Screenshots and artwork supposedly depicting Sim City 5 appeared online earlier today.

Electronic Arts and Maxis have yet to comment on the validity of these images, however if true, they show a return to the venerable franchise after a nine-year break.

The images appeared in conjunction with a dubiously translated article from German magazine GameStar in which Sim City 5 is dated for 2013.

GameStar editor Roland Austinat, somewhat lost in translation, states: "...still take approximately one year to SimCity is ready.

"But I like what I’ve seen so far: the online modes, new graphics, smarter Sims, upgradable buildings, with individual strengths and compelling cities, world rankings, send info-graphs and dynamic music."

EA's PR representative Erik Reynolds recently tweeted: "MORE INFO! EA Maxis GDC announcement, huge event w/ special guests." indicating these images may well be validated at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco next week.