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SimCity is an open world, city-building simulation game franchise developed by Will Wright[1] and published by Maxis.[2] Owing much to its long-running success and multiple spin-offs, the SimCity franchise has a strong online following and is credited with establishing the city-building game genre that deals with continuous building rather than a set victory condition.


The first game in the series Sim City was released in 1989. According to Wright, SimCity was inspired by the map-editing feature in the game Raid on Bungeling Bay, which he found to be more enjoyable than playing the actual game.

  • SimCity (1989)
  • SimCity 2000 (1994)
  • SimCity: The Card Game (1995)
  • SimCopter (1996)
  • Streets of SimCity (1997)
  • SimCity 3000 (1999)
  • SimCity 4 (2003)
  • SimCity Societies (2007)
  • SimCity Classic (2008)
  • SimCity 5 (2013)

SimCity (2013)

Simply dubbed SimCity, the fifth title in the city-building simulation game series was officially introduced at the Game Developers Conference on March 6th, 2012 and two gameplay trailers were unveiled at the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2012. The application process for the closed beta version of the game began in August 2012, which became available in January and February 2013. Despite the high anticipation surrounding the game, SimCity was met by poor reviews and criticism mainly due to unexpected server outages upon its launch on March 5th, 2013.


Each game begins with a blank map and the player, who assumes the role of city mayor, must populate and expand the city with the budget available. As mayor, the player must supply public services to his/her citizens, including utilities, healthcare, education, safety, waste management, parks and leisure among others. As the city grows, government facilities and other special buildings are unlocked, many of which provide additional supplies and services for citizens in a circular range.

As it is an open-ended simulation, there is no end goal and the game could go on for an indefinite period of time given there are enough resources and budget. The primary source of income is taxation, which can be altered by one percent increments in all versions up to SimCity 3000, and by tenths of a percent in SimCity 4, and additional revenues can be generated by legalizing gambling or placing certain special buildings. Beginning with SimCity 3000, the player can also make deals with neighboring cities to trade services via multiplayer connection.

Online Presence

Owing much to its early success and history spanning over two decades, the SimCity has gained a sizable online following. Some of the most notable fan sites dedicated to the games include Simtropolis, SimCity Wikia and SimCity Fan Site among others.


“9-9-9” Tax Plan

In early October 2011, then Republican presidential primary candidate Herman Cain announced his “9 9 9" tax plan, which sought to reform federal tax code by involving a 9% flat tax rate on individuals and businesses, as well as a national retail sales tax.[12] This plan also proposed to remove payroll and death taxes, while setting income tax a flat rate of 9%. Following the announcement, The Huffington Post drew a comparison between Cain’s “9-9-9” tax plan and the default tax rate settings used in the game SimCity 4.[13]

You Can’t Cut Back on Funding

You Can’t Cut Back on Funding! You Will Regret This! is an in-game message from the original release of SimCity, which is shouted towards the player (the mayor) by the transportation advisor if he attempts to cut transit funding.

In Real Time Strategy Games

In real time strategy games like Starcraft and Warcraft, a Korean player who favors strategic placement and fortification of buildings is said to be “playing SimCity.” Depending on the outcome of the play, it may be used to refer to a smart building plan or a cautionary tale against becoming preoccupied with the constructional aspect of the game.[19]


2013 SimCity Release Reception refers to the negative public reception of Electronic Arts’ fifth title in the urban city simulation game franchise. Since its official release on March 5th, 2013, the game has been widely criticized by gaming review blogs and YouTube commentators, mainly due to its requirement of an Internet connection for single-player gameplay and heavy server downtime upon launch.

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