Created By: Pichu-kun on April 21, 2017 Last Edited By: Pichu-kun on May 31, 2017
Nuked

Always Online Game

A video game that can't be played without an internet connection

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trope
A type of game where you are required to have online capabilities to play. If you don't have an internet connection or your connection shuts off for whatever reason, you're out of luck and can't play the title. These have existed for years but really caught on in the late 2000s and early 2010s when companies began using always-online DRM in order to prevent piracy and cheating.

When the game is finally shut down, the game will become unplayable and you'll have a case of Temporary Online Content. Fans are often able to create fan servers in order to still play the games, however sometimes the games don't have enough players or the publishers/developers don't allow the servers.

Examples:

  • MMORPGs are the most well-known example of this. Being that they're only playable using multiple people across the world, they require internet connections to play. When the servers go down for good, fans often attempt to recreate them so that they can keep on playing even after official support is gone.
  • Angry Birds Epic has a startup sequence that always needs to log in and then download its resources before playing, which can often take Loads and Loads of Loading due to the game's size.
  • The Sims Freeplay is a mobile incarnation of The Sims that requires an online connection. It is the third game to be this way and the only one that is still active. The Sims Online and The Sims Social were the previous two but are shut down. The Sims 4 was initially envisioned as an always-online multiplayer game but the feature was scrapped.
  • SimCity (2013) was widely scorned upon release for this. It was the first SimCity title to use this due to needing DRM for multiplayer. Even those who wanted to play alone had to be online. The release day was a disaster because too many players were flooding the servers. A single-player mode was eventually released in March 2014, but the game is still considered a possible Franchise Killer.
  • Darkspore relied on servers which EA shut down a few years after release.
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