When Quantac created Quantic Dreams, the dream-adventure game studio founded by former EA chief Andrew Wilson, they made a bold claim: they were going to make games that could challenge the gaming industry.
And they did.
QuanticDreams first game was the fantastic SimCity, which went on to be one of the best selling games of all time.
It was a massively multiplayer online game, where players would move through a large city, building skyscrapers, and controlling massive robots with their own AI.
But while SimCity was an incredible success, Quantic got a lot of flack for being a company that just didn’t seem to have enough of a vision.
“I think it’s hard for people to understand the whole story behind a lot [of their] success,” Wilson says.
“We were really excited about the game but we didn’t really have a clear vision.
And it was all about what we wanted to do.
We just had a vision and we never took it to the other side of the fence.”
The first game Quantic created, SimCity 2000, didn’t have a strong idea of what it was going to be.
It had a single player mode, and a multiplayer mode, but none of the other aspects of a game.
“So we decided to do something really different and create a game that was a mix of a single-player game and a cooperative game,” Wilson recalls.
“And it was pretty awesome.”
SimCity 2001, the sequel to the first SimCity that came out a few years later, had a much more clear vision of what its future games would be like.
The first SimCities first game, SimCitizens, was a multiplayer game, with players moving through a city together.
“It was a really interesting experience, I think, to play with all these different groups of people in a city,” Wilson tells Polygon.
“You had all these groups of different people.
And you would have all these buildings that were really different.
You had a lot more robots and a lot less people.”
“And so it was very clear, for a lot, people that we were creating a game for, a game where there would be no single player,” Wilson continues.
“There would be lots of people.
We thought that would be cool.”
And then, with SimCity 2002, the company decided to make SimCity 3, a multiplayer-only game.
It felt like the perfect fit for a studio that had a very different vision of their future.
“SimCity was really, really clear about its vision and its goal,” Wilson explains.
“When we got SimCity 2004, we had this vision of building this game that would have a lot to do with building the next big games.
We wanted to make this a multiplayer first game and then we wanted the next game to be a cooperative first game.
And so, we wanted something that had all of these different kinds of things going on.”
But the studio wasn’t ready to take that leap yet.
“They [Quantic] were just very clear that this is not what we were aiming for,” Wilson said.
“What they wanted was a game like SimCity where you could build a city in your mind and you would start building it.
You would have to build it in a certain way.
And if you did that well, you would get a really good game.
But we felt that was not the kind of game we were going for.”
So Wilson took a chance on another game.
SimCity 2003, the first game to ever be published by Quantic, was the first to have a co-op mode.
It featured four player cities, and players would work together to build cities to help build their cities.
It looked a lot like SimCians first game SimCity 1999, which had a similar premise, but it was much more focused on cooperative play.
“But we really wanted to try to do this in a way that had this feeling of co-operative play, and I think we hit on the right combination of that,” Wilson remembers.
“Co-op was the right way to go.”
The co-ops were very successful.
But it was hard to compete with the multi-player that came in SimCity 2005.
“The co-pilot was a very, very, well-designed, very complex game,” says Wilson.
“One of the big selling points of the co-patchers game is that they were very smart about the physics of the game.
And the game sold very well,” Wilson continued. “
In the end, it was a success.
And the game sold very well,” Wilson continued.
“Because you were building a city, and you were working together, and the physics were very, the physics that you would