It seems like SimCity is just full of bad news. SimCity has received a lot of negative feedback for its ridiculous Always-On DRM feature. At first, EA stated that the Always-On DRM was added mainly because of security issues, but now its saying that it was added because the developers envisioned SimCity as “always-connected”. Lucy Bradshaw, the General Manager of EA’s Maxis label, stated that they had designed SimCity “with multiplayer in mind”. By having the always-connected feature, they were able to create essentially an MMO.
Bradshaw explained that they envisioned a game where cities would constantly be up to date. Players would be able to help each other out with supplies and services, send gifts to each other, promote trading in the Global Marketplace, and more. Simply, they wanted players to always be connected to each other. Even if players wanted to play alone, Bradshaw stated that they’d eventually want to play with other players.
Now here’s the part where everyone gets pissed off. Bradshaw says, “So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes. But we rejected that idea because it didn’t fit with our vision.” Essentially, SimCity could have operated with both an online multiplayer mode, as well as a single-player mode that many of the series’s fans asked for. Bradshaw justifies her case by saying that there are “thousands” of people who love SimCity’s always-connected feature, a statement that has been debunked by thousands and thousands of other fans.
Obviously Bradshaw’s statement drew in a huge list of angry SimCity gamers. Many came out to call Bradshaw and the SimCity developers liars. They commented on how the “always up-to-date” trading services sometimes take up to an hour to update, and how even online saving is unreliable, with many players losing multiple cities due to an error in the cloud-based servers. The SimCity launch was a massive failure due to the Always-On DRM, and EA has experienced continuous PR damage since then. This may be the last nail in the coffin for the SimCity series.