Credit: Electronic Arts
Gamers remember the launch of "SimCity" as one of the biggest tech disasters of 2013. Players had to be connected to the Internet at all times — even when playing alone — which was problematic, given the game's enormous server load and shoddy connectivity. After more than a year on the market, publisher Electronic Arts has finally updated the game to include a mode for offline play.
Users will receive the update automatically, so all they need to do is open up "SimCity" and have an Internet connection (which, up until this point, they would need if they wanted to play the game anyway). Once the update is complete, users can then decide whether they want to play the city-building simulator online with the greater community, or offline by themselves.
In addition to the obvious benefit of being able to play offline, the game's newly added Single-Player Mode also allows players more granular control over when they can save their games. Previously, game saves were at the discretion of the server, and players could generally not just reload earlier saves if they made a decision that adversely affected their settlements.
The move comes as part of a yearlong damage-control campaign by EA to mitigate customers' negative reactions to "SimCity." In addition to wanting an offline mode, users decried the game-breaking bugs and the often-contradictory explanations EA gave for why the game was so broken.
At one point, EA even threatened to ban users who asked for refunds, which would have blocked those users from accessing every game associated with their EA accounts.
The offline mode may be too little, too late for "SimCity," which has already alienated many longtime series fans. Still, the update should prove useful to people without stable, steady Internet connections — or those who just want to build their cities with a little peace and quiet.