The original publisher of SimCity
rejected the title and forced pioneering developer Will Wright's hand, causing him to form Maxis, he tells Gamasutra in a new career-spanning interview
"When I started working on SimCity
, I showed it to Broderbund and they said, 'Sure, let's do it.' But they kept wanting to change it," says Wright.
"I'd kind of programmed it to the point where I thought it was done, and they didn't think it was nearly done. They kept wanting a win/lose. They were expecting more of a traditional game out of it. But I always wanted it to be much more open-ended, more of a toy. So they never published it."
Wright ended up forming Maxis with Jeff Braun. At this point, Wright got the rights to the finished Commodore 64 version of the game back from Maxis and set out to create the more advanced Mac and Amiga versions.
This turned out to be fortuitous, as Mac users were "actually buying computers to do real things" -- like publishing work, rather than game playing -- "And for those people, there were no games that really appealed to them. SimCity
turned out to be that game," says Wright.
The full feature interview
goes into further depth on the creation of SimCity
and also the The Sims
, discussing how EA's involvement saved the project.