Electronic Arts has officially announced the next title in the company's long running Sim City PC franchise, SimCity Societies
, detailing the title's recently announced
shift in focus, which aims to let players create “a variety of cities with the unique societies they desire.”
The game, which was previously confirmed via a Games For Windows magazine cover and is expected to ship this November, represents a major shift for the popular world building franchise, with the title being handled by Caesar IV
developer Tilted Mill Entertainment instead of series creators Maxis. EA notes that since its inception in 1989, the series has sold more than 17 million games worldwide.
Among the new features being introduced in SimCity Societies
is an interesting focus on creating cultures, societal behaviors and environments on top of the routine day to day management of the virtual metropolis. To help manage this social aspect, the game includes new resources called “social energies,” which can be mixed and matched to determine “the social energy of your city.”
Of course, the city building is also expected to play a key role in the gameplay as well, with EA noting that SimCity Societies
will include more than 350 building types, each of which can be combined, connect and re-arranged freely.
Rod Humble, VP and studio head of EA's The Sims Division, describes the game as “the most flexible city building game ever,” stating that “sometimes I build an aggressive police state where stragglers are dragged off to re-conditioning centers and emerge ready for work. Other times, I build a green community in the tropics, where the citizens grow their own food and have a small environmental footprint.”
Even so, as previously reported
, the turn for the franchise has not come without some measure of growing pains, including complaints from the player community on a variety of community forums, including those of Tilted Mill itself, to which own president and director of development Chris Beatrice defended the game by calling it “its own unique creation” while admitting that it is “not [focused] on realism and detail.”