So, yeah, the relevant news items are

HERE

where EA states that their game MUST be online to simulate remotely on the server, notably with the quote -

With the way that the game works, we offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers so that the computations are off the local PCs and are moved into the cloud. It wouldn’t be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team.

and then,

HERE, HERE, and HERE,

where it becomes apparent that this isn’t the case.

You can test this out yourself (it was pretty obvious day one for me when I created a city, played it for a while, and it was NEVER uploaded to the server. The sim was obviously happening locally. It’s also apparent that no matter how terrible your connection is, there is no event latency in the city simulation. So, yeah.)

The big deal isn’t that it is or isn’t an online game. The big deal is that a company official stated completely untrue information in a (presumed) effort to justify the game’s online requirement. It’s hard for me to believe that the General Manager of Maxis would have incorrect information about the fundamental operation of their title (especially given the fevered meetings that have to have been going on over there for the last week)

Whatever you’re going to do, online or offline, or a combination of both, it would seem wisest not to state falsehoods about your product – especially if they are EASILY VERIFIABLE AS INCORRECTEspecially if you want to justify an online requirement in future titles.

It makes you look shady. When people are prepared to believe the worst about you, it’s always a good idea not to hand them knives.

Let me state again that I think SimCity ‘the game’ is really good, and that the Maxis guys and gals made a wonderful title filled with love.

I think that wonderful game got saddled with some stuff that didn’t belong, and the hand-waving to justify it is coming off really, really poorly.

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Art-wise, first strip without ‘mascot’ style characters in it.

Worth doing? I dunno. I thought about supplanting humans with the critters as ‘sock puppets’ for the comic, but elected not to. *shrug*