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SimCity offline update 'in final testing'

Heavily requested feature will finally arrive more than a year after the game's release

A heavily requested SimCity update enabling users to play the game offline "is in final testing", according to Maxis.

Since its release in March 2013, SimCity owners have needed a permanent internet connection to play the game.

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During a turbulent launch period, server issues forced players offline and rendered the game near unplayable.

At the time, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw stated in a tweet that an offline version of SimCity was "just not possible".

But in January, Maxis general manager Patrick Buechner confirmed that an offline mode was in the works. "In Update 10, you can still play solo in Regions on your own, or in Multiplayer with people from around the world," he explained.

"What's new is the Single Player Mode, which allows you to play the game Offline by yourself. And because your saved games in this mode are stored locally, you can save and load to your heart's content.

"Bringing the game Offline means big things for our wonderful community of Modders," Buechner added. "They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game. Modding is a big part of our studio's legacy and we're excited to see what you guys create."

Last month, the lead engineer of SimCity's offline mode said his team had spent more than six months reworking significant parts of the game's architecture in preparation for the upcoming update.

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