Building Blocks


Comic created by Funny Stuff!

The Cities XL closed beta started last week (I cannot confirm or deny being a part of aforementioned beta) and it has brought a lot of attention back to one of the great PC staples of the ‘building genre’, and ties a little MMO into it. I loved Sim City (le original). I stopped playing at Sim City 4 (although I still boot that up now and again – great solo play game) and unfortunately the Sim series hasn’t really moved past that. Sim City Societies was a whole new ball of wax. I am surprised at the following of the game still from genre enthusiasts. Last time I checked, Simtropolis had over 350,000 registered users – who still mod, create skins, and are passionate for the Maxis Sim City series.

Interested to see how Cities XL turns out. Will be one of the first MMO’s of it’s kind, albeit in a typical complex gameplay format – will it be dumbed down to appeal to the masses or will it provide that “just right” challenge? Will City enthusiasts enjoy the core gameplay? Will it be the natural next step in builders – building online planets, instead of just single player cities – and why didn’t the Sim City folks – the creator of the genre – think of this step first?

Regardless, looking forward to this one (although it is only being launched in Germany and France first, September 3rd).

3 comments / Add your comment below

  1. It’s really a shame publishers are so weary about this kind of “hobby” genre. I, like many gamers, invested hundreds of hours with the original SimCity, and even more in its subsequent releases.

    The genre encourages networking and p2p creative exchanges. I think EA will be watching very closely at the development of this game. They’ve got the IP, as soon as they know if there’s a market, and a way to monetize it, we’ll see the next “true” SimCity released.

  2. I think the Sim City series is a perfect example of gamers who want a challenge. In this constant dumbing down of MMO mechanics to get good subs (which, is of course a good business decision, making more money and all of that) city builders remain that one angle where you need a level of complexity to make the game interesting itself. EA went the less complex route with SimCity Societies and I think they are afraid of making a title that would have a high point of entry skill wise.

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