What we know: SimCity is a reboot of the well-known city building franchise that uses an entire new engine and a new philosophy in order to appeal to long-term fans and attract new gamers that have not played the original series.The star of the re-launch is the GlassBox engine, designed from the ground up by Maxis in order to achieve two big aims: multiplayer-enabled city development and a new focus on citizens and their daily actions.
The first concept means that one region can contain multiple cities, each of them developed in order to satisfy one economic need or one development goal, with players able to then use shared resources in order to create large scale public work projects.
The citizen focus means that each city dweller is individually simulated and players need to understand their needs in order to keep them happy.
The normal features of the SimCity concept, including layers of data, multiple development options and complex financial challenges are also included, alongside the tools to solve them.
SimCity will be launched exclusively on the PC on March 5 in North America and on March 8 in Europe.
Why it matters: SimCity was a huge franchise, but modern gamers seem to be uninterested in the rather high minded challenges of city building.
Maxis and Electronic Arts will try to make the new game more appealing by introducing beautiful yet stylized visuals and by making the gamers more interested in the actual characters than simply the buildings or the city layout.
If SimCity is a success and leads to the development of many complex player-generated regions, Maxis might explore the concept further and we might move towards a city-building MMO in a few years.
The full Incoming 2012 series of articles can be read on Softpedia right here.