Since the release of The Sims 3, it has become a source of news, stories, movies and custom content from The Store and The Exchange.
The Sims 3 StoreEdit
The Sims 3 Store offers exclusive items and room sets from hairstyles and outfits to furniture and architectural items. Game Update 1.8/2.3 allows players to shop the Store while playing The Sims 3.
The store consists of seven categories. An eighth category, Premium Content, contains items that are only available with the purchase of an item set or world. The seven categories are:
- Worlds - This category has premium worlds, pre-populated with lots and Sims. The price for one world is generally US$20–$25, or 2000-2500 SimPoints.
- Venues - This section has pre-made lots to place in your town, which are usually community lots.
- Sets - This section has collections of items, usually with a theme for each collection. It has sets with Build/Buy items, CAS items, or both. It also has a wide variety of prices depending on the set, ranging from free to US$72.
- Build/Buy - This section has individual items for Build/Buy mode, such as fireplaces, plants, columns, lamps, and appliances. The items offered are usually themed. One can browse through the sections by item types (Hobbies and Skills, Lighting, Comfort, etc.), but not by room categories (Living Room, Study, Bathroom, Bedroom, etc.).
- Create a Sim - This section contains individual items for Create a Sim mode. It is divided into two categories: Hair and Clothing. Hair and Clothing are further divided into Male and Female subcategories.
- Sale! - This section displays all the items that are on sale. It is not an independent section, but instead it shows items that can be found in other sections.
- Daily Deal - This category is like the sale section, but it features one particular item, usually one of the more expensive items. The item will be 50% off its normal price. It also displays two timers: one that shows when the next two deals start, and one that shows when the current deal ends.
- Make Me an Offer - This category will show three to five items that you do not own on sale with a discount between 10% and 60% for one hour. You can randomize the items shown five times per day. The limit will be reset after 24 hours or if you decide to purchase the bundle shown. This category has some exclusive items.
SimPoints are the currency used within The Sims 3 Store. SimPoint bundles, each with different prices, can be purchased with real currency by a player. SimPoints cannot be converted back into real currency once purchased. SimPoints may also be given to players after purchasing a particular Expansion Pack, Stuff Pack, or World, but this is usually a promotional offer. It costs US$10 to purchase 1,000 SimPoints, though the exact cost of SimPoints may vary depending on sale prices or special bundle prices.
- SimSidekick is a plugin that allows the user to browse the web with a Sim. There is a Firefox addon compatible with only Firefox 3.0, but the link does not work. The plugin can be downloaded here instead.
- SimFriend allows the player to choose a Sim for a "friend". The friend then begins to send the player emails about what is happening in their lives and occasionally asks them for advice. The players receives a Trust score based on how good that advice is. There are achievements based on how many relationships, jobs, and skills the friend has are also available.
- SimSocial is a bite-size version of The Sims 3 based on Kudos 2 by Positech Games. It contains abbreviated Create a Sim options, including traits and a lifetime wish. Otherwise, it plays exactly like Kudos 2.
- On May 23, 2011, EA announced that SimSocial would be shut down (a week prior to Generations).
- SimSocial was most likely shut down due to unpopularity and a new Facebook game using the same name. EA later announced at E3 2011 that The Sims Social would launch on Facebook.
Badges can be earned throughout the game and on the Sims 3 website.
Premium Content is an item that adds additional gameplay, moodlets and animations. In 2011 EA added the first piece of Premium Content, The Sharper Sim Foot Massage Chair. Since then, they have added at least one new Premium Content item a month to The Sims 3 Store, usually as part of one of that month's new sets. Premium items include, but not limited to, an automatic toilet, wind chimes, a gumball machine, an automatic pet food dish, and the Pinball Machine. In December 2011, the famous Laganaphyllis Simnovorii, otherwise known as the Cowplant, became available for purchase.
- All store sets and worlds were released on a Thursday.