Posted September 12, 2012 by Jon Burrows in Games
 
 

SimCity To Require A Persistent Internet Connection

SimCity To Require A Persistent Internet Connection

Sim-City-http://geeksmash.com

It appears Electronic Arts (EA) has fallen off the deep end, following in the footsteps of Blizzard’s Diablo III. The new SimCity will require a persistent internet connection.

During an interview by Kotaku, Kip Katserelis at EA development studio Maxis, stated:

“This is a mutiplayer game. We’re constantly tracking what you do… and then feeding that back to players.”

So, even though a gamer might be playing in single player mode, anyone else in the world playing SimCity will affect the overall economy, environment, or some sort of leaderboard that shows a variety of category leaders. This was also confirmed by lead designer Stone Librande during an interview with Joystiq.

If Facebook’s SimCity Social is any indication, with its  micro-transactions built into this Free-to-Play (F2P) title, then one can only assume the worst for the new SimCity.

sim-city-social-http://geeksmash.com

During a recent interview by Cloud Gaming USA, EA’s President of Labels, Frank Gibeau, stated:

“We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers. I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365.”

Mr. Gibeau’s comment really shows where EA’s strategy has been, especially considering the tacked on multi-player features in titles such as Dead Space 2 and Mass Effect 3. In this author’s opinion, the multi-player features of solo play titles, exist solely to justify a persistent internet connection as DRM (Digital Rights Management) and to eliminate second hand sales of popular titles. What better way to force consumers to buy a retail copy of Mass Effect 3 instead of going to Ebay or Gamestop to the second hand sale rack?

Furthermore, looking at an article by GamePolitics, the future could look bleak for those still using metered/usage-based Internet.

SimCity 4, according to a post by TwylaFox on the official SimCity forums, still has an estimated 10 million people playing the game world-wide. One can imagine that all those players are running older setups, since gamers have to run through hoops to get SimCity 4 to work on Windows 7. It is just an assumption, but most of those older SimCity 4 players probably can’t afford to upgrade to Windows 7 and maintain a persistent internet connection. Considering Australia and a lot of European nations still have usage based internet access and that internet service providers in the United States favor metered or usage based internet access billing, this could be a major concern.

Since SimCity will require a persistent internet connection, what of SimCity fans that are traveling and want to enjoy the new game on their notebook pc? How about our veterans in the middle east that don’t have reliable internet access? What about those that simply refuse to play a single-player game that requires a persistent Internet connection? What happens once EA decides to turn off the servers like they did for some of the more recent games such as Madden NFL 2010, EA Sports MMA, FIFA 10, FIFA Street 3 and Godfather II?

Because SimCity will require a persistent Internet connection, I predict plenty of players will refuse to purchase it.

Will you?

UPDATE: As was pointed out by a reader, I have now conveniently provided a link to the follow-up interview of Frank Gibeau by Kotaku.

by Mark Wolf


Jon Burrows

 
An exclusive writer for Geek Smash, Jon hails from Mississippi and has a passion for music, comic-books, and writing. He collects antique cars and enjoys shooting handguns. Jon sings in his church choir, volunteers his time helping the Salvation Army at local events and doubles as Santa during Christmas season.