One look at SimCity Societies immediately reveals that namesake or not, it takes the franchise in a whole new direction. For the cadre of loyal fans this comes as a substantial shock, and with good reason. After both critical and retail success with the established design, this departure raises numerous questions, beginning with a very basic "why?"
From the interview:
1UP: How would you address the concerns of the traditional SimCity fan base coming into this? How would you address their concerns and how would you invite them to give this a chance?
Rod Humble, vice president at Electronic Arts and head of the Sims Division: [...] You know, if the SimCity player base doesn't like it, for sure they can expect the next iteration will be back to basics, I can assure you. And you know, this could end up being a separate fork. We could end up doing a SimCity Societies line in addition to our regular construction line.