The Sims turns 20 years old

the sims
Electronics Arts

It seems crazy to think that it’s been two decades since the introduction of the life simulator computer game, The Sims. It was on 4 February 2000 that the game was first released to the world.

Two decades on, it’s sold around 200 million copies and been translated in 22 different languages - making it one of the most successful computer simulation games of all time.

The mastermind behind The Sims was Will Wright, a Georgia-born game designer who had made his name in 1989 with the release of SimCity.

The Sims predecessor SimCity was also a simulation game, but focus was on the creation of cities and their management. Other less-successful simulation games followed, such as SimFarm and SimCopter. It wasn’t until The Sims was launched that Wright made his biggest success. Initially a lot of people were sceptical of The Sims commercial potential. It was viewed as a game with no real objective, with an unusual focus on the trivial aspects of everyday life. Players would guide their characters (known as “sims”) through their lives, making sure they are fed, washed, entertained and employed. 

Unexpectedly, the concept of The Sims appealed to everyone - adults and children alike. The Sims made itself the go to choice for those who never usually played computer games. Now twenty years have passed since The Sims was first released, and the world of video games looks completely different. Though not so much as changed for The Sims. Graphics have been improved, but the latest release from the franchise The Sims 4 remains true to its original cartoon like appearance and feel to the gameplay. 

The Sims 4 has been on the market for around five years and has just reached 20 million unique players worldwide. It seems The Sims are still going strong and remain relevant despite the ever more rapid developments in the world of gaming technology. 

The latest major expansion pack to be released as part of The Sims 4 is Discover University. This add-on focuses on university life and was released in November. The latest accessory pack to be launched was published in January 2019 and is called Tiny Living. As its name indicates, it is dedicated to “mini houses” and challenges the Sims to create their rooms taking advantage of the minimum space available.

Unfortunately for fans, there are no plans for Electronic Arts (EA) to launch any new games to celebrate the 20th anniversary of The Sims, certainly during the first quarter of 2020.

Fifth generation Sims?

The company has commented that fans can expect the launch of Sims 5 at some point. At a recent investor conference CEO of EA, Andrew Wilson, responded to a community question about whether they would ever release an online version of The Sims.

Wilson suggested that a new title could incorporate "social interactions and competition", something that until now has not been included in the games or expansion packs "As we continue to think about The Sims for a new generation, across platforms in a cloud enabled world, you should imagine that we will always stay true to our motivations of inspiration, escape, creation and self-improvement," said Wilson.

"We are excited. This is a game that really has no competition in its category to offer and fulfil those motivations for players and we believe it is a great opportunity for growth for us over the many, many years to come," Wilson added.

Today, The Sims is a key leg of the EA video game company, which also has successful titles such as FIFA, Madden and the popular battle royale game Apex Legends.

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