SimCity has been plagued by server problems since the day it arrived last March, and despite a series of updates and patches, EA still hasn’t been able to find a complete fix. As a result, the company has reversed its always-online policy and announced it will be adding an offline mode.
If you type “SimCity” into Google, you’ll find plenty of coverage for EA’s latest city building simulator, and the vast majority of it is negative. Although the game has certainly improved since day one — when fans found they were unable to play their new game because they couldn’t connect to EA’s servers — it’s still not completely free from issues.
In an attempt to save the title, EA has decided to scrap its original always-online policy — which said players must connect to EA servers in order to play the game — and announced that a new offline mode will be available “soon.” It’ll be a free update 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,” wrote Patrick Buechner, general manager of the Maxis Emeryville studio, on the SimCity blog.
“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 it’s as polished as possible before we release it.”
In offline mode, you’ll be able to play solo in Regions all by yourself, and because your saves will now be stored locally, you can “save and load to your heart’s content,” and you won’t lose the progress you’ve already made. Of course, if you want to play multiplayer and access features like the Global Market and leaderboards, you’ll need to go online for that.
EA hasn’t made it clear whether the offline update for Mac will be available at the same time as the PC release, but we’ve contacted the company for clarification and we’ll update this post when we get it.