Remember when EA and Maxis said that being connected to its servers was important because it handled a "significant amount of the calculations" for SimCity? Well it turns out that that might not be true if you believe the Maxis insider who offered some details on how the game really works. Speaking to Rock, Paper, Shotgun, an unnamed Maxis employee said that Maxis isn't being entirely truthful.
"The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing," the source told RPS. "They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they're doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they're not doing anything."
The source goes on to say that the servers take several minutes to transfer data around, which means it isn't influencing the game's performance "on the fly. " The source finally concludes that it is theoretically possible to have a single player mode (without the regional stuff):
"It wouldn't take very much engineering to give you a limited single-player game without all the nifty region stuff," the Maxis insider said.
On a related note, both Kotaku and Mojang co-founder Markus "Notch" Persson found that the game can be played after several minutes of being disconnected from the Internet. Kotaku played the game for 19 minutes.
You can find the whole RPS report, which offers a lot more details on the how the game works, right here.