New SimCity Will Require Always-On Internet - UPDATED

Andy Chalk

One Flag, One Fleet, One Cat
Nov 12, 2002
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New SimCity Will Require Always-On Internet - UPDATED


The lead designer of the new SimCity says the game will be an "internet-dependent experience," so if you're not connected, you don't get to play.

The new SimCity 4 [http://www.amazon.com/SimCity-Limited-Edition-Windows/dp/B007FTE2VW/ref=sr_tr_sr_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1332947856&sr=8-1] and the new game looks set to take advantage of that, with fantastic visuals and a far deeper simulation of a living, breathing city than has ever before been possible. But with the good comes the bad and that means you'll need a full-time connection to the internet in order to play.

The new game will be "the first truly multiplayer SimCity," Lead Producer Kip Katsarelis said earlier this month [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/116196-Electronic-Arts-Announces-New-SimCity], with interconnected cities creating a greater "SimCity world" that will be impacted and influenced by individual, city-level decisions. That sounds pretty fantastic; the problem is that players will be forced to be a part of this world whether they want to or not.

The game will be an "internet-dependent experience," Lead Designer Stone Librande told Joystiq [http://www.joystiq.com/2012/03/28/simcity-requires-internet-connection-to-play-will-be-sold-outsi/], which means that players will need to be connected to Origin when they play, even if the game was purchased elsewhere. The need for an always-on connection is necessitated by SimCity's "emphasis on multiplayer and regional impact, and the use of a global economy that all players can influence." But more relevant to a lot of gamers is the obvious DRM aspect. No internet connection? No play.

To be clear, this isn't the same as the usual quickie call home to Origin that drives so many people to distraction; that's not really a big deal, relatively speaking, since it's exactly the same thing Steam does and nobody seems to have a problem with that. What makes this particularly onerous is that the connection has to be on all the time, so if you're traveling, living in an area with crappy service or just plain don't want to be connected to the internet all the time, you're out of luck.

EA Maxis Creative Director Ocean Quigley also revealed [http://www.joystiq.com/2012/03/28/simcity-will-not-support-mods-at-launch/] that SimCity won't support mods at launch, although it's a possibility in the future. "After we ship, we'll make decisions about how we can and when exactly we'll support mods. But it's worth pointing out that the reason people are still playing SimCity 4 almost ten years later is because the modding community essentially re-created it and filled it with new content and fixed bugs and made it as much of a hobby as it is a game," he said. "We're very cognizant of that - we're not idiots."

How about an offline, single-player mode while you're at it? That'd be swell. The PC-exclusive SimCity is expected to come out sometime next year.

UPDATE: Electronic Arts has clarified SimCity's online requirements, saying that the game won't actually require an always-on connection. "You will have to register an Origin account in order to play, and yes, you must be online at all times while playing in order to start playing," according to Gamespy [http://pc.gamespy.com/pc/sim-city-5/1221798p1.html]. "EA has confirmed that you will not be kicked out if your connection is interrupted."

That changes things pretty dramatically. I'm still not a fan of the mandatory "phone home" business and I think people on the fence should insist on getting the full DRM low-down before committing, but a Steam-style online check is a big improvement over DRM that gives you the boot if you get the boot.


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Worgen

Follower of the Glorious Sun Butt.
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Apr 4, 2020
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Whatever, just wash your hands.
"hmm what can we do to mess with pc gamers... I know, lets copy what ubisoft has been doing, everyone loves that shit"
Fraken morons.
 

Cgull

Behind You
Oct 31, 2009
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Well that's genuinely disappointing. I've sunk far too many hours into the previous SimCity games to be considered healthy (is it disturbing to get sexual thrills from a well-maintained public transport system? All those lovely train tracks...mmmm) but I honestly think this'll be the first one that I'll give a miss.

That thought alone makes me a little bit gutted really but I doubt it'll be good enough to be worth the inevitable annoyance when the router decides to play silly bastards and the game just cuts out accordingly (on the assumption that it would, could be wrong there).
 

gigastar

Insert one-liner here.
Sep 13, 2010
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If its basically an MMO management game then natrually an internet connection would be required for the MMO part.

But no inclusion of a simple single player at launch isnt the most intelligent thing you could do. Even Demon's Souls and Dark Souls can run totally SP if no internet is available.
 

DaxStrife

Late Reviewer
Nov 29, 2007
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If *my* game is determined by what other people are doing, then it's not really *my* game, is it?
I was actually interested in this game until I read this; when will companies learn this is not how you win over the PC gamer market?
 

mattttherman3

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Dec 16, 2008
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Every sim city game is the same so I already got my time in on it, won't be getting a "new" version anytime soon. ALways on internet is stupid btw.
 

Dogstile

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Jan 17, 2009
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First I have to miss out on Diablo 3, now this.

I hate being a PC gamer sometimes.
 

mikey7339

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Jun 15, 2011
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Getting pretty fucking sick of you EA. I'll buy it legitimately but I will absolutely not play it until it is cracked so that I don't have Origin on my computer.

 

Fr]anc[is

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May 13, 2010
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I love a chance to plug GOG

http://www.gog.com/en/gamecard/simcity_2000_special_edition
 

Grey Day for Elcia

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Jan 15, 2012
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Oh good. Another chance for pirates to try and justify their pirating of every game they see.

"This is why people pirate, herp derp! My internet is bad, so I, like, can't play my game I paid for and stuff. I won't get it this then I guess. Or maybe crack it or something. *goes to pirate half the Steam library*"

Ugh.
 

Grey Day for Elcia

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Jan 15, 2012
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I hate always on requirements, not because they inconvenience me (my net goes down, like... once every few days for a few seconds and games crash or freeze about that often anyway--not to mention I'm not playing 24/7) but because it's stupid. Pirates crack it. Why bother? What is the point?
 

MorganL4

Person
May 1, 2008
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Well for me SimCity was the game I played when my internet was DOWN....... So there goes my reason for purchase...
 

Neonit

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Dec 24, 2008
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i remember that someone has already tried to make "multiplayer sim city". if i recall correctly it didnt last a year.
sure! go ahead! i see absolutely no way how this could POSSIBLY fail.....


nah, maybe it will be good who knows, i played sim city 2000, it was awesome. i played sim city 3000, it was better. i played sim city 4, it was better. i see a trend here you know? - still, we cant judge the game yet, so lets judge their stupid decisions.
 
Mar 30, 2010
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Well done EA, you've done with Sim City what Blizzard did with Diablo 3 - turned my reaction from 'I'm totally getting this on release day' to 'Not gonna touch this in a million freakin' years'.

"we're not idiots."
I beg to differ.