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SoftcoreGamer

SimCity: Demographics Past & Present

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The only ground level demographic stats on city-building games I've come across is one from CitiesXL community before CXL2011. The forum poll result of some three figure sampling size was interesting - the concentration is in the 20-30 group. I consider CXL a hardcore city-building game. This means hardcore city-builders remain mostly young and male. Simtropolis crowd could be older than CXL, but I doubt it.

There had been a lot of speculations that the new SimCity Online with MP and SOCIAL focus is "the way to go because kids are all online". Some claim the "core fans" (hardcore and softcore) are too old for Maxis. I think that is a huge misconception.

Fact 1: older gamers (40+) have more disposable income, credit card access, and even Time to Play and hence deeper involvement with the community. Game companies do not dump the oldies just because they are "old".

Fact 2: SimCity has always had a very wide player age (I also read that 25% are females)

Fact 3: Social games (Zynga "villes") attract mostly "Moms"

U.S.-based social gamers averaging 48 years of age

Average Social Gamer is a 43 YO Woman

Which means, given how the product looks and feels, the new direction is going from the CXL hardcore young males to casual social 40+ Farmville moms with credit cards. I used to play The Sims so I don't mind the new cutesy feel eventhough I hate the imbalance of dumbing down. I just don't think the average young males are going to be pleased with this, nor do I think moms are going to pay $60 upfront to try another social city game. So these are still among the things to mull over how involved I want to get.

Feel free to chime in...

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I know a lot of women play farmville but wow this is still surprising. My sister married with two kids plays one of those facebook games with diamonds. I tried to get her interested in simcity she think the game is boring made for geeks like me. lol True about the young males not gonna be cool with a lot of stuff. I totally get that...

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As I pointed out in another thread: many who picked up the original SimCity and became lifelong fans of the franchise were in their teens and twenties when the original game came out. Maxis has said this is a reboot of the franchise, what that means is they're going for a new generation of fans, a generation that has grown up in a world where technology is pervasive.

If they are trying to target the reboot at the same demographic that grew into lifelong fans, then it only makes sense to develop the game the way they are. When you were born, your birth announcement was probably made by letter or expensive long-distance call. Nowadays, a lot of the births of the youngest fans were likely announced with cheap emails. Technology has evolved.

40-somethings may have disposable income, but a lot will also have children, housework, and other obligations that would take away from their time to play games. I've tried getting my dad--who has a job he devotes almost 60 hours a week--to get an XBox so we could play games the way we used to when I lived with him, he's said it would be a waste of time because he goes for months without even touching his PS3.

If they are targeting the Facebook social gamer, they're also going to have to start with a simpler game. Giving John and Jane Q Facebooker a game where they have to zone three different levels of zone for each demand type, and then set taxes for three different income levels, in addition to maintaining an adequate healthcare, education, power, mass transit, water, landfill, and park system, the player used to concentrating on just planting crops and then one-click harvesting them, is going to be soon overwhelmed with the game.

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I am a 53 year old woman, married and I love playing sim city and can not wait to get a gaming system. I find sim city a good deal of enjoyment and being disabled also, it distracts me from pain I may be having, gives me a break from my other hobbies and having no family other than the husband it is a nice bit of fun. Oh and I can not stand cityville or farmville--to boring!


  Edited by arozarker12  

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  • Original Poster
  • Here's a reality-based proof that will hopefully once and for all dispel the myth that the new SimCity is looking for a younger audience. Reality is the exact opposite.

    132882.gif

    The 2011 survey on social games clearly demonstrated:

    1. Casual social gamers (Facebook "Villes" crowd) are mostly middle-age, with an astounding 62% BEING 40 YEARS OLD AND ABOVE.

    2. Hardcore social gamers (MMO crowd) are mostly young under 30s.

    3. Social games overall are played by (Casuals) middle age females with excess money and (Hardcores) young males with excess time.

    4. Either the majority of Younger Females and Older Males aren't into games as much, OR they prefer playing offline games by themselves.

    So basically, it is irrelevant if they have more or less responsibilities, 40+ "oldies" buy and play more than 50% of social games. This is why game BUSINESSES, including EA/Maxis, are after OLDER GAMERS.

    The consensus is SC2013 being online and MP is obviously targeting social gamers. And given how the game has been drastically simplified and prettified, they are targeting the CASUAL social gamers, the 40+ female majority group. Basically, with both social and casual push, SimCity is moving from a younger demographic into a FAR OLDER ONE.

    Plain business, fine by me etc, but however....

    In my view, even after stripping out most of the “core city builder features”, this game remains TOO INVOLVED for the casual social gamers. At the same time, it has ALSO become TOO FLUFFY for the hardcore social gamers, for what is not hardcore enough for the hardcore traditional gamers will not be hardcore enough for the hardcore social gamers.

    Why would hardcore gamers like the new light & easy SC2013 - which doesn't even impress the likes of softcore gamers like myself!

    So what other demographic group is there to like this Very Involved Sort of Casual Social Game?

    It is clear to me the new direction is simply too narrowly-focused and is also why I remain pessimistic of its survival. I hope that there exists a contingency plan to eventually re-engage the traditional core fans sincerely and concretely.


      Edited by SoftcoreGamer  

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    Here's a reality-based proof that will hopefully once and for all dispel the myth that the new SimCity is looking for a younger audience. Reality is the exact opposite.

    132882.gif

    The 2011 survey on social games clearly demonstrated:

    1. Casual social gamers (Facebook "Villes" crowd) are mostly middle-age, with an astounding 62% BEING 40 YEARS OLD AND ABOVE.

    2. Hardcore social gamers (MMO crowd) are mostly young under 30s.

    3. Social games overall are played by (Casuals) middle age females with excess money and (Hardcores) young males with excess time.

    4. Either the majority of Younger Females and Older Males aren't into games as much, OR they prefer playing offline games by themselves.

    So basically, it is irrelevant if they have more or less responsibilities, 40+ "oldies" buy and play more than 50% of social games. This is why game BUSINESSES, including EA/Maxis, are after OLDER GAMERS.

    The consensus is SC2013 being online and MP is obviously targeting social gamers. And given how the game has been drastically simplified and prettified, they are targeting the CASUAL social gamers, the 40+ female majority group. Basically, with both social and casual push, SimCity is moving from a younger demographic into a FAR OLDER ONE.

    Plain business, fine by me etc, but however....

    In my view, even after stripping out most of the “core city builder features”, this game remains TOO INVOLVED for the casual social gamers. At the same time, it has ALSO become TOO FLUFFY for the hardcore social gamers, for what is not hardcore enough for the hardcore traditional gamers will not be hardcore enough for the hardcore social gamers.

    Why would hardcore gamers like the new light & easy SC2013 - which doesn't even impress the likes of softcore gamers like myself!

    So what other demographic group is there to like this Very Involved Sort of Casual Social Game?

    It is clear to me the new direction is simply too narrowly-focused and is also why I remain pessimistic of its survival. I hope that there exists a contingency plan to eventually re-engage the traditional core fans sincerely and concretely.

    I've done market analyses in high school marketing classes and culinary classes, what you've cited looks nothing like proof that Maxis is targeting them. That is not proof that EA/Maxis is targeting the social gamer, it is merely a chart about the market of social gaming,

    Further, SImCity has always been a game that reaches across demographics for a fanbase, the focus isn't too narrow. Yes, they are probably going for more or less a younger audience, but many games that have a wide-reaching aspect. Take a game that has the player throw birds at pigs for stealing their eggs. Sounds like a kiddie game, but it has a wide-reaching aspect.


      Edited by CaptCity  

    Removed off-topic content.

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  • Original Poster
  • I've done market analyses in high school marketing classes and culinary classes, what you've cited looks nothing like proof that Maxis is targeting them. That is not proof that EA/Maxis is targeting the social gamer, it is merely a chart about the market of social gaming,

    Further, SImCity has always been a game that reaches across demographics for a fanbase, the focus isn't too narrow. Yes, they are probably going for more or less a younger audience, but many games that have a wide-reaching aspect. Take a game that has the player throw birds at pigs for stealing their eggs. Sounds like a kiddie game, but it has a wide-reaching aspect.

    As clearly stated in the first sentence, the chart is cited to prove the newly wanted casual gamers are far older than SC core fans and not younger as you claimed, and nothing more. Do read again...

    It is self-evident that SimCity is being “casualized” and “socialized” for casual social majority the 40-50+ females. To their credit Maxis have been open and upfront about their intention to court more casual and social gamers as the reason for all the new changes. You too have argued convincingly for SC13 casualization in your first post in this thread anyway, so why contradict Maxis or yourself…?

    “Wide-reaching aspect” is nice - and precisely the missing element in SC2013 as is. I actually agree Maxis should cast their net wide beyond niche young-ish 75% male city-builder geeks. I'm fine with them courting 50yo affluent gamers. But with the game now so drastically trimmed inside-out, we end up with only a whole of universally-despised narrow uptight constrains, now protested about here and elsewhere...not good omen for sales.

    Even if the new SimCity is casual enough for the casual socials (I don't think so), they may not buy. Social gamer's yearly budget is shrinking from $78 to $51 and still shrinking. Can’t always count on this micro budget casual social group, and EA is learning fast about them from most recent SimCity Social's daily active users (DAU) deep diving to 1.3 mil, losing 300,000 freemium players in just one month!

    I'm not surprised at all with fleeting gamers fleeting games, but I question the lifespan of online-only SC2013. If SCSocial fans are fast deserting a Free Casual Social city game at such an early stage, what hope for this demographic sustaining a cash-upfront more-involved more-machine-demanding 3D version of SCSocial?

    Industry reports confirm the trend of social gaming demise. So don't let the naysayers bring you down...soon traditional solo gamers of all gender and age group will be back in great demand again.

    This is why I remain hopeful that SimCity 2013 may still end up a truly all-encompassing game catering to both core and casual gamers, simply because EA/Maxis needed it to.

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    Just going to add something a bit here.

    Also pardon my cynicism.

    I didn't purchase the last Sim City game, that one that came out after 4/RH a few years ago that shall not be named. The fact it actually was published says something about what EA might be trying to get out of this franchise. Either that or EA doesn't have the finesse to actually know how to balance appealing to "untapped" market segments and appealing to the bread-and-butter fanbase. BUT, assuming they do, I don't think it really matters to them in a business sense for whatever reason. Even if that reason is simply "because everyone else is getting on the (x) bandwagon". SimCity Social is an experiment with that bandwagon, but I think it is an idea whose time has already passed. Social-network-based Sim games, including iOS-based Sim-games are nothing like the Sim-games that the Sim City fanbase, in general, gets excited about.

    I spent about 30 minutes on Island HD before realizing it isn't a Sim game, it's a rail-ride that tries to get you to spend real money on in-game money so you can continue onto the next, singular direction in the game. Tiny Tower is the same thing. Farmville really isn't that different, slightly less ruthlessly linear, but still really designed with the intent that people might check it for about 5 minutes every day from their smart phone. The point is: SimCity as we know it, is not a casual Social game in this context. It's like trying to make Tetris into a Collectible Card Game. They are different concepts entirely. I think trying to make the PC-based SC2013 follow similar sensibility to social net/iOS or other accessibility-driven game models is either some kind of advanced, arcane cloud-o-nomics reasoning that has yet to make any sense to me, or it is just plain old inattentiveness to reality and this is no different than their last unsucessful attempt to appeal to a market that isn't interested in this kind of game. Neither would surprise me and either way, the result is the same as far as I'm concerned.

    Frankly, I'd rather pay $60 up front for a decent game than pay money for junk during gameplay that makes my city eventually look just like the one on the splash screen. For those of us who want to just throw 60 bucks at EA to give us an evolution of SimCity 4-like gameplay (and let's be honest, that is what we want. That's why there's still people doing mods for SC4, and why they still sell it on Steam), all these experiments they keep doing are just pushing some of us away for good.

    They couldn't possibly be unaware of this. Which is why I've resigned to the notion that those of us who want that relatively technical gameplay and moddability (which granted, is much harder to attain because GMAX is deprecated) are no longer relevant to their business model. Regardless of wether or not it's sucessful this time around. Either way, we're not getting that perfect (and obvious) hypothetical mix of CXL'12 graphics and SC4-like gameplay, at least not out of Maxis.

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    So you're saying this is a market survey on the demographics of Facebook gamers? I fail to see the point in bringing up these surveys and charts when discussing a game that isn't going to be played on Facebook and is obviously not targeting that crowd.

    I may be wrong and correct me if so, but it seems to me that there is a significant distinction between 'regular' casual gamers and 'social' casual gamers. I consider myself and a lot of my friends to be casual gamers, yet we don't play any games on Facebook. In my experience, those who play games on Facebook are rarely inclined to buy regular games, as Facebook is largely populated by bored/unemployed housewives and older folk. Not really the target audience of choice for most game developers.

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    The market survey is on the demographics of social gamers, including FPS group MMO group and Facebook group. There's been lots of discussion on EA Maxis appealing to social gamers so yeah ithe survey is totally related to sc13. From what I have read and observed social gamers are the main audience for sc13, not typical or what you call 'regular' casual gamers. Definitely not the hardcore gamers. Explains why the maps are tiny etc. I don't know which cat I belong to probably somewhere in between, like mid-core...

    Facebook games are mutliplayer and of cos online, mostly free so almost every one of my female coworker and relative on facebook are playing... I totally get why Maxis appeal to them, they are huge market probably hugest of all gamers market. I agree these group won't stick around to keep things going...can't even imagine them simming cities properly. I think citybuilders in general attract very earnest dogged sort...not flighty airy fairy sort...

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    The first link only deals with platforms such as Facebook and MySpace.

    DIrect quote from the article:

    PopCap Games today unveils the results of a social gamers survey - that is, consumers in the U.S. and UK who play games on social networking platforms such as Facebook and MySpace.

    This doesn't seem to have any relation to SC2013's market/target audience since we're not talking about a game that is going to be played on social platforms. The only thing I get from the article is that the majority of the younger (social) gamers, which is likely to be the target audience for SC2013, do not spend their time playing WhateverVille type games on Facebook. In fact, I still fail to see what a survey about the Facebook gaming population has to do with a non-Facebook (and arguably non-social) game.

    Even the second survey doesn't really deal with other gamers other than 'social' gamers.

    Direct qoute:

    The Kabam survey, conducted by Information Solutions Group, found that there was a demographic and behavioral split in the social gaming population, depending on whether gamers limited themselves to casual games, like Bejeweled Blitz and FarmVille, or also played strategy, role-playing or similar hardcore social games.

    Note that they're still talking about social games, so I'm assuming they're not talking about WoW, Modern Warfare and other games that might be considered mainstream but rather the games you'd play on Facebook. Again, I fail to see what relevance this has to SC2013, a game which isn't going to be on Facebook and isn't, in my opinion at least, made for the social gamer.

    Now, I guess that you're referring to the fact that region play is heavily focused on multiplayer, giving it a bit of a social vibe. But when thinking about it, even though other players' cities will have some influence on yours, building a city is still largely a solo play activity and you can even play a region entirely by yourself. They've even said that Great Works can be build by one player if that person wants to do so.

    In short, I still haven't seen any indication that Maxis/EA is really going the social route on this one. SC2013 is as much a social game as Diablo 3 is.

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    aha but the BIG elephant in the room is the word SOCIAL.

    You cannot just lump all gamers into one single category. In order to get a proper picture, you have to break it down by genre. In this case they are trying to bridge the "technical simulation" genre (which has always worked well solo) with the social online game system. The biggest problem is they are greatly ssacrificing the higly techincal aspect that we enjoyed and loved with SC4 and CXL, and turning it into SimCitySocieties2.

    One major difference I think with the new SC is that they are targeting the crowd from "The Sims" and the softcore SimCity players, and in the process massively dumbing it down. The end result will very likely be that they are abandoning the very player base that made SimCity and Maxis what they are today, but also tend to be the ones that have the money to buy the game and expansions and such. Giving us a glorified "The Sims" town builder is abandonment of their longest time players in the purest sense. Any large scale technical sim based games that has had any social aspect have always been disasters. The small ones for cell phones and Facebook seem to work fine, it is when you add the massive simulation aspect such as Simcity, CXL, Civilization, etc that the game just fails massively.

    Sure Farmville, Cityville and SimCity Social on FB works because they are simple small scale games with simple "click a cow" type of aspect to them. The Sims works for that specific crowd. But to venture into the SimCity crowd?

    CitiesXL had the offline AND online social aspect... and the social aspect obviously failed miserably, not because it was a bad game but because they didn't realize that a majority of people want to run their simulations solo. This will be one that comes to bite EA in the butt.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

    ~Albert Einstein


      Edited by Screwballl  

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    CitiesXL had the offline AND online social aspect... and the social aspect obviously failed miserably, not because it was a bad game but because they didn't realize that a majority of people want to run their simulations solo. This will be one that comes to bite EA in the butt.

    I think it will all depend on how well they integrate the multiplayer aspect into the game. But as I've said before, playing a city is still very much a solo job and you can play whole regions by yourself if you want to. My only fear is that the servers won't be able to cope with number of players at launch or the server is down a lot letting no one play.

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    I view myself as a softcore/midcore gamer. SimCity should broaden their appeal, but not at the detriment to the core SimCity fans. I have been a fan of SimCity since the original 1989 version.

    SimCity Social is just that, it appeals to social gamers. The upcoming SimCity game would also appeal to social gamers. Actually, the upcoming SimCity game would end up appealing to no one; social gamers are reluctant to pay $60 or so upfront and core players do not see the $60 as being worth the cost of buying the game.

    Here is my wish: the upcoming SimCity game should appeal to those who enjoy SC4, complete with a 100% offline single player mode. If EA cannot make the upcoming SimCity game with a 100% offline single player mode with full terraforming and variable city sizes (and many other things), I will abandon SimCity for an independent version of it.

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    If EA cannot make the upcoming SimCity game with a 100% offline single player mode with full terraforming and variable city sizes (and many other things), I will abandon SimCity for an independent version of it.

    Behold, another guy wishing for Simcity 4.5.

    *rolls eyes*

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    I would not mind it if terraforming was limited to that which is included in Cities XL mayor mode terraforming. I would not mind small city sizes if I can play huge regions with 25 cities or more. I would not mind always online as long as copies of my cities could be saved on my home computer so that I can unleash disasters without permanent repercussions.

    Also, I am a male in the 2-3 decade age range. I am under 30 but not a teenager. Therefore, I must not be in the same demographic as some of the games I play.

    --Ocram

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  • Original Poster
  • Ocram I reckon you're no doubt a core fan based on your total post alone lol.

    Anywayz.. Long post ahead, apology in advance.

    Trioxis – perhaps you haven’t looked at SC13 promos but Maxis made no secret that SimCity2013 is targeting a drastically different audience. Screwball has explained the big social elephant in the room so here’s just a simple signature SC13 image from Gamescom video:

    M7dzR.jpg?1

    As is, SC2013 is 100% a social game. Remember, even the so-called Solo mode is tied to global prices impacted by others and at the mercy of server existence, so strictly and technically speaking there is no solo mode, only social.

    To keep this demographics discussion more coherent, the standard definition of basic gamer types…

    Social or Solo

    Casual, Mid-core, Hardcore

    Social = multiplayer with other real persons

    Solo = single player, independent or with NPC

    Casual = spend little time, longer intervals, shallow involvement, easy goals

    Hardcore = spend hours, almost daily, deep involvement, challenging goals

    There are other variations within these but I’ll just start with these... So, placing the higher hierarchy first, Social Casual is preferred over Casual Social and so on to avoid confusion and misunderstanding. Also, "core fans" universally means traditional/ dedicated/ incumbent/ diehard loyal fans. You can have a casual game with core fans too and so on. With that cleared..

    Traditionally SimCity core fans are Solo Hardcore with some Solo Mid-core. Now Maxis is remaking SimCity into a 100% Social game and Casualizing it so much that they alienate the Solo Hardcore fans. The cynics among us think such abrupt dramatic demographic switch must mean "Maxis don't need us"...but I'm proposing the opposite is true. I have elaborated elsewhere but let me recap it here for discussion sake...

    Logically, their new audience candidate would be the very close-by SimCity “big sister”, The Sims fans, which bought 100 million+ copies to date. But The Sims gamers are unambiguously Solo Hardcore. The Sims fans vehemently refused to go online. So no…not them. Next obvious candidate would be SimCity Social fans. An established Social Casual audience accustomed to city building simulation in Maxis SimCity lingo, who spend bite-size time playing occasionally, prefer shallow and easy play, cooperate with friends, compete with other real human on size status..etc…very Social Casual indeed. They are most likely the ones being catered to, starting with the upper right corner of the above pic…

    The more new features added and traditional features removed, the more SimCity 2013 looks like a 3D SimCity Social…

    The “Socialization” of SimCity – loud and clear “play with friends” “collaborate” “leaderboard” “connect with” “global” “world”…

    The Casualization of SimCity – replicating the looks and feel of SimCity Social…preset city connections, removed zoning densities, shiny cartoony looks, cute big button interface, petite 2x2 cities, no mods, no custom buildings, no god-like terraform, never experienced heaven so don’t know what to miss…

    This Social Casual group is however no big spenders, and very fickled, as confirmed by the latest industry reports posted earlier. It's irrational to believe SimCity Social or the other Villes crowd would spend above their tiny $51 yearly game budget to learn another same old city game in 3D, when new “tropical” editions of their familiar 2D city games are free to play too...

    All in all, it is just not smart to change traditional SimCity features so much that it alienated Solo Hardcore core fans. Maxis ain’t stupid; the glaring fact is Maxis want core fans. And they have told core fans just that. “Core fans” are among the most used buzzwords in their PR speeches…

    “Now, for our core fans of Simcity, we’ve got something for you too…”

    “We’re still targeting our core audience…”

    “We still have that sandbox play…”

    “…where you are the god of your own Simcity, the mayor of your own SimCity…”

    “You control, you decide…build your cities anyway you like…”

    Unfortunately, the last three remain lies...thus far the only party who controls who decides city shape city connections city positions city boundaries city correctness with disasters is…Maxis, and the party who will own user’s cities is…EA. They want core fans, they try to catch core fans with promises, they need to live up to their promises.

    But don’t take my words for it, check it out on Youtube… Maxis said they want core fans.

    Duh..game industry pros readily admit Casualized Games Need Hardcore Fans Endorsement. So the “shut up y’all Maxis don’t care don’t need core fans here’s why” opinion is pure nonsense and counter-productive. SC3000’s 5 million is not a small number, and that’s before Japan and China got excited about SC4 and CXL. Solo Hardcore city-simulation fans number at least 10 million at a very conservative estimate.

    SimCity Social, however, had dwindled to 1.5 million active users barely 4 months after launch... Think about that...

    Maxis knew from the start they needed SimCity core fans, yet they went on to make a Social Casual game from the ground up. Arrogance, or ignorance? Who knows... Perhaps in their excitement over Maxisland revival they had underestimated how Solo-Hardcore the SimCity core fans really are. Perhaps in their over-zealousness to wrestle Sims franchise audience away from Zynga, they piled on the social casual factors at the expense of the important classic features that means a lot to core fans…

    Still, Maxis ought to know by now they overdid the demographic swing. Time to balance the upcoming SimCity in the passionate Solo Hardcore direction?

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    Well, what I'm seeing are leaderboards and a friendlist. Those things don't necessarily make the game social, but I get the point that Maxis is going to target a different audience. Still, SC isn't played just by the hardcore fans, there are many other kinds of people who'd like to play SimCity and are probably going to. If Maxis' only concern was to please the core fans they might just as well re-release SC4 with updated graphics and features from several mods.

    There really is no clear definition of what a social game is, as you can read in this article. Some people define a social game as a game that's predominantly multiplayer with other real persons, as you've stated. My only problem with that definition is that a lot of games these days are generally focused on multiplayer, but not every multiplayer game is a social game. I've never heard someone say WoW is a social game, I've never heard people say games like Battlefield part 2876872 or Call of Duty edition bazillion are social games because they include multiplayer (which is arguably the main focus of those games).

    According to this page the definition of social gaming is:

    Definition of social gaming

    noun

    [mass noun]

    the activity or practice of playing an online game on a social media platform:

    social gaming, with its emphasis on friends and community, is seeing tremendous growth

    The discussion whether or not SC2013 is a social game is, in my opinion, one without a clear and definite answer since everyone seems to disagree about what a social game actually is. I agree that Maxis is targeting a different audience with the game, but I think they will have to broaden their target audience if the game is going to be successful. Still, the direction they're taking the game in is a rather drastic change from what we're used to and maybe not for the better, at least not for the core fans.

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  • Original Poster
  • Great article on what is a social game…some are spot-on some so vague even soccer game qualifies. I agree "social game" is a misused term eventhough I'm sticking to its industry use.

    But let’s hear it from EA’s SimCity Social maker Playfish: a game where the main reason why you play involves direct interaction with friends (competition, cooperation, expression, gifting and so on)

    Or from a game boss’s blatantly cynical perspective… any game which uses the social graph to increase and improve the gaming experience, while utilising game theory and psychology to generate revenue from the active user base from a combination of virtual goods, advertising and offers.

    Or from IMO the most objective definition… games that use the platforms of the social web to propagate.

    Or why the word “social” in “social game” is an oxymoron… these games tend to feel very asocial, turning people into resources rather than friends and agents you have to negotiate and communicate with.

    Which reminds me exactly of….Facebook itself. Which in turn reminds me of a SC13 nickname SimFacebook. Not a Facebook game, but very likely a Game-Facebook.

    The “social game” definition most descriptive of SimCity 2013…

    ‘a game which relies on social interaction between players in order to be played’.

    This dependency on others is precisely why the independent solo hardcore city builders hate this game.

    The world really don't need another Facebook city game or a SimFacebookCity. Maxis has a lot of balancing to do...

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    Like I said, it all depends on how well they implement all the multiplayer stuff. I can live with leaderboards and resource prices being influenced by other players/cities, but I don't want the game to punish me for not playing with other people. So far I haven't seen any indication that it will, but that could change in a heartbeat.

    I think SC2013 will be much closer to being an MMO rather than a social game, although it could be said that you don't really play WITH other people. Instead what happens in your city will be (indirectly) influenced by other people, so at times it may seem you're playing against them. From what I've seen I think the fears of this being akin to a Facebook city game are, at least currently, unjustified but I have to admit I remain skeptical until it's actually finalized/released.

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    It perplexes me to no end that EA thinks they can attract that "lucrative" demographic that plays Farmville and Cityville to the real nitty-gritty of SimCity. They can't, and they never will. You can play the little Angry Birds style games on your iPod, your cellphone, or your browser for free and you don't need much time or energy or processing power.

    SimCity is an extremely deep, highly complicated sandbox-style game and it's pretty hardcore. If it ceases to be like this, you have SCS or the SimCity you play on Facebook Two similar games but different. One is a standalone game you buy at the store and you install on your computer and isn't a social game, the other is a cute little game you can play on Facebook. One was a commercial disaster and one isn't.

    No matter how hard they try to make SimCity inviting to the for-some-reason-lucrative casual gamer, it won't. Casual gamers will always pick Angry Birds, or Minecraft (if you could call that casual gaming), or Bejeweled, or one of the "villes", and they will only play that sort of game. They will always be scared to buy it because of its complexity or the social stigma attached to being a "gamer". When people pick up a game at the store, install it or load it up on their console, they're not looking for a fun little casual game, they're looking for an immersive, deep experience that will put their skills to the test, whether it be a FPS, a MMO, an RTS, or a cut-and-dry strategy game, or what have you. When people will go to buy or download this new SimCity, they won't be thinking "oooh, I played SimCity on Facebook, this looks like a cute little game too!". They will be thinking "This game looks awesome, I am going to buy the sh*t out of this and spend the next decade enjoying the sh*t out of this". That's what I will be thinking when I buy this new game.

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    It perplexes me to no end that EA thinks they can attract that "lucrative" demographic that plays Farmville and Cityville to the real nitty-gritty of SimCity. They can't, and they never will. You can play the little Angry Birds style games on your iPod, your cellphone, or your browser for free and you don't need much time or energy or processing power.

    SimCity is an extremely deep, highly complicated sandbox-style game and it's pretty hardcore. If it ceases to be like this, you have SCS or the SimCity you play on Facebook Two similar games but different. One is a standalone game you buy at the store and you install on your computer and isn't a social game, the other is a cute little game you can play on Facebook. One was a commercial disaster and one isn't.

    No matter how hard they try to make SimCity inviting to the for-some-reason-lucrative casual gamer, it won't. Casual gamers will always pick Angry Birds, or Minecraft (if you could call that casual gaming), or Bejeweled, or one of the "villes", and they will only play that sort of game. They will always be scared to buy it because of its complexity or the social stigma attached to being a "gamer". When people pick up a game at the store, install it or load it up on their console, they're not looking for a fun little casual game, they're looking for an immersive, deep experience that will put their skills to the test, whether it be a FPS, a MMO, an RTS, or a cut-and-dry strategy game, or what have you. When people will go to buy or download this new SimCity, they won't be thinking "oooh, I played SimCity on Facebook, this looks like a cute little game too!". They will be thinking "This game looks awesome, I am going to buy the sh*t out of this and spend the next decade enjoying the sh*t out of this". That's what I will be thinking when I buy this new game.

    You do know you can play Simcity on these devices:

    • Simcity (Simcity 3000) on iPhone/iPod Touch
    • Simcity Deluxe (Simcity 4) on iPad and BlackBerry Playbook
    • Simcity DS on DS (based on 3000)
    • Simcity DS2/Creator on DS (based on 3000)
    • Simcity Creator on Wii (it is similar to the original and is in 3D)
    • Simcity Social on Facebook

    Also you all need to get with the times and get the right definitions of the different kind of gamers.

    Hardcore gamers buy games these features:

    • Online gameplay
    • Online multiplayer with strangers
    • Online multiplayer with friends
    • DLC
    • Leader boards
    • Achievements/Trophies
    • Games that aren't focused on slngle player mode as the primary mode (Call of Duty, EA Sports, etc...)

    Old school/casuals/social gamers prefer games with the following:

    • Offline modes
    • Little to no DLC
    • Little to no online aspects
    • Offline single player mode
    • Offline multiplayer modes

    So those of you who hate online modes and want to play offline without DLC, you are either old school or casual/social gamers.

    So are you guys hardcore, old school, or casual/social gamers?

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    old school hardcore here... games I WANT to play online are ones like counter strike and World of Tanks. FPS and MMO types games where it takes other players and has winners and losers. There is no way to take an open ended solo game like SC and turn it into an online social game. Its been tried (everything EA is trying, was d done with CXL) and failed miserably, Put some massive Goliath that is well known for bumbling online aspects (EA), and it fails before it reaches store shelves.

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  • Original Poster
  • Xenocity said: So are you guys hardcore, old school, or casual/social gamers?

    As proposed in post #17, I understand what you mean by old school, but for clarity of discussion let's stick to industry definition starting with 4 entry-levels...

    Solo Hardcore, Solo Casual, Social Hardcore, Social Casual. Sub categories could be game genres like sandbox, strategy, god etc..

    SimCity traditionally is a single-player, highly involved City Construction & Management Simulation genre with open-ended play, is therefore a Solo Hardcore - Sandbox game. "Core" fans, or old school/traditional SimCity fans, are by default Solo Hardcore. The upcoming SimCity is online-multi-play-with-friends and SimCity Social-level-casualness, aspects which make the new game "Social and Casual" by industry definition. Social and Casual may feel similar, but are defining two different types of gamers in game industry terms. Tetris is a casual game, but not social etc.. Hope that's clearer..

    Penguin1634: It perplexes me to no end that EA thinks they can attract that "lucrative" demographic that plays Farmville and Cityville to the real nitty-gritty of SimCity. They can't, and they never will.

    I was perplexed too. My antenna was already in oh-no mode when I first heard “you can play with friends” the fav industry report buzzword. It was the Q&A video that it became clear they are really saying to core fans “we know what you want your solo hardcore sandbox but we are making a different game for an audience radically different from you. Just accept it.” Dirktator’s report basically nailed it for me...

    Now I’m no longer so perplexed…I can see what they’re trying too hard to achieve… to steal the Social Casual gamers from Zynga…with a SimCity Social in 3D, independent and away from Zynga’s territory Facebook....

    EA's campaign to steal Zynga customers has already started, with a slogan...“More City, Less Ville”. The IRONY…

    SCSocial have recently been proven to have “low stickiness”; users don’t stick around, and existing users can’t attract new users… That is the nature of social casual game, swallow…and the gamers they design the upcoming SC for…fleeting, the down-side of unsentimental un-passionate un-core game audience...

    Which, is the exact opposite of SimCity core fans. Simtropolis’s vibrancy and staying power is a testimony of SimCity core fan’s stamina, as well as past SimCity super-stickines, made on the simple soild ingredients of a good-enough city simulation base game + modding support.

    But SimCity belongs to Maxis, they could do whatever they want with it, core fans just don’t have to accept it. Maxis is not a charity, and neither are game customers. I would invest many times more time and money than the typical social casual gamers but I’m not interested to pay to beta-test some glorified experiments…

    hdorriker said: all these experiments they keep doing are just pushing some of us away for good. They couldn't possibly be unaware of this.

    They are aware, they knew we’ll freak out, hence the hide and seek games. Maxis have been around for some time, they have experienced the near-debacle of 3D SimCity3000, they know very well the risk of giving SimCity a Michael Jackson level makeover…

    They do act gungho about their choices, “we did it from the ground up” etc, but it is obvious they are not that sure of wha they're doing. Looking back now they have been wishy-washy hiding seeking with core fans about the new changes, dropping bits at a time, hoping core fans will accept their idea of fun and their new definition of realism and solo play. As they focus the bulk of the design and marketing effort on the social casuals - evident with the tone and depth of the strategy/ disaster videos, they continue to drop “core fans” in speeches, invite Simtropolis over etc…

    They want core fans, they gut core features, they chase after core fans, then tell core fans take it or leave it…they demand core fans accept the changes then they said core fans have high expectations…

    IMO the game design has been tilted excessively to the Social Casual Gamer, and is a poor business move. They have been BLINDSIDED by their obsession the super-size Zynga demographics. Truth is they didn’t pay attention and are too late to social gaming which is now an over-saturated field and going downhill fast... Corporations make mistakes all the time…and EA is famous as the game destroyer...The fear that EA won’t invest in a proper SimCity again after their self-induced failure is very real…

    So those who love the game must continue to give EA/Maxis the right feedback, to produce a version of SimCity that will definitely sell and last.

    So here’s one feedback from the ground – Solo Hardcore Sandbox gamers cannot be converted into Social Casual Puzzle dabblers. There is a high pent-up under-catered-to demand in the traditional Solo Hardcore City Construction Simulation genre. 5 million x 5 expansion packs isn't a small number. If Maxis won’t fill that demand, someone else will. Monte Cristo had, Colossal Order is, another Zynga may…

    There are intelligent people working in Maxis too so I hope wisdom will float to the top…


      Edited by SoftcoreGamer  

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    It perplexes me to no end that EA thinks they can attract that "lucrative" demographic that plays Farmville and Cityville to the real nitty-gritty of SimCity. They can't, and they never will. You can play the little Angry Birds style games on your iPod, your cellphone, or your browser for free and you don't need much time or energy or processing power.

    SimCity is an extremely deep, highly complicated sandbox-style game and it's pretty hardcore. If it ceases to be like this, you have SCS or the SimCity you play on Facebook Two similar games but different. One is a standalone game you buy at the store and you install on your computer and isn't a social game, the other is a cute little game you can play on Facebook. One was a commercial disaster and one isn't.

    No matter how hard they try to make SimCity inviting to the for-some-reason-lucrative casual gamer, it won't. Casual gamers will always pick Angry Birds, or Minecraft (if you could call that casual gaming), or Bejeweled, or one of the "villes", and they will only play that sort of game. They will always be scared to buy it because of its complexity or the social stigma attached to being a "gamer". When people pick up a game at the store, install it or load it up on their console, they're not looking for a fun little casual game, they're looking for an immersive, deep experience that will put their skills to the test, whether it be a FPS, a MMO, an RTS, or a cut-and-dry strategy game, or what have you. When people will go to buy or download this new SimCity, they won't be thinking "oooh, I played SimCity on Facebook, this looks like a cute little game too!". They will be thinking "This game looks awesome, I am going to buy the sh*t out of this and spend the next decade enjoying the sh*t out of this". That's what I will be thinking when I buy this new game.

    You mention Minecraft as a game casual gamers enjoy. If there is any game that is popular with casuals that EA/Maxis should be looking to for ideas, it is Minecraft.

    It is a simple game to learn, and building a simple house or something is quite easy and casuals can do it in a small amount of time. However, the game does not stop there. Your imagination is the limit, and I've seen people come up with incredibly complex creations that boggle my mind, for example I've seen people build 16 bit computers in the game, that is amazing. Minecraft's popularity and critical accaim is due to it being a game that is easy to learn but yet allow palyers to make incredibly complex creations.

    It looks like SC2013 has the first part of that formula to sucess (easy to learn) but is lacking in the complexity department. Tiny maps is a part of this as it severely hinders the player's imagination, but a lot of other missing features contribute as well. A lot of people say that SC4 was too complex for the casual gamer and that might be true, but I think making those complex elements easy to learn or not necessary for a simple city is what EA/Maxis should've done instead of cutting them out of the game.

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    @SoftcoreGamer

    Those were industry standards in the 1990s, but in 2012 the standards have changed.

    The definitions change about every two gens.

    Hardcore gamer:

    • in the 1980s until about 1994 a hardcore gamers played platformers
    • 1994 to 2005 hardcore gamers played RPGs
    • 2005 to present hardcore gamers play mature games, especially shooters online with their friends.
    • As of now hardcore gamres own Xbox 360s and some may own PS3s.
    • They rarely every play PC games or Nintendo games, ironically they are the ones complaining that New Super Mario Bros. Wii U lacks online play, voice chat and leader boards.

    Now NPD/ESA/Westerm developers go by these 6 definitions:

    Core Gamers: Very engaged across all systems, especially consoles. Higher use of Xbox 360 and PS3 than all other segments. Most time spent gaming overall (15 hrs/wk). High likelihood to acquire/purchase games. While digital game purchasing is average, most likely to purchase microtransactions/ additional content.

    Digital Gamers: Engaged in a variety of gaming, from PC to mobile, console to portable, online and offline. Their focus is on digital acquisition. Heaviest game acquirers of all segments. Also highest number of digital games and apps acquired. More so than others, they like the immediate access that digital provides.

    Mobile Gamers: Segment is defined mainly by use of mobile devices (phones and other) for gaming. Particular emphasis on i-devices. Time spent gaming on mobile devices is almost half of total gaming time. Highest percentage of Free Digital games though paid digital acquisition is on par with the average gamer.

    Family + Kid: Segment with a high incidence of “kid system” use – e.g., Leapfrog Leapster, etc. Both game acquisition and number of games personally purchased are below average and $’s spent on digital games is lower than total gamers.

    Avid PC Gamers: Heavy PC gaming focus, especially online. PC/casual game play driven by females/age 35+; Non-casual game play driven by males/under age 35. Below average for physical and paid digital game acquisitions and average for free digital acquisitions, but they do purchase/acquire games, both digital and physical, as well as microtransactions.

    Light PC Gamers: Also focused on PC gaming, but not nearly to the extent as Avid PC Gamers. Their primary, and for the most part only, genre preference is casual games (card, puzzle, word, etc.) The vast majority prefer free games. Low purchase likelihood overall, regardless of content type.

    Or

    Many developers use these terms:

    Casual gamer

    A casual gamer is a player whose time or interest in playing games is limited. Casual gamers tend to play games designed for ease of gameplay and don't spend much time playing more involved games. The genres that casual gamers play vary, and they might not own a specific video game console to play their games.[4][5] Casual gaming demographics vary greatly from those of traditional video games, as the typical casual gamer is older and more predominantly female.[6] One casual gamer subset is the "fitness gamer", who plays motion-based exercise games.[7]

    The term casual gamer can also be used to distinguish between play styles of level-based character advance in nonlinear games with respect to the amount of dedicated hours of play. MMORPGs may require many hours of grinding to develop a character to maximum level and reach the endgame. Other games like Eve Online and The Lord of the Rings Online try to balance leveling so that casual gamers can play along with those dedicating more hours to the game.[8]

    Mid-core gamer

    A core or mid-core gamer is a player with a wide range of interests and enthusiast toward creative and diverse games,[9] but without the amount of time spent and sense of competition of a hardcore gamer. The mid-core gamer enjoys complex games but won't buy every novel release, doesn't have time for long games,[10] and is a target consumer [11] that needs features not found in games for the other types. Nintendo president Satoru Iwata stated that they designed the Wii U to cater to a core gamer who is between the casual and hard-core categories.[12]

    Hardcore gamer

    Hardcore gamers prefer to take significant time and practice on games, and tend to play more involved games that require larger amounts of time to complete or master. Hardcore gamers may take part in video game culture such as competitions, events and conventions. Competitions are another defining characteristic of hardcore gamers, who often compete in organized tournaments, leagues, or ranked play integrated into the game proper, an example of this is Major League Gaming, an Electronic sports organization that often holds events for hardcore First-person shooter games such as Quake. There are many subtypes of hardcore gamers based on the style of game, gameplay preference, hardware platform, and other preferences.

    Pro-gamer

    Professional gamers play video games for money.[13] Whether a professional gamer is a subtype of the hardcore gamer largely depends on the degree to which a professional gamer is financially dependent upon the income derived from gaming. So far as a professional gamer is financially dependent upon gaming, the time spent playing is no longer "leisure" time. In countries of Asia, particularly South Korea and Japan, professional gamers are sponsored by large companies and can earn more than $100,000USD a year, in addition to the following that some obtain.[14] In the United States, Major League Gaming has contracted Electronic Sports Gamers with $250,000USD yearly deals.[15]

    Newbie

    "Newbie" is a slang term for a novice or newcomer to a certain game, or to gaming in general.[16][17] It can have derogatory connotations, but is also often used for descriptive purposes only, without a value judgment. Two derived terms are "newb", a beginner who is willing to learn; and "$%&^!", a derogatory name (an alternate spelling for $%&^!), though "newb" and "$%&^!" have become opposites of each other, meaning "newb" is plainly someone who is new to the game (thus having the potential to get better) and "$%&^!" is a player who both lacks skill and mainly fools around (not wanting to become better).

    Retrogamer

    A retrogamer is a gamer preferring playing and collecting retro games - older video games and arcade games. The term retrogamer is used mostly in the United Kingdom and Europe, while the terms classic gamer, or old-school gamer are more prevalent in the United States. The games are played either on the original hardware, on modern hardware via console emulation, or on modern hardware via ports or compilations.[18] Some retrogamers are in the business of refurbishing old games, particularly arcade cabinets. Some even make their own arcade cabinets.

    Girl gamer/Gamer Girl

    A girl gamer/Gamer Girl is any woman who regularly engages in playing video games. According to a study conducted by the Entertainment Software Association in 2009, 40% of the game playing population is female, and women 18 or older now comprise 34% of all gamers. Also, the percentage of women now playing online has risen to 43%, up 4% from 2004. The same study shows that 48% of game purchasers are female.[19][20]

    Gaymer

    Gaymer, or Gay Gamer, is a term used to refer to the group of people who identify themselves as LGBT (gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgendered) and have an active interest in the video game community (gamers).[21] This demographic has been the subject of two large surveys: by Jason Rockwood in 2006,[22] who noted the level of prejudice that gaymers endure,[23] and by Paul Nowak in 2009, focusing in what contents gaymers expect in videogames.[24][25]

    Or do you want me to post a third set of definitions used?

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    Being a mid-core gamer, I am unhappy that the upcoming SimCity game is taking the social route. SimCity Social should fill that niche, while the upcoming SimCity game should be for mid-core gamers.

    Using the definition of mid-core gamer, they tend to be dedicated into niche games. SimCity, in the grand scheme of gaming, is considered niche. Some mid-core gamers prefer games that encourage creativity.

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    Other posts here got me thinking.... keep my suggestion as the current game as it stands as the Easy/Tutorial mode for the light casual DLC purchasing gamers... but expand the game to the level of medium-hard with much more expansive cities (4x4, 6x6 and even up to 10x10), regions terraforming, mods, etc for the core SC gamers like most of us here.

    For city saves and such, keep them on our PC with the option we choose for online backup/sharing.

    Then use this game as a doorway to share some content through the FB SCSocial game, or vice versa, use SCSocial as a gateway towards the new SC.

    Either way as the game sits now, it will be a massive failure on so many levels. I say under 1 million sales the first 2 years.

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    I would say that I tend to lean more toward the hardcore, preferring games with deep gameplay and innumerable challenges to overcome. However, I have no problem with such hardcore gameplay occurring in a social context, so long as social play is an option rather than a mandate, and the socialization of the game does not diminish its complexity. Personally, I think it would be more interesting and entertaining to deal with challenges in a game world where I do not necessarily have absolute power. The problem begins when Maxis decides to shrink the cities into diminutive, isolated villages, and gives the player virtually no say in where he can build his city or how he is allowed to interact with the outside world.

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