The Inevitable Sequel

You have the most successful toybox in gaming history.  You've managed to milk a half-dozen expansions from the original.  You've created a stumbling online game off the concept.  It's 2003, and it's time to do something new.  What do you do?  What do you do?

Well, duh (if I may borrow a phrase from 1987), you make a sequel.  And with that Electronic Arts today announced that they're going to partner again with Maxis Studios to produce The Sims 2.  Refocusing gameplay on the 'life' of a Sim by implementing a 'life-score', The Sims 2 promises a new style of gameplay and the "ground-breaking addition of genetics" that will affect how your offspring develop.  Additionally fans of the series can expect a more upclose and personal look at their Sims with the all new 3-D game engine.  Couple all that with the promise that the Sims will have vastly improved AI, interact with their environment in new and complex ways, and will express a range of emotions, and you have the precise mixture to send Sims fans into fits of euphoria. 

Electronic Arts is expected to unveil the game at this year's E3.  Read on for the press release.

Electronic Arts today announced that The Sims 2, the next generation of the #1 PC game of all time, is in development at the company's Walnut Creek-based Maxis studio. For the first time, players control their Sims over an entire lifetime. Every choice that is made has a relevant and dramatic effect on the life of a Sim. More life-like Sims, all-new gameplay, and the ground-breaking addition of genetics, with the DNA of Sims passed down through generations gives players a more vivid, realistic, and in-depth Sims experience. All of this takes place in a new amazingly life-like 3-D world. The Sims 2 will be unveiled to industry insiders on May 13th at the Electronic Entertainment Exposition in Los Angeles and is scheduled to ship in early 2004.

"The Sims, themselves, always have been the most interesting part of the game experience for me. Giving them DNA makes them even more life-like and increases the personal connection between players and their Sims," said Will Wright, Chief Game Designer at EA's Maxis Studio, "The strategy of playing Sims across a lifetime and experiencing their emergent traits and behaviors will give players a deeper and more realistic experience."

Next Generation Simulation

Guiding your Sims through "Life's Big Moments" takes on new importance, as players now get a "Life Score" to measure how well they are playing each individual Sim. The decisions that players make throughout the lifetime of their Sims now have an impact on their long-term success or failure. A choice made as a toddler has a direct effect on the teen and adult Sim they become. Will players be able to successfully lead their Sims through such important events as a first step, first crush, or marriage proposal, all while the clock is ticking?

Next Generation Sims

The Sims in The Sims 2 are more aware and responsive to both other Sims and their surroundings. Sims truly come to life expressing moods and feelings through more realistic body animations and for the first time facial animations. They form complex relationships and are able to distinguish between family and friends, platonic friendships and romantic love. Sims in The Sims 2 now have DNA. Passing along physical characteristics and traits to their offspring, Sims both resemble and behave like their ancestors. As in real life, the appearance of the Sims now changes over time. In addition to getting older, a Sim that spends too much time on the couch will develop a paunch and a Sim that works out will enjoy rock solid abs.

Next Generation Features

An entirely new 3-D engine makes the world of The Sims 2 more life-like and dynamic. The Sims 2 will also introduce an all-new "Create-A-Sim" feature. This allows you to customize the facial features of your Sim with a few simple clicks, to a level of detail never realized before. In The Sims 2, players are now able to build dwellings over two stories and have the ability to coordinate and customize the homes of their Sims to a new degree of design with all-new furniture, lighting and objects.

The Sims franchise celebrated its third anniversary in February 2003. The game skyrocketed to the top of the charts when it began shipping to stores and quickly became a universal gaming and cultural phenomenon. The Sims base product was the #1 seller in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Translated into 17 different languages, The Sims has inspired six expansion packs, five of which have all been top sellers. They include The Sims Livin' Large, The Sims House Party, The Sims Hot Date, The Sims Vacation, The Sims Unleashed, and due out May 13, 2003, The Sims Superstar. Combined sales for the franchise have topped 24 million units life-to-date. For more information on The Sims franchise titles, visit

Electronic Arts, headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS, EA GAMES, EA SPORTS BIG and EA.COM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at

Electronic Arts, EA SPORTS, EA GAMES, EA SPORTS BIG, Maxis, and The Sims are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA.COM is a service mark of Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.


Why do I have the feeling that this won't work?

No, I'm serious.  The appeal of The Sims was that it could work on any system.  That and real Sim nuts have dumped money into every expansion pack.  You have to wonder if the core audience will make the switch.

This sounds cool, I hope it works out. I got tired of the Sims after a couple of months of playing it but I think its a great idea for a game. The Sims 2 sounds more like an updated 'Alter-Ego' which I used to play a loong time ago on my Apple IIe. Anyone remember this game?

Alter-Ego!  Thank you.  I've been trying to think of the name of that game all morning.  Ahhhhhh, sweet mental relief.

You can play it online here :