ONLINE MULTIPLAYER GAME Simcity is not designed to be played offline in single player mode, and that is the official line from its publisher.
The brush off came from Lucy Bradshaw, general manager for Electronic Arts' Maxis label. We last heard from Lucy when she was promising that nearly everyone was able to play the virtual city game and that we'd all get a free game.
Now she's back to tell us that Simcity, when it works, is supposed to be played online and in a multiplayer manner.
"Always-Connected is why Simcity is not an offline experience. Always-Connected is a big change from Simcities of the past," she wrote.
"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."
Bradshaw said that a lot of effort went into making this the best experience it could be, adding that for example, players can gift each other things, can specialise in certain areas in certain places, and that leaderboards, challenges and achievements rewards and status have integrity.
All that, and more, is part of the multiplayer experience then, and Bradshaw said that the idea of doing anything else was glared at and asked to leave the room whenever it was mooted.
"So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes. But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision," she said.
"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." µ
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