Items tagged with SimCity

A glance at the graphics in the SimRefinery image above, and you know that this is an old game. It's actually an old, incomplete game that was recently discovered and made available to download and play on Archive.org. If you think that a game about an oil refinery sounds a bit odd, it wasn't meant for SimCity fans to play. SimRefinery was a game designed in the early '90s by Maxis Business Solutions at the request of Chevron. The idea the oil company had was to use a game that took all the very complex components of an oil refinery and made them visible, just as SimCity did for the parts that make up cities. Anyone who has ever played SimCity will know what they mean. In that game, you have... Read more...
Somewhere in an alternate universe, the NES Classic could include SimCity, which today would be a retro title that first launched on the original game system 27 years ago. Unfortunately, in this universe and this timeline that we occupy and where you're reading this, SimCity never got released to the NES. However, a prototype did in fact exist, and it's now available to play. You still can't play the game on the NES, but there is a ROM available of the NES version, which you can download and play on a PC. Frank Cifaldi, founder of The Video Game History Foundation, posted an extensive write-up detailing the unreleased game's history, how it's eluded collectors for all these years, and it's emergence... Read more...
Word is out that Electronic Arts has closed down Maxis Emeryville, the studio responsible for the buggy SimCity remake and, more recently, The Sims 4. Guillaume Pierre, a designer and lead gameplay scripter for SimCity, first revealed the news on Twitter saying, "Well it was a fun 12 years, but it's time to turn off the lights and put the key under the door. RIP Maxis Emeryville." Subsequent tweets would clarify that yes, "the shop is closing down," followed by confirmation from EA once the news spread. The timing really couldn't have been worse, as EA dropped the bombshell right in the middle of the Game Developer Conference (GDC), an annual event where developers and game studios from around... Read more...
It might have taken nearly an entire year, but EA and Maxis have finally announced that the biggest complaint SimCity has received since launch is soon to remedied. That's right: Offline mode is en route. In an official blog post, Maxis' Patrick Buechner says that this is an announcement he's wanted to make for "quite some time", and while an offline mode seems to explain itself, there's more than one reason why the patch will be issued. The biggest reason, of course, is that people have demanded for it since the game launched last spring, but perhaps more interesting at this point is this: Bringing the game Offline means big things for our wonderful community of Modders. They can now make modifications... Read more...
If you've ever been to Disneyland or Disney World (or any of the five theme parks around the world, then you've seen at least a glimpse of Tomorrowland. Maybe you thought to yourself, "That's not how I envision the future." Well, what does your version of the future look like? One way you can show it is with the upcoming SimCity Cities of Tomorrow expansion pack. The first DLC for SimCity will be available on November 12, 2013. If you decide to snag it, you'll be able to take your current cities that you've already worked so hard on and transform them in into futuristic looking buildings and roads. "But what will cities look like 50 years from now? Better yet – how will they be constructed?... Read more...
The modern version of SimCity just can't seem to enjoy a smooth launch. When it was released to Windows PCs back in March, users complained about the lack of offline play and problems connecting to overburdened servers. Now several months later, SimCity launches to the Mac platform, and once again, gamers are having trouble. Several posts on EA's forums detail issues gamers are having getting the game to run properly. The complaints aren't limited to a single system, either, but a range of Macs, including brand new Retina MacBook models. One user complained of having to reinstall Origin five times just to try and attempt to run SimCity (unsuccessfully), while another said the game was "totally... Read more...
Would-be mayors gaming on an Apple Mac were promised a version of SimCity for their platform of choice on June 11, though as it goes with politics (and game release dates), you can't always believe what you hear. If you had hopes of spending your summer vacation playing SimCity on your Mac, you'll have to resort to plan B, if you have one, because Maxis made the decision to move the release date to August. Apparently it wasn't an easy one to make. "We have made this tough decision because we do not believe it is ready for prime time yet," Maxis stated in a blog post. "We want to ensure the Mac is a great experience for our players and that is why we are taking more time." That's too bad for Mac... Read more...
Maxis is prepping the first "major" patch for SimCity, which is set to launch this coming Monday at around 1PM PST. While I'd argue that it's bizarre to issue a major update to a game in the middle of the day like this, this particular patch looks to be well worth it. In addition to a slew of bugs being fixed, the HUD has been improved for colorblind mode and mayors will now drive their fanciest vehicles around - cars, helicopters, limos and sports cars. Ahh, to be king. Taking care of complaints that casinos are not profitable enough, those have been improved upon with this patch. Unfortunately, you'll need to bulldoze and rebuild your casino in order for the enhancement to trigger. In addition... Read more...
When it comes to creative advertising potential, it's hard to beat a game like SimCity. In most titles, the idea of in-game advertising makes little sense. Sarah Kerrigan doesn't shop at Victoria's Secret, Booker DeWitt is an unlikely fan of Coca-Cola, and the post-apocalyptic setting of Metro 2033 isn't exactly prime McDonald's turf. But SimCity? SimCity is a game where it makes perfect sense to integrate real-world brands and buildings. A city filled with familiar logos and advertising is a city that more closely resembles the real world. That's undoubtedly why EA decided to partner with Crest Toothpaste. Yes, toothpaste. And not for in-game advertising, either. The Nissan Leaf DLC that the... Read more...
At this point, after its CEO resigned in the aftermath of a launch fiasco, a couple of rounds of worker layoffs, and being voted “Worst Company in America”, Electronic Arts is probably in “screw it” mode. To that effect, the company announced that it’s killing off a trio of its Facebook games. The Sims Social, SimCity Social, and Pet Society will all be shut down on June 14th. In a blog post, EA staff stated, “After millions of people initially logged in to play these games, the number of players and amount of activity has fallen off. For people who have seen other recent shutdowns of social games, perhaps this is not surprising.” EA says that PopCap... Read more...
Electronic Arts is not in a good way these days. After the recent disastrous launch of SimCity, which led to the ignominious resignation of CEO John Riccitiello, the company was voted as the Worst Company in America. Now the company has confirmed a round of layoffs, which follow layoffs in Montreal and L.A. this February. Polygon believes this round will be focused on EA’s Montreal studio; EA did not release numbers on how many people would be let go. EA says that it’s streamlining operations and that it’s attempting to retrain or relocate as many employees as possible. As always, we wish the best for the recently unemployed. And without making light of their situation, perhaps... Read more...
SimCity is headed to the big Apple, not to be confused with the Big Apple (New York City). We're talking about the Mac platform, with availability scheduled for June 11, 2013, Electronic Arts (EA) announced in a forum post today. For those who already own the PC version of SimCity, they'll receive the Mac version at no additional cost, and vice versa. Why won't the Mac version be available sooner? EA says Maxis is creating a native version optimized for Mac OS X as opposed to a simple port, hence the June launch. There will be standard and Digital Deluxe versions, both of which will be available in digital download form only. Perhaps the greatest news is that SimCity will support cross-platform... Read more...
EA CEO John Riccitiello has resigned from his post after six years as the top man and the previous seven as COO. In all, Riccitiello has been with the company since 1997, but he’s leaving under a cloud. The company missed its financial goals of the last year and also this quarter, but most will point to the ill-fated launch of SimCity as the reason that he’s leaving--or at least, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. The launch of SimCity earlier this month was a total fiasco from start to finish, top to bottom. EA and its subsidiary Maxis did not have the back end ready for the online game, and the company’s servers crashed under the weight of its many paying... Read more...
For the past nine days, Maxis has been caught in a firestorm of epic proportions. Having failed to beta test the game appropriately or account for actual server loads, Maxis' SimCity servers disintegrated under the onslaught of people wanting to play a game they paid for. Since launch day, company executives and representatives have remained steadfast on one point -- the game must be played online. "With the way that the game works, we offload a significant amount of the calculations to our servers so that the computations are off the local PCs and are moved into the cloud. It wouldn't be possible to make the game offline without a significant amount of engineering work by our team." Maxis general... Read more...
Electronics Arts over the weekend announced that it's been able to improve server response time by 40x for its new SimCity title, thus reducing serving server downtime due to its decision to incorporate a DRM scheme that requires a persistent Internet connection. Not a moment too soon, EA also noted that the number of SimCity players has doubled since the title launched. There's still more work to be done. "The situation is good, but not good enough," said Lucy Bradshaw, General Manager of EA's Maxis Label. "And since my boss is one of the negatively affected (!) - we’re still driving hard to get everyone online, playing together, and no hitches. "Tens of thousands of new players are logging... Read more...
If nothing else, give Electronics Arts (EA) credit for acknowledging how "dumb" it was to not be fully prepared for the demand its SimCity game would attract, given that the publisher is insisting on a DRM scheme that requires an always-on Internet connection. Unfortunately, that's not where the boneheaded decisions end, that's just the beginning. To make matters worse, EA offered frustrated gamers a refund, only to renege on that promise. If you're a publisher wondering how not to launch a product, just follow EA's lead on this one. All that said, EA is at least attempting to make nice with angry gamers, first with a candid explanation of what went wrong, followed by a free game offer. "So what... Read more...
Three days ago, EA launched the latest version of SimCity. Opinions of the game itself have varied widely. Pre-launch reviews were generally positive, though a number of publications criticized the heavy reliance on multiplayer, small city sizes, and the fact that other players can deliberately sabotage hours of careful work. All other characteristics, however, have been overshadowed by the game's disastrous launch performance. How bad is it? Bad enough to make Diablo 3's launch look good. To date, EA has disabled online features, forced the game to run slowly, and implemented login queues. It hasn't delayed plans to launch the game in more areas, and sure enough, gamers in those countries are... Read more...
It's been a long time since we've last been able to play a proper new release of a SimCity game, with SimCity 4 having been released a staggering 10 years ago. If you happen to feel lenient and place SimCity Societies in the running, then it's still been a full six years since we've been able to indulge in our city-building addictions with a modern release. Fortunately, our wait is almost over, with the latest SimCity game, simply dubbed "SimCity", set to launch in March. Since March is still a little ways away, EA is allowing us to whet our appetites with an open beta set to take place during the weekend of January 25 - 28 (Friday - Monday). However, in order to participate, you... Read more...
If you've been around computer games for awhile, you may remember building sprawling cities on an Apple system way back in the day (when you weren't crossing the Oregon Trail, that is). Well, SimCity is heading back to the Mac platform six months from now, Electronics Arts announced today. "Whether you owned a Macintosh or a DOS PC, we all have memories of laying down zones and reticulating splines from our youth," said Lucy Bradshaw, Senior Vice President and General Manager of EA’s Maxis Label. :To the millions of SimCity fans out there, we’ve been listening and can proudly say that your calls have been answered. SimCity has a long legacy on the Mac and the team at Maxis is ensuring... Read more...
The One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Foundation has been getting a lot of newsprint lately. First, real orders came in; then mass production finally started. There's even been talk of Windows on the OLPC.  More good news: since this is really a laptop for kids, EA's getting "in the game."Today Electronic Arts Inc. announced the company will donate the original SimCity™ — the blockbuster 1989 game credited with giving rise to the city-building game genre—to each computer in the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) initiative. OLPC is a not-for-profit humanitarian effort to design, manufacture and distribute inexpensive laptops with the goal of giving every child in the world access to modern education.... Read more...