For other uses, see SimCity (disambiguation).
SimCity (2013) cover
Developer(s) Maxis
Publisher(s) Electronic Arts
Producer(s) Kip Katsarelis
Release date(s) Windows
NA March 5, 2013[1]
EU March 7, 2013
JP March 7, 2013
GB March 8, 2013
WW August 29, 2013
Genre(s) City-building simulation, massively multiplayer online game
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X
Media DVD, Digital download
Input methods Mouse, keyboard
Ratings ESRB: E10+


Series SimCity


SimCity (also referred to as SimCity (2013), SC'13, or SimCity 5) is the reimagined version of the SimCity series, developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. The game was released on March 5, 2013 for Windows PCs. An OS X version was also announced and was subsequently released on August 29, 2013.[2][3]

SimCity began development in the spring of 2009.[4] It is the first Maxis-developed main series SimCity game since SimCity 4, released a decade prior. The game brought back the zoning feature, as well as a new multiplayer mode where a group of cities work together or compete in an online region. Curved roads also make their first appearance into the franchise.

SimCity received positive reviews prior to release; however, as a result of widespread technical problems such as difficulty connecting to the game's servers, many reviewers lowered the game's review score as a result.[5] As a result of this, EA has offered early buyers a free game from Origin.[6]


A new feature is that non-renewable resources are finite, so if a player uses up their resources too quickly, their economy may collapse. However, players can trade resources with other players online. In the demo shown at E3, a mayor from Stoneslow was able to pipe electricity into Taylor City.

Every individual Sim has their own job, personality, education, life expectancy, etc.

The design of the buildings is also customizable, as well as detailed traffic simulation, with cars lit up at night. Roads can be placed in different ways, such as straight, square, arched, freeform (curvy), and circular.

There is no re-shaping of land in this game, although in Update 7 the player can raise and lower land, to a limited extent. The environmental consequences of running a city are also explored in this game, focusing on global warming and other environmental issues such as air, water and ground pollution.

Like other aspects of the game, crime is also more detailed. When a Sim commits arson, the player will hear gasoline being poured and a match being lit, as well as panicked Sims running from the building, some of them on fire.

One unit's behavior, such as moving into a new home and blocking the street with a moving van, could ripple out and cause a traffic jam, that in turn delays the response time of a fire truck attempting to put out a fire, which can result in a swath of the city burning.

Regional play areas that allow co-operative players to collaborate and create great works. These can benefit the region, such as bringing in more tourists and allowing the purchase of solar power at a reduced cost.

The feature of zoning residential, commercial, and industrial zones return, however players will no longer be able to zone in different densities. Densities are now based on road sizes and traffic around the location of the zoned area.

Online multiplayer features regions that may house multiple cities from a variety of players. Mayors can also work together. In a demo presented at E3, several mayors were able to team up to create an airport. To access online features, players will have to be logged into an EA Origin account. Additionally, launching the game each time will require the player to be logged in to Origin.

In Update 10, a new offline mode was introduced, allowing the player to play in single-player, and also allowing the player to switch between single-player and multiplayer at will. [7]


In SimCity (2013), disasters can now again occur randomly, although in Update 8 players can now disable disasters by enabling the "Disable Random Disasters" option in the settings menu.

Like in SimCity 4, the player can summon disasters by using the disasters tab. In multiplayer mode, disasters have to be unlocked by completing achievements, while in singleplayer mode, disasters are unlocked automatically, as achievements cannot be earned in singleplayer mode.

The disasters in SimCity (2013) are:

Notable gameplay differences

Italics denote former gameplay differences.

  • Always online connection to Origin (EA servers)
  • Multiplayer is supported and is provided as invite only or public/free join.
  • Cloud saving allows the player to pick up their game from any computer, but not able to load an earlier version of the city in case of disasters.
  • No industry types in RCI meter. Industry types are determined by separate "Industrial Tech" level.
  • Absence of terraforming.
  • Absence of agriculture.
  • Absence of subways.
  • Addition of streetcars, dirt roads, and free-form roads.
  • Pre-designed maps and population road connections.
  • Zoning density is no longer controlled by zoning, instead it is now controlled by the road type.
  • Modular utility buildings that can be physically improved with additional functionality.
  • Player doesn’t have direct control over a civic buildings funding. Player can turn a whole building on/off and/or add/remove Modules.
  • Size of the maps is 2 km by 2 km (Comparable to SimCity 4 medium size).
  • Any player can join up to a maximum of 2 to 16 cities in a region at a time.
  • Players can specialize in six main categories: MiningDrilling, Gambling, Electronics, Trade and Culture.
  • Players can compete on global leaderboards.
  • Players can earn achievements.
  • Players can trade on the global market.


SimCity (2013) limited edition

Limited edition cover of SimCity (2013)

There are four versions of SimCity (2013) available:

  • Standard Edition: The base game with all the features listed above.
  • Digital Deluxe (Origin only): Only available on the Origin website. Includes the Heroes and Villains set found in Limited Edition as well as three European City packs: British, France and German. Players pre-ordering on Origin also receive the Plumbob Park set, as with the Limited Edition.
  • Collector's Edition: Contains the British set (UK only), France set (France only), German set (Germany only), and a steelbook.

Downloadable contents

Main article: Downloadable content

Country-specific downloadable contents

These DLCs are only available in specific countries in Europe. [8]

Expansion packs

Compilation packs

  • SimCity: Plus Edition (Includes the main game and the expansion pack. No longer available through Origin.)
  • SimCity: Complete Edition (Includes the main game, expansion pack, pre-order and digital deluxe content and all paid DLCs. Free DLCs, such as promotional content are not included, however.)

Trial version

A free trial version of SimCity was released on August 5, 2014. [9] The trial version is exclusive to the PC version and lasts for four hours. It provides two save slots (as opposed to ten in the regular game), two regions (Cape Trinity and Reflection Atoll), as well as being playable only in single-player mode. Save files in the trial version are transferable if the player chooses to purchase the full version of the game, as save files are stored locally. [10]

Patches and updates

Main article: SimCity (2013)/Updates

Reception and legacy

SimCity received mostly mixed to negative reviews on release, mostly due to the always online requirement, severe technical issues at launch, and the lengthy delay between server restorations. [11]

Almost every review of the game had negatively reviewed the game's always online requirement, most citing that taking an offline single player series and forcing players to play online whether they want to or not was not a good idea.

Currently, the game is the lowest rated SimCity title to date, even behind SimCity Societies, which was noted for its negative reception from fans.

Due to the severe backlash and negative reviews due to the always online requirement of SimCity, On May 6th, 2013, EA and Maxis revealed The Sims 4, released on September 2, 2014. Maxis stated in a video that the reason The Sims 4 will not require internet and will not have online features is to avoid another fan backlash, as EA and Maxis were not expecting such a huge backlash over the online requirement of SimCity. They also revealed in a video that The Sims 4 will use the same engine SimCity uses GlassBox, and hinted at the possibility of a feature SimCity 4 and The Sims 2 had, where the player could make a city layout in SimCity 4, and use it in The Sims 2. They hinted that may be implemented at a later date. [12]



See also