Want to talk about how to play SimCity offline? You'll have to do it somewhere other than EA's official forums.
SimCity players preferring to play the game offline would certainly be very interested in the recently announced mod that allows them to play without an internet connection. EA, on the other hand, believes the mod violates its Terms of Service, and has promptly removed any related threads, discussions and guides on the subject from its official forums.
Erik Reynolds, senior director of worldwide communications for EA Maxis, explained the situation on Twitter after the threads were removed:
Due to our ToS we need to delete the thread about the hack/mod from our forums. Please move it to other places and continue the dialogue— Erik Reynolds (@buzzspinner) March 14, 2013
Reynolds confirms that the Terms of Service are dictated by the legal department, but enforced by the whole company.
He also says that Maxis has supported the modding community in the past and will continue to do so in the future, adding that "hacks are not mods". Whether or not the change is a game modification or a straight-up hack is up for debate, but Reynolds says that he welcomes any discussion on the matter. "I love debate too and can't wait to see what fans create for the franchise. [SimCity 4] mods proved that there is greatness ahead".
SimCity modder "UKAzzer" was able to overcome the game's always-online requirement by enabling the game's debug mode and removing prompts for the user to connect to the internet. Without the mod, anyone who attempts to play offline for more than 20 minutes is kicked from their game and redirected to the main menu.
Earlier in the week, Maxis general manager Lucy Bradshaw said that an offline mode for the game was "just not possible" as the entire region is simulated on the server. A Maxis developer debunked the claims, saying that the servers do not handle any computation in regards to simulating the city.