A crucial element to the Sims franchise's success has been its emphasis on user-generated content that can be quickly and easily disseminated to the game's massive community of players. And as the game's June 2 launch on the PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch, and other mobile devices creeps ever closer, the publisher today took the lid off of the suite of community features that gamers can expect to find in The Sims 3.
Of note, EA revealed its plans for The Sims 3 Store, where players will be able to purchase items for use in the game. When the life simulator launches, those who register the game through TheSims3.com will automatically receive $10 in the virtual SimPoints currency, which can be spent on items ranging from in-game furniture to clothing. Players will be able to purchase additional SimPoints in denominations of 500-, 1,000-, and 2,000-point packages. According to EA, 1,000 SimPoints will cost $10, plus applicable tax.
EA also said that those who purchase the PC or Mac edition of The Sims 3 will be able to download a second town--Riverview--at launch. The town will be available through the game's aforementioned Web site, and EA has confirmed that it will be a free download. EA promised that the Sims 3 Web site will also serve as a hub for players to connect outside the game, offering personalized information and ways to share user-generated content.
The publisher also detailed The Sims 3 Game Launcher, which will let players access the in-game store and exchange platform when they load up the title. The menu lets players track downloads, uploads, and game updates, while also serving as a news hub that offers such information as new items added to the store.
For more on what's new, check out GameSpot's recent preview of The Sims 3.