As much as EA and Maxis want to smooth things over with fans and make them happy, this latest blog post from Maxis General Manager Lucy Bradshaw isn't being received very well, if you believe the comments following the article.
This is probably because of what Bradshaw claims about the nature of SimCity's need to be constantly connected to the Internet in order to play. Bradshaw at least attempts to address the whole issue of whether SimCity can be played offline and why Maxis ultimately rejected the idea in favor of having a game dependent on a constant connection to a server:
"Always-Connected is a big change from SimCities of the past. It didn’t come down as an order from corporate and it isn’t a clandestine strategy to control players. It’s fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity. From the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind – using new technology to realize a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world."
After listing a number of reasons why being always online is a good idea for SimCity Bradshaw acknowledges that the game could have worked without the online only requirement, but that it wasn't a direction Maxis wanted to go in:
"So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes. But we rejected that idea because it didn’t fit with our vision. We did not focus on the “single city in isolation” that we have delivered in past SimCities. We recognize that there are fans – people who love the original SimCity – who want that. But we’re also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the Always-Connected functionality. The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology."
The response to Bradshaw's post was less than friendly. Most of the comments are angry and accusatory, and some go so far as to call Bradshaw delusional. One commenter points out that those who bought the game knew what they were getting into when they bought SimCity.
Whatever fans think at this point, the reality is that they are stuck with how SimCity currently operates and all that they can hope for is a stable game experience moving forward…
You can read Bradshaw's entire blog post here.