SimCity Societies City Spotlight - Robber Baron

EA's Daniel Alioto shows off one of the many different city types you'll be able to create in SimCity Societies.

Scheduled for release later this month, SimCity Societies is a city-building game that promises to offer a much more hands-on approach to urban planning than previous games in the series. For example, previous SimCity games let you place zones designated for residential, commercial, or industrial use, but Societies will task you with placing individual buildings. This will not only give you more freedom to design the appearance of your city, but also to impact its residents in ways that simply weren't possible previously. How you decide to use this newfound power is entirely up to you, of course, and there's no reason why you can't put personal gain ahead of the population's happiness if that's what floats your boat. Think you might make a good robber baron? Here's a brief look at what you can expect from SimCity Societies if you choose that path, courtesy of the game's associate producer.

Robber Baron


By Daniel Alioto
Associate Producer, Electronic Arts

Polluted, dirty, overpopulated, and crime-ridden downtown regions toil away while the fat cats sit behind their walls, as well as police forces, bathing in money. Workers are getting very high unhappiness levels from their work but are receiving, in turn, very high levels of happiness at their "venues," which causes large mood swings. Limited venue space can create rapid happiness problems if something goes wrong.

These smoggy cities with cracked streets are packed with people--generally with many more people than there are jobs. There is little regard for the health or safety of individual sims and high salaries for employees are almost nonexistent. However, the upside is that simoleons are abundant and the player will have no lack of funds to continue creating the city. Only amongst high turmoil will the production of simoleons come screeching to a halt, which is entirely possible in a city likened to a powder keg.

As a player, you might feel somewhat like a corrupt politician or mob boss, sitting safely behind hired shields and racking in the cash while the sims are breaking their backs knowing that they are expendable. They also know that if for some reason they did lose their jobs, there would other poor souls eagerly waiting in line for them.

The favored homes and venues of the industrial profile used to create a city like this are also breeding grounds for criminals. Making sure to have enough police stations around is going to be important. While you may not care if your city is crime-ridden, you certainly don't want to let it get too much of a hold on your simoleon production. But just in case it does, you can use your police stations' special SWAT ability to send out the riot police to round up the criminals and rogue sims. Of course, such an action isn't free, but with many other industrial buildings offering additions to the treasury as a bonus to the daily grind of the sims, you shouldn't worry.

SimCity Societies is unlike any previous game in the series.

In SimCity Societies, a city like this looks and behaves as you would imagine. Choked yellow skies and decreased visibility due to smog, with vandalized building textures, as well as an abundance of litter, mar the cityscape. From the music and the lighting right down to the weary sims and their vehicles, this city looks and feels just like a middle-American 19th-century industrial city.

Robber Baron Buildings
These buildings are mostly associated with SimCity Societies' industrial profile, whereas pollution and poor living conditions are the theme. Injured? Sick? Unable to get to work? We don't care! We can pack 'em in so tight that we have enough people to replace the sick and injured at any time! Cracked streets and yellow skies are the norm here. With criminals roaming the streets in droves, this is not a nice place to live! But do you care? No! You are making a lot of money off of your high-population workplaces, as well as their special abilities, which include a production drive and an efficiency drive. The following is a list of buildings associated with the industrial profile:

Brewery Workplace
Colossal Foundry Workplace
Corrupt Police Station Workplace
Dept. of Public Works Workplace
Firing Range Venue
Foundry Workplace
Liquor Store Venue
Loan Shark Workplace
Machine Shop Workplace
Meat-Packing Plant Workplace
Motorcycle Shop Venue
Nightclub Venue
Off-Track Betting Venue
Oil Refinery Workplace
Pawn Shop Workplace
Racetrack Venue
Soup Kitchen Venue
Speakeasy Venue
Steel Mill Workplace
Super Coal Plant Power
Sweatshop Workplace
Temperance Union Workplace
Textile Factory Workplace
Underground Casino Venue
Union Hall Venue
Unionized Steel Factory Workplace
Vigilante Group Workplace
Vocational School Venue
Welfare Center Venue

Check back for a full review of SimCity Societies in the not-too-distant future.

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Discussion

17 comments
Thesimsfrk111
Thesimsfrk111

I don't care what other people say, this game looks FREAKING AWESOME! I want to be everything. A Robber-Barron, an Authorian City, a Capitilistic City, a Cyber Punk City...wow, this game is going to be AWESOME! :):)

Furry_Fox
Furry_Fox

Omg, it's just going to end with me being a freaking dictator ^^' Seems like a nice game. Hope it will be good.

KratosAurion7
KratosAurion7

That'll be awesome if they take their time to make it right.

J-Man24
J-Man24

this games sounds wickewd cool, seems like we'll have a lot og freedom to do what we want

kaledaystarr
kaledaystarr

I'm wondering if it will become repetitive and monotonous to place each individual building. Creating a large city will become a chore. One of the cool features in the last SimCity games was that everything seemed to sprout up and you got a real sense of growth. Will that feeling die with this game?

PTK7
PTK7

I hope this'll be a great game.

NeoNavarro
NeoNavarro

I have hundreds of good hours invested in the Sim City series. I really hope this one lives up to its older brothers.

TagDaze
TagDaze

Spartan1017 - It's developed by Tilted Mill. Good job being a flaming anti-EA tard.

TehUndeadHorror
TehUndeadHorror

It's only a spin off so i wouldn't judge the next SimCity on this...

latchol1Sim
latchol1Sim

This game is...ambitious, but I'd like it to be more than a sandbox. If this is where they're heading with The Sims 3 (i.e. towards VERY casual gaming), then they're going to lose so many players along the transition. And that's stupid, because the main reason The Sims has become such a franchise is because of it appealing to nearly EVERYBODY.

rob3nelson
rob3nelson

"These smoggy cities with cracked streets are packed with people--generally with many more people than there are jobs. There is little regard for the health or safety of individual sims and high salaries for employees are almost nonexistent." LOL. Sounds like New York or where this country is headed under the Republicans.

RLJSlick
RLJSlick

I'm also having a hard time getting excited about this game, I just don't see where it will be anything more then just another Sims game.

Spartan1017
Spartan1017

this is produced by ea, its pobably gonna suck

Kalionix
Kalionix

I'm still not feeling it. I loved the zoning and infrastructure that is SimCity. This just seems to be geared toward young kids. Although I'm hoping it turns out to be good.

chrontricross
chrontricross

wow thats cool. about how stuff can be done a certain way and the out come maybe good for the city or absolutly disasterous.

tclvis
tclvis

I agree, Pebo--I think it needed a new and different spin. Can't hurt to try to bust out of the formula. The irony kills me--you see people griping about EA doing formulaic stuff, then when they actually do something different with a franchise, they get slammed for that, too. They're damned if they do, damned if they don't. I'm willing to wait, see, and give it a shot.

Pebo1
Pebo1

I am a BIG Sim City fan and at first I was not too intrigued by this game. The more I read about Societies the more excited I am to play it. I am looking forward to this spin to Sim City.