The new SimCity’s disastrous launch has led to many unhappy gamers demanding for an offline mode.
EA has apparently made it clear in every possible manner that this is not possible, with Maxis’ studio head Lucy Bradshaw telling Polygon that they “offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers”, and creating an offline experience would require a significant amount of engineering work.
However, it seems that an anonymous SimCity developer says quite the contrary. Getting in touch with Rock Paper Shotgun, this insider claims that things are not the way Bradshaw has claimed. The servers are not responsible for handling any large amount of calculations, and that engineering a singleplayer mode would actually be quite simple.
This news wouldn’t come as a shock for most software engineers involved in the business, but it definitely comes as a disappointingly embarrassing reveal for EA. The anonymous developer has clearly claimed that the claims are completely against the reality of the project he has worked on, saying:
“The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. 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. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless.”
“It wouldn’t take very much engineering to give you a limited single-player game without all the nifty region stuff.”
The fact that the game isn’t heavily dependent on servers for running (unlike Diablo III) is further proved by Kotaku’s experiments, showing that the game only notices something wrong 20 minutes after disconnection. Even Markus Perrson had a nice sarcastic tweet suggesting it was highly possible to keep playing SimCity even without server connection.
These incidents obviously demand an explanation of what exactly is up from EA – one that is not from a ‘misnformed’ or dishonest fellow this time around.