SimCity is an open-ended city-building video game series originally designed by Will Wright. The first game in the series, SimCity, was published by Maxis in 1989. The success of SimCity sparked the creation of several sequels and many other spin-off "Sim" titles, including 2000's The Sims, which itself became a best-selling computer game and franchise.
In the SimCity games, the player develops a city from a patch of undeveloped land. The player controls where to place development zones, infrastructure like roads and power plants, landmarks, and public services such as schools, parks, hospitals and fire stations. The player also determines the tax rate, the budget, and social policy. The city is populated by "Sims", simulated persons, who live in the city created by the player. The three development zone types are the major areas in which Sims inhabit: residential zones for Sims to live in; commercial zones for Sims to shop and have offices within; industrial zones where Sims find work in factories, laboratories and farms.
While there is no particular win condition in a game of SimCity, the balancing act of the above mentioned factors provide the constraints which make gameplay possible. To maximize population or profitability, to re-create real life locations in-game, achieve an aesthetic design or to trigger as many natural disasters as possible are among the many possible goals one can determine for oneself while playing a SimCity game. The SimCity universe is loosely based on 20th century California urbanization, and all editions have some common thematic elements: in a new game players start from an undeveloped greenfield, cars are the default form of transportation, and earthquakes happen.