Maxis GM Lucdy Bradshaw has taken to EA's The Beat blog to touch upon SimCity's online components along with "straight answers" regarding the always-connected topic.
When developing the game, Bradshaw said the always-online component wasn't added as a "an order from corporate," nor was it implemented as a "clandestine strategy to control players."
"It’s fundamental to the vision we had for this SimCity," she said. "From the ground up, we designed this game with multiplayer in mind – using new technology to realize a vision of players connected in regions to create a SimCity that captured the dynamism of the world we live in; a global, ever-changing, social world.
"The game we launched is only the beginning for us – it’s not final and it never will be. In many ways, we built an MMO."
Bradshaw went on to state the simulation title and its graphics engines are "more detailed than ever and to give players lively and responsive cities," and the game being online allows the team to keep the simulation state of the region up to date for all players, even when playing solo.
She then went into detail on what the servers store, and what they were meant to be capable of achieving for players.
"Could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes. But we rejected that idea because it didn’t fit with our vision," she continued. "We did not focus on the “single city in isolation” that we have delivered in past SimCities. We recognize 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. The SimCity we delivered captures the magic of its heritage but catches up with ever-improving technology."
You can read the full thing through the link.