Two days ago, RPS published an article in which a Maxis insider revealed to us that SimCity does not, in fact, require the servers to run its non-regional game. Maxis reps had repeatedly insisted to the press that the game had to be online as it ran local computations on their own servers - a feature our source told us doesn't exist at all. Extraordinarily, we've still yet to receive a statement from Maxis on the matter. Nor indeed have any of the rest of the games media who contacted EA for comments at the time of our story.
And now, if any further proof were needed, a modder has hacked the game to run entirely offline, and even play outside of the game's ridiculously small borders.
Here it is:
Obviously this hack doesn't allow saving, loading or regional features when playing offline, but he has found a way to have unlimited offline play. However, when connected to the servers, it still remembers the road placement outside of the boundaries. This all amply demonstrates that the game can very easily be modded to run offline, rather than the "significant amount of engineering" Maxis repeatedly claimed. A local save is now all that's required.
This whole affair feels like a clumsily written morality tale, where someone's unrealistic hubris gets them into trouble. "Sure, like anyone would be that brazen!" you'd say as you watched. We are still waiting for a response from EA/Maxis, to our queries as to why they were claiming the game was dependent on the servers to run.