SimCity 5 has supposedly been leaked by a German magazine. According to the rumor, Maxis is developing the game without series creator Will Wright leading the project. The game is scheduled for 2013, and will feature a spiffy new graphics engine and multiplayer mode among its various tweaks to the classic formula.
The Spanish-language site Rincon del Simmer (via NeoGAF) transcribed the alleged information from an article in Gamestar, a German magazine. Though unconfirmed, the details ring true and the supposed interview with Lucy Bradshaw lends further credence to the story.
If accurate, the new engine allows you to pan in close enough to read the signs on stores, or zoom out for a more traditional SimCity overhead view. Those buildings will be upgraded as you progress; catching 10 criminals upgrades the police station, for example. Roads can actually wind instead of being locked to a stiff grid, and you'll find complex relationships between various factors like population density and land value. Keeping an eye on crime will help quell the risk of fire and increase the value of land. Events in your city will be reported in the local newspaper in both single- and multiplayer.
That multiplayer mode lets you manage your areas cooperatively, and visit friends' cities to share resources and territory. You can visit a fellow player's City Hall to make an agreement that will spur job growth. The game will also offer global leaderboards for factors like economics or production of raw materials.
The game is reportedly only 30% done, so no screenshots are available yet. The source does show some concept art (above) that gives us a better idea of Maxis' graphical goals.
Shacknews has contacted EA and Maxis for a comment, and will update as more information becomes available.