Smoother Progression

Here’s the problem: You can take your revenue from your first store and leverage it into an 800k loan which you use to set up a 75-size clothing store in Midtown while also creating your import infrastructure. There’s no build-up and nothing else matters.

Here’s the solution(s): (Please note that they aren’t mutually exclusive and sorted by ease of implementation)

  1. Higher quality districts require a permit to operate in business in there. The current cost of Midtown rents is higher than in GD, but it’s still laughable in comparison. If you had to fork over a million to even acquire the rights to get there, you’d first have to build up a smaller empire in less lucrative districts.

  2. A reputation system where every district has a threshold to enter. Reputation would be gained by having profitable businesses (meaning multiple smaller ones might actually be worth it for a change) and lost for unprofitable (yet open) businesses, running loans (disencouraging that massive spike I mentioned earlier without completely denying it), parking fines or pretty much anything that yields an alert (dirty business, out of stock, no one at the counter - anything that says you’re running your empire inefficiently).

  3. Waiting lists. Frankly, no retail/office spot in Midtown should ever be up for rent longer than 7 seconds, given how easy it is to profit there. This can go very deep: The death of a business might be foreseeable so you can be ready to snatch it up before your rival empires do. Or there’s a new job role in HQ there to analyze the market and look for openings. This could synergize with a reputation system where a building owner might actually contact you about a rental before it lands on the open market.

There’s some good ideas here. A bank wouldn’t loan me 800k without collateral, so the Vantander Bank should, at the least, require a net worth rating of $xxxx before being willing to lend anything to you. They could also require a certain number of successful businesses and require they exist for a certain period of time before opening their vaults to you.

I’m currently on my third playthrough (second sandbox) and I chose to just regulate myself. I started out in the Garment District and opened 5 businesses before moving to Murray Hill. Set up 5 shops there and have now just moved to Hell’s Kitchen where I’ll do the same before going to Midtown. I’ve also moved up in apartment size one notch within each new district. It all just feels more reasonable and realistic than going straight for the easy gold.