At long last, SimCity can be played offline

At long last, SimCity can be played offline

EA has released SimCity Update 10, a new patch for the 2013 reboot of their popular city-building strategy game franchise. Update 10 finally brings offline play to the game, which heretofore has required a live Internet connection in order to work. The initial announcement came from the SimCity forums.

SimCity arrived on PCs — and later on Macs — in 2013 with a host of enhancements, updates and changes to earlier game versions, designed to bring the popular franchise into the modern age. One of the most controversial of those changes was a reliance on a persistent online connection.

EA claimed that this was necessary to keep the complex calculations involved in the city simulation in sync, and made online play with other SimCity players a key part of gameplay as well, but gamers used to being able to play SimCity on their own computers as a single-player game were put off by the change; soon the claim arose that EA and Maxis implemented this change as a digital rights management scheme to help reduce piracy.

Later Maxis reversed itself and said that a future update would implement offline play, and that's Update 10, which is available now. The change for offline play took six months to develop because of the major redevelopment to the game, according to Simon Fox, the game's lead engineer. In a lengthy post to the SimCity web site in January, Fox explained what it took to get SimCity working offline.

Other changes have been implemented as well - a new Save As a Copy feature has been added, so you can make copies of your regions at multiple save points; autosave cane be disabled in single player mode; performance optimizations have been made, and Friends Search now uses the friend search feature built into Origin, EA's multiplayer gaming system.

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Peter Cohen

Managing Editor of iMore, Mac and gaming specialist and all-around technologist. Follow him on Twitter @flargh

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Reader comments

At long last, SimCity can be played offline

4 Comments

I never understood what the big deal was, on either side. Yes, DRM sucks, but I am willing to believe that Maxis engineered the game to be played server side. They should have built the sandbox mode as the Single Player mode, but maybe they didn't have the resources to do that from the beginning since they envisioned this game to be multiplayer from the get go.

I'm sure people have reason to be offline here and there, but I would think that 90% players are connected 90% of the time (well I guess since inception 100% of the players)

I've been following the reboot since it was announced, then delayed, then delayed for the Mac, then ran practically on minimum settings on my machines. I always run a private region and not thought twice about the fact that I had to be online. The only part I hate is the fact Origin has to run at the same time.