After SimCity's ignominious launch and the outcry over the buggy always-online model, Maxis head Lucy Bradshaw has admitted that the game could have run offline.
Electronic Arts and Maxis' SimCity has come under a lot of fire for its requirement that players be continuously online in order to play the game, especially after an anonymous developer admitted that it was not a necessity at all — a claim that directly contradicted Electronic Arts' own claims.
Bradshaw has now straight up admitted that the game could have been made to run offline. In a post on the EA blog, titled "SimCity update: straight answers from Lucy, Bradshaw stated that Maxis and EA made a conscious decision to not include an offline mode:
Could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes. But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision. We did not focus on the "single city in isolation" that we have delivered in past SimCitys. We recognise that there are fans — people who love the original SimCity — who want that. But we're also hearing from thousands of people who are playing across regions, trading, communicating and loving the always-connected functionality.
Bradshaw also detailed some of the benefits of making the game online only, including the ability to keep the game up to date and the social aspects of play.
However, for players who feel that the always-connected mode is a hindrance to their play style, a NeoGaf forum member discovered that offline play can be enabled by simply tweaking a single line of code.