The developers at EA Maxis decided on Friday that it would be a good idea to participate in an AMA ("ask me anything") discussion thread on Reddit. The discussion quickly turned from a discussion about the gameplay in the next SimCity game to questions about the company's planned DRM scheme. The next SimCity game will require users to be "always connected" when playing multiplayer or single-player and will also save game progress online. It will also require users to install and use EA's Origin digital distribution client. Ultimately that means that if you are disconnected from the game while playing it and your progress isn't saved within a few minutes of disconnection, that you may lose some of your progress.
Redditors showed a great deal of concern on this topic, and the top voted question cut right to the heart of the matter on the DRM being used for SimCity:
"What will happen to the game if I am playing and lose my internet connection - will the game still be playable and update the servers when my internet connection resumes or will it pause and wait for the connection?
As I have unreliable internet at times if I were to lose a connection and play for a while longer (assuming I would be able to continue to play) would my changes be saved locally in case my internet connection does not come back up before I need to stop playing (and then be uploaded when I next start the game)."
The response came from Senior Producer Kip Katsarelis, who said:
"Sorry, I replied to it below. Not avoiding. Here was the reply...
'I actually just ran over to our online engineering team to get the latest info. We do handle 'short' internet outages gracefully. Meaning, if your internet goes out while you're logged in and playing the game, we can recover gracefully. You shouldn't notice a thing. 'Short' is still being defined.'"
Hopefully EA Maxis will take this feedback from the community to the management at EA and some kind of more reasonable method of DRM can be used.. The next SimCity game is set for a March 2013 release.