SimCity offline is coming as part of game update 10, Maxis general manager Patrick Buechner has announced in a new blog post.

He continued: "I've wanted to say those words for quite some time, so my apologies that I didn't take the time to say Happy New Year first.

"Yes, Offline is coming as a free download with Update 10 to all SimCity players. When we launch it, all of your previously downloaded content will be available to you anytime, anywhere, without the need for an internet connection. We are in the late phases of wrapping up its development and while we want to get it into your hands as soon as possible, our priority is to make sure that it's as polished as possible before we release it. So, until then... testing, testing and more testing. As one of the final steps, we're putting Offline into the hands of some of our most hardcore players, the DevTesters. This group of volunteers is going to put Offline through its paces before we release it."

Update 10 introduces Single Player Mode, allowing gamers to play the game offline by themselves. Saved games are stored locally, meaning you can save and load however many times you wish. Further details will be published in a follow-up blog.

It's also worth pointing out that those can choose to go online can still do so.

"All of the benefits of being connected will remain including access to Multiplayer, the Global Market and Leaderboards," wrote Buechner. "And all of your pre-existing saved cities and regions will still be accessible should you log-in to the Online game."

Offline is also great news for modders.

"They can now make modifications to the game and its components without compromising the integrity of the Online game," Buechner explained. "Modding is a big part of our studio's legacy and we're excited to see what you guys create."

To help people get started with modding, Maxis will be releasing a series of tutorials.

Buechner concluded: "From me, and everyone at the studio, thank you again for staying with us. We look forward to getting Offline for SimCity into your hands as soon as possible."

For many the offline update is likely to be too late to make a difference, but at least EA finally listened to what the gamers wanted.