Nancy Smith, head of the Sims Division at EA, said that the company, one of the world’s largest game publishers, “would continue to invest in more and more robust community features” in the Sims. Two spin-offs from the franchise, including one called Sims on Stage, in which players compete against one another in singing and dancing contests, have incorporated online elements.

A move into the territory traditionally inhabited by so-called massively multiplayer online role-playing games such as World of Warcraft would signal the effect the web is having on community-based games such as the Sims.

Ms Smith said that an online element “could be of interest” to the game’s fan base, and that the game’s producer would “definitely think about it,” although it wasn’t what the company had on the market at the moment. “We’re constantly exploring new kinds of content and experiences,” she said.

While there is no indication that they will include such a feature with The Sims 3, it is always a possibility.  I mean, could you imagine that they could try to include a buddylist with the game, so if you have internet/real friends you could join their hood?  It’d be similiar to The Sims Online, but this time you have control over who comes to visit instead of a flock of immature folks bombarding your game!

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