Happy Birthday, The Sims

One of the industry's most enduring and popular game franchises celebrates its 10th anniversary Thursday. It's in 60 different countries with $2.5 billion in sales.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read

For a 10-year-old, The Sims has had quite a lifetime.

Launched on February 4, 2000, The Sims has proven one of the industry's most enduring and popular game franchises. Offering players the ability to live a virtual life, the game has launched a slew of sequels, traveled to different countries, and rewarded Electronic Arts with $2.5 billion in sales.

The Sims, Sims 2, Sims 3, and its various other spin-offs are available on a variety of platforms, including PCs, Macs, game consoles, portable devices, and smartphones. The original game can now be found in 60 different countries and 22 languages.

The Sims has also proven popular among social-networking sites, says EA, with its own pages on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and YouTube, adding up to a following of around 1 million people.

Party with The Sims
Party with The Sims Electronic Arts

"The success of The Sims is something gamers and the gaming business as a whole can be proud of, said Rod Humble, who heads the EA Play label, in a statement. "The future of The Sims is going to be a lot of fun; it is rare for an entertainment franchise to be gaining momentum a decade after release, so this is a particularly pleasant moment for everyone who has worked on the games."

The Sims has caught on, believes EA, not just because it's fun and quirky, but because it gives people the ability to create and control another life for themselves, complete with families, friends, and a whole new virtual world.

The franchise has also kept up with the times, as The Sims3 offers a green-friendly environment in which players can grow their own food and use a Toyota Prius hybrid to travel around town.

To celebrate the Sims' anniversary, EA is offering a few free gifts and special promotions for all Sims fans at its Sims Web site.