The Sims is a video game series developed by Maxis and published by Electronic Arts. The franchise began with The Sims, which was released in February 2000. The Sims is a spin-off of the older SimCity game franchise, which were both created by Maxis co-founder Will Wright.
The games in the series generally lack defined goals, unlike most other video games. The focus of the games is on the simulated lives of virtual people called "Sims". The player is responsible for directing their actions, attending to their needs, and helping them attain their desires. Players can play with pre-existing Sims and families, or create their own. They can place their Sims in pre-constructed homes or build their houses using the in-game building tools, then furnish the homes with objects from an in-game catalog. Numerous add-ons and expansion packs greatly expand the number of features, tools, and objects available to play with.
The success of The Sims ultimately led to the creation of three sequels, over two dozen expansion packs, numerous console and non-PC platform games, and several other spin-off titles within the series. As of September 2013, there have been more than 175 million copies sold of games within the franchise. The series is the most successful PC gaming franchise ever.
Mainline games[edit | edit source]
The Sims[edit | edit source]
The Sims is the first game in the franchise, released in 2000 as a spin-off of the SimCity series. The game was met with critical acclaim and received numerous awards, and has sold more than 6 million units to date. It ranks among the best-selling PC video games in history. The success of the initial release led to the creation of a total of seven themed expansion packs for the game; Livin' Large, House Party, Hot Date, Vacation, Unleashed, Superstar, and Makin' Magic.
Due to the success of the game on PC, a console version of the game was produced. Unlike the PC game, the console version is rendered in full 3D and additionally features multiplayer gameplay. The console version of The Sims was followed by The Sims Bustin' Out and The Urbz: Sims in the City both for the Nintendo GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox. Handheld editions of Bustin' Out and The Urbz were released for the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo DS.
The Sims 2[edit | edit source]
The Sims 2 was released in 2004 as the follow up to the successful first game, introducing fully 3D environments, age progression for Sims, and genetics, among numerous additions. The sequel was also met with great success, spawning eight gameplay expansion packs; University, Nightlife, Open for Business, Pets, Seasons, Bon Voyage, FreeTime, and Apartment Life. For the first time, additional content packs were introduced in the form of "Stuff packs", which add new objects, lots, hairstyles and clothing; Family Fun Stuff, Glamour Life Stuff, Happy Holiday Stuff, Celebration! Stuff, H&M Fashion Stuff, Teen Style Stuff, Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff, IKEA Home Stuff, and Mansion & Garden Stuff. Towards the end of support for The Sims 2, an online store was launched selling exclusive content and individual items from expansion packs, in the form of microtransactions.
A console version of The Sims 2 was produced, which allows players to directly control their Sims for the first time. The game was followed by The Sims 2: Pets, The Sims 2: Castaway, and The Sims 2: Apartment Pets exclusively for the Nintendo DS.
The Sims 3[edit | edit source]
The Sims 3 launched in 2009, introducing sweeping changes to the series. The formerly segregated lots are unified into open worlds that Sims can fully explore, the point-based personality system is replaced with a series of self-descriptive traits that influence a Sim's behaviour, and the appearance of objects can be customised using an in-game texture compositor, known as "Create a Style" (CAST). For the first in the series, new features were introduced in subsequent patches, including a basement tool, tattoos, diving boards, traits, improvements to Create a Sim, objects and other gameplay enhancements.
The game features the most amount of add-on content to date, with eleven expansion packs; World Adventures, Ambitions, Late Night, Generations, Pets, Showtime, Supernatural, Seasons, University Life, Island Paradise, and Into the Future. Nine Stuff packs were also released, High-End Loft Stuff, Fast Lane Stuff, Outdoor Living Stuff, Town Life Stuff, Master Suite Stuff, Katy Perry's Sweet Treats, Diesel Stuff, 70s, 80s, & 90s Stuff and Movie Stuff. Additionally, a large selection of exclusive content, such as objects, clothes, hairstyles and worlds can be purchased from The Sims 3 Store.
As with previous games, a console version of The Sims 3 was released for PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360, as well as a portable version for Nintendo DS, Nintendo 3DS and mobiles. Unlike previous console editions, this version of The Sims 3 is a port of the PC game. The game was followed by The Sims 3: Pets for Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Mobile versions of World Adventures, Ambitions, Supernatural were also produced, featuring different gameplay to the PC games.
The Sims 4[edit | edit source]
The Sims 4 was released in 2014 as the fourth iteration in the series with major overhauls to Create-A-Sim (CAS), Live Mode and Build Mode. CAS has a new interface whereby players can simply click and drag different parts of a Sim to modify their features, instead of using numerical sliders. Build mode now functions as a room-based system, whereby individual rooms are recognised and can be easily moved or manipulated. Build Mode also sees the addition of multiple new tools, and increases flexibility in object placement. In Live Mode, Sims experience emotions which will affect their behaviour, the Sims around them, and extreme emotions can even be fatal to a Sim experiencing them. The Sims 4 also introduces an in-game content sharing system known as the Gallery. Players can instantly upload their creations to the Gallery, or seamlessly download the creations of others to add to their game.
As of November 2019, eight expansion packs have been released for The Sims 4: Get to Work, Get Together, City Living, Cats & Dogs, Seasons, Get Famous, Island Living and Discover University. For the first time in the series, smaller-scale "Game packs" are introduced, which add new content and gameplay centered around a specific theme. As of September 2019, eight game packs have been released: Outdoor Retreat, Spa Day, Dine Out, Vampires, Parenthood, Jungle Adventure, StrangerVille and Realm of Magic. The stuff packs for The Sims 4 introduce minor gameplay elements in addition to new content, unlike previous games. Sixteen stuff packs currently exist: Luxury Party Stuff, Perfect Patio Stuff, Cool Kitchen Stuff, Spooky Stuff, Movie Hangout Stuff, Romantic Garden Stuff, Kids Room Stuff, Backyard Stuff, Vintage Glamour Stuff, Bowling Night Stuff, Fitness Stuff, Toddler Stuff, Laundry Day Stuff , My First Pet Stuff, Moschino Stuff and Tiny Living Stuff.
A console version of The Sims 4 was released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4. For the first time in series, the console version now provides the full base game, as well as content packs, similar to that of the PC version. This is in contrast to previous console games, where most of the PC version features were either removed, or the console version had exclusive features not present in the PC version.
Spin-off games[edit | edit source]
- The Sims Online
- The Sims Stories
- The Sims Medieval
- The Sims Social
- The Sims FreePlay
- The Sims Bowling
- The Sims DJ
- The Sims Pool
- The Sims Mobile
Reception[edit | edit source]
The Sims series has received critical acclaim. The Sims series also holds 5 world records in the Guinness World Records: Gamer's Edition 2008. These records include "World's Biggest-Selling Simulation Series", and "Best Selling PC Game of All Time" for The Sims, which sold 16 million units, 100 times EA's original projection of 160,000 units.
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]