Maxis To Have No Role in EA's SimCity 5

Junaid Alam

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Apr 10, 2007
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Maxis To Have No Role in EA's SimCity 5

According to Computerandvideogames.com [http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=165432], the original developer behind the previous titles in the immensely popular SimCity series of games is not involved in its fifth iteration.

SimCity Societies, to be published by Electronic Arts, is instead being developed by the makers of Caesar IV, Tilted Mill Entertainment.

In response to fans' complaints aired on the studio's forums in a thread titled "You killed Sim City!" Tilted Mill Enertainment President Chris Beatrice issued a rejoinder, which read in part:


I hope you do try it, and I really hope that you do not pass judgment based on the title or some preliminary speculation on some web site.

However, I do not want to mislead anyone: This SC is not a realistic urban simulation, which I understand, to many, represents the heart of what SC is. No one is blind to that. And if you're just completely turned off, even angered by the mere notion of any game called "SimCity" that is not a detailed, realistic urban simulator, I absolutely understand that viewpoint, and absolutely respect it.


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Bongo Bill

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Jul 13, 2006
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Well, it'll lack that Maxis touch, but SimCity is a pretty well-established formula. It's not as if other people [http://lincity-ng.berlios.de/wiki/index.php/Main_Page] haven't produced quality titles by iterating it.
 

Archon

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Yes, but they're unfortunately not following the formula, they're deviating from it.

And if a game brand can't be held to stand for the creative minds behind the game (Maxis) or the genre of the game (realistic urban simulator), what does the brand mean?

This situation reminds me of our article "It's All Real to Me," by Max Steele [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/media/issues/6/pdf/TheEscapist_6_final.pdf]:

"When a marketer approaches a product... he'll ask "What is the brand? What are its brand properties...How can we extend the brand?... Marketers are taught to think this way. But contrast it to the way the great creators have approached their creations."
 

Blaxton

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MySims also makes me want to cry a little. As far as I know Maxis isn't involved with either, but rather just EA. Also, "kiddying up" Sim brand titles doesn't help Nintendo appeal to the core gamer.

My question is, why are they trying to make an established game into something totally different. Why the heck won't they just change the name to keep people from jumping to the "you ruined my favorite brand" viewpoint.

My problem isn't that they are going to screw up Sim games, but rather that they absorbed Maxis to exploit the name. They aren't concerned with using the formula that brought success to Maxis, but are more concerned with how the prefix "Sim" can help sell copies.
 

Kesash

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Jun 4, 2007
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EA did the same thing to Westwood that they did to Maxiz. They bought out Westwood and got the "Command & Conquer" brand under their control and are milking the "Command & Conquer" brand in the same way they are the "SimCity" brand.
 

Junaid Alam

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Can't really agree there. C&C 3 is true to the gameplay style of that line of RTS through and through.
 

TomBeraha

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I'm not sure if it's because the C&C team is now fully assimilated by EA but I vastly preferred the gameplay of Generals and Especially Zero Hour to the gameplay of C&C 3. A menu on one side of the display that you flip through to build your units doesn't mean they were truer to the original. C&C 3 feels to me to be closer to BFME/2 and I don't like it.

To each their own certainly, and I hope that EA does do something great with the Sim City series, because I actually like the idea of one that is less serious in it's city planning realism, so long as I can still build stuff and make my "perfect" city. I haven't really enjoyed a Sim City game since 2K. Maybe they'll bring it back that way. So long as they are instead making a not-so-realistic urban simulator I think it could be fun.
 

Andy Chalk

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Nov 12, 2002
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When does "true to a style" become "money-grubbing rehashes?" For all the years that the Sims franchise has been chugging along, isn't it maybe time to try something new? Take it in a different direction, even if it's only a minor derivation from the original course? I'm not a Maxis or Sim City fan, and I readily admit to spewing venomous bile on forums about the franchise-killing abortions that were Deus Ex: Invisible War and Thief: Deadly Shadows. But honest truth? Those games really weren't that bad in their own right, and my outrage (and most others, I suspect) stemmed not from the game's actual failings, but from my own dislike of the direction the series had taken.

There's no doubt that EA is whoring the brand, but so what? There's a cubic asston of "real" Maxis-Sim games to play instead, and there's always the possibility that EA may strike gold. If nothing ever changes, then... nothing ever changes.
 

Blaxton

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"This SC is not a realistic urban simulation"

I think this my problem. Try something new, sure, but this is what SimCity is, just as Zelda is a sword/action/adventure. To make the next Zelda a different type of game would make it a different game with Zelda characters/characteristics. It might be fun, but don't make it the Zelda successor.