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The man behind the original SimCity plays and discusses the new take on his game

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Maxis' upcoming SimCity is very different from Will Wright's original 1989 SimCity, and in a video released today, lead designer Stone Librande interviewed the SimCity creator about his time with the new game.

Wright seems to be enjoying SimCity — he highlights new elements like the street-level view (which he loves because it builds investment with individual neighborhoods), the new road tool and graphical overlays for vital information such as infrastructure and demographics. Wright says he's been experimenting with each new city he creates, trying different approaches that often leave his in-game bank account running low on funds.

"I was actually very impressed with the way it was presented, because there was obviously a lot of stuff going on underneath the hood of the simulation, but yet it was presented all very graphically," says Wright of the data layers.

He later points out that SimCity's option of building specialized cities, like one based around gambling, is much more realistic, and gives rise to more creativity and freedom within those particular specialties. It's also a "pretty significant difference from all the previous versions of SimCity," he notes.

Wright co-founded Maxis in 1987, and the studio's first game, SimCity, launched two years later. Electronic Arts acquired Maxis in 1997, and Wright left the company in 2009.

Maxis' new SimCity launches March 5.