The latest "State of SimCity" blog post confirms that Maxis has a team looking into the addition an offline mode to the game.
The SimCity launch earlier this year sure wasn't the smoothest operation ever, nor was Maxis' handling of the tide of rage that followed. But now, finally, the studio appears to have shifted gears on the "always connected" business, and is looking seriously into taking it offline.
"Right now we have a team specifically focused on exploring the possibility of an offline mode," Maxis Emeryville General Manager Patrick Buechner wrote. "I can't make any promises on when we will have more information, but we know this is something that many of our players have been asking for. While the server connectivity issues are behind us, we would like to give our players the ability to play even if they choose not to connect."
In an interesting twist, given the studio's previous insistence that full-time connectivity is central to the SimCity experience, Buechner acknowledged that being offline has advantages too. "An offline mode would have the additional benefit of providing room to the modding community to experiment without interfering or breaking the multiplayer experience," he added.
There is of course no time frame for the addition of an offline mode, nor even a guarantee that it's going to happen. But at least it's a step in the right direction.