So, what can EA learn from The Sims Online?
What Is The Sims Online?
The Sims Online was released in 2002, two years after the release of the original The Sims game.
It saw The Sims universe go online as players could build their dream home in one of twelve cities and interact with other players.
Players could then train their skills, such as cooking, creativity, and logic to unlock new interactions and careers.
Overall the game operated very similarly to the regular The Sims games, just with other people populating the same city as you.
The game did face some controversy as players set up virtual brothels, exchanging WooHoo for Simoleons, hopefully EA can avoid that this time.
The Sims 5 Will Have Multiplayer
"We had The Sims Online that came out in 2002 which was around 20 years ago. We certainly were ahead of our time.
I think 20 years later we learned a lot about how players interact, what motivates players, how players can come together co-operatively and so as you imagine as we think about the next generation of The Sims it’s SUPER important for us to have the best tools, the most flexibility and for players to really expand on their creativity, remix items and objects in the world. And then to do that together – I think that’s one of our biggest opportunities with The Sims is the social connection component that we need to bring to this brand and this franchise. The team is hard at work on the next generation of that experience."
What Can The Sims 5 Learn From The Sims Online?
The Sims Online was somewhat popular back when it was released, but was eventually shut down in 2008.
We also have to take into account that internet usage wasn't like it is today and many people didn't use the internet often in their day to day life, whereas today it is essential for everyday life so it is fair to assume that The Sims 5 will be more of a hit with players if online features are implemented.
Towards the end of the games lifecycle, EA changed the game into EA Land and began imposing many limitations to free accounts and adding a $9.95 monthly fee to unlock those limitations.
This angered players and potentially led to its downfall.
With the amount of Expansion Packs and the possible creator marketplace that could be coming, EA should make the decision to keep the game completely free of a monthly subscription.
The Sims 5 will be a main entry series that will likely still have an offline portion of the game, so multiplayer should be treated as an extra to the game for players to enjoy.