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6/10/2009
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EA's Sims 3 Defies Recession

More than 1.4 million units of Sims 3 have been sold since Electronic Arts released the latest version of the video game June 2.

The economy is down and unemployment tops 9%, but that hasn't stopped Sims fans from plucking the latest version of Electronic Arts' PC game off store shelves in record numbers.

EA reported Tuesday that it has sold more than 1.4 million units of Sims 3 since releasing the new version of the long-running game June 2. Players create and nurture "Sim"ulated people who have personalities and individual lives.

In addition to setting a company sales record for PC games, Sims 3 has also held the No. 1 paid app position since launch day on Apple's App Store for the iPhone and iPod Touch, according to EA. The iPhone/iPod Touch version of the game is priced at $10, and the PC/Mac game is $50 on Amazon.com.

Sims 3 adds more options in creating buildings, homes, and Sims neighborhoods. In addition, players have more personality traits to chose from in creating their characters, such as brave, artistic, kleptomaniac, clumsy, paranoid, and romantic. Besides the tools available in the game, EA sells more options for customizing Sims' appearances and houses through the company's Sims 3 Store. Such online stores have generated a steady revenue flow for game publishers.

The Sims franchise was created by game designer Will Wright, who left EA in April to launch an entertainment think tank. However, EA made sure to maintain strong ties with the developer, saying it and Wright would own equal percentages of Wright's new venture, the Stupid Fun Club.

As part of its equity investment, EA has the right to develop game concepts from Wright's firm, which will develop "new intellectual properties to be deployed across multiple fronts, including video games, movies, television, the Internet, and toys."


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