Maxis announces SimCity reboot

Maxis announces SimCity reboot

The rebooted SimCity will feature the Maxis GlassBox engine, with a claimed never-before-seen level of simulation detail.

Electronic Arts has announced that its Maxis label is back, with plans to release a new SimCity game based on the home-brew GlassBox engine some time next year.

First released back in 1989, SimCity was the game that launched a franchise. Following the success of the city building epic, multiple Sim-themed titles including SimCopter, SimPark, SimGolf, and SimTower appeared along with sequels SimCity 2000, SimCity 3000 and SimCity 4.

The success of the Sim prefix would also give rise to EA's most successful property to date: The Sims, a zoomed-in view of SimCity in which the player controls a single family of Sim inhabitants. While not as strategic as the SimCity series, the micromanagement game won enough fans that EA has been milking the series ever since with increasingly bizarre expansion packs.

Now, however, EA is allowing Maxis to return to its roots with a true SimCity game, and while details are currently scant it's sounding like an epic undertaking.

'We'd like to thank the millions of fans who have helped make SimCity synonymous with the city-building genre. This is a franchise that means the world to us at Maxis and we're happy to be bringing it back home where we are reimagining it for an entirely new generation of players,' Lucy Bradshaw, senior vice president at EA-owned Maxis, told attendees at the Games Developers Conference.

'Using our proprietary GlassBox Engine, SimCity for PC will equip players with the tools to play the most sophisticated simulation of its kind. We are dedicated to making sure the experience – no matter the platform – has the fun, flavour and playability that has been intrinsic to the franchise since its birth.'

That last point may raise alarm bells: while EA has thus far only confirmed the new SimCity for a PC release, mention of ensuring that the simulation will be accessible on other platforms suggests a console launch is also on the cards. It wouldn't be the first time: SimCity was ported to the Nintendo Entertainment System, while a follow-up for the Nintendo 64DD - dubbed SimCity 64 - was released exclusively in Japan. The game has also been ported to Nintendo's DS hand-held console.

EA is, naturally, talking up the potential of its next-generation reboot: it claims that decisions will have far-reaching repercussions extending far beyond the limits of the simulated city, thanks to multiplayer functionality and social networking integration that will see players team up to tackle real-world issues like climate change, natural disasters and ever-dwindling natural resources.

Maxis, for its part, is talking up the potential of the GlassBox game engine, which it claims allows a far deeper level of simulation than has previously been possible. The city's population will be simulated down to the individual level, it claims, with Sims able to find and lose jobs and build their own homes.

A short teaser video has been released, while EA is hoping to earn some cash even at this early stage of development by offering a pre-order via its Origin digital distribution service with bonus SimCity Heroes & Villains content in which players participate in a battle between Maxis Man and arch-enemy Evil Dr. Vu.


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Madness_3d 7th March 2012, 11:17 Quote
WOOP Loved Sim City 3000 And Cities XL <insert year> was just never as good
liratheal 7th March 2012, 11:22 Quote
I do like the idea of the multiplayer aspect.

I can imagine this eating my time..
steveo_mcg 7th March 2012, 11:25 Quote
EA announces SimCity reboot

New FPS to be based in a very generic simulation of a city...

How i read the headline. The article has cheered me though.
TheStockBroker 7th March 2012, 11:30 Quote
WTB Cities XL + SimCity Events + Much needed multi core support
Paradigm Shifter 7th March 2012, 11:34 Quote
And it will be Origin only, so they can force it down the throats of those PC gamers who aren't in to Battlefield or Mass Effect...

I've love another SimCity game. :) I'm equally sure I won't love the multiple stings in the tail, though. :(
coolius 7th March 2012, 11:42 Quote
I think the platforms they are talking about are more likely to be smartphones and tablet rather than pure consoles - at least I hope so.
Parge 7th March 2012, 11:46 Quote
That teaser video looks amazing! Can't wait.
mattbailey 7th March 2012, 11:49 Quote

The (not so) Limited edition GB£44.99 or the Digital Deluxe edition GB£64.99 - not bad for game with no known features etc!

Think i'll wait a bit!
javaman 7th March 2012, 13:00 Quote
I never liked sim city tbh. It always felt out of control like you just sat an watched as smeg happened. Anno is far better.
loftie 7th March 2012, 13:01 Quote
Those are silly prices. I'm interested, but I'm still happy with simcity 4.
goldstar0011 7th March 2012, 13:08 Quote
I'd love a new SimCity game but not at that price, would happily wait for sales on it
Houndofhell 7th March 2012, 13:10 Quote
That teaser trailer looks awesome. I had so much fun with the originals, i'm really looking forward to this one.
Nikumba 7th March 2012, 13:12 Quote
I have high hopes for this, but at the same time I am not getting my hopes up.

First of its being done by Maxis/EA which means overpriced, lacking features needing DLC, likely to be closed no modding, and if the internet is true probably ported to consoles which will also reduce the PC version to no doubt something akin to the sims on an iphone.

Of course I may be proved wrong and EA wont stuff it up lol who am I kidding its EA :)

Krikkit 7th March 2012, 13:14 Quote
Good idea putting it on something like the DS - perfect for city sim stuff.

Anyone remember SimAnt? That was the best Simxx tbh. :D
hughwi 7th March 2012, 13:29 Quote
Originally Posted by mattbailey

The (not so) Limited edition GB£44.99 or the Digital Deluxe edition GB£64.99 - not bad for game with no known features etc!

Think i'll wait a bit!

That is mental!
hughwi 7th March 2012, 13:29 Quote
Originally Posted by Krikkit
Good idea putting it on something like the DS - perfect for city sim stuff.

Anyone remember SimAnt? That was the best Simxx tbh. :D

SimAnt was phenomenal, SimFarm was also good fun.....
eVoPhantom 7th March 2012, 13:55 Quote
As long as it is better than sim societies......Although I know Maxis was not involved in that one....

I liked sim tower as well that kept me entertained on the work laptop.....was the last game I purchased on floppy disk.
Brett89 7th March 2012, 15:45 Quote
I was playing Sim Tower last week! Last Sim City I properly enjoyed was 2000, I'll have to give this one a go if it's any good. I can do all my Urban Design projects in it for massive amounts of extra credit.
Panomama 7th March 2012, 15:50 Quote
I can't wait, the Sim City's were my favourite childhood game!
sotu1 7th March 2012, 18:14 Quote
Looking forward to this. Would love a Sim Tower reboot though!
Roskoken 7th March 2012, 18:15 Quote
This better be a SimCity 4 style stat fast on crack or im going to mail bomb EA
dicobalt 7th March 2012, 19:08 Quote
If this game is faithful to the gameplay of 1 to 4 it's going to be great.
Elton 7th March 2012, 19:09 Quote
SimCity 4 needed multi core support. That was it. And it never happened.
Sloth 7th March 2012, 19:51 Quote
So where's the Sim Copter remake to go with it? ;)
ripmax 7th March 2012, 19:54 Quote
Pre-Orders available at Origin, bit if a steep price.
AstralWanderer 7th March 2012, 20:37 Quote
Originally Posted by Paradigm Shifter
And it will be Origin only, so they can force it down the throats of those PC gamers who aren't in to Battlefield or Mass Effect...
It'll go on my boycott list if that's the case. I'm not paying a penny for games I can't be sure of keeping (like SimCity2000, 3 and 4).

However given EA's recent track record, I'm betting this this will be another franchise they screw up - maybe we'll see an FPS featuring a super-hard fight against Dr. Vu... (EA clearly economising on the printing costs for their villain names).
schmidtbag 7th March 2012, 22:49 Quote
I might consider getting this. simcity 4 was great but even when it first came out I felt it had room for improvement. The largest city I ever had was 65,000 residents, my city usually fell apart due to traffic problems or some other weird unknown reason.
lilgoth89 8th March 2012, 01:23 Quote
^^ the traffic was insane on sim4...i remember pumping millions into traffic flow solutions ( highways, mass transit, bus stops ) and i remember looking and finding out that THEY DIDNT EVEN USE IT !!!
SERIOULY MILES OF HIGHWAY left unused while the road right next to it was choked dispite large numbers of on / off ramps
the submissions were buggy as hell also...i remember several times spawning the mission inside another vehicle, instantly exploding, and losing the mission ( usually costing large amounts of money )
HOPEFULLY with a new engine, they can improve all the abouve issues and acually get a game that doesnt ruin everything people love about sim city
Adnoctum 8th March 2012, 03:14 Quote
I spent almost 15 years playing the original SimCity on my Amiga, long after I had got a PC. SimCity 2000 wasn't as good, and I never got around to SimCity 3000 on PC. SimCity 4 was quite good, but flawed and it was not as much fun as the original.

So here it is 22 years later and I still play SimCity and Colonization, and perhaps a bit of Ports of Call or Railroad Tycoon, only now it is with an emulator.
Unless I'm inspired to drag an Amiga out to experience them as nature intended. Naked, sweaty and stinking of old electronics.
glaeken 8th March 2012, 06:55 Quote
Got to see this game in person when I visited Maxis. I was really impressed. They've got some really cool features planned (and already implemented), and some really talented people working on it. Can't wait to play it.
lilgoth89 8th March 2012, 08:35 Quote
alot of people are worried about the origin service and large amounts of dlc that will be in this game...
im very concerned about the multiplayer aspect of the game, i dont want them to focus on just multiplayer and tack on a singleplayer as a stepping stone ( like so many other games ) and whats to stop you from finding yourself surrounded by trolls who have large higly polluting crime ridden smegholes called a 'city'
this will basically restrict you to hell...coz who would want to live next door to that ??
Eiffie 9th March 2012, 19:31 Quote
I've only played sim city 2000 on a very old pc, it came on a few floppy disks back in the day from what I remember. A fun game, I really liked the disasters you could start such as wildfires and flooding and then trying to save as much of the city as I could before it all got demolished. Even the alien mothership was cool, if one feature from the old games makes it into the new game, I hope it's that. Sadly I found some area of the game, especially making effective use of roads and transportation very hard. It always seemed like I ended up with too much pavement and not enough trains or public transport options. It was never clear what I should be doing or how I should be doing it. Maybe some more focus on proper city building techniques and planning out developments will be put into the new game. They gave us lots of good tools to build a city but very little in the way of how to go about building said city and let me tell you, I've built many cities trying to get it right!
rogerrabbits 9th March 2012, 20:47 Quote
Originally Posted by Sloth
So where's the Sim Copter remake to go with it? ;)

Check out a game called "Take on Helicopters".
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