SimCity: Origin required to play, but not to buy
EA has confirmed that SimCity will be available to purchase outside of the publisher’s Origin digital platform. A list of digital distribution channels that will carry the game has yet to be revealed, but at least you will have a choice.
However, you will need Origin to actually play the game once you’ve downloaded it. To play SimCity you will need to be online and logged in to your Origin account. The always-on internet required is being explained by the game’s focus on multiplayer and the use of a global economy that all players can influence.