SimCity will not require always-on connection, no mod support at launch

Wednesday, 28th March 2012 13:29 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

EA Maxis has confirmed to SimCity will be sold on digital distribution platforms other than Origin, but the game will still require players log on to EA’s service to register the game. It has also said there won’t be mod support for the game, at least at launch.

Earlier today, Joystiq and other outlets which attended previews of the title during  GDC, were reporting EA said the game would require an “always-on connection” to Origin in order to not only play the game’s multiplayer, but because of player impact on the game’s global economy.

EA has since clarified to GameSpy Origin was only required in ordee to “start playing the game,” even if it wasn’t the service players purchased it from. Players will also not be kicked out of the game should they lose internet service.

Lead designer Stone Librande said announcements regarding which digital services it would be sold on would be revealed at a later date.

EA Maxis also said while the game wouldn’t launch with mod support, the potential for said support was still a probability later on down the line.

“Right now we’ve got our work cut out for us to build the product up to the quality level it deserves as a SimCity,” said creative director Ocean Quigley. “Then after we ship, we’ll make decisions about how we can and when exactly we’ll support mods.

“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. We’re very cognizant of that — we’re not idiots.”

Previews for the game went live today, and you can a list of sites with eyes-on time through our handy dandy round up.



  1. drewbles82

    that always puts me off buying the game. stupid idea. Some people when they net goes down, like to actually load a game up while they wait, or go away for the weekend etc.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. DSB

    I had a feeling that EA would keep me from buying this. Didn’t take long.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. GrimRita

    @2 – totally agree. No sale.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. Zana

    The most annoyed people are the ones who choose to buy the game.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. DSB

    I’m sure that’s largely true, but none of the games that EA are using as Origin-bait are really that interesting.

    I don’t need Mass Effect 2.5, STWoW or a Sim City reboot aimed at the cityville crowd.

    BF3 and The Saboteur are the only two games I own on Origin. The Saboteur was 5 bucks, and I had a great excuse to buy BF3. Someone threatened to buy it for me if I didn’t, and I couldn’t have that ;)

    #5 3 years ago
  6. diego-rbb-93

    Somewhere… Inside you… Beyond heart… Beyond mind… Beyond your soul… Some kind of divine force… Its nervous… Its strange… Its furious… And keeps screaming something he wants EA to know… I don´t know exactly but I can feel it… Its the gamer beyond the beyond… And he screaming… What is he screaming!!!??? Let me hear… “F*CK YOU!!!”.

    Well, that one was clear. Sorry guys, no deal. Sim City 4 still instaled here, really happy with it.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Yoshi


    #7 3 years ago
  8. HauntaVirus

    Count me out then.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. lama

    not buying either! im tired of all this online social cr..

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Fin


    Pirating makes the situation worse. The more people pirate, the more draconian DRM becomes.
    If you don’t like a DRM system, don’t buy or play the game. Don’t pirate.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. DSB

    @10 Based on what? It shouldn’t inspire a publisher to make games that are worth even less.

    I think the worse piracy gets, the more justified executives feel in being ignorant assholes selling ineffective solutions to their investors, and moving their products further away from their intended audience, but fundamentally it’s not a smart decision, it just means more pirates.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. Yoshi

    As the good ol’ Gabe Newell said, if you make a game worth playing and enjoyable to be able to get onto the game then you don’t need to worry about piracy so much as people will want to buy it instead of pirate it.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. GrimRita

    I dont mind having to use an ‘always on’ internet connection to play…but the words Origin and EA send shivers down my spine. Who knows what kind of data they will be harvesting when your connection to origin is still on and you’re busy surfing the web.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Fin



    You just reiterated my point – the worse piracy gets, the worse the product becomes.


    That’s no justification to pirate.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. nielsthomas1

    Well, guess what I won’t be buying…
    Always-on? With my Internet shutting down every hour for no reason, that would be just great.
    And Origin, *shudder*, I only use that for Battlefield 3. And Mass Effect 3 because EA was nice enough to give me that for free. But I will never use that service for anything else.

    “We’re not idiots.”
    Yes you are.

    @12 Don’t pirate, ever. Either boycott the game or buy it. Piracy will only make things worse.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Kabby

    Good ol’ Gabe Newell is also the King of DRM.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. OwnedWhenStoned

    I’m buying it anyway. It seems to be that as I get older, I give less and less of a crap about various DRM / Digital Distribution

    #17 3 years ago
  18. deathgaze

    Heh, I love articles like these. It basically screams “Here’s some EA flame bait.”

    Look, I can understand if you’re some sort of anti-establishment type that Origin looks like the coming of the Anti-Christ. But it’s not really that bad. It works pretty much the same as Steam and it tends to stay out of the way and do it’s job. In that way, in particular, it seems to do a better job than Steam.

    All this EA hate makes absolutely no sense. Heaven forbid you give money to an evil corporation like EA. You already give your money to plenty of other evil corporations. What’s one more going to hurt? What exactly are you protesting by not buying games on Origin? Do you only reinforce monopolies that you happen to like (ala Steam)? It boggles my mind.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. The_Red

    The last big Maxis game was Spore and it was killed because of supposed protective measures.
    Looks like their new title is on the same path of self destruction. Note to EA: F*** you. For limited installations, for always online mandate and for everything else.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. The_Red

    Also, once again Pirates get the better experience: They don’t have to worry about internet connection OR Origin while legit customers can’t even play the game if they lose their connection.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. m2stech

    So is this game like a MMO now, no more single player?

    #21 3 years ago
  22. silkvg247

    I think pirating DRM ridden filth and buying non DRM games is a good way to beat these kinds of demons.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. DSB

    @14 Maybe for some. What I actually wanted to say was that the problem is far more complex than that. If you see piracy as a reason to punish your paying customers, all you’re doing is digging a deeper hole for yourself and your business.

    Smart business people understand that, the stupid ones don’t.

    DRM has no effect except for devalueing the product you give to your customers. Disappointing your customers is a terrible way to run a business, and even if you manage to grow in spite of that, it won’t be at the rate of more progressive businesses.

    I’d use Ubisoft as an example. They follow your logic. The worse piracy is percieved to be, the harder they are on their paying customers. The result has been a 60% decrease in their business, and a veritable pounding from business analysts. With the PC revenue of EA being their most profitable on any platform, and Activision growing their PC business 200% in the same time period, I think it’s easy to see that Ubisoft are slowly committing harikiri over pirates who aren’t threatening anyone else.

    Piracy isn’t a force for good in the world, and it shouldn’t be celebrated, but quite obviously, a lot of executives don’t have the best of their businesses at heart. Instead of facing the problem and earning for their businesses, they’re wasting it on DRM that does nothing but lead to a slump in sales. They’re spending more, to lose more.

    The progressive executives who advocate interfacing with their customers and providing better products are rolling in money. I don’t think we should celebrate or feel sorry for businessmen who excel at hurting their businesses.

    No matter how wrong piracy is, they’re still morons who deserve every hit they take.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. Dinasis

    I’m glad to see so many people saying not to pirate games. If developers or publishers are going to treat us as likely criminals, the only way we can prove ourselves better customers than they consider us is to buy games with problem DRM and tell them that we don’t like it. Since that alone won’t work, and because they can hire companies to get an idea of how many illegal copies are floating around the torrent networks, the best course for us to take as consumers is to skip those titles entirely (possibly while telling them why we aren’t buying).

    Also, all this hatred, rage, and destructive negativity doesn’t really help. It’s sort of like expecting to get your problems solved if all you do is yell when you call tech support. See (number 3, in particular) for funnier explanations.

    Also, #16, #18, and #11/#23 speak truth.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. JB

    So Fin are you ready to back up your “catchy phrases” with some evidence ?

    Perhaps some independent research data, or something like it ?

    #25 3 years ago

    Get lost EA!

    You just lost another customer.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. GrimRita

    There is no way on gods earth EAs shitty Origin is better than Steam. The latter offers more in terms of games, does more in terms of community and has supported the PC platform when EA decided to reduce its out put on the format, apart from the ‘ported’ BC2.

    EA only have Origin so they can charge full price,and take 100% slice of the pie.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. VancouverBlade

    Where the hell do they get staff with those names from? Stone Librande and Ocean Quigley… sounds like Sims names already.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. TheWulf

    That’s worrying.

    No mods at launch goes against what they told us originally. :|

    #29 3 years ago
  30. deathgaze

    @27 Sounds like a compelling argument… except it isn’t true. I got BFBC2 for ***FIVE*** dollars. I got Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm for SEVEN dollars EACH. EA is plenty generous on their own platform, it turns out.

    Besides, this isn’t a Sony vs. Microsoft type argument. It’s the PC: We can have our cake and eat it too. An Origin account is free, same as a Steam account. If you don’t want access to more awesome game deals, it’s your call. More cheap games for me. :D

    #30 3 years ago
  31. deathgaze

    @29 Uhhh, nothing in the announcement pertained to mods in the slightest. Not sure where you’re getting your info.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. GrimRita

    @30 yeah BC2 for 5 dollars – how old is that game? I guess we could look at other ‘deals’ where the games are the same or cost more than they would if bought in store.

    £55 for Mass Effect 3 (deluxe)and £40 for BF3 are real bargains..NOT and even look at Sim city – £65!!! WTF SIXTY FIVE POUNDS for a DE version and £45 for normal – I call it taking the piss.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Stephany Nunneley

    Right. EA has since clarified you will only need to be online when paying multiplayer and in order to “in order to start playing.” You will also not be kicked out “if your connection is interrupted.”

    #33 3 years ago

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