In what is probably a surprise to no one, SimCity will have an in-game store to buy content. NeoGAF user dmr87 posted the leaked manual from scribd.com that clearly shows on page-9 the SimCity Store. The directions for the store are:
Click the banner on the main menu to enter the SimCity store. Here, you'll find special add-ons for sale. Select STORE to view the full list of additional game content (both free and paid) that can provide you with new gameplay possibilities.
The consensus among gamers, particularly NeoGAF users, is that this is just EA being EA. That they're money-hungry and no one is surprised that they've destroyed all hype around their game by trying to get more money from micro-transactions.
I'm a little torn on the SimCity store. On one hand, if the things you can buy in the store are merely cosmetic changes, I don't mind them charging for that. I play League of Legends and skins don't change the game at all; they're just personal preferences if I want something to look different. However, if what you're buying in the store does provide genuine "new gameplay possibilities," I have a problem with that. If I'm paying $60 for a game, I should not have to pay more money to get upgrades to get things content that should most likely be in the game already.
What if high-density avenues were part of content that had to be paid for. Technically, you don't need them to play SimCity. They would just open up "new gameplay possibilities." How does EA decide what experiences deserve to be included in the $60 we are paying for the game and what should be content that you need to pay even more for? I guess this comes back to the whole 'day-one DLC' argument.
We'll have to wait for release to see what items are available for purchase in the SimCity Store, and we'll see how the perceived notion of EA trying to squeeze more money out of a game will affect SimCity sales.
SimCity releases for PC on March 5.