Night-mayor nearly over: SimCity offline mode is just a spot of “final testing” away

SimCity got an expansion in Cities of Tomorrow late last year - but no offline mode.

“Too little, too late” is the refrain I hear most often in the comment threads for articles like this one – and perhaps that’s true. Maxis certainly have a long way to go in re-earning our faith, and there are still inherent problems with SimCity’s simulation that will likely never be solved – at least not in this iteration.

But in the very near future, it’s going to become a game you can play on the train, or for 40 minutes during a power cut until your laptop battery drains to nothing. Which is something, right?

“Update 10 is in final testing,” tweeted Maxis on Wednesday from their SimCity account. “Almost there Mayors.”

Update 10’s headline feature is the offline mode players have been screaming for since before SimCity’s release a year last week.

In the time since, Maxis’ position on the subject has seen them bus from one side of the city to the other. Maxis manager Lucy Bradshaw originally suggested that an offline mode for SimCity would be technically unfeasible. But in October, Patrick Buechner confirmed that a team at Maxis Emeryville was “specifically focused on exploring the possibility of an offline mode”.

And now, it’s nearly a reality. A new offline mode will store saved games locally – which means not even fleeting contact with EA’s servers. Existing saves will remain exclusively online, unfortunately.

“Bringing the game offline means big things for our wonderful community of modders,” said Buechner in January. “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.”

The online version of the game will stay as is, with its leaderboards, global market and region play. Have you made good use of any of that stuff, or was always-online always a hindrance for you?

Thanks, VG247.