half the number of updates coming into the queue.”
RPS confirmed that their source was credible and they have verified that he or she worked directly on the project. Since this is not official information, though, take everything you just read with a grain of salt. However, this whole thing starts making sense.
It will be interesting to see whether PC gamers will continue supporting with their wallets Maxis’ title or not. It will also be interesting to see what EA’s and Maxis’ reaction will be after this backlash!