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What if SimCity fails?

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Mods, please forgive me if a topic along these lines already exists.

I am of the opinion that there is a good chance that this game will fail. I do not feel that it will reach casual gamers enough to make Maxis enough money, and it certainly isn't making a majority of us happy here or at SC4D or at any serious players' site that I know of. The reason? Casual gamers do not buy CD games anymore. They like console games and online games like the ones on Facebook. Even in college, perhaps 1% of the students there own any CD games at all. And most of those would be more into SC4 than the new game.

So, in the event that it does fail, what will become of the SimCity franchise in general? What will become of Maxis? Will they just keep plowing this idea of removing all the substance in the game to attract casual players ahead like they have been, with (unsuccessfully) ressurecting SC3K for the DS, making SimCity Societies (unsuccessful), and so on? Even the games that they try to aim toward the mainstream aren't catching on to the mainstream.

Or will they declare the SimCity franchise dead? Will they say that no matter their attempts to reach casual gamers, they have failed, while totally ignoring the fact that SC4 was a success by reaching the core gamers? Will they declare all of Maxis dead too?

Will they decide that PC CD games are dead too, and try to move to a fully online format? Only hardcore gamers such as WOW players and such still buy CD games that I know of.

Or will they realize that it's not the franchise itself, but the way they've been trying to change it lately, that's the problem?

I feel they will be blind to the reason that their games keep failing, and that if this game is not a commercial success, it may be the last SimCity, ever. Forgive me for being such a pessimist.

Am I wrong about this? Thoughts?

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I disagree.

I think Maxis is trying to make a game that appeals to the majority of casual players. The more "hardcore" SimCity fans have completely different requests than that of its majority audience. I think Maxis is trying to appeal to that audience and then allow the more hardcore community to come up with ideas and modify the game themselves to their liking. This is just my opinion however.

As for CDs, what do you mean people don't buy CD games anymore? Everyone buys "CD" games. "CD" games probably take 99.9% of the video game market-share. Console games require CDs, computer games have CDs, and people are able to download these games off of Steam or other platforms as an alternative.

What happens if SimCity fails? Well I guess it's back to the drawing board for maxis. Keep in mind they have many successful franchises. They had Spore which was an immense success initially (and still one of my favorite games), they have the Sims series where the Sims 3 has sold 10 million copies since 2009, making it one of the best selling games of all time. Their games are very mainstream. Maxis isn't going away anytime soon. Also keep in mind Maxis DID NOT develop Societies. They had nothing to do with societies.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_best-selling_PC_video_games

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  • Original Poster
  • Didn't realize that Tilted Mill actually developed Societies. But it's still a "casual-friendly" game that is generally regarded as a failure.

    By "CD games", I meant PC CD games. People like you and me still play them. But the American mainstream, at least, does not. The average casual gamer has an Xbox or PS3, buys games for it, plays them for a few months, and sells them back to GameStop and buys new games.

    I suppose that having Steam helps, but I still feel that the PC CD format is a limiting factor for games aimed at casual gamers. Although, casuals probably make up the majority of Sims players, and 10 million is a lot...

    Yes, Maxis has many successful franchises. So it's not going anywhere anytime soon. But it would likely be tempting for them to nix the SimCity franchise to focus on more lucrative endeavors like The Sims and Spore given that this game ends up being a commercial failure.

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    Didn't realize that Tilted Mill actually developed Societies. But it's still a "casual-friendly" game that is generally regarded as a failure.

    By "CD games", I meant PC CD games. People like you and me still play them. But the American mainstream, at least, does not. The average casual gamer has an Xbox or PS3, buys games for it, plays them for a few months, and sells them back to GameStop and buys new games.

    I suppose that having Steam helps, but I still feel that the PC CD format is a limiting factor for games aimed at casual gamers. Although, casuals probably make up the majority of Sims players, and 10 million is a lot...

    Yes, Maxis has many successful franchises. So it's not going anywhere anytime soon. But it would likely be tempting for them to nix the SimCity franchise to focus on more lucrative endeavors like The Sims and Spore given that this game ends up being a commercial failure.

    This post is wrong in so many ways.

    1) "Casual" gamers own Nintendo systems, while "hardcore" gamers own Xbox 360 and PS3.

    2)"Causal" gamers prefer phsyical games over download titles, "hardcore" gamers are going digital

    3) Read NPD sales reports to learn what "casuals" and "hardcore" gamers are

    4) "hardcore" gamers and "casuals" don't like Simcity because the game is too focused on complex simulations and single player

    5)Simcity 4 sold 7M+ and the vast majority was "casuals" and less than 2M were the "hardcore" Simcity fans

    6)The new Simcity has more feature that real "hardcore" gamers want than Simcity 4 ever had.

    7) "hardcore"Simcity fans do not meet the current definition of "hardcore"

    8)DarkSpore the last entry into Spores was deemed a commercial failure because it deviated too far from the Spores formula

    9)If Simcity 2013 fails, then Maxis most likely loses its freedom and becomes a Sims onlys studio.

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    I don't think it will fail...but if it does. We are back to square one. I hope it does not fail, with success in this game it will lead to better games in the future. This is like a test game, they are trying to figure out how everyone likes certain features in the game. They will be around the success and get rid of the failure.

    I don't think it will fail...but if it does. We are back to square one. I hope it does not fail, with success in this game it will lead to better games in the future. This is like a test game, they are trying to figure out how everyone likes certain features in the game. They will be around the success and get rid of the failure.

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    I agree with the idea that if this fails it could kill off the franchise; but I disagree with the OP logic or numbers. When a marketing department drives a creative process (which is perfectly normal in software projects...after all, developers driving creativity equals an infinite bank balance and no end completion date in sight. It's just not a good business model) there is a detachment from the end user or gamers perspective. Issue is, they rarely understand why it fails and consider the genre to be a high risk with low return.

    Casual and Hardcore is started to become a little too cliche as the definitions of both are blurred. The only thing I can see at the moment with this game, is that the user may out grow the content...SimCity 2013 may not evolve as quick as the user's appetite. The thought of download content or purchased content also worries me as I am not a fan of this business model, knowing unless I can pirate it I will miss out. (I refuse to pay $15 for a new virtual kitchen set and will shame anyone who does)

    I can also raise my hand as being a SimCity fan since the beginning and not once have I clicked that Godzilla button...don't even know what it does, don't care either, if you start disasters in your cities you feel like you're in the wrong game. But boy do I love building virtual city models...can work on a region for years. I wonder if this game will have me playing the same region for over a year.....unless I hit a 'disaster' or 'reset terrain' button which bothers me :/

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    There is the midcore gamer as well. I consider myself a midcore gamer. Midcore gamers tend to prefer niche games that emphasize creativity. SimCity is a prime example of a video game series for midcore gamers. Unfortunately, the upcoming SimCity game would neglect this demographic by having forced online and requiring payment of $60 or so upfront to have the rights to play the game, as well as the removal of many popular features.

    If SimCity were to fail, many SC4 fans would still play SC4. There would be some SC4 fans who would create an independent successor to SC4.

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    If it were to fail, CXL would see an increase in popularity while the decade-old SC4 would keep on chuggin'. I wouldn't expect any more SC games from Maxis for quite some time though, if ever.

    Will it fail? That remains to be seen. I personally can't see how anyone could adore this expensive online village simulator, no matter how "good" the simulation is or how many disasters can be wreaked. But, apparently some out there dig that sort of thing. I imagine the game will do ok, and not much more.

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    The base game will sell like hotcakes(or at least outsell SC4 at launch), the first expansion will be a success, the second will be from lukewarm to tepid despite adding highways and removing the online requirement, and the third will sell worse than Psychonauts and fade into Seihou levels of obscurity within hours of launch. A fourth expansion will be planned and enter development, but be cancelled a week before it is ready to be revealed. Then people will make a NAM for the game and the next Simcity will be an online reboot that will be revealed in August 2022 and launched in June 2023. Repeat ad infinitum, Changing only the dates and the number of expansions each game has.

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  • Original Poster
  • I wonder if expansions will even be that successful though. I feel like if the game isn't deep enough to start out with, people could just lose interest and have moved on to some other game before the expansion comes out. Unless the expansion does so well with critics that it draws people's attention back, that is. But what are the chances of Maxis actually focusing their expansion on transportation like they did last time?

    It will also be interesting to see what happens if the community effort on this site to make a deeper city simulation game succeeds.

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    Didn't realize that Tilted Mill actually developed Societies. But it's still a "casual-friendly" game that is generally regarded as a failure.

    By "CD games", I meant PC CD games. People like you and me still play them. But the American mainstream, at least, does not. The average casual gamer has an Xbox or PS3, buys games for it, plays them for a few months, and sells them back to GameStop and buys new games.

    I suppose that having Steam helps, but I still feel that the PC CD format is a limiting factor for games aimed at casual gamers. Although, casuals probably make up the majority of Sims players, and 10 million is a lot...

    Yes, Maxis has many successful franchises. So it's not going anywhere anytime soon. But it would likely be tempting for them to nix the SimCity franchise to focus on more lucrative endeavors like The Sims and Spore given that this game ends up being a commercial failure.

    This post is wrong in so many ways.

    1) "Casual" gamers own Nintendo systems, while "hardcore" gamers own Xbox 360 and PS3.

    2)"Causal" gamers prefer phsyical games over download titles, "hardcore" gamers are going digital

    3) Read NPD sales reports to learn what "casuals" and "hardcore" gamers are

    4) "hardcore" gamers and "casuals" don't like Simcity because the game is too focused on complex simulations and single player

    5)Simcity 4 sold 7M+ and the vast majority was "casuals" and less than 2M were the "hardcore" Simcity fans

    6)The new Simcity has more feature that real "hardcore" gamers want than Simcity 4 ever had.

    7) "hardcore"Simcity fans do not meet the current definition of "hardcore"

    8)DarkSpore the last entry into Spores was deemed a commercial failure because it deviated too far from the Spores formula

    9)If Simcity 2013 fails, then Maxis most likely loses its freedom and becomes a Sims onlys studio.

    Thankfully, the world isn't yet entirely made from corporate statistics, but this might change soon and then your post will be the pinnacle of what society has become today.

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    Didn't realize that Tilted Mill actually developed Societies. But it's still a "casual-friendly" game that is generally regarded as a failure.

    By "CD games", I meant PC CD games. People like you and me still play them. But the American mainstream, at least, does not. The average casual gamer has an Xbox or PS3, buys games for it, plays them for a few months, and sells them back to GameStop and buys new games.

    I suppose that having Steam helps, but I still feel that the PC CD format is a limiting factor for games aimed at casual gamers. Although, casuals probably make up the majority of Sims players, and 10 million is a lot...

    Yes, Maxis has many successful franchises. So it's not going anywhere anytime soon. But it would likely be tempting for them to nix the SimCity franchise to focus on more lucrative endeavors like The Sims and Spore given that this game ends up being a commercial failure.

    This post is wrong in so many ways.

    1) "Casual" gamers own Nintendo systems, while "hardcore" gamers own Xbox 360 and PS3.

    2)"Causal" gamers prefer phsyical games over download titles, "hardcore" gamers are going digital

    3) Read NPD sales reports to learn what "casuals" and "hardcore" gamers are

    4) "hardcore" gamers and "casuals" don't like Simcity because the game is too focused on complex simulations and single player

    5)Simcity 4 sold 7M+ and the vast majority was "casuals" and less than 2M were the "hardcore" Simcity fans

    6)The new Simcity has more feature that real "hardcore" gamers want than Simcity 4 ever had.

    7) "hardcore"Simcity fans do not meet the current definition of "hardcore"

    8)DarkSpore the last entry into Spores was deemed a commercial failure because it deviated too far from the Spores formula

    9)If Simcity 2013 fails, then Maxis most likely loses its freedom and becomes a Sims onlys studio.

    Thankfully, the world isn't yet entirely made from corporate statistics, but this might change soon and then your post will be the pinnacle of what society has become today.

    Actualliy I was just trying to set him straight on what "hardcore" and "casual" are, while pointing out the stupidity behind it.

    Can someone point it out to me when this all began...?

    Did it really begin with the Nintendo launching the DS in 2004, and then furthering it with the launches of Wii in 2006, and Wii U just now?

    I used to find it funny, but now it is just beyond sad.

    Though I cannot wait to see what happens when Simcity 2013 ends up reviewing higher than Simcity 4 :D

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    If it fails, we will be no doubt as to why.

    Because there is so much negativity in the forums that everyone is thinking that this game will suck? :idea:

    Joking aside, i think this game will succeed. The question is how long? SimCity is set in stone but when there is enough demand for proper region play and all the other things hardcore SC4 players demand we may have a chance to get some of these things in SimCity 2. Who knows? When SC fails this genre will be dead for another 10 years or maybe forever.

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    If it fails, we will be no doubt as to why.

    Because there is so much negativity in the forums that everyone is thinking that this game will suck? :idea:

    Joking aside, i think this game will succeed. The question is how long? SimCity is set in stone but when there is enough demand for proper region play and all the other things hardcore SC4 players demand we may have a chance to get some of these things in SimCity 2. Who knows? When SC fails this genre will be dead for another 10 years or maybe forever.

    the negativity is based upon reactions to the confirmed things we know about the game...it's not just coming out of thin air for no reason.

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    9)If Simcity 2013 fails, then Maxis most likely loses its freedom and becomes a Sims onlys studio.

    Maxis hasn't had anything to do with The Sims since partway through the Sims 2 expansion packs. I don't remember which one it was, somewhere around Seasons, just about the time Maxis started working on Spore.

    I am imagining the new SimCity game is going to be extremely popular, at least at first. There's a whole new up-and-coming generation of gamers who don't see life the way I do, as in they're always plugged in so they don't see EA requiring internet access or whatever as an intrusion. For them, this will be the way things always have been. EA has never marketed to me or my age group. We just happened to find some of their games enjoyable and learned to mod the heck out of the things we didn't like about them. :D

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    Why is it so hard to understand what it means to refer to a hardcore fan of a particular game? To my understanding, the hardcore SC4 player LOVES the game for the experience they get out of it knowing how to successfully play while a casual player of SC4 may dabble here and there but may never touch the NAM because it's not that serious to them. You have to love this series if you are willing to get into custom content and hunt down dependencies. That does not mean a casual player has no business playing it but it's those who take the time and care to know the game on many levels that help the casual player to excell. I know most of what I know about how to play this game because of players who were here before me sharing their tips and answering questions you would not find on the official site or in the manual that shipped with the game. Any business that develops a fan base is foolish to sweep them aside for an unknown audience who will patronize in a way the original fans never did. Fortunately, we still have SC4.

    I don't care if it fails at this point because there are some cool developments going on with SC4 as usual. As long as this modding community is creating all the cool stuff to enhance our gameplay, it will continue to sell and Maxis and EA will continue to eat from SC4. Just because the new version fails does not mean the end of the series and we will all just stop playing SC4. When the last 2 games failed, life went on with Simtropolis, SC4Devotion, Simpeg etc. alive and kicking to this day with no evidence that they will die in the near future. Just a wonder if there will ever be a proper sequel to what we have now. The basket case in the oven is irrelevant to my SC4 experience. I just wish they would fix the stability of SC4 and I'm actually good.

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    The terms "casual" and "hardcore" gamers have been so widely misused and obfuscated in this one thread that they've become meaningless. Yeesh.

    So are you saying Simcity 2013 is not targeting "casuals"?

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    The terms "casual" and "hardcore" gamers have been so widely misused and obfuscated in this one thread that they've become meaningless. Yeesh.

    So are you saying Simcity 2013 is not targeting "casuals"?

    I am saying that everyone in this thread seems to have their own (different) opinion on what those terms mean, rendering them pointless. Nothing more.

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    Lets not get into further discussion of what a hardcore or casual gamer is. It's an important aspect to every game fanbase, and has been discussed I depth in other threads.

    This thread is becoming another casual vs hardcore, so lets focus on what the topic is about.

    What will happen to simcity if this game fails? Will the franchise survive after 10 years and an unsuccessful game? Or will they take it in another different direction?

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    Lets not get into further discussion of what a hardcore or casual gamer is. It's an important aspect to every game fanbase, and has been discussed I depth in other threads.

    This thread is becoming another casual vs hardcore, so lets focus on what the topic is about.

    What will happen to simcity if this game fails? Will the franchise survive after 10 years and an unsuccessful game? Or will they take it in another different direction?

    It will if they actually try to take some lessons out of said failure. They've had ten years worth of seeing what people wanted and what they've done with the previous game. They've had two failures in that time to know what NOT to do. They learned nothing from any of that.

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    What will happen to simcity if this game fails? Will the franchise survive after 10 years and an unsuccessful game? Or will they take it in another different direction?

    I think the failure of the game would hurt EA and its investors, as well as the fans of the series (although some of us are already hurt by what the game has become). However, the franchise will be as alive as today, and will survive for another 10 even 25 years due to the amount of the dedication the community has brought in.

    I would give you one example. Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise started off as one of the greatest series on Nickelodeon until it ended abruptly in 2008. Fans thought that it was the end of the beloved franchise until The Last Airbender (2010 Movie) came along. Like the SimCity ahead of us, it provided us with beautiful effects and a very promising start... Well until the real deal came along and pretty much took the franchise in the wrong direction. Another 2 years came and The Legend of Korra came along, which is another great series. So what I'm trying to say that the SimCity franchise has a lot of potential in it like the Last Airbender/Legend of Korra franchise and once EA/Maxis will know its mistakes, it's back again to the drawing board for another SimCity Game.

    It is a world of trial and error out there.

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    I doubt it will be a miserable failure but I predict that its profits will be somewhere around the break even point, which most companies would consider a failure. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow reached break even point after DVD sales and most people consider that a commercial failure. Some big budget films that were in the top ten most ticket sales of the year were just so expensive to produce that they did not reach break even points from cinema ticket sales alone.

    Because of its lack of commercial success, the developers would probably try to draw in more customers with as high a profit margin as possible for an expansion pack, possibly themed (or have bonus or "store" content) from a highly profitable/popular game franchise (they already have The Sims 3 style bundle for the Origin Deluxe). If this game is a great commercial success, like FIFA but with critics (not bribed by EA) giving it negative reviews, another sequel would most likely be released and SimCity 2013's servers shut down after the sequel's first expansion pack (though SimCity 2013 will still get an expansion pack or two). However, if the game turns out to be a miserable failure (which I certainly hope not), the SimCity franchise will die a complete death and we would have to rely on non EA/Maxis games, such as Anno and Cities XL, which are both (in some ways) superior to earlier SimCity games (arguably better than SimCity 4; I consider both of them vastly superior to SimCity 4 without Rush Hour or mods but on par with Rush Hour and all the best mods).

    Fortunately, if it is a great commercial success, spin-off games will also arise that utilize the GlassBox engine, such as SimTower, SimFarm, etc. So, we should be banking on its success, especially since successful games are more likely to be copied and cloned (though companies can rarely get away with complete ripping off, compare any two first person shooter games, there is a reason why they were all called Doom clones). Successful games are prone to the "Follow the Leader" effect so even if we don't like the way the game appears to currently be like, we should all bank on its success. As long as I can get the game at a discount and not pay a subscription fee, I will purchase it.

    --Ocram

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    Fortunately, if it is a great commercial success, spin-off games will also arise that utilize the GlassBox engine, such as SimTower, SimFarm, etc. So, we should be banking on its success, especially since successful games are more likely to be copied and cloned (though companies can rarely get away with complete ripping off, compare any two first person shooter games, there is a reason why they were all called Doom clones). Successful games are prone to the "Follow the Leader" effect so even if we don't like the way the game appears to currently be like, we should all bank on its success. As long as I can get the game at a discount and not pay a subscription fee, I will purchase it.

    --Ocram

    Precisely why it should fail. Removing a gamer's control over when and where he or she can play the game is not a trend that anyone should support in my opinion.

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    I think EA/Maxis is betting that the response to the new SimCity will be similar to how people received The Sims 3. The Sims 3 made a lot of improvements over the previous editions, but they also took away the ability for gamers to control almost any sim in the town or hop from family to family (which were considered core elements of the game). However, people learned to adapt a new style of game play and the improvements (no loading screens, open world, improved interactions, etc) won over audiences and the game has been a big success.

    Maxis knows that they're taking out what some believe to be core SimCity elements (ex. solo/offline play). But they figure that the game will not only attract new audiences, but that old fans will learn to adapt to the new style of game play and be won over by improvements (i.e. glassbox).

    I also think that they're not just aiming for the casual gamer or facebook crowd. I think they're also targeting people who like MMO's. Those gamers are used to online-only play (solo or with friends) and servers, but are getting a bit tired of monthly subscription fees (hence the success of games like Guild Wars 2).

    What they're doing is a gamble, but I think it will be a successful one. If for some reason the game was a failure, I think they would maybe call it quits on the franchise. They obviously want to innovate and try something new. I can't see them making a "SimCity 5" where the game play is like SC4 with better graphics. I think that would be too boring for them.

    I've played SimCity since the original version came out and was really excited to hear a new one was coming in 2013 (I was one of the ones who bought Societies too). However, when I heard it was going to be online only I wasn't quite sure I wanted to get the game anymore. But after seeing some of the recent game strategy videos I've gotten excited again. I would prefer there be an offline option to go along with the online game play, but I'm willing to buy the game and see if I can adapt (I eventually brought The Sims 3 too after some initial resistance, as one who'd played the games since the first The Sims).

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    Lets not get into further discussion of what a hardcore or casual gamer is. It's an important aspect to every game fanbase, and has been discussed I depth in other threads.

    This thread is becoming another casual vs hardcore, so lets focus on what the topic is about.

    What will happen to simcity if this game fails? Will the franchise survive after 10 years and an unsuccessful game? Or will they take it in another different direction?

    It will if they actually try to take some lessons out of said failure. They've had ten years worth of seeing what people wanted and what they've done with the previous game. They've had two failures in that time to know what NOT to do. They learned nothing from any of that.

    Completely agree! Couldn't have said it better myself.

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