One of the problems with games that require an always on internet connection is that if your net is giving you problems, or there is a problem with the game’s server, you can’t play. Games such as Diablo 3, and recently SimCity, have faced such problems and in the case of SimCity, many gamers are asking Maxis and EA to change the game in such a way that it will be able to be played offline. Since we aren’t developers, we can’t tell if taking out the always on DRM would require a complete overhaul of the game, or if it will be a simple change. Maxis has stuck to their guns and claimed that an internet connection would be required in order for SimCity to function properly.
However according to an anonymous developer who’s had close ties to the game, they told Rock Paper Shotgun that removing the always on feature would require “minimal effort”. In that case what exactly are the servers for if the game is playable offline? Well according to their source, they explained just what SimCity’s servers are doing:
“The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing. They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless.”
Once again we’d like to state that since we aren’t developers and we aren’t familiar with just how Maxis has designed the game, it’s hard to say if it would really be as easy as RPS’ source has told them. However many gamers have since signed a petition asking Maxis to remove the always on DRM feature and we guess the ball is now in Maxis’ court, but what do you guys think? Any developers out there who think that removing the DRM is easy as they claim?