back to article SimCity to return after 10-year holiday

Electronic Arts has announced it will bring out the first new version of its iconic game SimCity in a decade, with the new build due out in 2013. The new version, SimCity for PC, will include 3D graphics, the ability to build bendy roads and, most importantly, add a multiplayer and social twist to the game. Friends will be …


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  1. Pete Spicer

    Meh, I'll pass on this one just like I did Sim City 4. Not because I don't like the game style, but the increasingly complex evolution.

    Sim City was, for me personally, quite a nice challenge to balance everything out. Sim City 2000 got more complicated, certainly, but it was still possible to build a nice city without *too* much trouble, but when I tried SC 3000 I found there were just too many things to try and balance. While it's evidently possible, it stopped being fun to try and do that, so I didn't dig deep enough in to the mechanics.

    I don't see any let-up in that aspect of it, so I'd expect this to be little more than pretty'd up Sim City 4 with vague multiplayer aspects (who can build the biggest city, really, with some vague nods to helping or hindering your neighbours)

    1. RAMChYLD

      re: complicated

      It's a breather to see it get more complicated again. SimCity Societies was so restrictive and dumbed down that it put me off. And I don't think I'm the only one who thinks so if the poor sales and denial of existence by some fans are any indication.

      EA made the right move to go back on their words.

      Now, if they'd just put in the feature to be able to fire or jail advisers. Some of the move by the advisers in SimCity 4 (i.e. the environment one, who shuts down water pumps in highly-polluted areas) are downright illegal in real life and can result in jail time.

      1. Esskay
        Thumb Up

        Re: re: complicated

        Yeah, I'm in the "more complexity" camp - sim city 4 was great IMO, I still go back to play it from time to time. Takes a while to get in to, but the complexity made it rewarding to create a nice city.

        All I've had in recent times has been the anno series - now that can be complex. I've got a 70 hour continuous game I've had going for about 18 months that i'm anxious to get back into - the only thing stopping me is the couple of hours it'll take to figure out where im at...

      2. David Eddleman

        Re: re: complicated

        Don't forget the roads adviser in Simcity 2000 who, if you decreased their budget by as little as 1%, would spout "HOW DARE YOU CUT OUR BUDGET YOU WILL PAY" -- and then bomb collapse roads. Jailing or firing that bearded SOB would be a great way to get things done.

    2. CD001

      For me..

      For me, the problem with SC4, the thing that actually sort of turned me off the game a bit, was that it was too easy in some ways... cashflow problem? Just jump in a police car and do some random mission; free money for no real effort - I didn't really like the missions; you're supposed to be the mayor of the city (sort of) not some kind of Harbinger thing from Mass Effect to can "assume control" of your minions.

      SC3000 was about the peak for me; nicely complex macro-management - only thing I've played that's come close recently was Anno 2070... I hope the new Sim City is more SC3000 than SC4 (ooh, with Arcologies again please... and the Llamadome); but even if it isn't I'll probably still end up buying it.

  2. G C M Roberts

    I for one would like to welcome 2015 when the PC which is capable of playing the game with all the settings and a decent screen res is released.

    That was my memory of the much loved older Sim Cities anyway :)

  3. Neoc

    Possible project

    With "bendy roads" possible, how soon before we can replicate our own local metropolises in digital format and see how well they run?

  4. Anonymous Coward

    "Suffocating air pollution, high unemployment, no fire stations, schools, or hospitals, a regimented lifestyle... ...kept in line by a hyper-efficient police state."

    Fifty bucks says the biggest employer was Foxconn.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to sunny South Africa

    "Suffocating air pollution, high unemployment, no fire stations, schools, or hospitals, a regimented lifestyle... ...kept in line by a hyper-efficient police state." Sounds like every major metropolis in South Africa (with the exception of Cape Town).

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Welcome to sunny South Africa

      You've got Foxconn in South Africa??

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Welcome to sunny South Africa

        With the grip that unions have that would never happen. Its almost like the UK in the glorious 70s.

  6. Bernard M. Orwell
    Big Brother

    Attention Western Government!

    "Suffocating air pollution, high unemployment, no fire stations, schools, or hospitals, a regimented lifestyle... ...kept in line by a hyper-efficient police state."

    This is NOT a real world planning tool, or a guideline for success.

    1. error handler

      Re: Attention Western Government!

      For a moment I thought it was a real world planning tool, but then I got to the bit about the police being hyper-efficient.

  7. pPPPP

    This is good news if it's true. I still play Sim City 4 every now and again. It's a great way to kill time.

    Hopefully the new version will support the modding community, who really extended the life of the previous version.

    1. Citizen Kaned

      dream on...

      EA are trying hard to kill modding communities in their games. if people can make their own games (often better) then people wont buy the slightly different version they will release next year with 1 bug fix and 10 new bugs... its the EA way...

    2. The Indomitable Gall


      You've missed the "online" bit. The real money is in subscriptions, not sales, so this is likely to be heavily tied to EA's own servers, and modding will be banned.

  8. white_darkness

    Thankfully it looks to be in the same vein as all the others, except that bloody societies thing that no one likes to talk about.

    Though I don't know how interested I'd be in the multi-player aspect.

    Be interesting to see what strange inconsistencies come about in the transportation area.

  9. Mark Malley

    They kind of miss the point...

    For me, the original SimCity was such a hit *because* of it's simplicity. I could be entertained for an hour or more when I wanted to zone out and see how large of a city I could build. The new versions were nowhere near as fun as the original. I'm all for better graphics, but bring back simple game play for those of us that want it.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: They kind of miss the point...

      If they released the original source code, aren't the chances good someone already made it in 3D?

      I was a big fan of 2000 but never played the later ones as my PC cuoldn't handle them when they came out. Will watch with interest and hope it turns out well.

  10. yossarianuk

    Town planning - most boring game ever

    How can anyone enjoy playing this after playing any civilization game ?

    I mean compare:-

    1. Build a civilization up from nomads with no technology to a superpower with nukes and conquer the world / colonise another planet.

    2. Be a town planner - if you really really lucky a monster may come.

    Sim City is for manager types who have no imagination.

    1. pPPPP

      Re: Town planning - most boring game ever

      That's like saying, "why drive a car when you can play football?"


  11. Tel Starr

    'robust multiplayer mode'

    With Nukes?

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Advanced Boris Simulator

    Any truth in the rumour Codemasters are handling the coding and are going to call it "Advanced Boris Simulator"?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Advanced Boris Simulator

      Well, if codies does it, the game will only work half the time, but the menus will be absolutely fantastic. Seriously - Dirt is the only game I've seen whose menu sounds match the (awesome) background music so well that you can - and I did - do a pseudo remix by navigating through various options.

      Sim City Societies was actually kind of fun... For a while. My wife and I once built a largish city, and obsessively stalked some overweight guy named 'Bort' until about 2am, commenting on his actions as he went about his business. But that, unfortunately, does not a good game make overall.

      Actually the gameplay in Dirt was pretty solid... And the graphics are still pretty juicy. Some others, though... :/

      (Aside: I had the opportunity to work with Ken Block (driver promo guy for Dirt2) a couple of years ago. While sitting around waiting to drive 'for real', he busied himself about turning around to the line of cars at the start gate, finding Travis Pastrana's car, and bashing it severely and repeatedly. It's nice to know that the natural gamer instincts are still there even in pros.)

  13. Winkypop Silver badge

    Planning, tactics, control - err what?

    I just used to build a huge city only to let Godzilla loose and watch the fun.

    Pro tip: Always put the fire stations well out of town.

  14. Tasogare

    Feature request.

    As long as they're rebuilding it, can they fix the pathing AI? I can't speak for the earlier versions, but the last couple I played it always used a shortest-path algorithm. So you could build a very efficient highway system that would be quite useless; sims would try to plow through heavy traffic on congested roads to reach their destination instead of making use of it.

    Same for trains. Getting sims to actually use them was a pain even if they were the fastest way to get around.

    1. stucs201

      Re: trains

      Indeed. As an experiment I once created a small town (more of a hamlet really) where the only option was to use the train. The sims claimed there wasn't any way to get to work. This was SC4, the original was rather different where the answer to traffic problems was indeed to delete all roads, only have rail and just ignore the lack of road capacity messages.

  15. andy gibson


    Bring back Simcopter!

  16. JDX Gold badge

    I heard there's going to be a new disaster type...

    ... Gordon Brown

  17. Ben Holmes
    Thumb Up

    Now they're redoing this

    Would someone please remake Transport Tycoon? Please?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Now they're redoing this

      Agreed. But leave out the bug where you could delete the track either side of a road leaving a train permanently blocking the computer's buses.

      1. BoldMan

        Re: Now they're redoing this

        Nooo that was a superb way of getting back at the computer's stupid building algorithm!

        There was an upgraded version of Transport Tycoon - caleld Locomotive, but it wasn't nearly as good as Transport Tycoon. I still play TT occasionally - there is a freeware version that runs on Win XP etc.

    2. Dug Stokes

      Re: Now they're redoing this

      There's always OpenTT.

      And it's Micropolis, not Metropolis; that's where spiderman came from.

    3. TheItCat

      Re: Now they're redoing this

      Transport Tycoon doesn't need remaking because OpenTTD is already doing a better job than a big studio would.

      1. Ben Holmes
        Thumb Up

        Re: Now they're redoing this

        Oooh, I didn't know about OpenTTD. Will have to check it out. Cheers!

  18. Graham Marsden

    "bad neighbors and spoil other people's cities..."

    Just as long as there's an option to breed a giant monster and set it stomping through your neighbour's city!

    (And a way of stopping them doing that to mine...)

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OpenTTD is what you are after. Almost a complete reimplementation of Transport Tycoon.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Does SIm City have a cheat mode where you can borrow as much money as you like and just have fun building a city? And then get bailed out by Germany?

    1. Figgus

      That's SimCountry and you get bailed out by China.

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge


      But that's the cheat mode in versions localised for some countries and the default mode in the rest.

    3. Keep Refrigerated

      They could also include an option where instead of losing due to bungling, you join a radio show and spend time telling citizens how great you were as mayor and until they re-elect you back into office.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want it I want it

    I want it I want it I want it I want it ... Aww 2013...

  22. Dave Bennett

    It's EA though!

    Bear in mind this is EA / Origin.

    So whilst there is a chance they won't wreck the game, they will certainly wreck the experience. So We can expect several conflicting and mutually exclusive pre-order bonuses, expect day 1 DLC, expect a collector's edition, expect promotional content that will only be available in some regions, expect tie-in products like mobile and Facebook games (which you'll need to buy to get in-game content for the PC). Basically expect to be scalped every couple of months for years to come. And expect to NEVER actually have the whole game until you've been bled dry.

    I'm psyched, let's go build some shit.

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