SimCity Needs Your Internet The Whole Time You're Playing

Maxis and EA's upcoming SimCity game looks pretty cool, but Joystiq is reporting that the game will require an internet connection to play.

Lead designer Sone Librande told the publication that regardless of where the game was bought, people playing the game will need to be connected to EA's Origin service to play the game. That does mean that the game won't be for sale exclusively through Origin, which is nice. But it also means that SimCity will feature "always on" DRM that, well, sucks.

I've got a note out to EA asking for official confirmation, but they've apparently confirmed to Gamespy that if your internet connection drops while you're playing, you will not be kicked from the game.

John Walker at Rock, Paper Shotgun suggests getting in touch with EA to make them change this aspect of the game. Worth a shot, anyway. Hey, if gamers can get the ending to Mass Effect 3 changed, maybe there's hope for getting rid of always-on DRM!

Personally, I think it's time to consider a frontal cupcake attack.


    Well, that's too bad. Was looking forward to it. :(

      Don't worry, the free to play version won't require this stuff.

        It's funny 'cause it's true...
        (Yet again a company takes the effort to ensure their product is not as good as the pirated one they are trying to stop)

    Seems standard these days anyway, I'm not as bothered as I used to be, if I'm playing games then 99.9% of the time I'll probably be connected to the internet as well. I know that isn't the case for everybody however.

      I feel the same way, I don't really mind if I have to sign in to access the games menu. I can also understand how alot of people could be upset with this though. It seems EA isn't doing itself any favors when it comes to gaining the trust of its customers.

        This is why some people crack games they already own. To get better functionality.

        Amazes me that the industry STILL doesn't get it. Piracy, bootlegged, knock-off products for all physical goods are usually defined by the fact that they are poorer in quality. That difference in quality is the incentive to pay the higher price.

        But with digital goods like movies and video games, the pirates are beating the publishers on quality AND price. Then they whine about piracy being so rampant.

        Fucking brain surgeons.

        I'm sorry, but you guys are fucking morons. They are punishing the paying customer in this retarded and misguided attempt to combat piracy. The sooner they get rid of shit like this the better. But I don't hold out much hope as evidently we still have fucktards like you guys that are ok with bending over and taking it.

        If I was going to get this game, I would buy a copy and download a pirated version so that I didn't have to deal with this bullshit.

          You didn't have to be so offensive, I can think of multiple ways you could've gotten that message across without calling us 'fucking morons'. Anway, I didn't say I thought this was a good way of combating piracy, I merely stated that to me, this is tolerable.

            This comment has been reported for inappropriate content and is awaiting review.

            I used profanity too, but just to be clear, mine was directed at publishers, not you guys.
            I installed Origin too, when I bought Mass Effect 3 and Battlefield 3.

              Lol, I know :)

              BTW don't look at maaaat daaaamon's link.

          Becoming OK with this sort of behaviour allows the company to feel justified in doing it, and they shouldn't, gone are the days when you could put a game on your laptop and go anywhere and still play it if you wanted too. The companies will blame piracy, but nowdays the pirates seem to be the only answer to draconian DRM.
          By the product to support it and then download a cracked version to get around EA (and their ilks) BS.... of course this adds to the problem as they will view this download as a lost sale as their heads are just that far up their overly-entitled asses.

    Oh well. Haven't really found SimCity fun since 2000 anyway.
    Guess I'll pass up this chance to see if I can invigorate the old Sim flame in myself.

    Thanks Diablo III

      Yeah, pretty disappointed with that too, it just looks like a joke and in play just feels mediocre.

      Diablo 3 at least has a legit reasoning for the always online: to prevent duping as support for their real money AH (which is just a secure method of doing what players did with Diablo 2, but using an ingame method instead of ebay)

        Also, Ubisoft was doing 'always online' before diablo.

        Well thing is - blizzard did the online thing but gave us something back in return. RMAH, battlenet integration, friends network, ladder...etc This one as of current seems to be 'this game will be online just for our sake'. /pass

          None of which I want or need.
          Also, I haven't looked into it since Starcraft 2 came out, but I was also locked out of playing with my friends because they bought the Australian version and I got the UK version from Oz Game Shop. So if that is going to be implemented on Diablo 3, it is yet another reason to not get it.

            Apparently the game is region free, but the auction house isn't. Not sure how that's going to work. But since I'm not going to use the AH, it won't affect me.

              *shudder* thats what they all say ...thats what we all say in the beginning....

              Anyways McGarnical is right - you can pick your server regions.

    Ah I read somewhere this isn't true.

      NEVAR mind, totally didn't read the article properly.

    Another piece of DRM that will only affect purchasers.

    thats nice to know...
    *scratches one more game off my must get list*

    Guess this won't affect me in a single way, since my computer is connected with ADSL.

      I have to agree. I was on the bandwagon of anti connection years back but then Penny Arcade made the point that, well, everyones PC is attached to the net ANYHOW on a 24/7 basis these days ANYHOW? So... meh.

    DRM on SimCity is like padlocking a padlock, pointless

    I don't mind the internet connection way of doing things. It is just like the Diskette to CD transition, back in the day not everyone had a CD Drive for their PC they were stuck with diskettes.

    It is just the evolution of gaming, if you have an internet connection there is no real reason not to purchase these games.

      Re-reading that, it is a poor analogy lol

        Its like - them saying that "you have to wear pants while playing this game"? Why? "Just because we said so"!

        Then 20 years in the future no one wears pants and youre stuck with an unplayable game.

    I used to be opposed to "always online" but with the added features for being online, it is definitely worth it. However, they really should consider having the option to run it offline, not always you're close to an internet connection while traveling. Although that line is now blurred too. I'm more worried about NOT being online at all times.

    Sim City in any incarnation will always get my $$.

    I just wish ppl commenting will stop calling others "morons" just because of a different point of view. One opinion does not automatically exclude the other.

    Well, that is fucking stupid.

    How many of you don't have your computer connected to the internet? Seriously how is this a problem worth even mentioning?

      My worry is the maxis servers being down or something and I can't connect. Or what if my router has crapped out. I should still be able to play my singleplayer game without downloading a crack.

        I do have to admit, despite not being against the online connection thing by and large, this is a core issue. People said it wouldnt be an issue with Ubisoft...

        Then the Ubisoft servers went down...

        and the pirates were the only ones playing Ubi games.

      It's not neccessarily about that, though. It's about future proofing a game. I routinely play games from years ago and don't like the idea of the plug being pulled one day, rendering a game useless unless you crack it. The fact that it only impacts legitimate owners of the games too, folks who paid and supported the company is messed up. Is it too much to ask to play games on your own terms if you're not stealing them or doing any thing wrong? I know all these arguements have been used time and time again and every one's entitled to their opinions on the matter to. So disregard my ramblings. :P

      To be fair I know this game has advantages of being connected to in-game. How you trade with other cities and prices and the like being set. Seems to be smart way of doing things, just too bad these benefits come with an intrusive form of DRM.

      thats.... not the point.

        I should also say that we keep accepting all these tweeks to the DRMs. I remember the outrage of BioShock having internet activation back in '07. Now that's almost acceptable. The fact it's gotten this far is pretty damn scary. :S

          I can't remember the details, but didn't Bioshock have a limited activations DRM?

            You're right, I think it was five installations but they backed down and released a deactivation tool. Still uncool, but looks almost tame in the face of always on DRM. A line's got to be drawn somewhere, though. It can't just keep getting worse and worse can it?


              As much as I don't like always on internet for single player games, I thought the limited activations was much worse and I'm glad that it isn't used anymore (to my knowledge) and removing it is why I ended up getting Bioshock.

      I would like to direct you to Exhibit A.

      Ubisoft decided they wanted to move their servers and all the paying customers lost access to their games while the pirates went on as usual.

        Even on consoles multiplayer servers are routinely shut down for older games, seems almost inevitable that the same thing will happen to these 'single player' servers when the majority have moved on to something else. What happens to the game you bought then?

    Just to remind everyone, that pollutions are linked in Simcity 5. This means by not being able to play offline, other players would be able to generate pollution at your city limits, and perhaps even dump nuclear fallout on you.
    All we need now is a way to build troops and ram jumbo jets into highrises, and we would have SimCity: Sims A War on our hands.

    It's not so much the being online that I have a problem with, it's "people playing the game will need to be connected to EA’s Origin service to play the game." that makes it a no from me.

    Call me paranoid or whatever, but I don't trust EA in the slightest. Origin has the dodgiest terms and conditions I've ever read.

    I don't care if my computer is always connected to the internet or not, if the game's actual mechanics don't require I transmit any data to any other players then IT DOESN'T NEED IT.

    EA have finally woken up to the fact that Activision and Ubisoft have been doing this, and they want their 'Most Evil Publisher' crown back .

    Before I get burned at the stake here, EA is looking to make simcity a multiplayer title. It ventured into it a little with simcity 4 (you could connect to a simcity network and have 'neighbouring cities' that were actually user generated) but the biggest problem was that not enough people used it.

    Forcing everyone to go online to play the game is only going to make the community better. If someone turned around and said 'Oh, the new Counter-strike global offensive will require a 100% on internet connection to play' people wouldn't bat an eyelid. Please try to think of this in the same way

      No they would get angry because it would shut down the Lan scene which is a big part of CS.

    Did you guys know that this game is effectively an MMO? All your neighbouring cities will be controlled by other players. You sort of need the internet for that...
    Anyway, this game won't be out for another year, so hopefully they will add offline regions to it or something.

    Heh so what happens when EA shutdown verification servers and such, like they do with thier current sports games....

    Hmm there has to be a better way

    This problem will be fixed/patched by modders. No sweat.

    What happens if my net goes down. And I come home and want to play the game?

    But it wont load because I can't connect online?
    I'm being punished because of outside factors. Pirates win.

    Steam has an offline feature. You can still load and play games even if your net isn't connected.

    I would've paid money for this, but I don't want to, now. How disappointing.

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