Go read this incredible history of the SimCity studio’s forgotten business games division

A screenshot of Project Challenge, a project management simulator. | Thinking Tools

Popular “simulation games” like SimCity aren’t literally training players to run something like a city. But what would happen if they did? In the 1990s, SimCity studio Maxis tried to find out.

In an exhaustively researched essay at The Obscuritory, librarian and writer Phil Salvador recounts the fascinating history of Maxis Business Simulations — a short-lived studio that designed simulations of oil refineries, power grids, project management tasks, and other systems for businesses and government agencies. As Salvador puts it:

From 1992 to 1994, a division called Maxis Business Simulations was responsible for making serious professional simulations that looked and played like Maxis games. After Maxis cut the division loose, the company…

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