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Maxis defends always-on DRM for SimCity

By: Jason McCarthy

  |   December 27th, 2012   |  
PC News
Sim City

Maxis defends requirement of always-on internet connection for upcoming SimCity; explains that creating a connected experience a goal since day one.

The fans of Maxis’ long-running open-ended city-building franchise were not too happy to learn about the always-on DRM for the new SimCity game that is scheduled to release for PC on March 5, 2013.

Addressing the concerns of the fans, the company’s vice president Lucy Bradshaw said in a recent blog entry that it has always been a goal to create a connected experience for the game.

She explained that the regional simulation on Electronic Arts’ (EA) servers will be used to support features that would enhance the SimCity experience even further.

“Running the regional simulation on our servers is something we also use to support features that will make this SimCity even more fun. We use the Sim data to update worldwide leaderboards, where you get to see your city or mayoral standings as compared to the other cities in your region and between all of the regions in the world. And since SimCity is a live service, we’re also using the data to create weekly global and local challenges for our players that keep the gameplay fresh and surprising,” said Bradshaw.

The Maxis executive conceded that the company believes the upcoming SimCity game to be the best in the series, while giving the credit to the technology that has been used in the development of the game and the technology that the company will continue to use once the game is launched in order to keep the experience connected, exciting and addictive.

The fans of the city-building simulator may have been under the impression that the upcoming SimCity will be close to what they have seen in the past, which is why they were surprised and somewhat disappointed to learn about the always-on DRM requirement to play the game.

Bradshaw, however, clarified that SimCity was designed to be connected and the whole team had been very clear of this aim since the very first day of development. Using the Glassbox engine and giving the players the option to choose between regions depending on whether he wants others to interact with him and his city or not is something that is bound to take the game to an entirely new level.

Maxis has proven in the past that it understands gamers and their desires pretty well and therefore it is not too difficult to trust their decision for an always-on DRM requirement for the upcoming SimCity game.

Blizzard’s Diablo III has a similar requirement, but this has not prevented the game from finding critical success around the world.

It remains to be seen if SimCity manages to make a positive impact as well, or if it falls short of the expectations, which are pretty high considering the reputation of the brand.