You may remember that the development team behind the upcoming SimCity game held a Reddit AMA, and that the community there gave them a hard time for making the game use a DRM scheme that required players to be always connected to the Internet even when they are playing the single-player portion of the game. EA Maxis' Lucy Bradshaw recently weighed in on the topic saying that the always-on connection is a necessary requirement because of an enormous amount of cloud computing required to power the game. She claims that the new SimCity is such a grand piece of software that an individual PC would not be able to handle running the game on its own. She also said that cloud servers are handling up to 100,000 Sims inside each city. Here's an excerpt:
"Creating a connected experience has always been a goal for SimCity, and this design decision has driven our development process for the game. This is easily the most ambitious game in the franchise and we’ve taken great care to make sure that every line of code embodies the spirit of the series. To do this, we knew we had to make sure we put our heart and souls into the simulation and the team created the most powerful simulation engine in its history, the GlassBox Engine. GlassBox is the engine that drives the entire game — the buildings, the economics, trading, and also the overall simulation that can track data for up to 100,000 individual Sims inside each city. There is a massive amount of computing that goes into all of this, and GlassBox works by attributing portions of the computing to EA servers (the cloud) and some on the player's local computer."
You can read all of her thoughts on the whole DRM scheme here.