Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sims Social Takeover

I get at least 3 requests a day on Facebook to join the move to Sims Social. Then again I never was a fan of FarmVille, CityVille, or Mafia Wars, so there really is no moving to be had.

But this week Sims Social is poised to topple the giant that is CityVille according to the most recent AppData info. It's so important, even the NY Times reported on it! CityVille has had an ebb and flow as of late with number of users logging in. Some days are great. Some days make you wonder. Where as Sims Social has been making a pretty steady rise since it's debut in August.

What I wanted to discuss was the reason behind the popularity of Sims Social. NY Times seems to feel that if you are over 25 and don't have kids, you won't know a thing about the Sims.

Thanks for making me feel like the minority there Mr. Times. But I'll forgive you this time. Just don't let it happen again.

The Sims was released back in 2000 and has sold over 140 million retail copies. There was even an online version (Sims Online, which I believe Sims Social is trying to recapture that magic the right way). Before that was SimCity, which had a loyal following of millions starting way back in 1989. Many of the City folk transferred into The Sims quite easily. So the assumption that only the 25 and under crowd would play is a facade, at best. With the genius of Will Wright going strong for two decades, The Sims was a series that worked for all ages and genders. MTV's True Life did an episode devoted to people's alternate realities online with one girl from my alma mater Baylor University being a Sims addict (and I wish I had known her!) called I Live Another Life On The Web. This was well over 7 years ago, and by now she's nearing or at 30 like myself. Doesn't really meet the criteria of the NY Times.

But that's exactly why Sims Social is gaining popularity. It has a strong fan base of loyal users. Including myself no matter how much I rag on EA. I'm sure I'll be dropping into Sims Social soon at the rate it's going. It's a concept that easy to understand and allows you to develop the characters you want to play. The Sims fulfilled fantasies of being fairies or owning a store without the fear of failure in the real world, and now it's on Facebook in an easy to grasp format. Is it a business that's a copy/paste of CityVille? Absolutely and I won't deny otherwise. But I also feel that there are elements of game play and social interaction that you don't see as much as the other FB products. Sims Social takes the known formulas and enhances them for more customization, to make the Sim you've always wanted to be. I wouldn't be surprised to see it surpass CityVille by the end of the month.

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