Sims celebrates fifth anniversary

Since its debut, Sims has shipped 52 million units, been translated into 17 languages, and influenced gamer demographics.

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Five years ago this week, Electronic Arts began shipping the first Sims game for the PC. Since then, the lives of millions of gamers (not to mention those of the sims themselves) have never been the same. The series has been a top seller for four of the last five years.

The Sims franchise-cum-social-experiment has shipped over 52 million units worldwide, including more than 16 million units of the first game alone. The original Sims game has been translated into more than 17 languages. It has spawned seven expansion packs--The Sims Livin' Large, The Sims House Party, The Sims Hot Date, The Sims Vacation, The Sims Unleashed, The Sims Superstar, and The Sims Makin' Magic--plus The Sims Online; The Sims Bustin' Out for PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and Game Boy Advance; and The Sims Deluxe games for the PC.

The Sims 2 launched in September 2004, and it has already sold more than 4.5 million units worldwide. Its first expansion pack, The Sims 2: University, is due this March. The Urbz: Sims in the City also shipped in fall 2004 for all major consoles, the DS and the GBA, bringing a kid-friendly, urban-hipster sensibility to the concept.

The creator of The Sims, Will Wright, has won many awards for his work, including induction into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame in February 2002.

"The Sims changed the way people play video games and also changed the kinds of people who play video games," said Bing Gordon, executive vice president and chief creative officer of Electronic Arts. He added, "The Sims franchise is still just beginning."

To see what all the hubbub is about, see Andrew Park's full review of The Sims 2.

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