Videogames have certainly come a long way. It’s almost hard to believe the advances in graphics, AI, processing power, etc. that have happened in my lifetime. A property development firm probably wishes that more people weren’t quite so aware of these graphical improvements, as they’ve been caught passing a screenshot from SimCity off as their architectural design.
The Dubai Metro City project was a proposed development by the firm Visionary Property. Yahoo News UK had a description of what was promised:
The Dubai Metro City project by developer Visionary Property was billed at this year’s CityScape property event in Dubai, a city in northern United Arab Emirates, as a “futuristic urban hub combining business, retail, residential and visitor attractions and facilities”.
Covering over 20 million square feet, the “unique, eco-aware and designer city” promised to house over 40,000 residents by its completion in 2017, and would have more than 20 5-star hotels.
Unfortunately, what was shown wasn’t an artist’s rendering or architectural mock up, it was a screenshot from EA’s 2013 release of SimCity. In all honesty, kudos to EA for creating a game with such rich, vibrant graphics! They were very nearly enough to fool investors and get this project funded! In the developers defense, futuristic buildings and landscapes in SimCity would look almost boring and pedestrian in a place like Dubai – they built a series of islands in the shape of the Earth for crying out loud. Maybe they were just banking on the fact that people weren’t initially able to play the game, and were hoping that nobody had actually seen the futuristic buildings yet.
Whatever the case, the developer was left eating crow, and had to apologize for their transgressions. Yahoo News UK again has the scoop:
Chairman of Dubai Metro City, Abdul Al Turk, released a statement backtracking on his earlier statement that the company had worked with “the world’s most renowned architects” in preparing the images, and admitted that all the images were from the computer game.
He added: “But we’re still determined to make this iconic project a reality should anyone be interested in investing.”
Of course they’d still be willing to take your money, they just can’t quite tell you how it will be used at this point. Probably best they tried to use the futuristic building screenshot, some other SimCity events might have caused unnecessary panic.
Source: Yahoo News UK