SimCity modder disputes EA’s claims the game needs to be online

“I’ve analyzed all of the data calls to and from EA servers – all of the APIs, every request for data, and all of the data that comes back,” explains the modder. And in doing so, he’s found some surprising results. “The SimCity servers are not doing any calculations that could not be done on your PC, even for an entire region single player offline mode, let alone just the city you are in.”

SimCity was released a couple weeks ago for the PC amidst a fair amount of controversy. First Origin, EA’s game download service, was overwhelmed. Then the game’s servers were too busy, causing failed connections, dropouts and saved game problems. The game’s DRM has drawn the sharpest criticism, however, since it requires a persistent online connection.

EA says SimCity absolutely requires servers to work, not just for DRM but also for its core operation. SimCity’s multiplayer support obviously needs a connection, but that’s different. EA may want the connection to be persistent to help combat piracy, but “Azzer” has shown that the game works otherwise.

I have two thoughts here:

Don’t be a thief. And don’t treat your customers like assholes.

  • JoblessGuy2

    Honestly, EA is messing up everything I used to love.

    First FIFA with the Origin downloads-only, meaning you download 7 GB+ on every computer you own, then the whole not-so-micro transactions with Real Racing 3, and now this.

    Never have I hated a company I once used to love more. Never.

    • D Pauw

      I think it is wise to take a wait and see approach for every new EA game these days (regardless of platform).

    • Darchee

      You “hate” a company because they released a game with micro transactions? Why do people get so angry over trivial stuff like this?

      • JoblessGuy2

        There is nothing “micro” about those transactions. Check it out for yourself. It isn’t a trivial or an isolated matter. I’d rather pay $20 up front than ruin my experience and waste my time waiting for the bonus to kick in. Most would too.

  • I usually say “don’t treat your customers like thieves,” but “assholes” works as well

  • gjgustav

    Problem is that PC gaming piracy is rampant enough that many devs are forgoing PC games altogether. This doesn’t excuse EA’s behaviour, but it explains it – they don’t know a better way.

    Here’s a better way – require online checking once-per-month with a grace period. Then build into the code that after two years, no online checking required. This allays the biggest fear that they’ll turn off the DRM server when they grow tired of the game, and game owners will be left with a useless installation.

  • So this means I won’t be playing it… I’m on a LTE connection with a limited data package. I don’t want to be always on. (no cable and only super slow dsl available here)