EA Makes Money, The Sims Online Fizzles

What many thought would be a rousing success has turned out to be a relative disappointment for EA according to Cnet. During a phone conference today, EA confirmed that The Sims Online has only collected 80,000 registered users since its release in December. The low buy-in rate is going to seriously hurt their chances of having 200,000 registered users by the end of March as previously forecasted.

This hasn't hurt their financials too badly though, read on for details on EA's record breaking income for this quarter.

Before we move on to EA financials, here is a quote from EA executives about The Sims:

EA executives said the company was taking a number of steps to boost interest in the game, including cutting the price of the boxed software from $49 to $39, effective next week. Additional content also is being added to the game to give players more to do.

"The level of content we'll have in this product by April, we'd like to have had that at launch," Chief Operating Officer John Riccitiello said during the conference call. "We probably made an error in expectations. We feel great about the intellectual property, and we expected the transfer to an online model to be a quick hit in the marketplace."

CEO Larry Probst said EA is committed to the game and believes it can be a success. "I think it's important to realize this is a marathon, not a sprint," he said. "We're committed to making this a huge success, and that's about constantly updating and refreshing the content."

So it's too expensive and you shipped before all of the features were in place. Fancy that.

Regardless, EA still knows how to make money. According to the phone conference, they've pulled in a whopping 1.23 billion this year compared to last year's total of 833 million with the year ending December 31st. For those of you who don't know, that's a hell of a lot of money.

The last bit of EA news that went along with the announcement of their financials is that they're consolidating a bunch of their studios into one big game development monster. I do believe Westwood is included in this venture but I'm not sure if that means losing the Westwood name. I some how doubt it unless Generals tanks.

- Certis


well, what this really means is sims online is average.  200,000 subscribers by march seems pretty unrealistic.  its a little bit arrogant to expect to break the mold.  especially if its as broken/lacking as reviewers have said.  hoping to break the mold is one thing.  expecting is another.  it took Daoc at least 8 mos to reach 200k i believe.

I've read that this is nothing more than an overblown chatroom with some extra graphical features, anyway. They're not really selling to the type of folks to dig into the online gaming market, and most of us who do play games online despise The Sims.

I'd call 80,000 subscribers a pretty good number, when taking that into account.

I'll admit it. I was one of the people who thought Sims Online was going to be the absolute pinnacle of mass consumption and would lead to a new age of online addiction. I pictured everyone rushing home from work/school, if not skipping it alltogether, to slip into their alter egos. Lois, mother of three, hastily making that dialup connection to become Madrid, sexy superspy in love with the ambassador to Greece. Let us not forget help desk technician Harold who returns to his dark studio apartment to log into his palatial estate to woo more Simbos with gifts of fancy lamps.

In fact, my wife and I both enjoyed The Sims (original flavor) when it came out. I was considering forbidding either of us to buy Sims Online when it came out for fear that our marriage would be rent asunder by our rampant Sim fornication. Alas, we'll have to wait for a company to get it right, first. I wouldn't count out Sims Online, though. You can bet they'll have learned from their mistakes by Sims Online 2.0.