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New ‘SimCity’ coming in 2013

The game that turned city planning into an addictive clickfest is coming back to town.

During a press conference at this week's Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, EA announced plans to bring back the classic simulation SimCity next year. Better still, it's being created by longtime SimCity developer, Maxis.

"We'd like to thank the millions of fans who have helped make SimCity synonymous with the city-building genre," said Maxis VP Lucy Bradshaw. "This is a franchise that means the world to us at Maxis and we're happy to be bringing it back home where we are reimagining it for an entirely new generation of players."

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Fans have a reason to be excited, as the new game (dubbed simply 'SimCity'), reportedly packs loads of new features, including a fancy new physics engine and the ability to affect neighboring, player-controlled towns by, for instance, creating too much pollution in yours, or, more positively, sending over some firefighters to help put out a blaze. It will also address a long-running player gripe by featuring — brace yourself — curvy roads, a franchise first.

Expect deeper simulation elements as well, as the game will simulate every aspect of your city, including making sure all those little Sims have jobs and go to work and live their lives as you plunk down nuclear reactors in the middle of suburbia. Despite such complexity, the team's new "what you see is what we sim" mantra should (we hope) keep it all relatively accessible, too.

The brainchild of former Maxis honcho and game developer extraordinaire Wil Wright, the SimCity series dates back to 1989. It was followed by a number of sequels (most recently the 2007 game SimCity Societies), but it's been a decade since Maxis was in charge of operations. All told, the series has sold over 30 million copies.

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