sim city

Simcity 3000 [Beta – PC / Mac/ Linux]

In 1997 Maxis announced Simcity 3000 and had a full trailer. The trailer was rendered full in game using the game engine. The trailer was not well received due to fan concerns that the game would be too powerful for then current gen hardware. Maxis later announced that the spring 1998 release would be pushed to Spring 1999. In under a course of 1 year, Maxis redeveloped the game from scratch, which turned out to be the game we got today. The full 3D aspect Maxis wanted for the simcity series finally returned 10 years later in the 2007 game, Simcity Societies.

The video below is the exact trailer shown at E3 1997:

The official reason for the delay and redevelopment was:

Originally, Maxis planned to make SimCity 3000 a full 3D game. Although employees thought the idea was impractical, the management pushed the idea. After a year of development, the game was graphically on par with SimCopterand Streets of SimCity. The game was displayed at the 1997 E3; the experience is still considered an embarrassment and the game was expected to fail at the time.

Later, in 1997, EA acquired Maxis. Luc Barthelet was assigned as general producer to Maxis. He decided that 3D graphics weren’t viable and brought Lucy Bradshaw to lead the project. The 3D graphics were scrapped in favor of sprite-based graphics. Instead of focusing on 3D, they expanded the core gameplay. This version of the game did better at the 1998 E3 and was well-received upon release.

The game that was scrapped would of featured a sim mode and drive mode, which were not present in the final build. However, they were restored in Simcity 4.  The full 3D aspect returned in the 2007 game, Simcity Societies. 

More photos of the scrapped build can be seen below:

The Original Logo

The Original Logo

"Street View" mode

“Street View” mode

Beta UI

Beta UI

Build Mode, with a piece of the beta UI in the upper left corner.

Build Mode, with a piece of the beta UI in the upper left corner.

Thanks to the Simcity Wiki for the information.  

The Urbz: Sims in the city (2004) [Beta / Prototype – PS2 / Xbox / Gamecube]

In 2004, the urbz was announced for all 3 major platforms (PS2,Xbox,Gamecube) and Gameboy/DS. The Urbz, is a spinoff of The Sims Series. It was originally planned as a mini series (That was to contain around 3 games according to an EA employee on mod the sims forums), but that never happened. Instead only 2 games in the planned series released: The normal version and a portable version (Which both differed by around 90%)

The video showing real beta gameplay was much different than the final game released. It shows more open ended locations, such as a large downtown area. Also some characters introduced in the trailer were never introduced in the final game. (While Jayde was shown in the final game only as a pre made player preset, she was supposed to of had a much larger role in game).

Additionally, its been said on many forums and sites that these unknown locations may of been in the cancelled enhanced PC port, which reportedly was to release in 2005, but was cancelled.

In this photo, You can see a cut location:


In the game files on the PS2 disk, there is unknown strings that refer to a deleted location known as “Main Street“.

This may of been that location.

Another thing is that in this picture of a cut subway (which also may be a beta of central station), we can see the beta version of the travel system, where you could travel. In it, is 4 unknown locations. (Daves Place, Moms Place, Museum and Noodle Shop).

A trailer of this version in action can be seen here:


SimCopter 64 [N64DD – Cancelled]

SimCopter 64 is a cancelled Nintendo 64DD remake of the original SimCopter developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts for PC in 1996. It’s unclear if this version for the 64DD was going to have some substantial differences from the PC one, as happened with SimCity 64. As we can read on IGN, SimCopter 64 was officially canned in 1999:

Sim Copter 64 was even previewed at a very early stage at the Tokyo Game Show. Onlookers were not impressed with its foggy, first-generation graphics and the game’s US release was soon cancelled in favor of a Japan-only release for the disk drive system.

Since then, Nintendo has again delayed the debut of the 64DD to later this year and Maxis, apparently losing faith in the viability of the title on the DD, has abandoned the project completely.

Thanks to Celine for the contribution! (Scans from Console Plus #79 and Mega Console #44)


Video (Nintendo 64):

For comparison, a video from the PC version:


Sim Mars [PC – Unreleased]

SimMars was a strategy game in development at Maxis around the same time as the release of the wildly popular Maxis game, The Sims. A trailer for the game was included on the SimCity 3000 CD. From the trailer, the premise of the game seemed to be a manned mission to the planet Mars, followed by a terraforming and colonization scenario, typical of the Maxis world-building game style. The game presumed to be an integration of previous Maxis titles presented in 3D, possibly including elements of SimEarth, SimLife, and SimCity.

In The Sims: Vacation, there was an arcade game titled SimMars and it had a detailed description about the game. This may or may not have been the real premise of the game:

“Direct mankind’s first mission to the red planet! Launch rockets and deploy robot probes! Deploy teams to search for alien resources! Establish and run a network of specialized colonies to create a self-sufficient civilization! Provide your colony with food, shelter, and power! Fast, furious, adrenaline-pumping action!”

As of May 12, 2000, Maxis has stated that “SimMars is on hold and we do not have staff at Maxis currently working on the game. With the phenomenal success of The Sims, we’ve decided to move resources to support that franchise as well as other titles that we haven’t even announced yet.”

Some elements of SimMars are used in the upcoming Maxis game Spore. – [Info from Wikipedia]

[Thanks to Solidshake for the contribute!]



Sims Ville [PC – Unreleased]

SimsVille was a cancelled computer game from Maxis that was to be a cross between The Sims and SimCity. It was announced before 2000, but cancelled in September 2001. The game was to offer the user control of a multitude of houses in a neighborhood in a fashion similar to The Sims. The cancellation came as Maxis decided to apply more of its staff to development of The Sims products. Many aspects of the game, such as a communal “downtown” area, were incorporated into the third expansion pack for The Sims, Hot Date. Also, several elements of Simsville, such as obtaining feedback from citizens, were used in Maxis’s next city simulation game, SimCity 4. Also, the fully 3D neighborhood view format was also used in The Sims 2.

The trailer can be seen on the SimCity 3000 Unlimited installation CD as well as The Sims: Livin’ Large expansion pack. – [Info from Wikipedia]

[Thanks to Solidshake for these images!]




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