The Sims online was a MMOG version of the popular computer game The Sims that was released on December 17, 2002. The game allowed the users to play with other people, which was dissimilar from the original The Sims. Initially, the game was pay to play. On March 2007 EA announced the game would be rebranded as EA Land. With this rebranding, the game was made free to play, and introduced player created custom content and the ability to purchase properties. On April 29, 2008, EA announced that they will be shutting down EA Land on August 1, 2008. The Sims: Online shut down as scheduled.
Starting the Game
The player created an account in order to log in the game, the game would check for updates when they begin the game. After, the player was shown a server select screen so, the player could choose which server that they wanted to play on. Then, the player chose from one of up to three personal Sims. If they didn't have any avatars on the game they could create one by clicking on one of the three vacant slots.
Avatar creation was very much like the Sim Creation screen from The Sims. The player could enter a bio of the Sim and name. They could choose their clothing and head of the Sim; the player name could not be changed after the Sim was created. Players had their choice of skin color and the gender. Personality points were not inherited from The Sims.
There are thirteen cities in all in the game where the players reside. They are:
- Mount Fuji
- Calvin's Creek
- East Jerome
- Fancy Fields
- Test Center
- Blazing Falls
- Dan's Grove
- Jolly Pines
- Dragon's Cove
- Test Center 3
Each city had their own populations; Alphaville and Blazing Falls were the most populated. Some cities even had there own particular rules. For example Dragon Cove was the “hardcore city”, the game’s objectives were much harder than the standard game.
Skills and Employment/Money
Much like The Sims, skills and employment were significant parts of the game. With more skills, your avatar a could earn more money in a job, and new interactions. Skill speed was the rate your avatar learns the skill and skill decay is when the skills start decaying. Unlike The Sims, skills went from 0 to 29.9.
Employment was handled differently in the Sims Online, in this game you could actually follow your Sims to their job. There are four official jobs: restaurant, robot factory, DJ, and dancing. These jobs did not offer very large salaries; other alternatives to earn money were item shops and services.
Sim Life and Interaction
Sims had the same lifespan as The Sims, The 6 basic 'needs' returned:
Along with the need there are interactions between Sims. In the game, the players could interact with other players by chatting. Players would type messages which would appear to float above their active Sim.
After years of neglect, Luc Barthelet assembled a team to continue updates and development to the The Sims Online. The team announced that many changes were coming in the near future. Weeks later they announced that they would be closing down and that Maxis would be moving on to other projects.