SimCity fans are about to their most requested feature
Maxis Emeryville has a New Year's resolution, one that you're going to like. It's to implement an offline mode for SimCity, which Maxis Emeryville GM Patrick Buechner said will roll out as a free download with Update 10 to all SimCity players. Users have complained since SimCity's release of the requirement for a persistent Internet connection, especially when EA's servers were having trouble.
Maxis and Electronics Arts today confirmed that they've begun work on The Sims 4 at The Sims Studio. If all goes to plan, the next major installment in the highly popular Sims franchise will launch to PC and Mac systems sometime in 2014, though it's unknown if the Maxis and EA are targeting an early, mid, or late year release. What we do know is that there will be new and intuitive tools to play with, along with the ability to share items with friends.
EA’s public relations team plays Spincity all weekend long.
SimCity made our list of “most anticipated games of 2013”, and with good reason. This PC reboot was not only long overdue, but the franchise itself is an all-time classic. We were confident Maxis was the studio to deliver a proper sequel, but the studio’s choice of an always online DRM solution has proven to be a complete disaster. Maximum PC online managing editor Jimmy Thang has criticized EA’s handling of the situation, and the company’s PR department has been pulling overtime trying to repair the games reputation.
Some people believe piracy has no negative effect on sales. I am not one of those people. So I sympathize with EA's desire to combat piracy with SimCity. However, I do not believe that requiring users to always be connected to EA's servers to be the best solution to the problem, especially when those servers come crashing down and prevent honest customers from playing legitimate copies of their game.
After attempting to give you power over the forces of biology, evolution, and arms-in-places-where-arms-shouldn't-be with Spore, Maxis is purportedly returning to its urban roots. According to scans from German magazine GameStar (via NeoGAF), Sim City 5 is building a hilariously complicated series of roads to 2013. Apparently, a brand new graphics engine, resource/economy-sharing multiplayer, upgradeable buildings, and roads that curve (!) are among the new biggest new features coming along for the ride. Maxis, meanwhile, hasn't made a peep so far, but it does have a major event scheduled for GDC next week, and it doesn't take a rocket surgeon (or even, say, a vaguely competent city planner) to put two and Sim City 5 together. For now, though, click through the link for a bit more info and some nice concept art.
If your parents always told you that wasting away your time with videogames would never make you any money, Adult Swim comedy show Robot Chicken must be quite the wakeup call. Those guys make money by playing with action figures. And now, they’re doing it with videogames too! It’s really not fair; if we try playing with the action figures on our desks while blogging about videogames, we just get thrown in MPC’s patented Pain Room – the horrors of which we aren’t at liberty to speak about.
“The campaign was conceptualized by Robot Chicken co-creators Seth Green and Matt Senreich and executed by the writing team including Matt Beans, Doug Goldstein, Mike Fasolo, Breckin Meyer, Dan Milano, Tom Root, Kevin Shinick, Hugh Sterbakov and Zeb Wells,” according to the press release, and includes such gags as “exploding poo, angry yetis, ruler yielding librarians and more.” Make of that what you will.
The DLC will be free with the upcoming Spore expansion Galactic Adventures, and is meant to show off the versatility of GA’s Adventure Creator tool. Based on some of the monstrosities birthed by Spore’s creature creator and the above description of this Robot Chicken DLC, we actually think this whole thing makes quite a bit of sense. Now whether that’s a good thing or not, well, we’re not so sure.
As per usual, the NPD Group kept its giant, cyclopian eye glued to videogame sales for the month of September*. However, as per never before, the Group also decided to compile its weekly retail PC game sales into a colossal monthly communion, full of surprises and intrigue.
Hot Wheels: Beat That set the standard for September, issuing forth a challenge to all other games. 17 games did, in fact, beat that, with at least two unquestionably better games also beating it, but in reverse.
Spore and Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning took top honors, selling 406,000 and 274,000 units respectively. NPD, sadly, did not divulge digits for any more of the 20 games listed.
It should also be noted that NPD only covers retail sales, so any sales generated by Steam, Direct 2 Drive, or other such outlets do not count.
PC Game Sales (September)
1. Spore / EA Maxis / $50 (Average) 2. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning / EA Mythic / $49 (Average) 3. The Sims 2 Apartment Life Expansion Pack / EA Maxis / $30 (Average) 4. Warhammer Online: Age of Reckoning Collector's Edition / EA Mythic / $80 (Average) 5. Spore Galactic Edition / EA Maxis / $79 (Average) 6. World Of Warcraft: Battle Chest / Blizzard / $37 (Average) 7. Crysis Warhead / Crytek (Publisher: EA) / $29 (Average) 8. The Sims 2 Double Deluxe / EA Maxis / $30 (Average) 9. World Of Warcraft / Blizzard / $20 (Average) 10. Spore Creature Creator / EA Maxis / $10 (Average) 11. World Of Warcraft: Burning Crusade / Blizzard / $28 (Average) 12. Civilization IV: Colonization / Firaxis / $29 (Average) 13. Warcraft III Battle Chest / Blizzard / $39 (Average) 14. Civilization IV / Firaxis / $27 (Average) 15. The Sims 2 IKEA Home Stuff Expansion / EA Maxis / $20 (Average) 16. Diablo Battle Chest / Blizzard / $39 (Average) 17. StarCraft Battle Chest / Blizzard / $20 (Average) 18. Hot Wheels: Beat That / Activision / $15 (Average) 19. Crysis / Crytek (Publisher: EA) / $38 (Average) 20. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky / GSC Game World / $39 (Average)
Jump past the break for overall software sales, with games included. (Exciting preview: Apple fails.)