In what must be one of the most famous failed launches of recent times, EA Games has finally listened to customers and will be adding an offline mode to SimCity.
When SimCity launched on the PC, unprecedented demand coupled with launch bugs plagued user experience, to a point where EA’s forums were filled with users demanding their money back. The launch was such an epic fail, that it rendered the game unplayable for a substantial amount of time.
Learning from these lessons, EA postponed the launch of the Mac version of the game by a few months in order to iron out the issues experienced with the PC version. Unfortunately time did not fix EA’s woes, and the Mac version experienced similar issues on launch.
The controversial aspect of all of this was that throughout the entire saga, EA insisted that SimCity relied on being connected and as such couldn’t just turn on an offline mode, since a lot of functionality relied on the servers that were getting hammered.
However, in a monumental 180, EA has decided to scrap the always-online policy and will be implementing an offline mode allow users to play the game. An ETA of such an update to enable offline play is yet to be revealed, but EA have said it’s coming soon and will be free to all SimCity players.
“When we launch it, all of your previously downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without the need for an internet connection,” .
Maxis have said they are in the final stages of testing and are wrapping up development of the offline mode in order to release the update to players as soon as possible. Interestingly, they make a particular note of claiming to ensure that it’s as polished as possible before release.
In the offline mode you’ll be able to play solo in the regions alone and of course your content will all be saved locally so no more losing data.
EA hasn’t revealed if the offline mode update is coming to the Mac version of SimCity at the same time as the PC version, or at all, so we’ll have to watch this space.