The Sims

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The Sims
Logo of The Sims.png
The Sims series logo (2014–present)
Genre(s)Life simulation
Publisher(s)Electronic Arts
Creator(s)Will Wright
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, Mac OS, PlayStation 2, GameCube, Xbox, macOS, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable, Java ME, Android, BlackBerry OS, Bada, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii, Nintendo 3DS, macOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Windows Phone
First releaseThe Sims
January 31, 2000 (2000-01-31)
Latest releaseThe Sims 4: Discover University
November 15, 2019 (2019-11-15)
Spin-offsSee below

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.[1]

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" and 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.

The Sims series is part of the larger Sim series, started by SimCity in 1989.


Will Wright

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.[2][3] 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 the 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.[2]

Wright has stated that The Sims was actually meant as a satire of U.S. consumer culture.[4] 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.[2]


Release timeline
Main series in bold
2000The Sims
2002The Sims Online
2004The Sims 2
2007The Sims Life Stories
The Sims Pet Stories
2008The Sims Castaway Stories
The Sims Carnival
2009The Sims 3
2011The Sims Medieval
The Sims Social
The Sims FreePlay
2014The Sims 4
2018The Sims Mobile

Main series[edit]

The Sims[edit]

The Sims was the first game in the series. Developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts, it was released for Microsoft Windows in February 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[5] 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 series on the PC. All PC releases were developed by Maxis. By February 2005, the game had shipped 16 million copies worldwide.[6]

The Sims 2[edit]

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. In addition, the game 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-year period. 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 backwards-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. In addition, items including pre-order items were released over the life cycle of this generation.

The Sims 3[edit]

Electronic Arts released The Sims 3 on June 2, 2009.[7] The sequel was announced by EA in November 2006. The game is set 25 years prior to the original game, and features an open, seamless neighborhood, improved tools for Sim creation, 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 which the player may choose 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.[8]

Eleven expansion packs and nine stuff packs were released for the third generation of the series. In addition, many items are available online for additional fees at The Sims 3 Store.

The Sims 4[edit]

Electronic Arts announced The Sims 4 on May 6, 2013.[9] The announcement stated that the game was in development by Maxis. The Sims 4 takes place in an alternative setting from the previous installment of the game. Later in 2014, further details on features and gameplay were announced. A release date of September 2, 2014 was announced at E3 2014.

As of November 2019, eight expansion packs: Get To Work, Get Together, City Living, Cats and Dogs, Seasons, Get Famous, Island Living, and Discover University. There are eight game packs, and fifteen stuff packs have been released for the fourth generation of the series. Updates have added content that was previously absent due to time restraints, such as basements, ghosts, pools, modular stairs, toddlers and terrain tools. New careers have also been added.


The Sims Online[edit]

In December 2002, Electronic Arts released the Maxis-developed The Sims Online, which was 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 reviewers likened The Sims Online experience to an enormous chat room. On August 1, 2008, EA-Land's shops were closed.

The Sims Stories[edit]

The Sims Stories is a series of video games from The Sims series released in 2007–2008 that is 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.[10] 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 game play, the games contain a structured, linear Story mode where players are required to complete a series of goals in order 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 at adapting some files.

Three games have been released to date.[11]

The Sims Carnival[edit]

The Sims Carnival was a casual games 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[edit]

The Sims Medieval is an action role playing spin-off game released in 2011. It is set in medieval time, 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[edit]

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.[12] Due to negative responses from players, the game has been shut down and was removed from Facebook on June 14, 2013.

Console and handheld versions[edit]

The Sims era[edit]

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 which is open-ended gameplay very much like the original The Sims PC game. It was the second Sims game to not be 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 reputation and complete tasks for characters. It was released for Xbox, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, Nintendo GameCube, and Game Boy Advance. It features The Black Eyed Peas as NPCs.

The Sims 2[edit]

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,[13] The Sims DJ,[14] and The Sims Pool.[15]


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[edit]

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[edit]

Versions of the game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles were released on November 17, 2017

The Sims FreePlay[edit]

The Sims FreePlay, a freemium version of The Sims for iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android phones (and tablets), and Kindle Fire, was released worldwide on December 15, 2011 for iOS devices, and on February 15, 2012 for Android. The game made it to Kindle Fire in October 2012 and to BlackBerry 10 on July 31, 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 get by baking, planting, going to school (Only for preteen and teens) or going to work. To get Social Points, you will need to go to neighbouring houses or add your Facebook friends.

The game is regularly updated with new content and has many events and competitions, announced at official Facebook page. Several updates for the game have been released.

The Sims Mobile[edit]

Released for Android and iPhone smartphones, The Sims Mobile was announced on May 9, 2017 in a launch trailer, and was released on March 6, 2018. It features a combination of multiplayer and story mode elements to give the player an experience more like that of the PC versions.


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.[16] As of October 2019, all The Sims games combined generated lifetime sales of more than US$billion.[17]

Cancelled film[edit]

A live action drama film based upon The Sims was announced in 2007.[18] On May 25, 2007, it was announced that The Sims film rights had been purchased by 20th Century Fox.[19] It was to be written by Brian Lynch and produced by John Davis.[20][21] 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.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "2016 World Video Game Hall of Fame Inductees Announced".
  2. ^ a b c Seabrook, John (November 6, 2006). "Game Master: Will Wright changed the concept of video games with the Sims. Can he do it again with Spore?". The New Yorker. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  3. ^ "Inspired to make The Sims after losing a home". Berkeleyside. October 17, 2011. Retrieved December 20, 2014.
  4. ^ Charlie Brooker's How Videogames Changed the World. Channel 4. November 30, 2013. Event occurs at 67 minutes.
  5. ^ Walker, Trey (March 22, 2002). "The Sims overtakes Myst". GameSpot. Retrieved January 13, 2019.
  6. ^ "The Sims Franchise Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary and Continues to Break Records" (Press release). Electronic Arts. February 7, 2005. Archived from the original on September 5, 2008. Retrieved October 8, 2008.
  7. ^ "The Sims 3". GameRankings. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  8. ^ Reilly, Jim (July 13, 2009). "The Sims 3 Dominating PC Software Sales". IGN. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  9. ^ "Maxis Unveils The Sims 4". EA News. May 6, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2013.
  10. ^ "About – The Sims Stories". The Sims 2 (EA). Archived from the original on October 11, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  11. ^ "About The Sims Stories: Coming Winter 2008". Yahoo! Games. Archived from the original on June 3, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  12. ^ "Sims Social get "Live" Status!".
  13. ^ "The Sims Bowling for iPod". Electronic Arts. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  14. ^ "The Sims DJ for iPod". Electronic Arts. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  15. ^ "The Sims Pool for iPod". Electronic Arts. Retrieved April 12, 2013.
  16. ^ Guinness World Records 2017 Gamer's Edition. Guinness World Records. 2017. p. 169.
  17. ^ Valentine, Rebekah (October 29, 2019). "The Sims franchise surpasses $5b in lifetime sales".
  18. ^ "The Sims Coming to the Big Screen". ComingSoon. May 25, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  19. ^ ""The Sims" to move from PC screen to silver screen". Reuters. May 28, 2007. Retrieved October 31, 2007.
  20. ^ "Producer John Davis Gives Updates on THE SIMS Movie, the Aliens vs. Predator Movies and Jason and the Argonauts! | Collider". September 21, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  21. ^ "The Sims movie planned". Retrieved August 9, 2016.
  22. ^ Switzer, Eric (August 8, 2019). "Disney Just Scrapped Mega Man, Magic: The Gathering, And Sims Movies".

External links[edit]

  • Official website Edit this at Wikidata
  • The Sims at the Wayback Machine (archived June 3, 2002)
  • "The Sims". Archived from the original on February 6, 2001. Retrieved December 17, 2013.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  • "The Sims". Archived from the original on November 9, 2000. Retrieved November 10, 2013.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  • "The Sims". Archived from the original on October 8, 1999. Retrieved November 10, 2013.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)