SimCity had been modified to run offline in a limited capacity, Maxis/EA general manager Lucy Bradshaw has since updated EA's official blog with a bulleted reiteration of Maxis' always-on design philosophy for the game.
In the missive, Bradshaw dismisses claims that SimCity's internet connectivity requirements are in reality "a clandestine strategy to control players" while listing a few of the ways in which server connectivity is essential to the design of the game, though she does not directly address whether the game can be played completely offline in its current form.
"So, could we have built a subset offline mode? Yes," Bradshaw added. "But we rejected that idea because it didn't fit with our vision. We did not focus on the 'single city in isolation' that we have delivered in past SimCities. We recognize that there are fans – people who love the original SimCity – who want that."