Electronic Arts has announced that SimCity will include an offline mode with an upcoming game update. For anyone unfamiliar, the newest city creation title is currently "online only," forcing gamers to be connected to the internet and EA authentication servers in order to play. This can be quite the headache for anyone living in rural areas. The farther you venture into the barren countryside, the more that internet quality deteriorates. So you can imagine the struggle for some gamers when presented with the prospect of an always online title.

"Offline is coming as a free download with Update 10 to all SimCity players," states Patrick Buechner, general manager of the Maxis Emeryville studio. "When we launch it, all of your previously downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without the need for an internet connection."

Maxis has a crew of hardcore gamers working tirelessly to ensure that this update is rigorously tested before release. Many early adopters may recall that the title had a slew of server problems and bugs when it first released. Maxis doesn't want to make the same mistakes, and it's good to see them concerned about quality. Unfortunately there is no word on exactly when we will see this update drop.

Post update, you'll still be able to enjoy multiplayer sessions and online features. But the new single-player mode will take place completely offline, allowing you to locally save and load at any moment, unhindered by servers. This is also welcome news to all you aspiring modders out there, as Maxis has just recently announced that SimCity is open to "creative reconfiguring."