SimCity Might Be Getting an Offline Mode and Larger Maps
This year has been ripe with controversy, few of which has been as significant as EA's SimCity. Fans were outraged by its online requirements and severe server congestion issues. So much, in fact, that the game was bombarded by thousands of negative reviews on places like Amazon and Metacritic.
After some deep—and lengthy—thought, Maxis is now considering an Offline Mode for SimCity. In a blog post made by General Manager Patrick Buechner, he emphasized that Maxis has been listening to feedback, and takes it very seriously. In his post he states:
We continuously review this feedback alongside in-game telemetry to help us decide where to focus our game tuning and development efforts. We’ve formed dedicated teams to explore specific features. Some player requests, such as a tool to raise and lower roads, were straightforward challenges. Some of the larger asks, such as bigger city maps and an offline mode, have required more thought and exploratory work.
Being able to play offline was a large part of the franchise's previous appeal. Playing when you want without restriction is an important part of any simulation game. While it's understandable that Maxis is looking to modernize the franchise, the steps it took this year were too drastic with the game's foundation built upon an online infrastructure—the maps are ridiculously small.
Buechner's statement comes a little late now that the game's image has been destroyed. While millions of consumers were quick to purchase the game, making it almost instantaneously profitable, they'll be more hesitant next time around. An offline mode might have the potential to bring in post-release sales, but more than anything it's an admittance that EA and Maxis were wrong all along.