EA is a company that has spent much of the calendar year walking on eggshells; they’ve received far-ranging criticism for their proximity to Bioware and the ever-controversial Mass Effect 3. Even when the notorious publisher takes strides in a positive direction, such as they did when announcing a new SimCity for PC, they receive no shortage of backlash. This time, their condemnation comes in response to decisions being made with the aforementioned SimCity.
Today, EA confirmed that SimCity will support neither offline play or mods made for the game at launch. In order to access the experience, players must be logged onto Origin, the publisher’s digital-distribution service, at all times; a dip in connectivity or a sudden power surge will be all it takes to end a stirring session of the city-planning sensation. As for the mod scene, EA declared that it will not be a supported function at launch but could be permitted at some point down the line.
SimCity’s predecessor, SimCity 4, achieved lasting success for its clever design as well as its adherence to a variety of user-created mods. The absence of this feature in the newest game raises grave concerns for its durability, but, as EA Maxis creative director Ocean Quigley points out, the potential still exists for the modding community to become fully immersed into the new SimCity experience. Speaking to this exact point, Quigley stated that “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…Then 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.”
SimCity is currently planned for a 2013 launch on PC.