SimCity inspired a new genre of video games. "Software toys" that were open-ended with no set objective were developed trying to duplicate SimCity's success. The most successful, however, was most definitely Wright's own The Sims, which went on to be the best selling computer game of all time.

The ideas pioneered in SimCity have been incorporated into real-world applications as well. For example, VisitorVille simulates a city based on website statistics.