Home Gaming SimCity can be played offline, but it sucks

SimCity can be played offline, but it sucks

1 min read


So conspiracy theorists across the world went nuts last week when it was proven that you can indeed play SimCity offline with a quick patch. However what people failed to understand is that it wasn’t only the ability to save games that was lost but also the entire point of this SimCity.

SimCity used to be all about creating a mega city and making it bigger, taller and richer than before. However that isn’t how life works and with this SimCity Maxis decided to push the regional aspects of the game.

That was what the game was built on the entire time and since multiple people can interact in a single region it just isn’t possible to handle all the cities interactions on the remote machines. Since people aren’t building their cities at the same time and I still need to buy power from you even if you are offline.

The general manager of Maxis, Lucy Bradshaw, has posted a new blog trying once again to explain this rationale.

“Always-Connected is a big change from SimCities of the past.  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.”

“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.”

“Our Great Works rely on contributions from multiple cities in a region.  Connected services keep each player’s contributions updated and the progression on Great Works moving ahead.”

“The game we launched is only the beginning for us – it’s not final and it never will be.  In many ways, we built an MMO.”

I personally think this has been pretty obvious from the start and makes perfect sense. Yes it’s amazingly irritating when my Afrihost connection drops for a day and I can’t play SimCity but I’ve bought into the regional idea of the game and with that comes some negatives.

Last Updated: March 18, 2013


  1. Sir Captain Rincethis

    March 18, 2013 at 09:45

    Still not interested in having to always be online I understand how and why they made it this way. but I won’t ever be sucked in for this…


  2. AndriyP

    March 18, 2013 at 09:45

    Haha i saw your post on Afrihosts twitter account when i went to check why my line is dead, did you manage to bunk somewhere that night?


  3. Uberutang

    March 18, 2013 at 09:47

    I went and bought Tropico 4 Complete for R80 on steam. Better game and works offline 😛


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 18, 2013 at 10:32

      I did the same, what an awesome game (Tropico 4). By the way, this weekend, I suspended elections and cozied up with the church, while filling up my Swiss bank account. It’s so tongue in the cheek it’s awesome!


      • Uberutang

        March 18, 2013 at 10:35

        LOL yeah it is a way more realistic ‘city/country’ management sim than any other game.
        hang on a second, I spotted a protester. Example time.


        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          March 18, 2013 at 10:40

          Quickly assassinate them, subversive elements must be made an example of… 😛


        • Twakkie

          March 18, 2013 at 10:42

          Lol ja, they could actually just call it SIMS SA.


      • Twakkie

        March 18, 2013 at 10:44

        Haven’t played 4 but 3 was such a breath of fresh air compared to other SIM games. Cant decide if this or “Evil Genius” is my favorite “god sim” game.


        • ElNicko

          March 18, 2013 at 11:31

          Evil Genius All the way !! !! they Need , No , they Must make a sequel to that amazing game.


          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            March 18, 2013 at 12:30

            I see Evil Genius is 9 dollahs on Steam… I’m going to give it a go.

          • ElNicko

            March 18, 2013 at 13:21

            thats an absolute steal – Get all over that pronto Jim !! will spend a good few hours being all Evil and shit.

          • Twakkie

            March 18, 2013 at 12:41

            Agree, nothing like threatening the world with a giant Freaken Laserbeam! Man I loved shooting my yellow minnions.

    • Lardus

      March 18, 2013 at 11:24

      I might just do the same soon-I am longing for some good simming. Plus – Seems IT unblocked disqus whooohoooo!!


  4. Admiral Chief Erwin

    March 18, 2013 at 09:51

    Well, I still don’t give a very tiny little rats arse about it. 😛


  5. ApolloZA

    March 18, 2013 at 09:56

    Tried playing over the weekend. After about an hour, I got an in game message stating that my city is not operating properly and therefore i need to restore to a previous working city. I have been building the city for 2 freaking days. When I restored, my city was returned to starting position. I am so over it now.


    • TriangularRoom

      March 18, 2013 at 10:20

      We had one of those ‘rollback’ things happen as well. It was seriously annoying, and though we didn’t lose as much time as you, frankly the thing still doesn’t work properly anyway!


    • undercoverMunky

      March 18, 2013 at 10:29

      Have you tried turning it off and on again?


    • Bobby Oswald

      March 18, 2013 at 16:03

      I had a similar problem. I eventually restarted simcity and my city was gone. I am starting to feel the same way.


  6. umar bastra

    March 18, 2013 at 10:06

    Fine, it’s their vision. That’s the route they took, nothing we can do about it now..but hey make sure you’re able to support that vision. No use trying to explain yourselves and justify your reasoning for always online when people all around the world are still having major issues.

    If you’re going to try and explain your reason why SimCity has to be always online
    You’re going to have a bad time


  7. TriangularRoom

    March 18, 2013 at 10:16

    I’ll be happy with the whole region thing when they patch it so the services work properly etc. Had to take a break this weekend because power and water weren’t getting to my city… no reason for that to happen though. Hoping for the patch soon!


  8. Skyblue

    March 18, 2013 at 10:26

    “Some negatives” is how you describe a broken product. Tell that to Mercedes Benz when you buy a car that will only run when “in the mood”. Your opinion on this game is null and void, please do the honorable thing and refrain from further comment on it.


  9. Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    March 18, 2013 at 10:45

    I think Lucy Bradshaw needs to change her name to Baghdad Bob or Hannoi Hannah. I know you have to stand by your product, but this is getting ridiculous.

    “The game we launched is only the beginning for us – it’s not final and it never will be. In many ways, we built an MMO.” No… Lucy.. stop it… you’re not fooling anyone.



    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 18, 2013 at 10:46

      According to the modder, Azzer “I’ve analyzed all of the data calls to and from EA servers – all of the APIs, every request for data, and all of the data that comes back,” explains the modder. And in doing so, he’s found some surprising results. “The SimCity servers are not doing any calculations that could not be done on your PC, even for an entire region single player offline mode, let alone just the city you are in.”


    • umar bastra

      March 18, 2013 at 10:49

  10. DrKiller

    March 18, 2013 at 10:47

    Why not have both online and offline options?


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      March 18, 2013 at 10:52

      Because apparently we’re living in the future and the cloud is supposedly the only path gaming should take. At it’s bare essentials it’s really about control and reinforcing the idea that as a gamer you’re not an owner of the games you buy but rather a subscriber to a service.

      Or put succintly, it’s about greed.


      • ElNicko

        March 18, 2013 at 11:32

        Is that a Pirate ship I see in the Distance ?? ??


        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          March 18, 2013 at 11:35

          You know, I’ve held fast for these many years, and even though I’ve been battered and abused by publishers, I’m still not sure I can pirate. 🙁 But never say never… 🙁 the Jolly Roger may just be flying from my mast… (hehhe mast)


  11. Hondsepop

    March 18, 2013 at 11:58

    Other than the lack of servers in the beginning, my 6 City roll-backs, the fact that traffic piles up at the single city access point off the highway (something I have no control over, but gets penalized for), the fact that emergency and other vehicles follow each other like trains through the city (despite various different places they need to be), the game is actually ok. Unfortunately, I can take only so much before frustration gets to me. Tip: Don’t buy.


    • Hondsepop

      March 18, 2013 at 12:00

      And like Ubertang said – Tropico 4, and even CitiesXL are much much better.


  12. HvR

    March 18, 2013 at 12:08

    Reading and listening to reviews of reviewers who manage to actually play more than 20 min at a time it seems the games sucks even with online component working.
    “.. this is not Sim City, this is The Sims: Shitty edition …”
    “.. realistic play time is 2 days then all you want to bulldoze the little mothers .. ”

    Main complaints is that it seems that Maxis shipped a broken game with your actions not influencing the city and sims. Sims demanding commercial areas with commercial demand being rock bottom, sims complaining for certain service despite it being available or being made available.


  13. OVG

    March 18, 2013 at 12:54

    Why is there not a single player option? Is it that hard to code? Is it removed on purpose? If so then why?

    I understand the economy DRM… But why no off-line mode? I really want to know why they removed FUN from a hobby that is supposed to be FUN.

    Are they scared that people will upload their off-line cities onto the DRM market?

    Or is EA just a bunch of greedy ass hats?


  14. matthurstrsa

    March 18, 2013 at 13:17

    I’m busy playing Age of Empires 3. Not exactly the same, but its filling the gap for building for now. There are too many things wrong still for me to pick up this game.


  15. Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    March 18, 2013 at 13:29

    So they decided to build an MMO and label it as a “not-MMO” type of game?

    Correct me if I am wrong but only MMO’s require other players to be involved 100% of the time? Poor form IMHO


  16. Wyzak

    March 18, 2013 at 14:50

    Simcity can be played online too (sometimes), but it still sucks!


  17. modernist

    March 18, 2013 at 17:07

    “Some negatives” – LOL.
    Maxis/EA may tell us that the game benefits from (and even requires) “online play”, but its already been proven by modders that there is no actual real-time interaction going on.
    The game is not an MMO despite what Lucy thinks. it does not require players regions to be connected at the same time to play. My actions do not immediately affect neighbouring cities. From everything I’ve read, I could start a city and abandon it, and neighbouring regions would still be affected by the presence of this “town”.

    They may say it was built to work as part of an online community, but that’s just a marketing tactic. I’m sorry to disappoint the author and the other fans of EA, but that is a fact.
    There is nothing in the game that could not be done by a single person playing different adjoining regions and managing them all at different times – off-line even.

    If the author thinks on-line, collaborative play is what he wants, then by all means enjoy it. That’s why xBox Live is popular as well…
    But for the rest of us who simply want to sandbox in our own universe, the option should be there… That’s why its called sandboxing – it’s what made SC4 such a great, lasting game – the ability to mod and sandbox as the player wanted.



    March 19, 2013 at 11:27

    it’s a perfect game…CONGRATULATIONS ??!!! Shut up YOU IDIOTS


  19. Duh

    March 19, 2013 at 13:22

    You miss the point. Lying is lying.


  20. John

    March 20, 2013 at 01:27

    Gavin Mannion aka a Maxis apologist.

    Hey, if Lucy says it then it MUST be true since she has blatantly lied numerous times regarding this debacle of a game but this time she is telling the truth. I always believe known liars.

    Nice way to call anyone with a brain and who actually grasps logic a “conspiracy theorist”…that’s typical of moronic sheeple who believe anything they are told by authoritative figures.


  21. Kobus Nel

    March 22, 2013 at 12:39

    I every now and then hear ppl say “when my Afrihost connection drops” – maybe it’s time to switch ISP then.


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