SAN FRANCISCO — Electronic Arts is breaking ground on a new "SimCity."
The video game publisher and "SimCity" developer Maxis unveiled plans to resurrect the 23-year-old metropolis-building franchise during a presentation Tuesday at the Game Developers Conference.
"I really can't think of a better time to take a game like 'SimCity' and update it with the capabilities of the technology today and introduce it to a new generation of gamers," said Maxis senior vice president Lucy Bradshaw.
The new 3-D entry in the "SimCity" series is set for release next year for PC and will add the ability to construct curvy roads as well as introduce an online multiplayer mode that will allow one gamer's digital city to affect neighboring towns created by other players.
"This is the first 'SimCity' where your city sits side by side with those of your friends playing in a region," said Bradshaw. "The choices you make are going to directly impact their cities. You can cooperate to create regional aspects of your cities. Connect them together — or not. Be a polluter, and you're ultimately going to affect your friends' cities."
The original "SimCity" was released in 1989. It spawned dozens of sequels and other installments, including "SimCity 2000," ''SimTower," ''SimEarth," ''SimCity Societies" and "The Sims" franchise.
"SimCity 4" was the last game in the series developed by Maxis in 2003.
Bradshaw said the new title would simply be called "SimCity."