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EA Maxis: PC isn't dead

Why SimCity lead producer Kip Katsarelis isn't afraid to back PC gaming

Kip Katsarelis, EA Maxis' lead producer on the upcoming SimCity has declared the PC gaming space alive and well, and revealed the challenges of working on such a big brand for a new audience.

"Our engine is definitely portable, it could be operated on many platforms, but that's where our market is," he told GamesIndustry International of PC gaming.

"We're still seeing the PC market is not dead, it's very much alive. Blizzard's shown quite a bit of success with their recent Diablo launch, The Sims is highly successful, so there's a market there, we've got an audience there that wants games on that platform, and we are still a PC house and will continue to be so."

He said that didn't rule out different versions of the upcoming game appearing on other platforms, and cited SimCity Social and SimCity Deluxe on iOS as examples that it could work for different devices.

Kip Katsarelis

"I can see us on many platforms, there's definitely an appetite for Sim City, it's one of those games that everybody can relate to, they all live somewhere!"

And it isn't just the devices that have changed since the last true SimCity was released on PC in 2003, said Katsarelis.

"Not only has gaming changed, there is that whole generation who may be aware of SimCity, and maybe they've played the iPhone version of it, but they haven't really experience that true experience on the PC. So we came out with SimCity Social, there's CityVille too, there's a whole new generation of city planners that would probably love to play our game."

Katsarelis was cagey about life beyond SimCity for Maxis, but explained that the Glassbox Engine, the foundation to all the advances made in the new game, was an investment for the future.

"It's a simulation engine capable of doing many things," he promised.

"Internally when we bring people in we give them Glassbox and let them go make their own games. People have made simulation wineries, one guy made a honey bee farm, so there's a lot you can do with it."

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Rachel Weber

Senior Editor

Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.