A perennial cash cow for Electronic Arts, the Sims franchise hit the celebrated 100 million milestone earlier this year, generating $4 billion for the company in the process. As part of the Leipzig Games Convention today, EA announced that the The Sims 3, the first all-new installment in the life-simulation franchise since 2004's The Sims 2, would begin uttering incoherent phrases to PC gamers on February 20.
With Will Wright's Maxis studio prepping for Spore's September 7 launch, the Sims 3 is being developed by EA's dedicated Sims Studio at its Redwood Shores headquarters. Making the most noticeable impact between The Sims 3 and the slew of spin-offs and expansions of previous Sims titles is the all-new graphics engine, which EA promises will bring to life such locales as beaches, mountains, and civic centers.
Delving under the hood, The Sims 3 offers players the ability to customize individual sims by allotting them five unique character traits, from a choice of brave, artistic, kleptomaniac, clumsy, paranoid, and romantic. EA notes that Sims constantly evolve as the game progresses, which will add diversity to encounters. Other new features packed into Sims 3 include a Create-a-Sim mode and short- and long-term goals, where players have the choice to "fulfill their destiny, giving them lifetime happiness and rewards or not!"
In addition to dating The Sims 3, EA also detailed the game's collector's edition. Though no price was provided, the collector's edition will include The Sims 3, a Sims Plumbob USB Drive, an exclusive in-game Italian-style sports car, a cheats guide, and The Sims 3 Plumbob stickers pack.
For more on The Sims 3, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.