A year ago EA announced that The Sims franchise had sold 100 million software units worldwide.
The series, which began life in 2000, has spawned countless expansion packs, console spin-offs, laptop editions, an online game, and most recently, the MySims series. But there hasn’t been a full Sims sequel since The Sims 2, which hit shelves way back in 2004.
But this June that is about the change, with the long-awaited The Sims 3, which the publisher promises will be the best Sims game yet.
“It will be nothing short of the biggest PC title of the year,” insists product manager Kerri West.
“The Sims is a cultural phenomenon and there are tens of thousands of Sims fans across the country hungry to be reunited with their favourite franchise and to explore all the new features they’ve been wishing and waiting for. Furthermore, the game’s tools and features are more intuitive and accessible than ever so I expect The Sims will acquire a whole new generation of fans.”
The latest in EA’s mega-franchise boasts your usual Sims gameplay, but now the houses and neighbourhoods blend seamlessly without loading times, there are even more customisation options, and the AI has also been drastically revamped.
And that’s not to mention the updated visuals and extra online options, all designed to delight the franchise’s massive fanbase.
“There’s just so much more to a Sims life in The Sims 3,” continues West.
“Not only can they now explore the neighbourhood and become immersed in their local community, they can also work towards fulfiling their destiny… or not. As always in The Sims, their fate is left up to the player to decide.
“Players will also now have more godly freedom to create the way they want to. The customisation and design options for Sims, houses, cars, clothes, furniture and more are practically limitless and so much easier to use than in The Sims 2. However, one of the most significant advances of The Sims 3 is the new AI.
“There are dozens and dozens of funny and compelling personality traits that players can pick to create unique personalities for their Sims. There are hundreds of possible combinations meaning each Sim will behave and react differently making them unpredictable and captivating.”
The PC market may be seemingly in decline, but the format’s established franchises are continuing to achieve huge numbers.
Empire: Total War was a chart topping hit for Sega back in March, and last year World of Warcraft and Football Manager performed remarkably during an overcrowded November release month. Furthermore, The Sims titles continue to dominate the PC charts, and so The Sims 3 is fully expected to be yet another big seller come release.
The Sims also has the benefit of enjoying true mass market appeal. The game’s customisation options are certain to appeal to the more core gamer, while the title has been a hit with the casual market too, with an army of female fans.
“The great thing about The Sims is that it draws a core audience at launch who have been eagerly anticipating the next outing for The Sims,” concludes West.
“But it will also then continue to perform for years to come, reaching out to new audiences and delivering
an on-going business model that retail can rely on.”
With a visual overhaul, brand new customisation options, big marketing push (see Promoting The Sims, below) and an already established fanbase, The Sims 3 is set to be one of this summer’s biggest chart topping PC hits.
PROMOTING THE SIMS
The phenomenal success of The Sims means that the game has already racked up a lot of press in mainstream and specialist media.
And EA has been supporting this with invite-only preview events and media exclusives.
Then as we approach the game’s launch EA is set to unleash its hard hitting Let There Be Sims campaign, which will hit all forms of media, from outdoor advertising to TV and radio.
“It’s been important ever since we announced The Sims 3 to reach out to our core fans, and in recent months we’ve been getting them even more excited by inviting these consumers to exclusive, invite-only preview events,” explains EA product manager Kerri West.
“From early May we’ll be running a teaser campaign online and then from mid-May on TV to give the release the epic feel it deserves.
“We then build into our mainstream cultural roadblock with the ‘Let There Be Sims’ campaign.
“Fans have already been teased with outdoor executions in the States and the internet is buzzing from it.
“Early June is when you’ll see this attention-grabbing campaign hit the UK. We’ll be taking it across TV,
online takeovers, print, radio and outdoor media all declaring ‘Let There Be Sims’.”