Tilted Mill to Build SimCity Societies

For the first time, a major SimCity game will be developed by a company other than the series' creator Maxis.

A Games for Windows cover story confirms that Electronic Arts has handed development duties on the upcoming SimCity Societies to Tilted Mill Entertainment. Established in 2002 by veterans of Impression Games--the developer of the Lord of the Realm and Caesar series--Tilted Mill has most recently worked on the continuation of another city management game with Caesar IV.

In a report on the new SimCity, 1UP provided a single screenshot of the PC game, showing a low-altitude perspective of a city block. Based on Tilted's experience, as well as the "social" title, the game is expected to focus more on individual citizenry, rather than attempting the large-scale urban simulation of previous titles.

Response to the change by fans was decidedly reactionary. In a thread on the company's message board titled "You killed Sim City!" Tilted Mill president Chris Beatrice clarified the game's approach, while urging fans not to prematurely judge his team's efforts.

"I do not want to mislead anyone: This SC is not a realistic urban simulation, which I understand, to many, represents the heart of what SC is," Beatrice admitted. "No one is blind to that. And if you're just completely turned off, even angered by the mere notion of any game called 'SimCity' that is not a detailed, realistic urban simulator, I absolutely understand that viewpoint, and absolutely respect it.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of this venerable series, are extremely proud of what we have put together, and make no apologies about what we have managed to create. And while our past experiences (including contributions from many of you) certainly inform all our ongoing efforts, this SC is its own unique creation."