SimCity DealBreaker – by planology

I have bought every version of SimCity and playing it formed an important part of my childhood and teenage years; it was always a game perfectly fusing my creative and analytical energies all in a setting which encouraged blank-slate “make your own destiny” as opposed to the rigid narratives most competition-based games demanded yet which my non-competitive nature never found that compelling. Millions of consumers apparently agreed with me.

But I don’t want this post to be about me.

I believe I’m representative of a “silent majority” of the millions of fans who may not be SimCity “elites” but have indeed played and loved each or most versions of the game. For example, I have never modded and the last time I actively participated in an online forum devoted to SimCity was 10 years ago, and though I avidly played Sc4 for a couple years upon release, life changes and lack of further updates to the franchise led to a gradual drifting away from frequent play.

In other words, I’m very unlikely to be considered part of the exclusive long-tail “elite” or “vocal minority” echelons of SimCity gamers. And I would very likely have remained a casual, silent presence occasionally checking in on updates for a game I intended to eventually buy. That changed yesterday.

The Maxis Live Broadcast Q&A presentation was so insulting and off-putting I was motivated to sign up here for the first time.

I believe there is a notable majority, not just raucous “vocal minority” of rabid elite fans, who would find it hard to fathom that the world’s premiere and storied city-building simulator label would:

1) only allow for one-size-only quite small city (really, town) plots AND
2) not allow for contiguous city plots to create the fairly realistic regional approach seen in Sc4

Taking AWAY basic functions considered integral to previous versions just doesn’t make sense. And quite honestly, “that’s a dealbreaker, ladies.”

Based on other frequent comments here, other close runners-up to the “dealbreaker” category:

Online-only req
Lack of subways
Lack of varied zoning densities
Lack of terraforming

etc.

Conclusion

I’ll be the first to say that I know that the game isn’t out yet so some of these details may change, but our collective role on this forum is to advocate however we can for a game we all clearly want to love.

But as things stand based on the information presented yesterday, many of us will just not buy the game.

All this I say in the context of my utmost admiration for many of the talented individuals working on this game. Maxis, you have some incredible talent in-house. So here a humble request from the (formerly?) silent majority to use that talent to make a true city simulator, not a SimHamlet separated by mandatory no-man’s-land to other SimHamlets looking yet again more like a middling approximation between The Sims and SimCity which endears itself to neither set of fans.

That’s not a real city, not a real region, and if it turns out that this is indicative of final gameplay, it won’t garner at least my real attention or money.

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