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New SimCity Is Under Construction, Will Arrive in 2013

It's back! EA and Maxis announced a new version of everyone's favorite city simulator that should come to the PC sometime next year.

SimCity is legendary as far as PC gaming goes, but the SimCity 4, the current edition, is a little long in the tooth--it first game out nine years ago. Yikes. But Maxis and EA plan to revive the dormant franchise with a brand new version.

Yes, yes, yes.

At a press event at this year's GDC in San Francisco, Maxis and EA announced that it will release a new edition of SimCity for PC sometime in 2013, according to Joystiq. We don't know much else about it at this point, including whether it'll be called SimCity 5 or go by a different name. But we do know that, as Joystiq notes, it'll run atop EA's upcoming "GlassBox" game engine.

Despite all that, as a self-proclaimed SimCity addict, I can think of a number of ways Maxis and EA can improve upon the game. To name a few...

Curvy roads: In SimCity 4, you can only build roads that go in a straight line--unless you install something like the Network Add-on Mod. Curvy road support could only lead to more realistic cities. Joystiq says that this is coming to the new version, so it looks like I might get my wish on this one.

Wider selection of buildings: A common occurrence in SimCity 4 is that you'll often end up with several instances of the same building popping up in close proximity to each other. Again, you can add more via SimCity 4's add-on support, but I would love to see Maxis bundle some additional structures--and maybe some additional architectural styles--in the next incarnation of the game.

A "Simple Mode" for beginners: SimCity 4 is a complex game. Unless you invoke a cheat code, you can't just build; you have to worry about pesky details like providing your city with electricity, water, and sanitation. While this is great for SimCity wonks like me, it's probably more than a little intimidating to a SimCity rookie who just wants to build.

A stable Mac version, please: I mainly use Macs at home. And while there's a Mac version of SimCity 4, if you own an Intel-based Mac, you have to rely on a five-year-old beta patch that lets you play the game (the retail box version does not run on Intel-based Macs, only the older PowerPC-based ones). And it's ridiculously buggy. We don't yet know if EA and Maxis count Mac OS X under the umbrella of "PC," or if this new edition will be Windows-only to start, but here's hoping they hear the cry of Mac gamers, too.

We still have a bit of a wait on the new SimCity, but in the meantime, feel free to share your SimCity wish list in the comments.

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