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The Sims Online

The Sims Online was a 3D social MMORPG based on the popular The Sims franchise. Players could explore several in-game cities, hone a variety of skills, and earn money with which to decorate and expand their own homes.

Publisher: Electronic Arts
Type: MMORPG
Release Date: December 17, 2002
Closure Date: August 01, 2008
Pros: +Competently player run economy. +Skill based progression. +Variety of jobs and ways to earn cash. +Players could customize private homes.
Cons: -Mechanics encouraged skill grinding over socialization. -Limited gameplay elements. -Major bugs went unfixed for years.

Overview

The Sims Online Overview

The Sims Online, later renamed EA-Land, was the first game in the massively successful series to offer online multiplayer gameplay. First released towards the end of 2002, the game required a monthly subscription fee of $10/month. Players could explore a variety of environments while chatting with one another. Despite the MMORPG label, The Sims Online was thin on gameplay elements. Players could improve a variety of skills, take on jobs, and buy, sell, or rent property to one another. The economy in-game was entirely player run and largely centered around real estate. Sadly, the game lacked a deed trade system which left players vulnerable to scams. Other issues included a major bug that allowed money duping which quickly wrecked havoc with the economy. Despite its popular brand name, The Sims Online couldn't compete with other, free to play social game alternatives.

Job Types - Restaurant, Robot Factory, DJ, Dancing

Core Skills - Mechanical, Cooking, Charisma, Body, Creativity, Logic

The Sims Online Key Features

  • The Sims... Online! - The first game in the popular series to offer broad online multiplayer.
  • Cyber Real Estate Tycoon - A totally player-run economy centered around buying, selling, and renting plots/properties.
  • Social Collaboration - Improve skills faster by training near other players, perhaps make new friends in the process!
  • Multiple Cities to Explore - Explore four unique cities including the hardcore Dragon's Cove and the open ended Test Center

The Sims Online Screenshots

The Sims Online Featured Video

Videos

The Sims Online Videos

Links

The Sims Online Links

The Sims Online Wikipedia Entry
The Sims Online on The Sims Wikia [Database/Guides]
FreeSO [The Sims Online Emulation Project]
Niotso [The Sims Online Emulation Project]

Music

The Sims Online Music & Soundtrack


Additional Info

The Sims Online Additional Information

Developer: Maxis
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Game Designer: Will Wright
Composer: Jerry Martin

Release Dates:

United States: December 17, 2002
Japan: December 26, 2002

Closure Date: August 01, 2008

Development History / Background:

The Sims Online was developed by Maxis, the studio behind the best selling PC gaming series of all time. Despite being the first multiplayer Sims title, TSO failed to find its niche in the MMORPG market. Released on December 16, 2002, The Sims Online entered the MMORPG genre during a time when it attracted a much more hardcore audience. The lack of standard gameplay elements left players with little to do besides chat and grind up skills. Despite a tepid response, Electronic Arts decided to give the game a second chance in late 2007 with a wipe and a re-brand under the title EA-Land. Many new features, bug fixes, and a consolidation of the three main cities took place. In a bid to compete with Second Life, a feature to integrate player created content was also implemented. In April of 2008, just four weeks after the launch of EA-Land, Electronic Arts decided to shut the game down. The game official closed its doors on August 1, 2008.

Future The Sims games would include multiplayer modes, including The Sims Bustin' Out and The Sims Social.

Private Servers

The Sims Online Private Servers

A promising private server project called TSO Restoration Project was announced in October 10, but was cancelled on September 21, 2011 following a cease and desist letter from EA. Luckily, there are still two emulation projects available. Neither seems to be entirely ready yet, but fans can check them out below.

FreeSO - This project seems to be further along and has seen more active updates on their site than Niotso.
Niotso - No updates since 2014, but that may change.