|Platform(s)||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, macOS, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Java ME, BlackBerry OS, Bada, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Windows Phone|
|First release||The Sims|
February 4, 2000
|Latest release||The Sims 4: Paranormal Stuff|
January 26, 2021
The Sims is a series of life simulation video games developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. The franchise has sold nearly 200 million copies worldwide, and it is one of the best-selling video game series of all time.
The games in the Sims series are largely sandbox games, in that they lack any defined goals (except for some later expansion packs and console versions which introduced this gameplay style). The player creates virtual people called "Sims," places them in houses, and helps direct their moods and satisfy their desires. Players can either place their Sims in pre-constructed homes or build them themselves. Each successive expansion pack and game in the series augmented what the player could do with their Sims.
Game designer Will Wright was inspired to create a "virtual doll house" after losing his home during the Oakland firestorm of 1991 and subsequently rebuilding his life. Replacing his home and his other possessions made him think about adapting that life experience into a game. When Wright initially took his ideas to the Maxis board of directors, they were skeptical and gave little support or financing for the game. The directors at Electronic Arts, which bought Maxis in 1997, were more receptive—SimCity had been a great success for them, and they foresaw the possibility of building a strong Sim franchise.
Wright has stated that The Sims was actually meant as a satire of U.S. consumer culture. Wright took ideas from the 1977 architecture and urban design book A Pattern Language, American psychologist Abraham Maslow's 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation and his hierarchy of needs, and Charles Hampden-Turner's Maps of the Mind to develop a model for the game's artificial intelligence.
|2002||The Sims Online|
|2004||The Sims 2|
|2007||The Sims Life Stories|
|The Sims Pet Stories|
|2008||The Sims Castaway Stories|
|2009||The Sims 3|
|2011||The Sims Medieval|
|The Sims Social|
|The Sims FreePlay|
|2014||The Sims 4|
|2018||The Sims Mobile|
The Sims (2000)
The Sims was the first game in the series. Developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts, it was released for Microsoft Windows on February 4, 2000. The game used dimetric projection and featured open-ended simulation of the daily activities of one or more virtual persons ("Sims") in a suburban area near SimCity. Seven expansion packs and two deluxe editions with exclusive content were released. It was repackaged in several different formats, and different versions of it were released on several different platforms. By March 22, 2002, The Sims had sold more than 6.3 million copies worldwide, surpassing Myst as the best-selling PC game in history at the time. The original game, all seven expansion packs, and the two deluxe edition content packs constitute the first generation of the PC. Maxis developed all PC releases. By February 2005, the game had shipped 16 million copies worldwide.
The Sims had received seven expansion packs:
The Sims 2 (2004)
Electronic Arts released The Sims 2 on September 14, 2004. The sequel, developed by Maxis, takes place in a full 3D environment as opposed to the dimetric projection of the original game. Sims age through seven life stages, from infancy to old age and subsequent death. Another major feature is the aspiration system. Each Sim exhibits wants and fears according to its aspiration and personality. Consequently, the level of the aspiration meter determines the effectiveness of a Sim at completing tasks. The fulfillment of wants provides aspiration points, which can be used to purchase aspiration rewards. The game also features clear days of the week, with weekends when children can stay home from school and vacation days when adults can take time off work.
The Sims 2 is set some 25 years after the original game. For instance, the Goth family has aged significantly with Bella Goth mysteriously vanishing ("dying") at some point in the 25 years. Because the entire game has progressed from 2D sprites to 3D models, all content in The Sims 2 had to be created from the ground up. Due to this, The Sims 2 was not made backward-compatible with any content from the first generation of the main series. However, some objects and features from the original series were remade for the sequel.
Electronic Arts released eight expansion packs and nine stuff packs for The Sims 2. Over 400 items were also released for the game via The Sims 2 Store. Also, items, including pre-order items, were released over the life cycle of this generation.
The Sims 2 had received eight expansion packs:
The Sims 3 (2009)
Electronic Arts released The Sims 3 on June 2, 2009. The sequel was announced by EA in November 2006. The game is set 25 years before the original game and features an open, seamless neighborhood, improved Sim creation tools, enhanced build and buy mode functions, and the introduction of wishes and goals. The game introduced a new form of directed gameplay through small, step-wise goals presented as opportunities for the player to pursue or refuse. The Sims 3 sold 1.4 million copies in the first week, making it the largest release in PC gaming history at the time.
The Sims 3 is set 25 years before the Sims 1. For example, the Goth family is much younger, and Bella Goth, an adult in the first game, is a child and is named Bella Bachelor.
The Sims 3 had received eleven expansion packs:
The Sims 4 (2014)
Electronic Arts announced The Sims 4 on May 6, 2013. The announcement stated that the game was in development by Maxis. The Sims 4 takes place in an alternative setting/timeline from the game's previous installment. Later in 2014, further details on features and gameplay were announced. The release date of September 2, 2014, was announced at E3 2014.
As of March 2021, ten expansion packs, nine game packs and eighteen stuff packs have been released, and updates have added content that was previously absent due to time constraints, such as basements, ghosts, pools, modular stairs, toddlers, new careers, terrain tools and additional skintones,and bunk beds.
The Sims 4 has received ten expansion packs so far:
The Sims Online
In December 2002, Electronic Arts released the Maxis-developed The Sims Online, later named EA Land. It recreates The Sims as a massively multiplayer online game, where human players can interact with each other. The spin-off did not achieve the same level of success as the original. Reviews for The Sims Online were lackluster; many likening its experience to an enormous chat room. On August 1, 2008, EA Land was shut down.
The Sims Stories
The Sims Stories is a series of video games from The Sims series released in 2007–2008 based on a modified version of The Sims 2 engine. The modified game engine is optimized for play on systems with weaker specifications, such as laptops. As such, its system requirements are lower than that of The Sims 2, but it can still be played on desktops. The series is introduced mainly for three segments of the market: those who wish to play The Sims 2 on their laptops (which usually have lower specifications); those who wish to engage in other activities such as instant messaging while playing the game, and; those who are new to the franchise. In addition to a Free Play mode with classic, open-ended gameplay, the games contain a structured, linear Story mode where players are required to complete a series of goals to progress in the storyline. While Life Stories and Pet Stories each contain two separate stories, Castaway Stories contains one story that is double the length of any one story in the first two games. As an introductory series, major features are removed or modified from those in The Sims 2. For example, fears are completely removed in all three games, and the elder life stage is completely removed in Pet Stories. Officially, the save files from this series are not compatible with the main The Sims 2 games. However, players have experienced success in adapting some files.
Three games have been released to date.
The Sims Carnival
The Sims Carnival was a casual game brand of The Sims. It had two separate product lines. First, it was an online community of crowd-sourced web games. Second, it was a line of packaged game titles sold via retail stores and digital download.
The Sims Medieval
The Sims Medieval is an action role-playing spin-off game released in 2011. It is set in medieval times, and although it is based on The Sims 3 engine, it plays very differently. The Sims Medieval has one expansion pack, Pirates and Nobles.
The Sims Social
Launched in August 2011, The Sims Social was a Flash-based game developed by Playfish for Facebook. EA announced the game was upgraded from Beta to Live status in a press release issued on August 23, 2011. Due to players' negative responses, the game has been shut down and was removed from Facebook on June 14, 2013.
Console and handheld versions
The Sims era
The Sims is the first console release that shares the same name as the base game in the first generation of the main series.
The Sims Bustin' Out is the second title in The Sims console series. Bustin' Out was released for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Nintendo GameCube, Game Boy Advance, and N-Gage in the fourth quarter of 2003. Sims can get out of the house to visit other locations such as Shiny Things Lab or Casa Caliente. There are two modes. Bust Out Mode, which has mission-based gameplay, and Freeplay Mode is open-ended gameplay very much like the original The Sims PC game. The second Sims game was not on the PC; it was a follow up to The Sims, which was very similar to Bustin' Out, except the aims were shifted to getting job promotions and constantly fulfilling goals to get ahead in the game. The PlayStation 2 version also features the option to play online, though EA no longer supports it.
The Urbz: Sims in the City is a game focused on Sims living in an urban setting, presumably within Sim City. The player must earn a reputation and complete tasks for characters. It was released for Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Nintendo GameCube, and Game Boy Advance. It features Black Eyed Peas as NPCs.
The Sims 2
The Sims 2, The Sims 2: Pets, and The Sims 2: Castaway have been released for various platforms including the Wii, PlayStation 2, PSP, Xbox, and Nintendo DS systems. The Sims 2: Apartment Pets, considered a sequel to The Sims 2: Pets by Electronic Arts, was only released for the Nintendo DS.
In addition, EA has released several The Sims titles for the iPod Nano (3rd and 4th generation), the iPod Classic, and the iPod (5th generation). Some of these titles include: The Sims Bowling, The Sims DJ, and The Sims Pool.
MySims is series of console games created by EA for the Wii and Nintendo DS (with SkyHeroes being the exception). They feature Chibi-like characters (a tiny bit smaller and similar to the Wii's Mii avatars). The first game in the series was released in September 2007. It is also known for being the first Sim game released in Japan. MySims SkyHeroes, the newest addition to the MySims line of games, was released in September 2010.
The Sims 3
The Sims 3, The Sims 3: World Adventures, and The Sims 3: Ambitions were released for the iPhone/iPod Touch. In addition, The Sims 3 was also released for Android mobile systems and the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo DS in October 2010, and the Wii in November 2010, and the Nintendo 3DS on March 25, 2011 in Europe. The 3DS version of the game was launched with the console. The Sims 3: Pets was released for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo 3DS.
The Sims 4
Versions of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles were released on November 17, 2017.
The Sims FreePlay
The Sims FreePlay is the first free-to-play version of The Sims for iOS and Android, was released worldwide on December 15, 2011 for iOS devices, and on February 15, 2012 for Android. The game made it to Kindle Fire on October 2012, to BlackBerry 10 on July 31, 2013 and Windows Phone 8 on September 2013. Unlike other Sims games, The Sims FreePlay runs in real-time and takes real-time to complete actions. Players can progress through 55 levels and unlock new content, create up to 34 Sims, build town map buildings, complete goals to earn Lifestyle Points, Simoleons, Social Points, and XP (Experience Points). All of these (except for Social Points) can be obtained by baking, planting, going to school (Only for preteen and teens), or working. To get Social Points, you will need to go to neighboring houses or add your Facebook friends.
The game is updated with new content and has events and competitions, announced on the official Facebook page. Several updates for the game have been released.
The Sims Mobile
The Sims Mobile is the second free-to-play version of The Sims for Android and iOS, The Sims Mobile was announced on May 9, 2017, in a launch trailer with a soft launch for Brazil, and was released worldwide on March 6, 2018. It features multiplayer and story-mode elements in an attempt to offer a playing experience akin to the main Sims installments.
The success of The Sims has resulted in Guinness World Records awarding the series numerous world records, including, as of 2017, "Most Expansion Packs for a Videogame Series" and "Best Selling PC Game Series", with sales estimates ranging from 36 to 50 million units. The series ranks 10th among the best-selling video game franchises of all times, with a sales figure of over 200 million combining all the entries in the series. As of October 2019, all The Sims games combined generated lifetime sales of more than US$5 billion.
A live-action drama film based upon the franchise was announced in 2007. The Sims film rights had been purchased by 20th Century Fox in the same year. It was to be written by Brian Lynch and produced by John Davis. In 2019 following Disney's acquisition of 21st Century Fox's assets, the film along with numerous video game-based movies in development at Fox were cancelled.
Reality television show
EA, in partnership with Turner Sports and BuzzFeed, created The Sims Spark'd, a four-episode reality competition television show that premiered on the TBS network on July 17, 2020. The series, filmed from December 9 to 14, 2019, features 12 contestants, selected from those known to feature The Sims in their online gaming channels, tasked with challenges within The Sims 4 to create characters and stories following the challenge's themes and limitations. Each competitors' creation is judged by a panel consisting of YouTube personality Kelsey Impicciche, singer and songwriter Tayla Parx, and EA Maxis developer Dave Miotke, with the finalist winning a US$100,000 prize. The show is hosted by American Idol season 14 finalist Rayvon Owen.
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