Business simulation games, and simulation games in general, continue to enjoy a boom in popularity in the past four or five years. The more realistic the experiences can be, the more game developers are pushing to create simulation experiences which really stay with their consumers for a long time. The variety of business sim games has grown as well, with industries spanning from space exploration to restaurant running.
2019 is set to be a year in which simulator games retain popularity as well, so here are a few of the games that are filling the headlines.
If absolute urban architectural control is your thing, then Cities: Skylines is for you. Continuing on from the sorts of ideas first introduced in SimCity, Skylines is all about managing big budgets, construction demands and population contentment. It’s not entirely realistic, admittedly, given that no one person is ever in charge of so much urban planning, but watching the world you built grow around you is uniquely satisfying.
Set during the 1800s but heading all the way up to the brink of WWII, Victoria II adds a dimension of period drama to the business sim. This is business on a grand scale, playing into the thrills and horrors of imperialism and the embrace of national identity within a rapidly developing world. Take control of one of 200 countries and manage national and international business affairs as well as political dynamics within your country.
Farming Simulator 19
Probably one of the most recognizable profiles to end up on this list, Farming Sim 19 continues the series long legacy of really incredible realism and joy in the details of farm life. It may not come across as if it is a business simulator straight away, but you’re not simply farming for the sake of it, there is much to get done and many books to be balanced. The seasonal element to the game is especially enjoyable.
One of many utterly brilliant satirical simulators around, Job Simulator imagines a future world in which all jobs are done by robots. Human beings want to get a taste of what having a job was like, and thus enters the simulation element. Explore hilarious re-imaginings of current jobs and engage in the perversion of the tangled mess of nostalgia in the year 2050. Not a traditional business sim, but an incredible one, nonetheless.
Another big name in the business sim game world, this is a genre classic. Though the original was released two decades ago, there have been a whole host of updates and sequels, the latest being a version for Nintendo Switch. Build and control your own amusement park, with half of the focus being customizing your own rollercoasters and rides and the other half being getting down to the nitty gritty of running a venture such as this. A real timeless addition to the genre, available on every platform.
Perhaps the most on-trend addition to the business simulator genre, Youtubers Life puts you in the shoes of a would-be YouTube star looking to make it in this new form of work. Manage your equipment budget, your content and your uploads to try and boost your viewership and your subscriber base. It’s an incredibly modern take on the business sim game, with some clever twists which reveal to the player just how taxing being a youtuber can be.
Total War: Three Kingdoms
The 13th release in the Total War series, Three Kingdoms is etched in for release in 2019. Set during the Han Dynasty of 200 AD china, you navigate the ultimate form of business: War. Total War always delivers an incredibly enjoyable experience without skimping on the detail and difficulty. And, whilst these games might be classed as strategy, there is an awful lot of business to attend to as a powerful leader of one of the Three Kingdoms, negotiating trade, land ownership and treaties with neighboring leaders. If it’s anything like its 12 predecessors, this is set to be a classic.
Plenty to play in 2019 for enthusiasts of business simulators.
Simulation’s popularity continues to drive game devs in their innovation and willingness to explore new fields. With a whole range of historical periods and sub-genres to choose from, you’ll never be bored.