In a recent interview with games.on.net, producer Jason Haber discussed the upcoming Sim City. Apparently it requires an 'always on' connection and that's a direct response to the game being designed to deliver a multiplayer experience.
"Well, [Sim City] was built from the ground-up to be multiplayer," said Jason. "I think by having it be a multiplayer game, it allows you to specialise your city in a region and really have your influences affect other people who are playing in the region with you. Also by being always-on, we can save your game in the cloud so you can go and play it anywhere wherever you want. If your machine blows up, your game won’t be gone and you won’t have to start over! You know, in this day and age everyone’s connected all the time, so we felt like it was the perfect time and it would be fine to do that."
Everyone's connected all the time -- that's all well and good -- but what about drop outs?
"We do have some safeguards in the game," explained Jason. "If your internet connection drops, it can still sort of sit around for a while and recover and you can go back online. Glass Box can handle all of that. It’s basically a safety net for you; you won’t just lose everything if your connection goes down."
To be honest -- I don't like it. I disagree with always on connection and think it assumes far too much. I've been in situations where I've been without internet, and the last thing I need then are video games I can't play. That's when I need video games more than ever! What about the ability to play on a laptop? What about people in the armed forces? What about people who live in remote areas?
Nah, don't like it at all.
EA Maxis On DRM, Sheep And More In Sim City [games.on.net]