SimCity: The Renovations Continue

E3 2012: We get a few updates on the latest SimCity and see how the developers are giving players a bit more direction than in the past.



There were a few quick updates from the SimCity presentation at this year's E3. The focus was multiplayer, and we got a few more examples of how it will work. In brief, the multiplayer in SimCity is asynchronous--meaning players don't have to be online at once to interact. This is because, based on what we saw, most of the interactions with other players are passive. These include exchanging resources for money, or having excess crime spill over into neighboring cities. When you sign out, your city will not advance in any way, but any resources you're offering (or money you're receiving) will persist even if you're offline.

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Players can also work together on collaborative projects. In the demo we saw, all three players were working together to complete a massive international airport. For one player, whose city focused on tourism, the new airport would bring in a fresh batch of travelers ready to pour extra cash into his city. Another player, whose city focused on production, would now be able to export more goods (and get more money). Such a massive project could be attempted solo, if you're playing single-player, but would take much, much longer to complete. Playing with others has certain advantages.

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As seen in the previous demo, the developers made a big deal of dressing up data. Mundane tasks, such as managing electricity or establishing light rail transport, are being dressed up with bright, engaging overlays. One example was using building graffiti to represent areas with high crime rates. High crime rates could lead to crazy arsonists or, as we saw, bank robbers. With a greater focus on player direction through missions (and their rewards), SimCity is looking to bring back the classic look with a modern touch. The game will be released on the PC in February of next year.

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    Avatar image for xeoneex66

    @brkdwnxx ^mr brkdwnxx is a major EA kissass fanboi. Pay the little boy no heed.

    Avatar image for JoiLambell

    Looks like they are selling a product that people won´t even own.

    EA will just make bitches out of the fans that keep saying "i hope", "lets just wait and see", "ill still give it a shot" and then it will be to late, you bought their product, they have your money, feed the greedy corp. i garantee they will repeat the strategy again.

    If the recipe worked so well before why change it ? Hate to say it but they should have made it like COD on this one, use old recipe.

    Avatar image for LifelikeThunder

    Sounds liek they will be taking all thats great with sim city and replace it with what was bad in Cities Unlimited.

    They should take a good hard look at sim city 4 and see what made that great and why people still play it. One huge factor is modability. Dont fokus too much on flash, I want good gameplay, short loading times and be able to have a large city w/o lag.

    Also Orgin is a huge let down. Even if its a great game its still a no no.

    Avatar image for cirugo


    they don't care if it has longevity... that would end up making them less money than a forced obsolescence model with no modability...notice how limited Sims 3 modability was? yeah, that...

    Avatar image for cirugo

    online-only=the first edition of SimCity in 20 years that I won't be buying. I'll stick to Cities XL 2012, which is being modded quite a bit and came out after the company that produced the first version went bankrupt pushing their online model in the faces of people who didn't want it.

    Avatar image for Snaptrap

    @brkdwnxx When it gets to the point when the governments decide what you're allowed to play, maybe then you'll shut-up.

    Avatar image for NeilCardiff


    Get bent over corporate kiss ass.

    Avatar image for NeilCardiff

    EA have confirmed that this will definitely require an internet connection.

    So because so many to the Diablo fanboys bent over and dropped their pants it looks like always online is here to stay. Thanks for that.

    Avatar image for brkdwnxx

    @NeilCardiff maybe if people didn't spend soooo many years STEALING SOFTWARE we wouldn't have punishing DRM's in the first place.. thanks for THAT.

    Avatar image for Snaptrap

    @brkdwnxx DRM obviously hasn't stopped piracy. Piracy is just an excuse to screw legal software owners. Now they're using piracy as an excuse to steal privacy.

    Avatar image for flammable_zeus

    @brkdwnxx For people that do pirate (which I don't condone) it's giving them more reasons to pirate. There are always going to be SOME people pirating, but there's no reason to punish so many innocent consumers and claim it's because of pirates.They're the ones that'll be playing the game offline and with less issues than paying consumers.

    Avatar image for NeilCardiff


    You need to get some facts there dimwit, the PC ,market is worth 18 billion.

    The console market is 22 billion combined.

    So PC gamers are hardly thieves,

    But you stay drinking that fanboy kool aid.

    Avatar image for NeilCardiff


    Idiots like brkdwnxx keep saying PC gamers don't like always online DRM because they cannot steal the games (yes I know he says people but we all know who he's pointing at) and I am constantly seeing comments about PC gamers never buying games because the pirate them instead and this is why we have DRM but the sales figures prove otherwise.

    So it would appear that you are the one failing in the common sense department.

    Avatar image for octoman115

    @NeilCardiff who said anything about consoles? And that says nothing about piracy it just shows the values of the PC and console markets. So I guess you've got the facts but you need to get some common sense there dimwit.

    Avatar image for NeilCardiff


    I hope that Sim City fans aren't as gullible and like me they will tell EA to shove it.

    Avatar image for vironydc

    Been playing SimCity since the very first one (Yeah, I'm that old... >_>). This will be a non-purchase for me because of the always online DRM. Period.

    Avatar image for brynhyfryd

    This is a NO BUY.

    My reasons for not buying:-

    1.Terrible Graphics, Looks like an episode of postman pat.

    2.MMO style gameplay for a single player game.


    4.constant internet connection required.

    5.Maps are way too small.

    6.Buildings Scales are awful.

    7.Too much focus on green issues and social gaming.

    Avatar image for xeoneex66

    @brynhyfryd Problem is, the rich kids who "have to have it" will buy it and ultimately feed the Evil Arsehole machine. There's nothing to be done about it, but the more people who aren't EA kissarseholes, and boycott this crap, they MAY get the message...................................Not really.

    Avatar image for Snaptrap

    DRM pretty much burnt this city to the ground. When I pay for something it should be mine to play.

    Avatar image for PetJel

    I hope the graphics get a realistic tint. :(( People have always tried to make the SC games as realistic as possible with the thousands of mods out there. graphics is usually the last thing I care about but cartoon graphics in this game is a no buy for me =(

    Avatar image for venom696

    i didn´t like the cartoon graphics too... but i wanna wait for more info ... still hoping to buy the exception the cartoon graphics i liked what i saw,,

    Avatar image for harryh111111

    @PetJel A no-buy. A strong decision to base on graphics alone.

    Avatar image for PetJel

    @harryh111111 You even read my comment before attempting insulting sarcasm 101?

    "graphics are usually the last thing I care about"

    Avatar image for PetJel

    @harryh111111 Because I would have prefered a realistic looking Sim City. I was hoping for a realistic approach, something beyond what cities XL did. Build a realistic city I can look at and think to myself: wow, it would be amazing to live here. Instead it looks more like SC: Societies. Ofcourse SC games always had a joking approach to things but were a sim at heart. The latter is why I personally enjoy SC.

    Avatar image for harryh111111

    @PetJel Key word: "Usually"

    You usually don't care, but for SimCity if the graphics are "cartoon graphics" then you won't buy. I did read your comment, and I still think that's a silly reason to not buy. What makes you care about graphics for this game? Usually they are the least thing you care about.

    Avatar image for Unfallen_Satan

    It amuses me to see EA straining to justify forcing SimCity players into persistent online mode. Well, as a society we should be receptive of the new and diverse, so I am not too critical of it. If it fail, at least it will make for forum conversation.

    Avatar image for xeoneex66

    @Unfallen_Satan Oh.... IT ...WILL... FAIL. It's EA. Anything they touch, or even look at wilts and turns to dust.

    Avatar image for Luizao2779

    Looks very interesting, looking forward for more details.

    Avatar image for Army4God

    Looking forward to this game. I enjoyed SimCity growing up am looking forward to a new iteration.

    Avatar image for Szeiden

    Is it just me or do the colors look too bright? Normally I'm not that picky about graphics but it just looks odd =/ Kind of like doll houses or something. Or maybe it's because everything looks too new and clean, even the industrial buildings. I hope structures will reflect age and consequences of things like air pollution (blackening industrial buildings instead of leaving them bright red like in the screenshots =P). As for multiplayer... it could turn out well, but they have to be careful. Not everyone wants to play with others so hopefully the massive projects aren't too unwieldy for people to complete solo if desired.

    Avatar image for flamingboard

    @Szeiden The Sims made them a bunch of money so they're bringing that cartoony style into SimCity. It's a bad idea. The people that play The Sims in my experience aren't people who play SimCity.

    Avatar image for ZachBobBob

    Actually, doesn't sound to bad...and I HATED the idea of constant online SimCity but if it's passive sounds a little better :P

    Avatar image for Iffy350

    Did someone call my name? Anyways, I don't like the idea of sharing! This isn't the simcity I remember playing when I was growing up. I also don't like the fact that the societies aspect of SCS is back.

    Avatar image for ziproy

    It sounds like a friggin facebook game.

    Avatar image for Apocalypse2301

    asynchronous, they better not make this into another stupit facebook game. If I have to wait actual time before I can continue building, then EA has comitted murder to another beloeved franchise.

    Avatar image for Lattata

    The Online multiplayer is iffy. Cities XL tried to do this, and the morons even threw a monthly fee for that. That killed it.

    Cities XL isn't a great game in my opinion anyways, but as long as Maxis (EA games) Doesn't charge a fee to play online, it has potential, but Being EA is the puppetmaster of Maxis, I won't be suprised if they add a fee.

    Avatar image for colorhorizon

    perhaps it's taxing for the pc/consoles to run the game smoothly while providing shadows for every single people/car in the city but when you just totally take it out it looks like a 90s game. or a free internet browser game. i don't know how to do it but it needs to be redesigned.

    or maybe the screenshots were just taken in low-graphics mode, or the shadows weren't there yet because the game is still in dev. regardless i hope they'll improve.

    Avatar image for aj_marquez


    Avatar image for kingJord

    @aj_marquez Sorry you can't steal it. I was tired of paying for your games anyway.

    Avatar image for flamingboard

    @kingJord What happens in 6 years when you want to play some SimCity and you can't because EA shut the servers down?

    Avatar image for aj_marquez

    @kingJord What? Why are you insulting me out of nowhere? Whatever, I'll just ignore you from now on.

    Avatar image for NeilCardiff


    Console fanboy would be my guess,

    They are rarely worth paying attention to.

    Avatar image for rpvarela

    That interaction with other players seems to have a lot of potential, but I feel it is too early yet for me to comment on that.

    Hoping for the best!

    Avatar image for Bodom_child

    This is going to be awesome!!

    Avatar image for QOSMSTR

    Cant wait for this!

    Avatar image for burnettaj

    Excited for this reboot of a good classic game. I am following this one closely.

    Avatar image for farukcorreia

    Can't wait....

    Avatar image for TheDudeman420

    I love games like these. Playing God is fun. Playing economic over lord is even better hahaha

    Avatar image for it009x9281

    I just hope its going be good.

    Avatar image for geitenvla

    I love economic strategy games like Anno and Sim City. Sim City 4 is one of my favourites although I must admit, I haven't played it in years (since I started Dawn of Discovey). I really hope this new Sim City is gonna be good. Another 1000 hours of my life wasted :-)

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