Maxis Looking at Offline Mode for SimCity

by on October 4, 2013

General Manager at Maxis Patrick Buechner, has updated SimCity fans on what he’s called; State of SimCity.

In the blog, after addressing the updates the game has seen in the seven months since it has been released, Buechner outlines the studio’s commitment to giving players what they want such as mods — whilst also trying to address what a “good”, or “safe” mod is.

Those that want bigger cities instead of micro-managing a number of smaller ones are out of luck as Buechner says they’ve looked at it and it’s not possible:

“After months of testing, I confirm that we will not be providing bigger city sizes. The system performance challenges we encountered would mean that the vast majority of our players wouldn’t be able to load, much less play with bigger cities. We’ve tried a number of different approaches to bring performance into an acceptable range, but we just couldn’t achieve it within the confines of the engine. We’ve chosen to cease work on bigger city sizes and put that effort into continuing to evolve the core game and explore an offline mode. Some of the experiments we conducted to improve performance on bigger cities will be rolled into future updates to improve overall game performance.”

However, the biggest thing to come from this blog post is that they’re finally looking at delivering the much wanted offline mode

“Right now we have a team specifically focused on exploring the possibility of an offline mode. I can’t make any promises on when we will have more information, but we know this is something that many of our players have been asking for. While the server connectivity issues are behind us, we would like to give our players the ability to play even if they choose not to connect. An offline mode would have the additional benefit of providing room to the modding community to experiment without interfering or breaking the multiplayer experience.”

While great to hear, it seems strange that they’re looking at tacking this issue now and not seven months ago when they outright said they wouldn’t be entertaining the thought. It’s definitely the right move, but I can’t help but think that the damage was done back in March.