‘SimCity’ Developers Talk About The Game’s Always-On DRM

EA’s announcement that a new SimCity game was in the works was initially met with excitement, but most of that excitement was thrown out the moment developer Maxis confirmed the game will employ always-on DRM. Sadly, that’s not the end of the bad news.

In a recent “Ask Me Anything” thread on Reddit, SimCity developers were asked how saving would be handled should your internet go out during play – and this is where the bad news comes in. According to the developer, you have to be online to save the game.

The obvious conclusion to jump to here is that EA and Maxis are trying to thwart piracy, which admittedly remains a problem in the market. But in a post on the SimCity website, Maxis SVP Lucy Bradshaw claims that the reason comes down to the engine, GlassBox, and the team’s design goals.

“GlassBox is the engine that drives the entire game — the buildings, the economics, trading, and also the overall simulation that can track data for up to 100,000 individual Sims inside each city,” Bradshaw explained.

“There is a massive amount of computing that goes into all of this, and GlassBox works by attributing portions of the computing to EA servers (the cloud) and some on the player’s local computer.”

Bradhsaw went on to say that the team’s goal from the get-go was to make SimCity a “connected” experience

“You’re always connected to the neighbors in your region so while you play, data from your city interacts with our servers, and we run the simulation at a regional scale,” Bradshaw said.

Is SimCity‘s internet requirement enough to turn you away from buying the game?