SimCity had a lot of problems, with the most bristling among them likely being the game's requirement of an Internet connection for any manner of play. Apart from the servers just not working very well for long stretches of the game's post-launch period, the online structure of the game itself just didn't seem all that necessary. That last point was initially refuted by Maxis, who said that the online infrastructure of the game was key to its design. Then a modder found a way to turn off the game's online checks and the company mostly stopped saying things like that. In fact, as recently as last October, Maxis appeared to have reversed course, expressing that investigations into a full-fledged offline play option were taking place.
Now those investigations appear to have resulted in tangible dividends, as SimCity will be getting a full-on offline single-player mode as of the game's next update. This will give SimCity players the ability to store saves and access downloadable content without ever having to sign into EA's servers. Obviously the online multiplayer modes will still be around doing their thing, but anyone who just wants to play a solo region by themselves will now be able to do so.
This announcement comes on the heels of EA and Maxis' announcement of official, albeit somewhat restrictive, mod support for the game, which sounds like it will primarily function for people's offline games. It all certainly sounds well and good, though one has to wonder if those who found themselves burned by EA's server woes and previously staunch stance that the game was designed only for multiplayer will be willing to come back. I certainly am, at best, cautiously interested in what these updates may bring, but find myself still feeling a bit salty about things like the unfortunately small city spaces the game affords, and the continued reliance on multiple city regions. At no point does EA's post on the subject of offline play say anything about tweaking those issues, so it doesn't sound like we'll be seeing any improvements there for the foreseeable future.
Still, it's something, I suppose. What say you? Is this enough to forgive the wretched launch and problematic handling of the game's issues? Or are you still a ways away from ever wanting to jump back into SimCity again?