Note: This post contains a high number of animated gifs because they are awesome.
My initial plan for this piece:
- Gather demographic info on The Sims 3.
- Gather demographic info on who plays casual games on Facebook.
- Craft a complex graph–possibly with animations–which would show the overlap and thus predict the potential popularity of The Sims Social.
Instead of my nifty three part plan and bitchin’ graph, I bring to you conjectures and pretty awesome instincts.
Basically EA doesn’t release demographics on their games and even if they did, I don’t get paid enough to do market research on a game that’s already had tons of market research completed on it and by professionals, no less. Imagine that! But, judging from what I’ve seen on forums, I’d say more chicks than dic…guys are playing The Sims 3.
I’ve already stated I don’t see myself playing The Sims Social and just about as fast as I published that, I realized I’d be playing the game so I can write about it. And so I don’t come off sounding like a self-absorbed tool. If I’m going to have to play it, I might as well give it a chance to convince me it doesn’t suck. Right?
The idea of The Sims Social is brilliant in its simplicity: You interact with your friends while you’re playing Sims while you’re on Facebook while you’re [probably] at work; you get to slack off and virtually hangout with people you [probably] don’t hate.
The launch video that was shown at E3 only showed two people interacting via The Sims Social but I’m assuming you’ll be able to interact with more than just one friend at a time–think of it as a Sims MMORPG where you can woohoo in the shower.
Consider that in 2009-when The Sims 3 was released—3.7 million units of The Sims 3 were sold and way back in 2002, The Sims became the best-selling PC game of all time. So, even if players haven’t experienced The Sims 3, there’s still a good chance they have either played The Sims 2 or The Sims. Then consider there are more than 500 million active Facebook users and you have the potential for a whole lot of shower woohooing.
EA isn’t alone in its development of The Sims Social with Playfish–which EA purchased in 2009–coming on board to assist with development. Smart move on EA’s part since Playfish is a leader in social gaming.
Facebook has consistently been gaining ground in people’s lives as the ultimate time waster:
And anyone who has played any of the games in The Sims franchise knows how much time they can suck out of your day without you realizing it–one minute you’re enjoying your first cup of coffee and the next you look up to find it dark outside.
What do you get when you put these two together?
You get a very popular social game. Heck, according to the Facebook page for The Sims Social, they’re already up to “526,610 monthly active users” which I don’t exactly get since the app isn’t active yet but that’s still a bunch of folks; I assume that number comes from the people who have “liked” the page.
Time will tell if The Sims Social falls flat on its face but I suspect Zynga, with its stable of Facebook games (e.g., FarmVille, Mafia Wars) isn’t happy about EA’s foray into the world of Facebook social gaming. [There’s a well researched rumor Zynga is coming come out with an answer to The Sims Social in the form of Familyville.]
Do you plan on playing? Do your friends?