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Maxis Reveals New Sim City at GDC

Tons of details on the title surface simultaneously.

While the Game Developers Conference isn't exactly a press event, it's become an acceptable venue to both announce games and reveal new information. EA and Maxis did just that yesterday with the official reveal of a new Sim City game for the PC, which is set to release in 2013. Alongside the announcement came tons of details about the game, including information on the modes and gameplay features.

Powered by the made-in-house Glass Box Engine, Sim City brings with it some very notable enhancements over its predecessors. Each and every facet of the game brings with it a domino effect that will ripple through your city's neighborhoods and change the face of the city itself. From the placement of different buildings to the manner in which you treat the inhabitants of the city, everything will shift and change, both statistically and visually.

This will allow the specialization of your city for very specific tasks. By placing a casino, you can begin to transform the areas around it into a tourist destination, while adding tons of factories can create a textile powerhouse. According to EA, part of the appeal of the game will be observing how these city design decisions help mould your space.

On a smaller scale, a variety of improvements have been made. Roads can be curved, areas can be zoned differently than they have in the past, and buildings can be augmented after being built. For example, if you have a school, you can build out a gymnasium or increase the number of classrooms with a general purpose addition. Cosmetic changes can be made to buildings to give them a degree of personality, a minor feature, but one that has the ability to truly change the visual appeal of your city.

While the inhabitants of the city have always played a major role in its operation, Maxis is kicking up their importance in a big way. Aside from providing them with the base necessities, they will make demands on you to help improve the city in different ways. You can choose to indulge them and receive rewards and achievements, or ignore them and rule with an iron fist. Either decision will have the same domino effect through your city, changing its look, feel, and function.

While not clear from EA's description, seemingly the game will also offer other types of missions, giving players something to work towards outside of general city management and building. Examples of the missions have yet to be made available, but players will be rewarded for accomplishing the outlined goals.

Perhaps the greatest addition to the upcoming title is its cooperative multiplayer capabilities. You can now build out a region with your friends and your cities will interact with one another. Just like with your Sim inhabitants, you can be both good and bad. If you decide to run your city poorly, with little regard for the environment and your residents, this can potentially create issues for your neighboring friends. Conversely, you can help friends by lending resources in tough situations, like more fire trucks when a big fire breaks out. You can also work together to accomplish major goals, like sending a shuttle into space.

Outside of the scope of your city and region, global events will be presented, like pollution and natural disasters. By working with your friends you can stave off these problems, creating better living conditions for your Sims.

As the game nears release, more concrete examples will likely become available, but for now the game appears to be making some large strides for improvement. Those excited for the title can pre-order it now on Origin and receive Sim City Heroes & Villains content, which pits Maxis Man against his longtime nemesis, Dr. Vu.

Be sure to check out the video below for a look at the game.

Press Release

SimCity is Back!

Maxis Announces the Reimagining of the City-Building Simulation That Launched a Genre

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The franchise that laid the foundations of the city building simulation genre is back, empowering players to create the world of their imagination! Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) today announced that SimCity™ is breaking new ground in 2013. SimCity for PC, a brand new entry in the franchise is currently in development at Maxis Emeryville, and was revealed today during Game Changers @ GDC, a symposium that featured inspirational speeches from Academy Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, and charity: water CEO and founder Scott Harrison.

"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," said Lucy Bradshaw, Senior Vice President of EA's Maxis Label. "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, flavor and playability that has been intrinsic to the franchise since its birth."

SimCity, slated for release in calendar year 2013 for PC, is a true rebirth of the franchise that brings the depth of simulation that has been the series hallmark for more than two decades and marries it with next generation accessibility and a robust multiplayer mode, giving players the power to change a world together. Fans can catch their first glimpse of the rebirth of SimCity by viewing the extended trailer at and can pre-order SimCity today on Origin™ to receive SimCity Heroes & Villains content* featuring a battle between Maxis Man and his longtime nemesis Evil Dr. Vu.

For more than two decades, the king of city-building simulators has sworn in millions of virtual mayors from around the world. With its return in 2013, SimCity will engage an entirely new generation of PC gamers as they take charge of their own customized cities and build a world that co-exists alongside friends. For the first time in SimCity franchise history, players' decisions will have long-lasting repercussions that will extend beyond their city limits. Together, players will address real global challenges such as climate change, the search for renewable resources and natural disasters. It's up to the players to decide whether to compete or collaborate to shape the world of tomorrow — for better or for worse.

Powered by the GlassBox Engine, Maxis' proprietary engine, the simulation comes to life in a way never before possible. Everything you see in the world we sim - Sims in each city will have jobs or can lose them, buy homes, be prosperous or be an economic drain on the city. SimCity is the city builder in which every choice powers real change that affects the character of your city, the state of your region and fellow players within the entire SimCity world. Original fans and newcomers alike will relish the opportunity to build visually and functionally unique cities that take on the character of their choices. Combining fun, addictive gameplay elements with an interface that encourages anyone to jump in and begin playing, SimCity will usher forth a new era of city-building simulation as players work to change a world together.

With its first release in 1989, SimCity is the premier city-building franchise that has captivated more than 30 million players worldwide. Since then, several award-winning entries such as SimCity 2000™, SimCity 3000™ and SimCity 4 have been produced by the critically acclaimed Maxis studio. Players step into the role of a mayor as they break ground on the foundations of the next big city. The franchise gives players the means to create highly detailed recreations that are populated with real-world issues and real-world problems. With a powerful toolset at their fingertips, players have the ability to create uniquely specialized cities, everything from a bustling financial haven to an oil-guzzling industrial complex; SimCity compels players to create the world of their imagination.

SimCity for PC is in development at the world-renowned Maxis studio in Emeryville, California and has not yet been rated by the ESRB. To stay up-to-date on the latest regarding SimCity please visit To pre-order and secure the SimCity Heroes & Villains Pack please visit Press assets for SimCity are available at

* Conditions and restrictions apply. See for details.



Our Take

Nick DiMola Director

03/07/2012 at 11:05 AM

I really love Sim City and this seems to be including everything I've ever wanted from this series. Count me in.


03/07/2012 at 12:48 PM

I'm with you Nick, I really love Sim City and this is looking like the best one yet. I was telling Joaquim a couple days ago about how much I've played flight sims in the past. That was childs play compared to how much I've played Sim City. I put hundreds of hours into Sim City 3000 lol and built so many cities I couldn't keep track. Back in 7th grade I had a tech class and we spent a couple weeks in an older Sim City (pre-SC3K) as a school project, so I was I even playing Sim City in school! When I was at home I'd put on headphones, listen to music, and get lost in Sim City 3000 for hours in that game. I loved dealing with issues brought up by activists, combating pollution, managing ordinances, the budget, etc. I really loved managing the water and power supplies, as well as the traffic. I'd enjoy looking at the underground layer so I could plan out the pipe system and water tower placement, as well as set up power lines to conduct power to areas. It was a lot of fun analyzing the traffic chart, seeing where traffic is heaviest, planning expansions to areas, and finding solutions to problems that pop up. One day when I build a gaming PC some of the first games I'll get will be this new Sim City, Starcraft 2, and whatever Sid Meier has out at the time.

This vid was awesome. The Glass Box Engine looks really nice and I bet the game will be beautiful. I like how the neighboring cities are visible and can affect each other to such an extent. In SC3K neighboring cities were literally just a name on the map at the borders of your territory, and you hardly interacted with them (every once in a while to discuss a water or power deal of some kind). If you pay close attention around 1:30 to the lady typing at her workstation you'll notice she isn't typing at all. She's just pattering on the keyboard and playing up for the camera lol. It doesn't matter, but I thought it was really funny. I also thought it was funny their creative director's name is Ocean Quigley lol. I wonder how long he's been at Maxis, I should've heard about that guy! A guy named Ocean Quigley shouldn't ever slip through the cracks or go unnoticed. I need to do my research.

Joaquim Mira Media Manager

03/07/2012 at 01:02 PM

Back in the day I would put on some Chemical Brothers and play SimCity 2000 for hours too. I also played Colonization (to this day I'm miffed that they did not have Portugal as one of the nations to choose), and the first Civilization. Simplicity at its best. In this day I wouldn't have the time to invest in their modern iterations because there's so much more to do.

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Press Release

SimCity is Back!

Maxis Announces the Reimagining of the City-Building Simulation That Launched a Genre

REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The franchise that laid the ...



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