EA Reveals Online Enhancements for The Sims 3

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The Sims series of games have always had a pretty strong Internet presence. Starting from the community site and the massive fan modifications that made the first title so successful and developing into The Sims 2 era of micro-transactions and community content sharing. Well the trend continues with the upcoming The Sims 3 it seems as EA pulls back the curtains and details just how integrated the new title will be with its online components.

New for The Sims 3 are new features like a My Sims social network page that will allow players to create personalized websites to track their sims, write and post blogs about their Sims experiences and serve as a focal location for the new integrated Sims Movie creation tools. Players will be able to host their personally created The Sims 3 movies on the social network for others to watch and comment upon. Sharing of content hosted here will also apparently be oriented toward sharing links across a number of unnamed social websites (one can bet MySpace and Facebook are likely candidates).

The Sims Exchange, introduced in The Sims 2 as a spot where players can share new user-created items, clothes and other downloadable elements is apparently also receiving an upgrade for The Sims 3. The Exchange will continue to highlight popular downloads and offer players to exchange their goods online as well as linking more with the Sims store elements allowing players to purchase official add-ons. To promote the use of the Store, each registered owner of The Sims 3 will be given a $10 credit to choose and download items from those available online, adding a bit more customization to their game right off the bat.

The Sims 3 seems to be adopting the more online integrated content approach of EA’s Spore titles with the game itself communicating with the central online components, updating players on downloads and even offering an entire town for download at the games launch directly from the game launcher.

Follow the jump for the full press release details.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., April 30, 2009 – Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS)
today announced the robust online and community offerings to The SimsT 3 PC and Mac game, the highly-anticipated flagship game from the best-selling PC franchise The Sims. In addition to the town included in the game, a second town, Riverview will be available for download from The Sims 3 product website at launch. TheSims3.com also will allow players to create and share
their own movies, manage their online content and purchase additional in-game content. The game is set to launch worldwide on the PC, Mac, iPhoneT, iPodR touch and mobile devices starting June 2, 2009.

“With such a vibrant and active community as The Sims has, we wanted to build even further on the already immense offline experience, by offering players additional functionality, content and tools available online through the game,” said Ben Bell, Executive Producer of The Sims 3. “One example of the many online tools we’ve added to the game is the Create a Movie tool.
Within the game, players can easily set up the camera angle they want,capture in-game footage, play director and producer and then post their movies online to show off to the world.”

Key Online Elements Include:

  • The Sims 3 Store: Included with purchase of the game is $10 worth of SimPoints, which players receive when they first register their game online at TheSims3.com. They can use their SimPoints towards downloading exclusive in-game items from The Sims 3 Store to customize their game.  For additional items, players can purchase bundles of 500, 1000 and 2000 SimPoints in $USD, EUR, GBP and other major international currencies using a variety of payment methods including international and national credit cards, PayPal, and EA cash cards (in North America only). Whether it’s the must-have new outfit or the latest style of plaid furniture, players have the opportunity to further customize and populate their Sims world with additional items.
  • Game Launcher: The Game Launcher is the key entry point for players into TheSims3.com community. This hub page connects players to both the Store and the Exchange, and provides them with news and information about game updates. Players can keep track of their downloads, uploads, installs, game updates and their media portfolio that includes the videos and photos they can capture while playing the game. The Game Launcher also alerts players to new content in the store, localized game and store promotions along with relevant updates to the Store and cool new content from the community.
  • TheSims3.com Site: With the launch of the game on June 2, the marketing website at TheSims3.com will be replaced with the full community and product site for the game. The site will not only connect players,encourage new ways to be creative in the game, and offer personally relevant information for each user, it also will serve as the hub site where players can share their content with other members, and embed them on social networking sites and blogs.

Key Site Features:

o    The Exchange: Building off of The Sims 2 Exchange’s success of more than 100M downloads, The Sims 3 Exchange highlights featured items, most popular downloads, powerful search and browse capabilities, along with giving players the ability to see what other players are recommending.

o    Create a Movie and Create a Story: New easily accessible tools inspire creativity and allow players to create movies and stories and then show them off or share them with friends. Players can show off their Movies with the Create a Movie Tool by embedding them on external sites or with an email link back to their Movie on TheSims3.com.

o    My Page and My Studio: The Sims 3 product site will allow players to maintain their profile pages on their My Page section as well as offering them the new My Studio section to manage all their creations – Movies,Stories, Exchange objects. My Page is also a blog space where players can post news, customize it with a personal avatar, track favorites and more.
Users can make friends with other The Sims 3 players and share their content across a number of social network sites.

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