12m have played SimCity this year

80 per cent of people in the US and Europe are familiar with the SimCity brand, says EA.

And more than 12 million people have played a version of SimCity within the last year.

EA revealed these stats as it gears up to launchits first true SimCitysequel in ten years on March 8th, 2013.

SimCity has huge public awareness worldwide,” Maxis boss Lucy Bradshaw told MCV.SimCity 4 continues to sell quite well as a classic title. That is quite a healthy shelf life in the videogames industry.And even today, modders in online communities like Simtropolis continue to add mods to SimCity 4.”

SimCity 4 launched for PC way back in January 2003 and since then EA has developed numerous spin-offs aimed at more casual audiences, including last year’s Facebook game SimCity Social.

But now the publisher hopes it can attract those core users again with next year’s title, which comes complete with a brand new game engine.

We wanted thenext SimCity game to innovate the franchise,” added Bradshaw.Players have systems that are much more powerful than ten years ago, so we can really play with graphics and 3D.”

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