It might have taken nearly an entire year, but EA and Maxis have finally announced that the biggest complaint SimCity has received since launch is soon to remedied. That's right: Offline mode is en route.
In an official blog post, Maxis' Patrick Buechner says that this is an announcement he's wanted to make for "quite some time", and while an offline mode seems to explain itself, there's more than one reason why the patch will be issued. The biggest reason, of course, is that people have demanded for it since the game launched last spring, but perhaps more interesting at this point is this:
Bringing the game Offline means big things for our wonderful community of Modders. They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game. Modding is a big part of our studio’s legacy and we’re excited to see what you guys create.
As games like Skyrim and Half-Life have proven, modding can dramatically enhance a game's fun-factor, and with a game as complex as SimCity, this move could be major. I can't help but feel it's a bit odd that a company like EA is getting behind the modding aspect, but it's good to see (especially from the perspective of a devout PC gamer).
If you don't happen to care about modding, you'll at least gain the ability to take your gameplay offline, and because that means the saves will be stored locally, you'll be able to move them around at will, and back them up. It's truly about time. Could this move mean that EA has learned its lesson? Let's hope so.