I don't think anyone truly thought EA was being honest with consumers when they stated that only a complete overhaul of SimCity would allow the game to not be online (aka, have offline single player). Mounting evidence, and now finally access to a completely offline debug mode where the entire game is playable, suggest EA is just talking out their ass.
First, Rock Paper Shotgun had an anonymous inside source explain this:
"The servers are not handling any of the computation done to simulate the city you are playing," claims RPS' source. "They are still acting as servers, doing some amount of computation to route messages of various types between both players and cities. As well, they’re doing cloud storage of save games, interfacing with Origin, and all of that. But for the game itself? No, they’re not doing anything. I have no idea why they’re claiming otherwise. It’s possible that Bradshaw misunderstood or was misinformed, but otherwise I’m clueless."
Of course, anonymous inside sources don't mean a whole lot... that is until a fan proves these sources to be 100% correct. More inside.