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SimCity Offline Mode Coming

The SimCity Blog announces the online-only requirement is being removed from the Windows edition of SimCity as of the upcoming Update 10, which adds a single-player mode to the urban-planning game. Here's word from Patrick Buechner, General Manager of the EA's Maxis Emeryville studio:

Letís get right to it.

SIMCITY OFFLINE IS COMING!

Iíve wanted to say those words for quite some time, so my apologies that I didnít take the time to say Happy New Year first.

Yes, Offline is coming as a free download with Update 10 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. We are in the late phases of wrapping up its development and while we want to get it into your hands as soon as possible, our priority is to make sure that itís as polished as possible before we release it. So, until thenÖ testing, testing and more testing. As one of the final steps, weíre putting Offline into the hands of some of our most hardcore players, the DevTesters. This group of volunteers is going to put Offline through its paces before we release it.

In Update 10, you can still play solo in Regions on your own, or in Multiplayer with people from around the world. Whatís 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 heartís content. Our team will be delivering a follow-up blog that will outline the full details in the near future so stay tuned.

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. And all of your pre-existing saved cities and regions will still be accessible should you log-in to the Online game.

Bringing the game Offline means big things for our wonderful community of Modders. They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game. Modding is a big part of our studioís legacy and weíre excited to see what you guys create. Check out this thread to learn about Oppie85ís Central Train Station, which you can put into your game right now, and if youíre interested in making your own content take a look at the Modding Policy. To get you started, we will be rolling out a series of tutorials from the studio that surfaces how weíve created some of the content that youíve seen so far in hopes of inspiring your creativity.

So thatís it from me for the time being. Keep an eye out for more information on Offline shortly. Weíll be releasing more information on how it all works. And as always, get in touch with me on Twitter @EAGamer, Iím always eager to read your feedback.

From me, and everyone at the studio, thank you again for staying with us. We look forward to getting Offline for SimCity into your hands as soon as possible.

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79 Replies. 4 pages. Viewing page 1.
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79. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 15, 2014, 15:16 Quboid
 
I couldn't come up with much either, I guess EA haven't said much about it - which perhaps says as much as anything.  
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78. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 15, 2014, 12:27 Jivaro
 
SpectralMeat wrote on Jan 15, 2014, 12:02:
Quboid wrote on Jan 15, 2014, 11:49:
Does anyone know SimCity's sales figures compared to expected?
An arrow pointing downwards comes to mind

Depending on who you believe and where you get your numbers from the results tend to vary. My google-fu came up with Simcity 4 selling roughly 2 million units and the "new" Simcity selling roughly 1.6 million. That is "averaging" what various sources report like EA themselves, Eurogamer, Game Informer, etc. My google-fu is admittedly somewhat weak, perhaps someone else can do better.
 
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77. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 15, 2014, 12:02 SpectralMeat
 
Quboid wrote on Jan 15, 2014, 11:49:
Does anyone know SimCity's sales figures compared to expected?
An arrow pointing downwards comes to mind
 
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76. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 15, 2014, 11:49 Quboid
 
Does anyone know SimCity's sales figures compared to expected?  
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- Quboid
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75. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 15, 2014, 09:50 Verno
 
Newbro wrote on Jan 14, 2014, 23:28:
I'm not trying to defend EA, god knows how many times they pushed unfinished products for release just to earn some quick bucks (Battlefield 4 anyone?), but i mean just give credits when it's due please?

Your selective reading and interpretation of the comments here is pretty amusing. Why should anyone give them credit? They were warned pre-release that this was a bad idea by their consumers and the press. They lied several times about features and the reason they were included. They released a product with numerous problems, problems that stemmed from their dubious inclusion of a feature no one wanted. They decided to ignore all criticism and do the PR tapdance when asked about it during interviews. Finally after the games sales have utterly disappointed and the franchise is potentially damaged they come back with this, not even an apology just an offline mode that no longer suits the game itself because they designed it around small cities and regional multiplayer that no one wanted.

Maybe you should give people some credit rather than giving EA any.
 
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74. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 15, 2014, 03:53 Jivaro
 
Newbro wrote on Jan 14, 2014, 23:28:
(snip)..so I'm not sure how EA could have resolved this in the first month after release. I mean it's not like EA sees a decline in sales after few months, so tells Maxis to flip the 'offline' switch right? This is what annoys me the most.

1) If it wasn't possible to do quickly there was nothing stopping them from saying "We are going to make an offline patch but it will take awhile". Instead they chose to lie and call it impossible.

2) No man, that is exactly what EA did. Sales drop, expansion is released....flip that offline switch. Maybe the metaphorical "switch" took months of development but their lack of transparency makes it pretty clear where their priorities are. Hint: Not the customers that already paid for the game.

Lastly, yes you are trying to defend EA. You may be totally willing to admit that they have screwed up, but this isn't about fixing a screw up. This is about making a conscious design decision that NOBODY wanted. Optional online play maybe, but not mandatory. Now, a year later, they are going to patch in the "impossible" offline play at around the same time that they are selling a new expansion pack and that all sounds kosher to you? Sounds to me like EA needs to boost sales and I think it would be pretty naive to think otherwise. Giving them a pat on the back for willingly screwing over their core audience and only fixing things when they know it's the only way to sell expansion copies isn't going to get much in the way of kudos from me.

All of that said, should they continue to fix things with this game regardless of how the expansion sells, I will be among the first to applaud that. Make the cities bigger, make the game use the PC hardware more efficiently, etc. In other words make the changes to the game the people who already paid for it are (apparently) really wanting instead of making the changes that might get the holdouts to buy the game.

Who knows, I might even buy it if they do. Until than I will stick to SimCity 4.
 
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73. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 14, 2014, 23:28 Newbro
 
Jivaro wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 22:43:
Newbro, I am not going to call you an ass, I have no idea if you are ass or not. I do think you are missing the point though. This board is notoriously cynical, I don't think anyone here would argue that. In this particular case however the point (as I see it in this thread anyway) is that EA could have done this offline mode in the first month or so after release if they were doing it "for the customers" as opposed to nearly a year later "for the business". Put simply, this is like EA saying the cliche' "Come back baby, I promise I will change this time!". Kinda of hard to take seriously this late in the game. All puns intended.

To spin it another way, I am sure there is a contingent of paying customers who are wondering why they can't get bigger city maps or mult-thread processing or....well you get my point. Existing players want solutions to existing issues. These people paid money for a game with online only use, it stands to reason that it probably isn't their biggest concern. Going with an offline mode is nice for the modding community, and that's great, but when you say for such a long time that something isn't possible and than you suddenly decide to do it at around the same time that it benefits you the most, pretending it is for the customer and not for yourself is a bit of a dick move.

I would be shocked if the folks here didn't jump on it. They should. The time to react to your existing customer base is immediately if your focus really is on the customers, not after you have already bled your core audience dry and need to find a new one to pay the bills with. This is the kind of thing that gets EA voted Worst Company in America.

Nicely pointed out. I do agree top priority would be fixing existing issues instead of the offline patch, but do keep in mind that making an online based game this size playable offline does takes quite some times (As the lead engineer pointed out), so I'm not sure how EA could have resolved this in the first month after release. I mean it's not like EA sees a decline in sales after few months, so tells Maxis to flip the 'offline' switch right? This is what annoys me the most.

I'm not trying to defend EA, god knows how many times they pushed unfinished products for release just to earn some quick bucks (Battlefield 4 anyone?), but i mean just give credits when it's due please?


 
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72. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 14, 2014, 20:11 HorrorScope
 
Beamer wrote on Jan 14, 2014, 10:48:
Jivaro wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 22:43:
This is the kind of thing that gets EA voted Worst Company in America.

I think they fell to #3 this year, but that may have been a different poll.
Behind McDonald's, who told its employees it's unhealthy to eat McDonald's, and someone I can't remember.

I haven't played it, but it sounds like Battlefield 4 should be enough to keep them up there.

Different poll. It's the March Madness one. They've been nominated the last two years only, but are undefeated, 2-0 Worst Company.
 
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71. Re: Rebranding Jan 14, 2014, 11:04 RavingArmy
 
ColBlister wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 17:07:
Since EA won't be increasing the city size, perhaps they'll rebrand it "Sim Village" to achieve something closer to what they're providing?

SimSuburb. Maybe SimGatedCommunity.
 
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70. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 14, 2014, 10:59 SpectralMeat
 
Jivaro wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 22:43:
Newbro, I am not going to call you an ass, I have no idea if you are ass or not. I do think you are missing the point though. This board is notoriously cynical, I don't think anyone here would argue that. In this particular case however the point (as I see it in this thread anyway) is that EA could have done this offline mode in the first month or so after release if they were doing it "for the customers" as opposed to nearly a year later "for the business". Put simply, this is like EA saying the cliche' "Come back baby, I promise I will change this time!". Kinda of hard to take seriously this late in the game. All puns intended.

To spin it another way, I am sure there is a contingent of paying customers who are wondering why they can't get bigger city maps or mult-thread processing or....well you get my point. Existing players want solutions to existing issues. These people paid money for a game with online only use, it stands to reason that it probably isn't their biggest concern. Going with an offline mode is nice for the modding community, and that's great, but when you say for such a long time that something isn't possible and than you suddenly decide to do it at around the same time that it benefits you the most, pretending it is for the customer and not for yourself is a bit of a dick move.

I would be shocked if the folks here didn't jump on it. They should. The time to react to your existing customer base is immediately if your focus really is on the customers, not after you have already bled your core audience dry and need to find a new one to pay the bills with. This is the kind of thing that gets EA voted Worst Company in America.
+1
Very well said
 
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69. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 14, 2014, 10:48 Beamer
 
Jivaro wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 22:43:
This is the kind of thing that gets EA voted Worst Company in America.

I think they fell to #3 this year, but that may have been a different poll.
Behind McDonald's, who told its employees it's unhealthy to eat McDonald's, and someone I can't remember.

I haven't played it, but it sounds like Battlefield 4 should be enough to keep them up there.
 
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68. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 14, 2014, 07:37 Redmask
 
Newbro wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 22:06:
Not to be an ass.. but first people whined when there's no offline mode which I perfectly understand.. But now that it's here let's whine some more on how it was impossible in the first place? Seriously you guys are hard to please, give them a break already.. And now I don't work for EA and do not own a copy of the game. Only chance I would purchase it is when it's in the discount bin for $5

People whined because they released a horribly buggy game no one asked for, fundamentally broken by its forced multiplayer which was a piracy concern. Releasing an offline mode without going back and addressing the games major design flaws doesn't help anyone, they're just trying to wring every last sale out of this after it massively disappointed in unit volume. They also spun PR bullshit about the game that turned out to be completely untrue and dug their heels in long past the point of being reasonable. Let's also not forget they took a much beloved franchise and turned it into dumbed down garbage, the scale of the simulation is a complete joke now.

Also when you say 'not trying to be an ass' then accuse people of whining, you're being an ass.
 
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67. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 14, 2014, 03:43 InBlack
 
Talisorn wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 16:42:
Ah ... Blues News! What happened to you? You really have become to PC gaming what that bitter and twisted "No Mutants Allowed" people are to Fallout. Two and a half pages of whining and not one positive comment. Reality check: You all sound like a bunch of self-entitled little bitches. GROW UP!

Well all I can say is FINALLY I can get to play this game as I wanted to play. It may be late in the day, but at least I now get to play.

A solid 8.5/10 attempt, a lot of you guys fell for it.
 
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66. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 14, 2014, 01:16 Prez
 
nin wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 22:30:

give them a break already..


Nope. They earned every bit of negativity they get...

Yep. EA has been given their share of "breaks" by me and presumably others and has LONG since used them all up by continuing to do business like greed-driven assholes. Until they start treating their customers (and potential customers) better as far as I'm concerned they deserve every ounce of hate that comes there way.
 
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65. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 13, 2014, 23:23 xXBatmanXx
 
nin wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 22:30:
give them a break already..

Nope. They earned every bit of negativity they get...


*DING

Saying something like that is just agreeing that f***ing everyone over is ok....and it isnt.
 
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64. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 13, 2014, 22:55 Talisorn
 
Mad Max RW wrote on Jan 13, 2014, 20:47:
You could be thinking of Roshambo (Rosh) who hasn't been around in several years. He was a dumb fucker and a coward.

You could be right about that. It was a while ago and after running in with their mods who penalised those who were not constant naysayers. A good mod should be neutral and consider all opinions. They didn't have good mods.
 
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63. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 13, 2014, 22:43 Jivaro
 
Newbro, I am not going to call you an ass, I have no idea if you are ass or not. I do think you are missing the point though. This board is notoriously cynical, I don't think anyone here would argue that. In this particular case however the point (as I see it in this thread anyway) is that EA could have done this offline mode in the first month or so after release if they were doing it "for the customers" as opposed to nearly a year later "for the business". Put simply, this is like EA saying the cliche' "Come back baby, I promise I will change this time!". Kinda of hard to take seriously this late in the game. All puns intended.

To spin it another way, I am sure there is a contingent of paying customers who are wondering why they can't get bigger city maps or mult-thread processing or....well you get my point. Existing players want solutions to existing issues. These people paid money for a game with online only use, it stands to reason that it probably isn't their biggest concern. Going with an offline mode is nice for the modding community, and that's great, but when you say for such a long time that something isn't possible and than you suddenly decide to do it at around the same time that it benefits you the most, pretending it is for the customer and not for yourself is a bit of a dick move.

I would be shocked if the folks here didn't jump on it. They should. The time to react to your existing customer base is immediately if your focus really is on the customers, not after you have already bled your core audience dry and need to find a new one to pay the bills with. This is the kind of thing that gets EA voted Worst Company in America.
 
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62. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 13, 2014, 22:30 nin
 
give them a break already..

Nope. They earned every bit of negativity they get...

 
http://store.nin.com/index.php?cPath=10
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61. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 13, 2014, 22:06 Newbro
 
Not to be an ass.. but first people whined when there's no offline mode which I perfectly understand.. But now that it's here let's whine some more on how it was impossible in the first place? Seriously you guys are hard to please, give them a break already.. And now I don't work for EA and do not own a copy of the game. Only chance I would purchase it is when it's in the discount bin for $5  
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60. Re: SimCity Offline Mode Coming Jan 13, 2014, 21:17 xXBatmanXx
 
Relevance = 0 at this point doesn't it?  
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