EA-Land closing in August

Following relaunch in February, megapublisher is closing the Sims Online successor permanently this summer.

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EA had high hopes for The Sims Online when the game was first launched in December 2002. Billed as an experiment into mass-market massively multiplayer online gaming, The Sims Online proved to command nowhere near the attention of its inspiration--The Sims--with EA saying not long after the online game's launch that initial sales were "disappointing."

The game persisted, however, and appeared to be in for a revival earlier this year, when EA renamed the game EA-Land in February and said it would be making a number of changes to the title in the coming months. Those ambitions have now proven to be for naught, as EA has said this week that it will officially be shuttering the title as of August 1.

"It is with mixed emotions that today we are announcing the EA-Land experiment will soon draw to a close," said EA in a statement on the game's official blog. "Since 2002, EA-Land / TSO has attracted a very special group of players (of which you are one) and we certainly appreciate your participation in the EA-Land community. The lifetime of the game has drawn to an end, and now we will be focusing on new ideas and other innovative concepts in the games arena. We’d like to thank everyone who has taken part in this online community as a unique experience in the virtual world."

As part of the announcement, EA said that subscription billing has now been suspended, so the game will be free to play until its gates officially close in August. The publisher also said that PayPal cash-ins for exchanging simolean currency for real-world money are no longer available. As a "token of appreciation," EA is offering paying subscribers $15 off any game at the EA Store or a three-month free subscription to its Club Pogo casual-game service.

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