Maxis Insider Claims That SimCity Servers Are Not Essential After-All
Gee, what a surprise.
By now, everyone should be familiar with the disastrous SimCity launch. Including the primary excuse that EA has continued to give; they claim an always-on internet connection is absolutely necessary because a "significant amount of the calculations" are made on EA's ends.
As such, having an offline version of the game, which is what pretty much everyone wants, is simply not possible. Going by EA's excuse, the game would not be operable, period.
It's a line that many felt was suspect, and according to an inside source within Maxis that Rock, Paper, Shotgun has spoken with, such skepticism is 100% justified. Their man on the inside states that EA's server is not handling calculation for the non-social portion of the game. In fact, having a single player mode operational, one that is internet free, would actually take minimal effort.
According to the anonymous source:
“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."
The Rock Paper Shotgun article mentions another piece, from Kotaku, who did tests to see if the game could run if the internet connection was turned off. The end result? Things ran nice and smooth for 19 minutes, before realizing that there was no server to communicate with. Which, obviously, flies in the face of EA's claims.
Again, when asked if how easy or difficult it would be to create an offline version:
“It wouldn’t take very much engineering to give you a limited single-player game without all the nifty region stuff.”
It'll be interesting to see how (or if) EA responds. The unnamed sources statements are fairly damning, though practically unnecessary at this point, given everyone's own findings that EA is not telling the truth.