Sim City 5 Won’t Support Mods, Will Require Persistent Internet
Sigh. It was probably inevitable that EA would find some way to ruin one of the great game series of all time. No, not that series. We mean the upcoming, long awaited new installment in the Sim City series, Sim City 5. Normally, we’d be extremely excited about it. Rumored to be due sometime next year, information that has dribbled out so far hints at incredible complexity and beautiful visuals. Unfortunately, EA has just confirmed it will also boast features seemingly tailor-made to annoy, and drive away, long time fans.
First is the unfortunate news that the game won’t launch with modding tools. EA Maxis creative director Ocean Quigley confirmed this speaking to Joystiq. “Right now we’ve got our work cut out for us,” he said, “to build the product up to the quality level it deserves as a SimCity. Then after we ship, we’ll make decisions about how we can and when exactly we’ll support mods.” I’ll believe it when I see it. EA’s track record with mod support has been very lacking in the decade since the last Sim City game was released. Even so, it’s good to know that the Glassbox engine upon which Sim City 5 is based has built-in modding support. Quigley also said “But it’s worth pointing out that the reason people are still playing SimCity 4 almost ten years later is because the modding community essentially re-created it and filled it with new content and fixed bugs and made it as much of a hobby as it is a game.”
That’s good to know, and we all know modders will crack Sim City 5 with or without official support. But will they even want to play? If other comments from EA reps pan out, maybe not. Lead designer Stone Librande has confirmed that Sim City will require a persistent Internet connection – and Origin membership – to play. According to Joystiq, “Players will need to be online on Origin while playing, even if that wasn’t the point of purchase. The always-on connection becomes necessary with the game’s emphasis on multiplayer and regional impact, and the use of a global economy that all players can influence.”
Sure, I bet. And this has nothing to do with DRM, or wanting to lock people into Origin whether they want it or not. I’m sure Sim City will be good, but I am increasingly unwilling to play a game that requires an Internet connection. It treats legit customers like potential criminals, and places onerous restrictions on use that few products do. Imagine if you bought a car that would only run when the radio was set to a certain station? More importantly, in the event that my Internet goes out, or, god forbid, I have to cancel my service, I want the option to play a game I have legally purchased in order to pass the time I can’t spend looking up lolcats.
What do you all think? Is this a bridge too far, or do you not find a required persistent Internet connection annoying. Let us know in comments.