Electronic Arts has released details about the company's next entry in the SimCity series, known as SimCity Societies.
Among the new features in the game is a focus on creating cultures, societal behaviors and environments on top of the standard day-to-day city management. These social aspects are managed by "social energies," which can be mixed and matched to determine "the social energy of your city."
Standard SimCity gameplay is still expected to a major component of the game, and EA has said that SimCity Societies will include over 350 building types that can be built, demolished and combined freely. In spite of this, the franchise's change in direction has resulted in a negative reaction from some quarters, including complaints from players on a number of SimCity community forums. Original SimCity creator Maxis will not be involved with SimCity Societies, which will be developed instead by Caesar IV developer Tilted Mill. Chris Beatrice, President and Director of Development at Tilted Mill, admitted this new entry in the series "is not [focused] on realism and detail," but also added, "We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this venerable series, are extremely proud of what we have put together, and make no apologies for what we have managed to create. And while our past experiences (including contributions from many of you) certainly inform all our ongoing efforts, this SC is its own unique creation."
Since its inception in 1989, the SimCity franchise has sold more than 17 million copies. SimCity Societies is expected to ship in November of 2007, and more information is available at EA's SimCity website.