Reddit is currently running an AMA (Ask Me Anything) with members of SimCity’s development team over at Maxis where they respond to questions from the community-at-large. The biggest revelation? Your copy of SimCity will need to be permanently connected to the internet or you’ll lose your city save. A terrible thing or overblown dramatics?
There’s a lot of debate in this issue for various, solid reasons. SimCity is an offline game that requires an internet connection at all times. I can imagine using an internet connection to validate an install for a game like SimCity, but requiring users be always plugged in to even save their game state? In 2008, Electronic Arts and Maxis ran into issues when gamers protested Spore’s anti-piracy digital rights management (DRM) in which the game could only be installed to five devices before you had to call EA’s customer support to have an install invalidated. I fully understand the necessity of a persistent online connection to facilitate their multiplayer multi-city play, but if I’m alone on a laptop without an internet connection, I shouldn’t have to have one just so I can play the game for a bit. Maxis says that the game will tolerate being offline for a “short” period of time, but that the “short” was not defined.
On the flipside to this equation, I always have an internet connection. Always. If I can’t, I can usually tether my phone and get one easily. It’s not a dealbreaker to me, but it’s extremely unfortunate that EA still implements such draconian rights management on their games to protect their games when they’re only inspiring the ire of honest gamers.