The game was released last week with always-on internet requirement that made the game unplayable for several days due to server issues. Players quickly got angry at the fact that EA's servers couldn't handle most players at launch and the fact that there is really no reason for the always-on internet connection requirement. The game's score on metacritics and Amazon plumped quickly to the one star zone, forcing Amazon to remove Sim City from its online store.
And EA took its time resolving the issues. The game was not playable for nearly a week. At which time, an anonymous Maxis developer spilled the beans that the mandatory internet connection is meant only as a form of DRM and that the servers do nothing beyond cheat detection and storing save files.
Needless to say, EA maintained a position that the servers handle a large chunk of the game's logic and provide social features that are integral to the game's core gameplay. But then one game modder came along and proved that EA is simply bullshitting.