I remember playing TSO back when they had their 14 day trial when it was released. It was actually pretty fun, but the lack of any custom content and the fact that you have to pay monthly killed it quick. Well, that is no longer the issue (unfortunately it is 5 years to late, but better late than never).
What is EA-Land?
I would like to introduce you to EA-Land, a world that is free-to-play, and based on a re-engineered The Sims Online architecture. Yes, free.
If you played The Sims Online before, we have played together and I would like you to rejoin us in the game: My avatar is MaxisLuc (yes, I work for Maxis/EA). At the beginning of last year I assembled a team to improve The Sims Online. After months of ongoing hard work, we can say proudly that we have been successful and we have made this game fun again!
- Former Members Of The Sims Online: You can come back for FREE right now by just downloading the game and REACTIVATING your account. If you do so before March 2008, you will get your earned ‘account based’ privileges back (gifts, skill locks etc…) when we run our ‘amnesty’ program. So make sure you are in game before that event!
- New to EA-Land and The Sims Online: Sign up for free!
EA-Land will host all of The Sims Online cities.
The Sims Online (TSO) was made of 12 different cities (AlphaVille, Blazing Falls, etc..) and we are moving all of those cities inside EA-Land (this is called ‘the merge’ by the users!). We have a huge new map: it is 100 times bigger than the previous size of any city. We had to add a whole new zoom level to let users see it. The internet is faster now than when TSO was launched, so we have been able to let each house have more simultaneous visitors. A lot of new users are constantly joining us and we expect more. If you played TSO before, I think that you ought to own your lot in this new land, and I want you to have the ability to grab the best location before we open the gates. As an EA-Land subscriber, you will be able to have several Sims in the same “city” unlike in TSO where you were limited to one Sim per city.
EA-Land has been re-designed with Smart Users in mind.
We have a blog where we explain all the things we are working on and the events we are running in the game. We also have a very active wiki web site, named “Game Blueprints“, managed by the community where you can work with others to design the game. We have already implemented many features designed by the users! The stratics forum community continues to be very active.
We have made some big changes already to the game, and many more are coming over the next few months. It is difficult to say which ones of the recent changes are the most important as users have different reasons to play the game, but let me tell you about the changes that I particularly like:
Users have now the ability to upload custom content. Like in the original Sims game, the goal is to let you customize the game completely, but in EA-Land you can see and buy the customizations of the other players! Players have already uploaded several thousands pieces of custom content. I suspect that by some time this year, all of the content of the game will have been replaced many times over by custom content. We started with the ability to upload bitmaps (easiest for the new creative users), then moved on to chairs and sculptures. You can now make your own portraits in the game and “skin” objects like in Sims2 but using your own images. Because we are approving all of the content, this user content is safe to be viewed by everyone! We are working with the main user web sites that have been providing custom content to the Sims users for years (e.g. http://www.TheSimsResource.com) to make sure that their content will be made available in the game.
We heard from the community that the economy was broken in TSO. That was true, too many users were billionaires, and the goal of the game was mostly about extracting money from Maxis. I can now say with satisfaction that we have fixed the economy on EA-Land. This took many features, from establishing a real estate market, where users can easily buy or sell lots to one another, and a dynamic object pricing market where the prices of objects purchased from maxis is based on supply and demand, enabling stores and entrepreneurs to earn a living. We also enabled users to buy simoleans directly from Maxis. While there is no need for users to do so in the game (we give subscribers simoleans every week), it can help new users build their dream house faster with a simple paypal transaction secured by us.
Web Services and Social Networks
The internet has changed so much since the launch of The Sims Online in December 2002, we had to change the way we think about online games. We have opened the access to most of the in game information to the internet through web services. For example this enables you to add Google or Yahoo widgets to your computer (or iPhone! ) and see if your favorite lots or friends are online.
We are providing you with privacy settings so you can decide if or which of your avatar will broadcast what information to the internet. Sims User web sites are already using this feature to create some amazing community sites. We also built avatarbook, to show how that information can be seen and connected to social web sites like Facebook (login to face book and add the “avatarbook” application.
You can search MaxisLuc for example: http://apps.facebook.com/avatarbook
And there’s more to come! We are looking forward to seeing you in the game and having fun with us!
P.S: This game is continously in development. if you find that you have problems login or installing the game, please check the pages on this site: login issues.