Electronic Arts has done a terrible job with the launch of the newest SimCity, and things have just gotten worse since someone hacked the game to show that it can run offline, calling into question EA’s claims that forcing players to be online in order to play is required for the game to run properly, and not just sneaky digital rights management.
SimCity now features a limit on the time players can continue the game without an Internet connection. After around 20 minutes, the game boots you off if you’re not connected. EA and Maxis have said that this is because the servers players connect to are actually doing the bulk of the work to compute what’s happening in your virtual city. This mod by Reddit user UKAzzer calls that into question by showing us a SimCity world without the required connect:
The mod works by exploiting the debugging mode of the game, and shows UKAzzer manipulating the highway layout.
Besides the evidence at hand of a modded version of the game running without a connection to the Internet, Rock, Paper, Shotgun is reporting that a source close to the SimCity project revealed that the servers are not crucial to gameplay, and are only being used for things like in-game communication and saving data.
By the look of it, not only aren’t the servers for SimCity working, they’re also not necessary. EA has announced they’ll be offering customers who purchased SimCity a free game to apologize for the debacle. That will be available on March 18th, so you have a few days to pick up SimCity, be frustrated, and then get offered a free game as compensation.
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