Sim City Requires Always On Connection, Designed ‘Ground Up’ For Multiplayer

Sim City Requires Always On Connection, Designed ‘Ground Up’ For Multiplayer

In a recent interview with, 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 []


  • Bloody always on connections…

    I really can’t explain how much i can’t stand them. Good thing i don’t play nearly as much stuff on PC anymore.

    • This shit has turned me off at least 10 games in the past few months, including Diablo 3. When I buy games, I buy longevity. What’s the point in buying a game when its always online authentication server will eventually come offline and you won’t even be able to play what you paid for?

  • Yeah, I’ve accepted the fact I won’t be playing this which is too bad. Good luck to them, though.

  • Well, if you’re focusing on multiplayer it’ll be hard if it wasn’t always on…;) I used to rageNOTBUYING but succumbed. It’s not all that bad. I’m online 100% of the time anyway. If i’m not, i’m usually on the phone to my ISP quicksmart!

  • To anyone who has a non-dial up internet connection and plays games on PC, this isn’t really that much of a bother. It might have been 10 years ago, but today? Non-issue.

    • It’s true that most of us are on always-on broadband now, but there are the real issues of dropouts, playing on a laptop on a long train trip or at an airport, and then the latency introduced by having to upload everything you do to a server that is probably (at best) in California.

    • Maybe for some in a magical land where there internet is not always dropping out. I’m with TPG in the city and every night I get drop outs where it can be out for 5 minutes. I have had to give up on sc2 because I can not always reconnect to a game in time. Sometimes the internet will not even reconnect for a couple of hours. Not to mention the fact I have a lot of friends who are renting and use mobile broadband. This is not a good thing for them either. But I guess they wouldn’t play it anyway. Too bad if they wanted to give it a shot.

    • Except for people with laptops. If I want to kill a couple of hours between classes at Uni, I’m not going to be able to play Sim City a all. This is a deal breaker for me, I was on the fence when it was just at startup check. But needing to be always online is not needed for anything other than an MMO.

  • I give hackers 3 months to get around this always online crap, but this multiplayer concept could work

    • They will have a crack for it day one. And after this news I will pirate rather than purchase.

        • I don’t see how that’s a better solution. “Hey publisher, I don’t like what you do! But here, take my money anyway.”

          • I agree with this, the best solution is not buy it. Buying it then cracking it is giving positive reinforcement to the bastards. They don’t know you cracked it, and they will probably add your cracked download to the list of people they accuse to be ruining PC gaming.

  • Damn, I was looking forward to this. Not so much anymore. This is one game I can say no to for the reason of always on internet connection.

  • The game doesn’t need multiplayer and I’d rather they just admit they want to protect their game from piracy rather then do the whole song and dance about how I can save into a cloud. I’m sure if my computer goes boom the last thing I care about is your stupid game.

  • I remember a similar outrage when steam came out about having to have an internet connection to install HL2 and play it now days that’s just the norm. I’m not a fan of always connected but im starting to accept it. As mark said give the crackers a few days not months and you will find that there will be a work around to always connect.

    • Once-off online activation on installing the game is one thing.

      A rights check on starting the game is another.

      A requirement to be online the entire time you play the game is yet another.

  • I remember playing Simcity 4 and having to plonk down cities around the city I was building in order to get the perks of having neighbor cities, Seems like this multiplayer aspect is an extension of that, and a good extension in my opinion

  • Still don’t know if I will buy this I remember playing the original sim city on my Amiga500 no i’m not that old but yes I have been playing games from the 80’s got my first computer when I was 2 :). I miss the simplicity that was SimCity and SimCity 2000

  • Between always-on requirement and it being an EA title, it’s off my radar. Shame, but c’est la vie.

  • After all, they did such a good job with online activation in their last project, why shouldn’t we trust them?

  • For all the problems with always on, the thing that most bothers me about this is that they’re making Sim City multiplayer at all. Sim City is the kind of game that I play when I want to have absolutely nothing to do with any other human being.

  • Steam manages to handle having offline saved data and cloud saving, all it does is sync the next time you’re online and ask you which one is correct. Heck, XBox Live profiles have been doing that ever since their conception. There really is no excuse to not have offline saving other than laziness and an excuse for justifying your always online DRM.

    You also can’t play it “Anywhere, wherever you want” if where you are is a place that has no internet connection…

  • “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!”

    Until EA shuts down their servers 6 months after launch.

  • I played the SNES Sim City to death but I haven’t liked a single other one that’s come out. I’m not seeing the multiplayer potential unless you just spam disasters on other peoples towns. Always online means I won’t even bother to check it out.

  • will the new simcity game beat the spore record of being the most pirated game of all time?
    we have to wait and see

  • There is just something I just don’t understand: Do they have any social market analysts? I mean these days ignoring the reaction of your userbase is frightfully dangerous, so should be making no attempt to predict their response. EA did that wrong with ME3, they had no idea how some people would react to their game or their DLC.

    My point is: How can anybody at EA possibly feel that it is a good idea to implement this, or better still announce it like this? Do they think the reaction will be positive? That we’ll fill up these comments with “YAY I’m glad they’re putting this in! I’ll totally buy it!” If I was releasing a game and the things I said met an overwhelming response of “I’m not buying it now” then I’d do some more research.

    On the DRM not though. Goddamn, once again a bunch of lies. Most of the features don’t need always online, most Simcity players don’t even care about multiplayer, and even if they did; once again the system doesn’t need always online! Multiplayer in games worked just fine 10 years ago people!

  • It’s not the “always online” issue which irritates me. Honestly, we can’t control it, and we shouldn’t be surprised or outraged that it’s being implemented on a wider scale. It sucks, yes, but deal with it.
    What pisses me off is Haber doing his absolute best to avoid saying “this is an anti-piracy measure”. It reeks of PR spin, what with the talk of “the cloud” and so on. Anyone remotely connected with this industry knows what it is – an attempt to control piracy.
    Why can’t people just be honest about it? They’re not fooling anyone.

  • If all games were always on I’d have a problem with it but from what I can tell It’s going to be a core part of the experience . I’m ok with that.
    If your net sucks don’t blame the game , blame the provider (crazy!)

  • Shame, was really looking forward to this. I DON’T want to to play Multiplayer SimCity. Why make it “always multiplayer” I hate online gaming. I just want me and my city… typical EA, always trying to complicate things.

    • One would hope EA have tested Single player games with the ability to turn this off for single player gameing.

      Unlike Steam, whob have said if they ever go out of business, all games will work with the DRM turned ‘off’. EA and Ubi are yet to make statments like this :/

  • Multi-player Sim City…… okay, how? Why? Minesweeper would have more use for it.. hell, Freecell probably would.

    “Dude, my city is totally gonna use different power sockets than you, just to confuse any of your people who visit!”

  • No go – I still play Sim City 2000 after all these years, but simply will not invest in a game that relies on a publisher that has already shut down servers of existing games after only a year or so.

    Pity as it was pretty much a guaranteed sale from day one. 🙁

  • I’m going to be PROUD to pirate SimCity since they have the always on to play. I was planning on buying it the day it comes out but with this always on crap then pirate I shall do. If they did something like Steam then that wouldn’t be too bad, where I can play offline and my saves are on my computer, but storing your saves in the “cloud” is a bad idea and will limit the game.

    I like the idea of being “able” to play online and having my city affected by someone else but that might be less than 1% of my playing. I never play games online with other players (even playing a MMO I never interact with other players). If I want to be social I would be out and physically talking/playing with others.

  • To all those doing the boycot thing, the wole “If they demand I have to be online to play their game I’ll boycot them” yadda yadda.

    This works great…. as long as the majority of the people do it.

    If not, then you become the minority, companies will continue to do the “online only” thing and the only thing you get it the sad fact that you may have missed out on some great games.

    If for some reason your PC cant be connected to the internet all the time then that’s fine, I understand that. Don’t by the game, it’s not going to be of use to you.

    But if the reason you don’t buy is “It’s the principle of the thing” then I’m sorry, but majority wins, and you will just be the grumpy kid in the corner who misses out becasue he doesnt like the rules of the ball game every other kid is playing.

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