The Sims Online is being shut down and then relaunched and horribly rebranded EA-Land. The previous Sims Online cities are going to be merged into a new map that is reportedly one hundred times larger than the original game, and the entire thing will be free to play. It's also going to be focusing on social networking, user-generated content, and all that other buzzwordery, as dev Luc Barthelet explains:
Users have now the ability to upload custom content. Like in the original Sims game, the goal is to let you customize the game completely, but in EA-Land you can see and buy the customizations of the other players! Players have already uploaded several thousands pieces of custom content. I suspect that by some time this year, all of the content of the game will have been replaced many times over by custom content.
And the thing is, I bet it works.