Take this with a grain of salt, because this is just a rumor. However, it appears that playing SimCity offline wouldn’t be near as difficult as EA originally stated.
Speaking with Rock, Paper, Shotgun on the condition of anonymity, an alleged Maxis employee has stated that previous statements regarding the controversy surrounding the game are false. EA and Maxis head honcho Lucy Bradshaw originally claimed that it would take “a significant amount of engineering work from our team to rewrite the game” for offline usage. However, according to the unnamed Maxis employer, the servers are not handling any vital game information. If some recent independent reports are to be believed, there may actually be something to this.
Kotaku claims to have played the game offline for almost twenty minutes before the game shut itself down. EA says that the always online structure is there for more than just DRM management and piracy issues. Obviosuly the sharing aspects of the game require a connection, but things like region generation and import/export issues are apparently not even happening in real-time, which basically makes the “always on” structure superfluous.
Kotaku and RPS aren’t alone on questioning this. Minecraft creator Notch tweeted that he had been able to play offline (But I thought it REALLY needed them?), and the alleged employee claims to have no idea why EA is claiming otherwise. It couldn’t have anything to do with dissuading pirates could it?
It should be noted that we have no clue who this guy is, or what exactly his role with Maxis might be. However, this isn’t the first time a disgruntled employee has spoken out about the SimCity debacle, and it probably won’t be the last.
Of course we don’t know the credibility of the source, but it does raise some interesting questions. Does this change your perception about the game? If you have been on the fence about it, would an offline component change your mind? For our thoughts on the game, check out our review here.