[[Waiting for the Launch]]
As the Sims are preparing for their online outing, everyone seems to be pinning the hopes of the entire PC games industry on their, anticipated, success.
It all started with the vision of one game developer, Will Wright, and his inability to secure a publisher for that vision. Eventually, an uncertain EA accepted the responsibility only to add their name to one of the greatest success stories of the gaming industry. The difference with the Sims Online however, is that back then no one expected anything of them, now the fate of an entire industry may rely on their success.
The Sims Online, along with Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided, due this spring, have been deemed the great hope for PC gaming, says Rob Smith of PC Gamer magazine. The hope is that The Sims Online will introduce an audience that's been unaware of or uninterested in other PC games to the rest of the market.
That is exactly what made the original games so successful. Over 50 per cent of Sims players are female,a statistic which clearly demonstrates how the games broke the gamer stereotype, introducing gaming to a much broader market. It is hoped that what the previous Sims titles did for PC gaming the new one will do for online play.
The PC games industry is currently struggling against the onslaught of the next generation consoles. This year, the USD 9 billion industry has outsold the PC by four games to one, a ratio which in 1995 was two to one, and for the first time PC games sales this year, actually fell.
Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOG's) are seen as the PC's last chance against its dedicated rivals. Will Wright however, does not want to assign so much importance to his efforts There's no pressure at all, he says. The Sims may have a somewhat broader potential appeal than most, but it's just one title. ... It's easy to say if this one doesn't hit, nothing will. That is not necessarily so.
Another important aspect of the Sims Online is the protection of a traditionally PC territory which is currently being invaded by the consoles. Online gaming has been a great source of revenue for the gaming industry, with players paying an average monthly subscription of USD11 per month. Sims Online will cost USD 49.95 and a monthly fee of USD9.99 will be required for online play.
The game is expected to reach PlayStation 2 early next year but its creator is a well-known PC devotee, according to him if it's a success, people will make more games in this direction. But if it's not, they will go back and study why it didn't make it.
EA have already invetsed over USD 25 million on the game and claim that their servers will be able to cope with the expected one million users. It is a demanding launch but according to experts: If anyone can pull it off, it's EA.
But what is Sims Online about?
The Sims Online is an online world where the Sims are real. You get to be yourself or whoever you want to be. In this world you have your own piece of land to do with as you please. So, you can create a house, coffee bar, dance club, museum or whatever else you can imagine. You can explore the neighborhoods around you and meet other real Sims along the way. You'll also be able to develop a network of real Sim friends to enhance your power, wealth, reputation and social standing.
The Sims Online is a massive online world that you can access at any time. You interact with the world through one Sim that you develop over time. Everything that you buy, build or create will be there when you return.
The Sims placed you in control of an entire neighborhood of Sims. In The Sims Online, players create up to three Sims but only control one at a time, meaning that the relationship between a player and their Sim is much closer. The game not only makes it possible for Sims to leave their house but there is a whole user-created world to explore. Not only can each player build a house for their Sim and have friends over to visit, they can also invite friends to move in. The economic and social interaction system is built to take advantage of having thousands of real people playing. The game incorporates text chat, instant messaging and a wide variety of new gestures for your Sim to use when communicating with other Sims.
The Sims Online includes almost all the content from the original Sims and each of the expansion packs. It will also include a lot more new content. You'll be able to purchase the game at major retailers and online stores.
For Sims Online videos follow the download tab above.