Once thought to be lost forever, Maxis’ SimRefinery has resurfaced. What’s more, you can play it right now thanks to the work of ArsTechnica and one of its readers. The story of how SimRefinery became playable again starts with journalist and game historian Phil Salvador.
In May, Salvador self-published an exhaustive, historical account of Maxis Business Simulations, a subdivision of the legendary game developer Will Wright and company created after the success of the original SimCity. The goal of the division was to take advantage of sudden corporate interest in the studio’s games. Companies like Chevron wanted Maxis to create SimCity-like games for training purposes, which is how SimRefinery came to be.