The Sims turns 10, tops 125 million units

Electronic Arts celebrates aluminum anniversary of virtual life game by touting sales figures; franchise revenues total $2.5 billion.

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It has been 10 years to the day since The Sims originally arrived on PCs, where it met both critical acclaim and commercial success. Electronic Arts marked the occasion by dropping a fresh batch of statistics for perspective on just how successful the life sim series has been.

The Sims 3 merges PC gaming with the undeniable universal appeal of watching old men fish.
The Sims 3 merges PC gaming with the undeniable universal appeal of watching old men fish.

Between the three major installments of The Sims, and their numerous expansions, add-ons, and spin-offs, the publisher said its flagship franchise has brought in more than $2.5 billion in revenues, with more than 125 million copies sold to date. The series passed its last major milestone, the 100-million mark, less than two years ago.

There aren't many reasons to think The Sims' sales pace is going to drop off anytime soon. Its enduring popularity was evidenced by last June's debut of The Sims 3 on the PC, which sold 3.7 million units in its first month and topped 4.5 million copies sold as of last month. Also in January, EA declared it the top-selling PC game of 2009 at global retailers.

The publisher has also seen substantial success with The Sims 3 Exchange, an online store populated by content created by users. According to EA, nearly 110 million pieces of content have been downloaded through the Exchange since the game launched in June.

The Sims 3 received its first expansion in November 2009 in the form of the well-received World Adventures. A second add-on, The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff, was released this week. As part of its downward earnings revision last month, the publisher also said that new entries in the Sims franchise would appear on unspecified consoles during its 2011 fiscal year, which runs April 1, 2010, through March 31, 2011.

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