New SimCity Will Require Always-On Internet - UPDATED

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New SimCity Will Require Always-On Internet - UPDATED

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The lead designer of the new SimCity says the game will be an "internet-dependent experience," so if you're not connected, you don't get to play.

The new SimCity looks awfully sweet. A lot has happened in the decade that's passed since SimCity 4 and the new game looks set to take advantage of that, with fantastic visuals and a far deeper simulation of a living, breathing city than has ever before been possible. But with the good comes the bad and that means you'll need a full-time connection to the internet in order to play.

The new game will be "the first truly multiplayer SimCity," Lead Producer Kip Katsarelis said earlier this month, with interconnected cities creating a greater "SimCity world" that will be impacted and influenced by individual, city-level decisions. That sounds pretty fantastic; the problem is that players will be forced to be a part of this world whether they want to or not.

The game will be an "internet-dependent experience," Lead Designer Stone Librande told Joystiq, which means that players will need to be connected to Origin when they play, even if the game was purchased elsewhere. The need for an always-on connection is necessitated by SimCity's "emphasis on multiplayer and regional impact, and the use of a global economy that all players can influence." But more relevant to a lot of gamers is the obvious DRM aspect. No internet connection? No play.

To be clear, this isn't the same as the usual quickie call home to Origin that drives so many people to distraction; that's not really a big deal, relatively speaking, since it's exactly the same thing Steam does and nobody seems to have a problem with that. What makes this particularly onerous is that the connection has to be on all the time, so if you're traveling, living in an area with crappy service or just plain don't want to be connected to the internet all the time, you're out of luck.

EA Maxis Creative Director Ocean Quigley also revealed that SimCity won't support mods at launch, although it's a possibility in the future. "After we ship, we'll make decisions about how we can and when exactly we'll support mods. But it's worth pointing out that 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," he said. "We're very cognizant of that - we're not idiots."

How about an offline, single-player mode while you're at it? That'd be swell. The PC-exclusive SimCity is expected to come out sometime next year.

UPDATE: Electronic Arts has clarified SimCity's online requirements, saying that the game won't actually require an always-on connection. "You will have to register an Origin account in order to play, and yes, you must be online at all times while playing in order to start playing," according to Gamespy. "EA has confirmed that you will not be kicked out if your connection is interrupted."

That changes things pretty dramatically. I'm still not a fan of the mandatory "phone home" business and I think people on the fence should insist on getting the full DRM low-down before committing, but a Steam-style online check is a big improvement over DRM that gives you the boot if you get the boot.

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"hmm what can we do to mess with pc gamers... I know, lets copy what ubisoft has been doing, everyone loves that shit"
Fraken morons.

Well that's genuinely disappointing. I've sunk far too many hours into the previous SimCity games to be considered healthy (is it disturbing to get sexual thrills from a well-maintained public transport system? All those lovely train tracks...mmmm) but I honestly think this'll be the first one that I'll give a miss.

That thought alone makes me a little bit gutted really but I doubt it'll be good enough to be worth the inevitable annoyance when the router decides to play silly bastards and the game just cuts out accordingly (on the assumption that it would, could be wrong there).

If its basically an MMO management game then natrually an internet connection would be required for the MMO part.

But no inclusion of a simple single player at launch isnt the most intelligent thing you could do. Even Demon's Souls and Dark Souls can run totally SP if no internet is available.

And with that, a sale to me disappears into the abyss forever.

If *my* game is determined by what other people are doing, then it's not really *my* game, is it?
I was actually interested in this game until I read this; when will companies learn this is not how you win over the PC gamer market?

Every sim city game is the same so I already got my time in on it, won't be getting a "new" version anytime soon. ALways on internet is stupid btw.

First I have to miss out on Diablo 3, now this.

I hate being a PC gamer sometimes.

Yep and people will keep right on playing SimCity 4 when this comes out.

Getting pretty fucking sick of you EA. I'll buy it legitimately but I will absolutely not play it until it is cracked so that I don't have Origin on my computer.

Say goodbye to your purchase from me!

he said... "we're not idiots."

Yes you are.

Oh good. Another chance for pirates to try and justify their pirating of every game they see.

"This is why people pirate, herp derp! My internet is bad, so I, like, can't play my game I paid for and stuff. I won't get it this then I guess. Or maybe crack it or something. *goes to pirate half the Steam library*"

Ugh.

There goes all interest I had for this game.

Guess i won't be buying this game then.

I hate always on requirements, not because they inconvenience me (my net goes down, like... once every few days for a few seconds and games crash or freeze about that often anyway--not to mention I'm not playing 24/7) but because it's stupid. Pirates crack it. Why bother? What is the point?

Well for me SimCity was the game I played when my internet was DOWN....... So there goes my reason for purchase...

AAAHHHHH GODDAMMIT

Looks like I'm sticking to Cities XL. Hooray for options!

i remember that someone has already tried to make "multiplayer sim city". if i recall correctly it didnt last a year.
sure! go ahead! i see absolutely no way how this could POSSIBLY fail.....

nah, maybe it will be good who knows, i played sim city 2000, it was awesome. i played sim city 3000, it was better. i played sim city 4, it was better. i see a trend here you know? - still, we cant judge the game yet, so lets judge their stupid decisions.

Well done EA, you've done with Sim City what Blizzard did with Diablo 3 - turned my reaction from 'I'm totally getting this on release day' to 'Not gonna touch this in a million freakin' years'.

"we're not idiots."

I beg to differ.

dogstile:
First I have to miss out on Diablo 3, now this.

I hate being a PC gamer sometimes.

You said it. I just got through reminding one of my friends why I won't be buying Diablo III, which included the thought that soon other games would attempt to follow suit. it all came down to that fact of precedence plus the fact the people I may move in with at a later date live just inside a Broadband dead zone.

... I'm not trying to be smug or anything, but apparently I subconsciously called it. Sorry traveling Sim-city fans or in the many crevices of bad internet networks. its just not for you.

Such a shame. With this trend, at least the good news for me is my laptop will get a few more years out of it before I need to upgrade it. Maybe by then, games will be worth buying again.

EA being dumb?

Well, this has certainly never happened before or anything~

Okay seriously even I'm starting to get a little annoyed by all of this "Welp, online connectivity, no way becauz Im protestin". Seriously, nice idea, but it won't mean diddly squat.
Personally I've had origin on my computer since ME3, and I can promise that if you have the kind of system you game on, it doesn't slow it down, and you won't even know it's there (Granted it's not set to auto-load with windows). As much as I hate it, and I agree with jimquisition, I'm not going to pass by what is probably a perfectly good game (I love SC4 and still play it weekly) because of it.

Hey, I'll take this as a positive. I won't need to buy a new computer to run this game because I won't be buying it.

Well I think that raises the bar for the game. Its going to have to be orgasmicly amazing for me to buy it. Goes back to playing simcity 3000.

Damn, and I was really looking forward to buying this. Oh well I guess I'll throw it on the pile of games I'll never touch alongside Diablo 3

I never understood why companies requires always-on internet for single player.

Are they afraid that we're going to cheat?...

IN THE SINGLE PLAYER MODE?!

Rouzeki:

dogstile:
First I have to miss out on Diablo 3, now this.

I hate being a PC gamer sometimes.

You said it. I just got through reminding one of my friends why I won't be buying Diablo III, which included the thought that soon other games would attempt to follow suit. it all came down to that fact of precedence plus the fact the people I may move in with at a later date live just inside a Broadband dead zone.

... I'm not trying to be smug or anything, but apparently I subconsciously called it. Sorry traveling Sim-city fans or in the many crevices of bad internet networks. its just not for you.

I'm just waiting for the inevitable "but you're complaining online, this doesn't affect you!" argument I always get, because the other person hasn't considered my internet sometimes goes down for days at a time, usually once every two weeks.

I live in a well developed UK town to, I hate to think of what gamers in the EU have to deal with

Aircross:
I never understood why companies requires always-on internet for single player.

Are they afraid that we're going to cheat?...

IN THE SINGLE PLAYER MODE?!

They are afraid you are going to actually use "Fair Use" like letting another family member play it too.

But this isn't a question of Origin, which I have no problem with, but of requiring an always-on connection. If a game is going to dump me because my shitbag ISP pukes out on a near-daily basis, why am I going to spend money on it? Especially when I have zero intention of playing it online anyway.

I don't much care about SimCity, but I'm infuriated about Diablo 3, which I will not be buying because of the same idiotic requirement. It's interesting, though, that you don't hear anywhere near the same level of rage about Blizzard and Battle.net. Some people have legitimate, principled concerns about always-on DRM, but I think it's fair to say that others are a little more selective about where they point their anger.

It might be worth dropping a line to EA - a civil line - to protest this always-on nonsense and ask for the inclusion of a proper, offline single-player mode. It's still fairly early in the development process, so it might still be possible for minds to change. Worth a shot.

dogstile:

Rouzeki:

dogstile:
First I have to miss out on Diablo 3, now this.

I hate being a PC gamer sometimes.

You said it. I just got through reminding one of my friends why I won't be buying Diablo III, which included the thought that soon other games would attempt to follow suit. it all came down to that fact of precedence plus the fact the people I may move in with at a later date live just inside a Broadband dead zone.

... I'm not trying to be smug or anything, but apparently I subconsciously called it. Sorry traveling Sim-city fans or in the many crevices of bad internet networks. its just not for you.

I'm just waiting for the inevitable "but you're complaining online, this doesn't affect you!" argument I always get, because the other person hasn't considered my internet sometimes goes down for days at a time, usually once every two weeks.

I live in a well developed UK town to, I hate to think of what gamers in the EU have to deal with

It doesn't matter how stable/unstable your connection is, being treated like a criminal because you bought the game (instead of pirating it) is wrong. Always on DRM is the gaming equivalent of an ankle bracelet.

EA Maxis Creative Director Ocean Quigley also revealed that SimCity won't support mods at launch, although it's a possibility in the future. "After we ship, we'll make decisions about how we can and when exactly we'll support mods. But it's worth pointing out that 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," he said. "We're very cognizant of that - we're not idiots."

...So... You've added a multiplayer "feature" no one was asking for that will make it incredibly hard for modders to actually work because presumably everyone who wants to see or interact with "your" version of SimCity is going to have to have the exact same versions of the exact same mods, a situation difficult enough to bring about with LAN-sized groups and virtually impossible to accomplish with Internet-sized groups.

You acknowledge that the mod community is all that's kept your franchise in gamers' minds at all, but you've basically announced your firm intention to kick that community to the curb.

But you're not idiots. Well, glad we cleared that up!

I'm going to go lie down in my cryogenic sleep chamber. Wake me when EA self-destructs or pulls its collective head out of its collective nether region.

I didn't buy BF3 because of Origin (i didn't care about mass effect), I won't buy the new SimCity because of Origin. BF2, BF2142, Spore, CnC4 and other other games left a bad taste in my mouth. It's not just because I don't want another piece of digital distribution software on my computer, it's because I don't care for EA's games any more either. Do pirates even bother anymore? I wouldn't waste the bandwidth on their rushed shit. I haven't seen anything recently that was compelling to buy. Battlefield 3 was close, but then I just went and played the other grey/brown modern shooter.

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