'Sims 3' coming on February 20

The latest edition of the hit Electronic Arts franchise designed by Will Wright will be available simultaneously as a digital download and an in-store purchase worldwide.

Electronic Arts has announced that the third installation of The Sims, that game that rivals World of Warcraft in the "I got so addicted my boss almost fired me" department, will be debuting on February 20, 2009.

EA

That's a worldwide release date for both in-store purchases and digital downloads. EA has famously devoted an entire division (or "label") to the blockbuster Sims franchise, in which players create their own families of virtual characters (or "sims") and let their lives unfold. The game was designed by Will Wright, whose new game <i>Spore</i> is hitting stores next month.

New to The Sims 3 are more advanced customization features (including personality traits like kleptomania, paranoia, and clumsiness) and smarter "neighborhoods" that can more extensively affect the outcome of the game.

In addition to The Sims 3, EA will also be releasing a "collector's edition" with a number of bonus features--including an in-game Italian sports car.

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