In 1989, the iconic simulation game SimCity secured a million-dollar deal with Nintendo that would shape the future of the franchise. The story began with a fateful meeting between Maxis co-founder Jeff Braun, legendary game designer Shigeru Miyamoto, and SimCity creator Will Wright in Kyoto. Miyamoto, known for his work on games like Mario and Zelda, was captivated by the idea of players creating their own world, which led him to seek out a partnership with Maxis.

After a call from Nintendo expressing interest in bringing SimCity to their console, Braun flew to Nintendo’s US headquarters to meet with top executives. A deal was quickly struck, with Nintendo agreeing to handle the port of SimCity to the SNES, and Maxis receiving a $1 royalty per cartridge sold. In a surprising twist, Nintendo also offered Braun a signing bonus of $1 million, showcasing their commitment to the project.

During their visit to Kyoto, Wright and Braun were treated like royalty by the Nintendo team, with Miyamoto himself personally collaborating with Wright on ideas for the console adaptation of SimCity. It was during this trip that the character “Dr. Wright” was born, inspired by Wright’s expertise and quirky personality. This character would later make appearances in other Nintendo games, solidifying the bond between the two companies.

Author Chaim Gingold, who chronicled this story in his book “Building SimCity,” believes that Wright’s experience working with Miyamoto had a lasting impact on his future projects. The mentorship and collaboration between the two visionaries influenced the direction of SimCity 2000 and set the stage for Wright’s continued success in the gaming industry.

“Building SimCity: How to Put the World in a Machine” offers a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of one of the most beloved simulation games of all time. Gingold’s meticulous research and attention to detail provide valuable insights into the development process and the key players involved.

As we reflect on the origins of SimCity and its groundbreaking partnership with Nintendo, we can appreciate the creativity and innovation that went into bringing this iconic game to life. The legacy of SimCity lives on in the hearts of gamers worldwide, thanks to the vision and dedication of the talented individuals who brought it to fruition.