Even though it is still in Closed Beta, EA has announced that Pre-Orders are available for SimCity. The game has been completely redesigned from the bottom up and brought into modern gaming with the addition of a beautiful 3D interface called GlassBox and an online social experience by linking cities into a world and cities being able to share commodities or even problems with neighbors owned by other players. The game has an extreme amount of depth and detail from previews that have been released so far and is a welcome refresh to the old favorite simulator from my early PC gaming days. I, for one, cannot wait for the release which has some conflicting dates out there. I have seen as early as February and possibly also March 5th. Not sure which is accurate but the closer we get to the date I am sure it will become more apparent.

On a side note, EA has started to pull a stunt with most new games where they add in-game bonus content that doesn't seem to account for much and charge a completely over valued price for it. If you order the game as a Limited Edition, it runs $59.99 which is typical for a game and it still comes with bonus content for pre-ordering, but there is a Deluxe Edition for $79.99 that adds 3 map packs mostly. For the $20 increase in price, I am not sure this is worth it. If EA is trying to trick people into paying $80 a game, they are insane. They have pulled similar stunts on Crysis 3's upcoming release and the Battlefield 2 Premium Edition to get the extra map packs seems steep at $50 for 4 map packs above theĀ originalĀ Limited Edition maps. Even Modern Warfare only charged up to $6 a map pack and EA wants double that per map. They may own some great franchises but they are turning into a corporate money machine and less of a game developer.

I won't let their tactics sway me from the games I am interested in and I will settle for forgoing the content that I really could care less about and they are lucky to get that from me.