Don’t Blink: The Shortest SimCity Trailer

There isn’t a lot to this SimCity trailer, which EA are bafflingly calling in an “Introduction”, as if we hadn’t already been talking about the game for a year already. Or did I just imagine all that? I could check, but I like to live life on the edge. For example: I’m writing this article directly into the CMS. This is internet without a safety net. All I have are my wits, the inbuilt spellchecker in Firefox (Chrome and WordPress do not get along), and a desire to crank things up a notch. Who’s with me? Let’s gooooo…

Still there? Cool. I felt for sure I was going to storm off and you’d stand back and giggle. Welcome the the second paragraph, otherwise known as the party paragraph. Let’s kick off with a bit of a dance to to this remix of “Call Me Maybe”. Then pretend we’re all in a room with Microsoft’s bizarre new technology. You might also want to read this blog post over at the SimCity site that details some of the features of running multiple cities. You can have up to 16 in one game. Hey, my parties are educational as well as being off The Hook. Time for the main event. Are you ready? ARE? YOU? READY?







It’s out on March 5th/8th. You’ll know when that is, because that’s when the party in the second paragraph ends and the fireworks go off.


  1. Lev Astov says:

    Those “cities” are so smaaaaaall!

    • BloatedGuppy says:

      All by themselves the wee little postage stamp cities have almost killed any desire I had for this.

      • darlenejeffrey2 says:

        Im making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life. This is what I do..Golden Job

    • Joshua Northey says:

      The cities have been really small in every SimCity game. Why do you think this is news? Yes they look a little smaller than the largest region in SimCity 4, but even that was really more a size for SimTown than SimCity.

      The metro area I live in is something like the 15th largest in the US, and has two core cities of about 350,000. My city council ward (of which there are 9) wouldn’t fit on SimCity 4’s largest maps, much less one of the two main cities. To even get just the very central most core of the metro would maybe have taken something like 36 maps.

      Anyway, because of all that I almost embrace this acceptance of a smaller scale, rather than the older games which were trying to pretend they weren’t SimTown.

      Sadly it looks like they still haven’t fixed the problem of the densities being WAY WAY WAY too high for the number of buildings present. A town in the US that has three or four thousand buildings/lots likely doesn’t have a building over 4 stories. That is just how density works.

      I would love a city builder someday that tried to stick to actual scales and dynamics, but complaining about the scale issues now when this has always been a feature of these games seems odd.

      • Kollega says:

        Now, i don’t know about the other people, but i personally am not complaining about how the cities are small per se. I am complaining about how the map isn’t all covered with regions like in SimCity 4, so the cities exist in sort of a vacuum – skyscrapers and then pristine countryside right over the road. Meanwhile, in SC4 you could build a lot of cities next to eachother so that they form a cohesive whole, skyscrapers declining into residential blocks declining into suburbs declining into wilderness.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          Ideally they could ameliorate that by rendering the outlying areas with increasing development as your population grows. So you have your core downtown you are building and while it is 1000 people most of the rest of the map is wilderness/farms, but when it hits 10,000 there is a halo of single family and light commercial development around it instead of undeveloped/farm land, and when it hits 50,000 most of the rest of the map is covered with development and your city sites are just the core business districts/interesting locations within that world.

          This would also solve the problem of SimCity 4 where building a realistic metro involved building dozens of extremely boring single family light commercial maps to surround a tiny core of skyscrapers (as it is in reality). People think of New York as all skyscrapers, but it is only the way it is because Connecticut and the surrounding countryside in new york and new jersey are filled with single family homes.

      • hosndosn says:

        A “little” smaller? The max size for Sim City 4 (which already felt a little small if you played for a while) was 4km x 4km. Supposedly, for Sim City 2013, it’ll be 2km x 2km. That’s 1/4 the area.

        • Joshua Northey says:

          2kmX2km was also the “standard” city size in Sim City 4 and necessary for a lot of players due to hardware issues until the game was better optimized (thankfully not me). Look I am all for a larger scale, but a smaller scale was sort of mandated when they went the detailed simulation route.

          You want 8knX8km cities you really shouldn’t even be placing individual lots or simulating individual people or cars. You should be zoning out whole developments. The developers made some choices, it happens. Lets hope they work out.

          • aepervius says:

            Frankly it does not matter if people limited by hardware could not reach the max size. The fact remain that in SC4 and up you *could* get much greater city. And that’s not even counting the horror of not being able to reload and experiment, with cloud saving. You might be fine with that all, but the criticism are factual. The new simcity will have much smaller city.

          • xenoss says:

            Sounds to me like you really want to love this game… your posts seem more for the purpose of reassuring yourself.

            I hope you find what you want when it launches. From where I’m standing though, I has zero merits. Graphics, design, gameplay, scale are all extremely bad. If this was a social or mobile game, I wouldn’t even consider it a good one; let alone a retail pc game.

            Add to that zero merit package some online all the time bullshit, and all I can see is a laughable disaster.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            I think it is rather that I stand as someone who is against the reflexive negativity you find on game discussion boards. If anything is a remake of a previous game it is guaranteed that 90% of the posts will be negative regardless of the merits of the game.

            I think that does a disservice to the discussion and presents an overly pessimistic view of the future. it also comes across as a bunch of people who don’t actually like gaming that much. You head all the exact same wailing and gnashing of teeth in the run-up to the XCOM remake. And while that is not the classic the original was, it was certainly and enjoyable and serviceable game well worth the price.

            All these threads about Sim City are just people pointing out every thing they hate about it with no perspective, maturity, or positive attitude. trust me if everyone was on here signing the games praises I would be pointing out what look like weak points. But it hardly needs yet one more voice doing that.

            Your comment in particular is just ridiculous and over the top hyperbole.

            “I has zero merits. Graphics, design, gameplay, scale are all extremely bad.”

            Are you serious? You must really hate all the other SimCity games then huh?

          • b1042053 says:

            Who knows, maybe I’ll wake up some day and see John Walker hating on Hamsterball Gold too:

  2. mrmalodor says:

    Do not support always-online DRM! Do not buy this game!

    • Bostec says:

      This is the man. NEVER FORGIVE! NEVER FORGET!

    • Nailz says:

      Im buying this. YOLO!

    • RaveTurned says:

      It’ll probably be free-to-play with micro-transactions 12-18 months after release anyway.

      • Smashbox says:

        Don’t even. You’re killing me.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        I couldn’t care less about the “DRM”. That means nothing to 90% of actual paying customers.

        On the other hand if they turn it into a little constant stream of garbage DLC and expansions like the half their other games (Sims/Spore/etc.) then that will make me angry. I don’t want to pay for content a modding scene could provide me with in half the time at twice the quality.

        I hate this “make the bare skeleton of a game and then ask players to buy ornaments for it at $5 a pop” model the industry uses. If you need $120 a customer to make the entire game just price it at $120 and make something that is complete/cohesive with good modding support. These “bolt-on” games almost always feel soulless. I suspect that having so much of the market be young people means they are wedded to these lower price points unfortunately.

        • Kollega says:

          I don’t think crappy DLC would be out of the question even with $120 base game. Remember that EA, and pretty much any other entity that has to answer to shareholders, are commanded by General Greed.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            General Greed, that dastardly fiend, defeated Captain Consumer ages ago. Now he is riding high, completely ignoring the sworn enmity of Angry Internet Man.

          • f1x says:

            What can we do against General Greed? when he has an army of Evil Investors

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            General Greed is given ownership of the Evil Investors by his close ties to Almighty Dollar, evil ruler of the world. The Investors you speak of are a notoriously fickle bunch, demanding predictable and regular returns on their investments, so the General cannot afford to tangle with the famously unpredictable hero Economics. They are also helpless before Public Opinion (or rather his grimdark alter-ego Controversy), lest he wreak havoc on them with the power of share price lowering, which saps their power.

        • LintMan says:

          “On the other hand if they turn it into a little constant stream of garbage DLC and expansions like the half their other games (Sims/Spore/etc.) then that will make me angry”

          You say “if”, as if there was any chance they won’t be. OF COURSE there is going to be an endless stream of overpriced DLC: histroical building packs, international country packs, specialty bonus buildings. This is the same company that sells $5 clothing or furniture sets for your Sim. The sky is the limit, here.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            Sometimes people and institutions, you know, learn. Firaxis definitely scaled back the DLC after it went over like a lead balloon on Civ 5.

          • f1x says:

            But Firaxis is with 2K, and here, Maxis is with EA

            2K its not the best out there but they not so obsesive as EA when it comes to agressive marketing and DLC madness

    • Joof says:

      I’m going to buy it and there’s nothing you can do about it!

      • mrmalodor says:

        I don’t need to, because you’ll be regretting your purchase on day 1, once you realize that the servers are overloaded and you won’t be able to play properly for weeks. If you’re smart, you’ll ask for a refund.

    • jalf says:

      I love being told what to do.

  3. FeatherRuffler says:

    Lol Craig, nice article and tags.

    • Smashbox says:

      Carly Rae Jepson? You’re UNDERMINING the immaculate integrity of the tagging system.

  4. Smashbox says:

    I’ve been saying for years – YEARS DAMMIT – that this is my most-wanted game in the world. A new, modern SimCity built on real simulation. I was drooling when they revealed it, but I’m feeling some deep pangs of fear now at what this game may be.

    DRM, city size and missing transportation options are serious – SERIOUS DAMMIT – red flags.

    Pleasepleaseplease somehow don’t mess this up.

    Chin up, so it goes.

    • Drakale says:

      I’m on the same page as you. The problem is that we are craving a simulationist game, and they are trying to deliver a mass appeal city building toy. I hope they prove me wrong.

      • dontnormally says:

        Dwarf fortress minus the dwarves and fortress, plus cities and shiny UI; zoomed out a bit closer to god-level and further from the personal.

        A man can dream. Paradox?

        • Drakale says:

          I had the same thought actually, a roguelike simcity game would be swell. It would also look exactly like the matrix.

          • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

            Now I have a Dwarf Fortress/Matrix thing going on in my head.

            You must first realise there is no Finely crafted adamantine *SPOON* menacing with spikes of cat leather.

          • Skabooga says:

            “I don’t even see the code anymore. All I see now is craftsdwarf, weaponsmith, hammer lord.”

        • MacTheGeek says:

          I’m not much of a steampunk fan, but I’m eagerly awaiting Clockwork Empires for many of the same reasons.

    • hosndosn says:

      They already messed it up. :(

      I was so excited about the earliest previews, the basic Galssbox Engine stuff, etc. “Please don’t fuck this up!”, I yelled at the screen, fingers crossed… of course they did. Of course they couldn’t resist Farmvilling and DRMing all over that shit. Sigh. What a waste. I’ve been literally waiting 10 years for this.

      • Joshua Northey says:

        “Farmvilling and DRMing” At this point it is not clear either of these things will be a problem. Certainly there are things to be concerned about, but reflexive hate simply because it is EA is kind of silly.

        • aepervius says:

          You might give them the benefit of doubt, but many of us don’t anymore. I am guessing here what we say is an attempt to casualize to expand the simcity appeal beyond the simcity lover. Despite their accent on the glas engine, the look and feel they are trying to give in the video reeks to me of sim society. I am not giving them the benefit of doubt, as they are not dispelling any doubt with their marketing (ETA in fact the more they speak up the more it seems a step back with part of the simulation being cut and gone rather than being ameliorated or streamlined. Transport. Terraforming. Water/electricity IIRC). And I am willing to bet there will be a lot of disappointment.

          • Joshua Northey says:

            I would prefer to wait for reviews and comments on the forums before assuming a worst case scenario, but I suppose everyone has their methods of dealing with reality.

          • aepervius says:

            Your snide remark about handling “Reality” noted. You can get your review , I have long stopped expecting factual data from game review. Me I will be waiting for the *customer* feedback.

        • aepervius says:

          Oh and DRM not being a problem , the dev admitted themselves that you need the connection, the city is saved opnline , and if you lose the connection for too long you are stuffed, your city progress gone. For a game with checkpoint, maybe OK, for an MMO, barely OK, but for a single player simulation, you are KIDDING me ? Furthermore I usually play my SP game while downloading huge patch for MMO games, ubuntu, windows or whatnot, and aprticularly on train while going to work or to my family (long trek). Cannot do that without a connection. So yeah , DRM is definitively a problem for a lot of gameplay situation, beside the playing only this with a prisitine internet connection.

        • xenoss says:

          At this point, giving EA the benefit of the doubt would be silly. After so many years of screw ups and anti-consumer practices, it is only natural to doubt them.

          The only things EA consistently delivers are disappointment and annoyance.

          But no, sounds like you really really really want to love this game. I hope the game turns out the way you want. I hope when you got it, you genuinely enjoy it and don’t have to adapt your likings fit the game, or to justify this and that to argue away the negging feeling in the back of your mind.

    • Stupoider says:

      No terraforming.

    • sabasNL says:

      Don’t worry, you’ll eventually get everything you want!
      Just buy the DLC, expansions, addons, kits….

      • Pixy Misa says:

        I would happily let EA milk me on DLC for SimCity if they it was a properly-implemented single-player game. A SimCity game with eight or ten major expansion packs could be a thing of beauty.

        As it stands, though, I’m unlikely to buy this game at all.

  5. jonfitt says:

    Argh, that Call Me Maybe remix drove me crazy. Despite logic I kept thinking: here comes the drop, here comes the drop, heeere it comes. But it never did.

  6. Tei says:

    This video make me want to build a city made only of nuclear reactors and old soviet-era style buildings.

  7. Tei says:

    And perhaps trigger the explosion of all the centrals at the same time. And see how that affect traffic.

  8. TreuloseTomate says:

    Good luck playing this on day 1.

  9. The Army of None says:

    Never change, Craig.

  10. int says:

    What was wrong with SimCity 5 (or 5000)?

    Now I’ll surely confuse this with the first game!

    • Smashbox says:

      Past a certain number it starts to sound awfully silly.

      • int says:

        That makes sense as I hear that the Final Fantasies are now the silliest games in existence.

  11. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    I’ve had no issues with WordPress + chrome

    • Saul says:


      Now maybe THIS is the conspiracy.

    • nootron says:

      Same. I use multisite for my work and we have ~100 active users (journalists, etc). I actually recommend chrome whenever possible over firefox (and DEFINITELY over safari which seems to have lots of trouble with WP).

  12. Synesthesia says:

    grumble. Everytime this game gets mentioned my angry gland swells a bit more. Did you guys see the horrendous, cut down, reddit AMAA that they posted on their dev blog?

    • aepervius says:

      The one I liked was more or less like this :
      dev (paraphrased from memory) “our game will be able to keep the state for a few minute until you get a connection back”
      Somebody’s response “I have a hard drive it is perfectely able to keep state of a game forever”

  13. Frosty840 says:

    Well, looks like SimTown 2 is coming along nicely.

    I wonder what happened to that SimCity sequel Maxis had been talking about, though. Anyone heard anything about that recently?

  14. macks says:

    Way to make a game everyone wanted but no one will want.

  15. SuicideKing says:

    Should have written March 5/8th. That would have a partial chance to spark a few interesting comments.