EA: The Sims 3 “The Most Successful PC Launch”

By Jim Rossignol on June 10th, 2009 at 8:24 am.


Electronic Arts have announced that the new Sims title has “sold thru more than 1.4 million PC/Mac units within the first week”, and that makes it their most successful PC launch ever. Given that last month’s top selling PC game in the US was The Sims 2 Double Deluxe, it’s a fair bet that The Sims 3 will continue selling in the months and years ahead. And there should be no surprise about that, The Sims 3 is an incredibly well designed and silly soap opera of a game. Seized by my normal Sims-response malevolence, I set up a family of nightmarish redneck freaks, complete with horrifying clown-faced patriach (above), and I was intending to do a couple of posts about their trials, tribulations and inevitable psychiatric collapse over the coming weeks. But the problem is that I can’t get near The Sims 3 when it’s running, probably because I still haven’t built my girlfriend that gaming PC I’ve been promising for the past two years… Hmm.

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71 Comments »

  1. Tei says:

    SSSSSSShhhhhhhhhhhhh… most people that buy Sims, are the type of people that don’t read game announcements. If we don’t tell Sims 3 is out, maybe will not buy it. Maybe.

    Congratulations EA!.

  2. The Sombrero Kid says:

    i feel your pain i’ve never touched the sims since the sims 1 came out and i had a quick dabble, i have played this a fair bit and it’s really good, shame it doesn’t run on my gf’s netbook and so MY PC has mysteriously become HER SIMS 3 MACHINE! WTF!

  3. Psychopomp says:

    This is how women work.

    Rename the Sims 3 shortcut “Shooty McKill Pants.”

  4. Pavel says:

    Well, that just proves how many women gamers are out there..

    I myself bought double deluxe 6 months ago for my sister, and I suspect most of those copies are bought by men for women or by women themselves.I kinda wonder there is not more games like that.

  5. Five says:

    Been having a great time playing The Sims 3.

    My favourite Sim would sit on his backside all day watching HDTV, the looping sounds from the TV echoing in my head, when I told him to upgrade the television to get a better reception. He poked it with a screwdriver for a few seconds, then got shocked to death. As the grim reaper looked down at his body, my Sim’s girlfriend said “I have to be somewhere soon, bye!” and left the house.

    The house was left in silence, with no other Sims in the family to carry on his legacy.

    Brilliant!

  6. Jayteh says:

    There is a sims 3 out there? Yawn.

  7. cullnean says:

    @jim

    so you made the firefly family?

    and is there an alice in wonderland anology under the house?

    i have changed my gravatar to the good captain.

  8. robrob says:

    Comments regular roBurky has got me pretty excited about this with his posts over on Quarter to Three (now in handy blog form here: http://aliceandkev.wordpress.com/)

    Looking forward to picking it up. My favourite part of the games has always been building stuff and this one looks like it offers some great tools for doing so.

  9. Lack_26 says:

    I’ll be buying it, mainly since it doesn’t have DRM. Also, because watching a recreation of my family struggle and falter is funny.

  10. Rinox says:

    After the inevitable initial accusing him of being a girly man for playing it, I played and watched some of the game at a friend’s house yesterday.

    Needless to say, after an hour or two any feeling of macho superiority I had had waned into jealousy. The game looked like so much fun and the little time I played was so amazingly intuitive. And the details, oh the details! having only played the original Sims (not Sims 2) the sheer scope of what you could do blew me away too. So yeah, lookin’ good. Might end up playing it myself.

    Still, I find it fascinating that many women I know who aren’t even what you’d call casual gamers are obsessed with these games. They won’t even look at other amazing games (not talking Blood Splatterer Boob Machine 3000 but Braid or Portal or other fairly ‘comfortable’ titles) but these Sims…I am positively baffled.

  11. BC says:

    But how much would they have made if it weren’t for all them evil pirates???

  12. Leeks! says:

    But the problem is that I can’t get near The Sims 3 when it’s running, probably because I still haven’t built my girlfriend that gaming PC I’ve been promising for the past two years… Hmm.

    I’ve had an uncannily similar experience. I wonder what, say, a poll would uncover with regards to the prevalence of this phenomenon.

    EDIT: Also, this probably goes without saying, but creating such a poll would finally allow you to legitimately include the response option: “Hah! Women! Am I right, you guys?”

  13. Tom says:

    It’s a great game, just because *gasp* women! like it doesn’t mean that it’s bad – it just means that it doesn’t have the usual cringy geekiness of games that normally scare non-gamers away. It’s a masterfully made game filled with challenge, development and a vast amount of customisation, yet it’s incredibly easy to understand. I think ‘normal’ games can learn an important lesson from the Sims.

  14. Super Bladesman says:

    I’m really enjoying The Sims 3, and I’m a fairly hardcore gamer. It’s a great game.

    That said, I’ve had a bitch of a time getting it running – if I’ve almost broken sweat fixing issues with installation (had to update the firmware on my DVD-RW), booting the game and even registering it (can’t see any of the graphics on the online registration screen)… I dread to think how the ‘normal’ Sims player is coping!

  15. PC Monster says:

    Yeah…this just about covers it, I reckon:

    http://www.ctrlaltdel-online.com/comic.php?d=20090603

    Congrats, EA, for yet more evidence that the PC is as valid a game platform as any other, and that reports of its death have been grossly manufactured.

  16. Dolphan says:

    I’m male, and a ‘hardcore’ gamer (God I hate that word) and I’m loving Sims 3, it’s fantastically designed. Never played the second one, but this is at least 10x better than the first.

  17. bansama says:

    I was considering buying this, but seeing as EA support just don’t want to answer my questions about what languages are available from the store they force me to use, I’ve all but changed my mind.

  18. Kieron Gillen says:

    Dolphan: Yeah. I think this is getting under-rated at review if anything.

    KG

  19. Freelancepolice says:

    Urgh, can we not post horrible web comics like CAD in here please?

    The Sims 3 is a fantastic twisted mind simulator – there I said it. It’s success is deserved.

  20. Psychopomp says:

    @Dolpan

    *Maybe even x11*

    @Freelancepolice

    Oh come on, *that* was legitimately funny.
    IMO, anyway

  21. runcrash says:

    Do you need a gaming PC for the Sims 3? I figured EA would have wanted it to be accessible as possible.

  22. sigma83 says:

    Runcrash: It runs better and loads faster than Sims 2

  23. sigma83 says:

    Also with regard to CAD: The major problem with it is that he writes too much. Less is more.

    With that comic above, remove all the dialogue except for the one-word exclamations. So much funnier.

  24. CakeAddict says:

    Eh sold quite well then considering it leaked out.
    I’ve been playing it on and off since it came out so I haven’t done much.
    I really like my evil character though.. ahh.. evil slumber and the fact that he laughed evilly when a sim died in front of him he also got a positive moodlet for it..

  25. panik says:

    I made a really hideous old man, with all bad traits and never washed him.
    His name: The Impregnator.
    The intire town is in love with him and he has over 100 children.
    He “makes out” on the couch with wives next to their husband without any trouble.
    “Woohoo’s” in the next room without even being asked to leave. (unfortunately the husband doesn’t stay in the same room to watch us).
    As fun as this was for a few days, it was to test the “game”.
    Its not a game, its a virtual dollhouse.
    You can do anything with any sim not matter what your trait’s…your only challenge, do it slow or fast.

  26. Markoff Chaney says:

    @ CakeAddict – That was my first thought too. Highest pirated game for at least three weeks, and two of those weeks were before the proper release. And still it’s the highest selling PC game ever. GG Strawman Bugbear?

    My wife loves the game, at least she did until she hit a fridge she can’t clean that locks up the game every time now. That’s ok, I guess, for a game of this complexity. She used to have to delete babies in Sims 2. I must admit I have spent more time with Sims 3 than any of the others as well, and we’ve owned them all since The Sims. My misanthropic gigolo is up to 9 children so far, and all the ladies are his best friends, even if he never helps with his offspring. Surprisingly fun game.

  27. The Fanciest of Pants says:

    But the problem is that I can’t get near The Sims 3 when it’s running, probably because I still haven’t built my girlfriend that gaming PC I’ve been promising for the past two years… Hmm.

    This is my potential problem. I’m getting it for her this week, and I may never seem my computer again.

    Time to shell out for an actual graphics card for her PC!

    It runs better and loads faster than Sims 2
    My, that IS good news. Sims 2 was an absolute hog for some reason.

  28. Dan Lawrence says:

    “I think this is getting under-rated at review if anything.”

    I’m in agreement. The depth and interconnectedness of interaction is what really makes this iteration. Personality, skill levels, jobs and environment all combine in a fantastically intricate dance.

    I’ve had great fun building a ‘sustainable’ hippy family that lives off painting, writing and selling fruit and vegetables. Its clearly been learning lessons from games like Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon.

    I had an equally enjoyable time making a villainous Ming the Merciless clone (Thanks Big Train) who rose to become an Evil Overlord and occasionally started glowing red (still not figured out what caused that). You can even buy into the stores in town and start collecting the profits.

    Fantastic game. I second the recommendation to read roBurky’s Alice & Kev story if any doubts remain:

    http://aliceandkev.wordpress.com/

  29. Fringe says:

    I spent last night upgrading my PC (with the PCG recommended specs) so the missus can play The Sims 3 happily.

    We really are all in the same boat

  30. Lofaesofa says:

    My sister upgraded her PC in preparation for the Sims 3 last year. If she hadn’t, I expect she would be using mine to play!

    I had tried the Sims 2 very briefly but was put off by the long loading times, but after watching my sister play S3 and creating some misanthropic oddballs, I got myself a copy and have been playing that instead of TF2!

  31. Rinox says:

    Having no sisters and being single, this thread makes me smile.

    Until I remember how lonely I am. *cries*

    Seriously though, just from all I read here I might even get this game.

  32. Larington says:

    Sims 3 is definately a game I’m going to be able to return to with regularity. Whereas some games I’ll play through once and never return, this has definite come back for more potential.

    I’ve got a sim now who is maxed out in angling, cooking and handyman fixing. Its interesting how useful having the loner trait can be in terms of not having to spend as much time on chatting to someone.

  33. Larington says:

    The funny thing is, even my brother, who I regard as a sort of ‘lost gamer’ because of the game industries move away from games of the 90′s (He prefers slower game experiences like turn based games, trading games like patrician, adventure games, etc) to what we more often get now, is really tempted to give this a try, possibly even creating a windows partition on my old main computer* (That mostly sits idle with a linux install on it) so that he can play around with the game.

    * Poor thing, it got caught out by the emergence of the next gen consoles and had to be retired a year earlier than I had originally hoped.

  34. Captain Bland says:

    Really looking forward to this, and a little disappointed at the lack of RPS verdict (and accompanying screenshots of the house you live in together). I am however, a little confused by the online store. I’m told I get $10 to spend on stuff in the store, but everything is priced in ‘simpoints’. What is the conversion rate? And are there any good fan sites anyone can reccomend for decent free content?

  35. Lorc says:

    “Thru”? Really? In a professional press release that somebody got paid to write?

  36. sigma83 says:

    ‘Sims 2 was an absolute hog for some reason’
    My guess is feature bloat. Sims 3 feels more streamlined, more ‘together’, if you take my meaning.

  37. Chairman Mao says:

    My GIRLLLFRIEENND!

  38. The_B says:

    I have to third the reccomendation to roBurky’s Kev and Alice.

    But only if I can also subtly pimp my slightly inferior Left 4 Sims thing over on my site, where I’ve remade our favourite Survivors and Infected and tried to make them live with each other. *Ahem*

    (Nah, seriously – read roBurky’s, it is awesomeness.)

  39. Golden says:

    I didnt even know this was out.
    Hey ho, not my bag anyway.
    Played sims 2 for about a day and realied I should be enjoying my own life and not some avatar.

  40. Flappybat says:

    Was very suprised the PCG review was only two pages and only vaguely mentioned moodlets in a boxout.

  41. Christian says:

    @Golden: That were my thoughts exactly (And that it seems if you only so much as mention women somewhere in an article, the discussions to that article somehow tend to be much more gentle and agreeable :p ).
    But what I understood from reading more about Sims3 is that it’s supposed to be more of a sandbox-game instead of just ‘relive your life on a computer’ chore that Sims 2 seemed to be (at least for me).

    This really looks like an excellent waste of time with great replayability :)

    Although the SimBux (can’t they just use an established currency instead of each developer inventing new money?) mentioned by Captain Bland above somehow put me off. But this is just for buying new lamps and hats in the game, nothing essential, right?

  42. The_B says:

    Yeah, so far there’s nothing you need to spend the Sim bucks on, I haven’t spent a penny of them yet and I am waiting for something worth having – even if it takes a long time to see anything worth having.

    It is worth registering to get them though, as you get a free second neighbourhood to download when you do.

  43. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Having a lot of fun with this, nice work EA chaps/chapettes!

    @ runcrash:

    Do you need a gaming PC for the Sims 3? I figured EA would have wanted it to be accessible as possible.

    It runs fine on mid settings on my Athlon XP2100+ machine. Fully loading new areas when skimming round the map, particularly large houses, can take a while and speeding up time seems to be limited by processor speed (3x speed is more like 1.5x speed for me) but otherwise fine.

    @ Captain Bland:

    I am however, a little confused by the online store. I’m told I get $10 to spend on stuff in the store, but everything is priced in ’simpoints’. What is the conversion rate? And are there any good fan sites anyone can reccomend for decent free content?

    1000 SimPoints = £6/$10
    To get the free SimPoints you need to register on the Sims 3 site and specifically un-lock them, same goes for the second town and any pre-order bonuses you might have picked up. I’ve not really looked into any of the downloadable gubbins, paid or otherwise, but it’s worth noting that everything in the Exchange is free.

  44. Dan Lawrence says:

    $1 = 100 Sim points. You get 1000 sim points free with the game. So far the store just contains some alternative hair & clothing styles, 3 different sets of furniture and some ad supported freebie items (Fanta fridge, Toyota Prius). So far there has been nothing that’s actually added new interactions from what I can see, just new window dressing.

    Spending the free points was painless, I bought a new coat (for Ming) and a different hair style (the hair styles are probably the most limiting portion of ‘Create a Sim’ due to the new edit style option making everything else near limitlessly editable). Its perfectly possible to play the game completely ignoring the store, indeed I still have 800 points piled up and am enjoying the game immensely.

  45. tombraiderguy says:

    I love to play the Sims once in a blue moon.. That way my alternate personality can be released and bring upon PLAGUES AND CHAOS. MUWAHAHAH.. Eating Sims Babies!!
    O_O
    LOL
    Well I won’t be suprised to see another “Nude Sims Patch”.
    xD LOL!

    I’m thinking about Purchasing it but I’m still a lil skeptical…With all those expansion packs, you’d think hmmmm Isn’t this just a bigger one??

  46. MA6200 says:

    I feel your pain guys. When The Sims 2 came out my wife, who doesn’t play anything but NES games, completely took over the computer. We’ve got 2 that can run this game, thankfully.

    While the CD check is a little annoying, I’m also quite glad you can install it on two computers and run it at the same time, because it’s a damn good game – pretty much everything that was annoying about The Sims in previous versions is gone, and there are all sort of neat new things to discover.

    I love that people in the neighborhood finally live their lives while you’re playing one family!

  47. Ginger Yellow says:

    “It runs better and loads faster than Sims 2″

    Really, my one big complaint is the extraordinary amount of time it takes to load (and save). They really need a “Load most recent saved game” option straight from the launcher. The only minor complaint would be that the top game speed needs to be much faster so you can zip through the sleep and work hours.

    I gave up on the original Sims fairly early on after I got fed up with the constant, slow pissing and showering and cooking. This version has removed or rather ameliorated all of that chore stuff, so you can now concentrate on fun stuff. I’m kind of amazed it took them this long to do it, but I suppose if you’ve got the world’s biggest cash cow on your hands, why bother changing it?

  48. Larington says:

    I can understand the limitations that result in it, but I do wish I could play with the body proportions a bit more. Otherwise I’m loving it, will have to claim those points and see what the alternative hairstyles are like, I always find myself wishing for more variety in in-game hairstyles.

  49. Nimic says:

    I might play this.. I haven’t played any since the original one.

  50. mrrobsa says:

    Didn’t Sims 3 get pirated up the wazoo? Weeks before launch?
    Just goes to show that devs like Crytek really can’t hide behind piracy accusations when their game doesn’t fly off the shelf.