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SimCity Finally Getting Offline Mode and Modding

Looks as though the impossible is now quite possible, as Patrick Buechner, General Manager of the Maxis Emeryville, studio reports that SimCity will soon be playable offline nearly one year after the game made its debut. Why the sudden change in heart? Modding may have had something to do with it.

"In Update 10, you can still play solo in Regions on your own, or in Multiplayer with people from around the world," he writes. "What's new is the Single Player Mode, which allows you to play the game Offline by yourself. And because your saved games in this mode are stored locally, you can save and load to your heart's content. Our team will be delivering a follow-up blog that will outline the full details in the near future so stay tuned."

One of the big beefs consumers had with SimCity when it launched on March 5, 2013 was that players needed an Internet connection to play. Yet the online servers were having technical issues such as network outages, difficulty in making a connection and problems saving progress. Maxis said that the game was designed to be played online, and that it would be "impossible" to play offline. Ten months later, the Single Player Mode shows up.

"So what does this mean for the Online game? All of the benefits of being connected will remain including access to Multiplayer, the Global Market and Leaderboards," he writes. "And all of your pre-existing saved cities and regions will still be accessible should you log-in to the Online game."

Maybe it was the new modding community that pushed Maxis over the offline edge, as he says that an offline mode should be great news for those itching to write mods.

"They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game," he writes. "Modding is a big part of our studio's legacy and we're excited to see what you guys create. To get you started, we will be rolling out a series of tutorials from the studio that surfaces how we've created some of the content that you've seen so far in hopes of inspiring your creativity."

For those interested in modding SimCity, there's a list of rules located here that was posted on January 9, 2014.

  • memadmax
    Change of heart?Maybe it was because the game sucks....
    Reply
  • Platinum Era
    Rather have a larger city area...
    Reply
  • cloakster
    Too little too late
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  • bochica
    something that should have been done from the beginning. what players also needed was better stability of gameplay and connectivity. since it has taken a year to answer any of the three needs, it is probably way too late.
    Reply
  • Eisbrecher34
    I understand that multiplayer and online games are the wave of the future, but for sim / strategy games there is still an undeniable need for a single player / offline option. I guess EA and Maxis forgot this when they developed the game. For FPS and MMOs yes you can get away with what they did, but again it all comes back down to who is going to play the game. Its a shame because I love the older Sim City games, but this one really was a blemish to the series. Hopefully they learn their lesson for the next one...
    Reply
  • bochica
    The "idea" they had for the game was actually pretty cool, having a global economy generated by other players. What they lacked though was the proper execution of it. I think if there was more interactivity, bigger plots, and, overall, a more stable game, it would have been very successful.
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    Now if only Blizzard were to follow suit with Diablo 3...
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  • Darkerson
    Now if only Blizzard were to follow suit with Diablo 3...
    At least the AH is going away, but yeah, LAN and offline single player would be nice, too!
    Reply
  • iamadev
    What a lot of people don't seem to understand is that this was likely their intention all along. As bad as the launch for this and D3 were they were hugely successful games, partially due to the following the brands have but also in a big way due to the fact that early on the only way to play it was to buy it.This drop in piracy and those that "needed" to play it had to buy it instead of simply heading over to the nearest torrent site made them both hugely successful despite protestations from a lot in the gamer community.Now they get to release an offline/single player mode and get a few more sales from the few hold outs that were genuinely going to buy if/when a offline mode was implemented. The upside to all this is when they want to turn the servers off (they made most of the money off this game already) they can do without too much backlash.Its win win win for all involved, buyers get their offline mode, pirates get their free copy without convoluted cracks/emu servers and EA get to turn off the online servers when they want (i.e. when it is no longer cost effective to run them).
    Reply
  • ddpruitt
    I imagine that the offline mode is required by modding and by the offline saves. I can't remember how many times I lost a city because I forgot what server it was stored on or something else screwy happened. As for city size I like the fact that the sizes are small, it requires you to think more. I've hated how modern games give you essentially unlimited resources and gamers complain about games that have restrictions.
    Reply