SimCity may finally drop the online-only requirement that brought the game to a grinding halt for many players during its launch week. The game's developer, Maxis, originally said that SimCity had to be played online in order to offload certain strenuous work into the cloud, but doing so meant that players couldn't run the game if they didn't have an internet connection or — as often occurred — if the game's servers were down. Now Maxis says that it's "exploring the possibility" of adding an offline mode — a change that players have been requesting since its launch in March.
A team is "exploring" bringing the game offline
Maxis' phrasing leaves open the chance that such an update will be scrapped, but the developer sounds as though it means to follow through. "We would like to give our players the ability to play even if they choose not to connect," Patrick Buechner, a general manager at Maxis, writes in a blog post. He writes that Maxis isn't sure when it'll have more information to share, but that it has set up a team to look into the matter.
While SimCity's server issues may be far behind it, a belated answer to gamers' pleas isn't likely to help Maxis save face for its troubled launch. Should an offline mode be released, it may still be better late than never for those who have continued playing — but it only further drives the question of why Maxis felt that an internet connection was a necessary requirement for what's primarily a single-player game in the first place.