Can you believe that it’s been 19 years since Bob and Betty Newbie moved into 7 Sim Lane in The Sims? Well, it’s time to believe it because The Sims is celebrating its 19th anniversary today!
On the 4th February 2000, Will Wright’s brainchild – The Sims – was officially released on PC to critical acclaim. The first sort of game of its kind, and still remaining unchallenged in the video game market, The Sims allowed players to play with life by creating simulated people, build their homes, and rule their world.
While the original game may seem like a distant memory, it would become the beginning of something huge. 19 years on, The Sims franchise has sold almost 200 million copies worldwide and still remains one of the best-selling video game series of all time. The original game became the best selling PC game at the time in early 2000, selling over 6.3 million copies, and dethroning the then best-selling game called Myst.
The idea of The Sims goes all the way back to 1991 when Will Wright lost his home during the Oakland firestorm and had to rebuild his life. Initially, when Wright took the idea to the Maxis board, they were sceptical and provided little support. Once EA purchased Maxis in 1997, they threw support behind the title following the success of SimCity.
The game initially started life as an architectural title with the simulated people being in the game to respond to the objects you were placing. However, these simulated people started to become more interesting than the building aspect and that is when this became the focus of the game. Even more interesting, the very first item ever created for The Sims was a toilet! Who knew that something so simple could grow to become something so big?
Following the early success of The Sims, seven expansion packs were created – and spin-offs such as The Sims Online – which continued to boost the popularity of the game. This allowed Sims to leave their house for the first time and head downtown in the Hot Date expansion, to have their own pets in Unleashed, and make some magic in Makin’ Magic. With this success behind it, The Sims 2 came along in 2004 to become the best-selling PC game at the time, which was then followed by The Sims 3 in 2009 and The Sims 4 in 2014.
I am sure that everyone can agree one of the memories that sticks with them from The Sims is the first time you decide to remove the pool ladder and watch your Sim drown, and then continuing to experiment and see how many ways you can kill your Sim. Ah, nostalgia. But that’s not the only nostalgic element of the game – the soundtrack composed by a variety of Maxis veteran musicians stand the test of time and bring the whole experience together. Let’s face it, The Sims 1 had the best soundtrack ever.
19 years on, The Sims franchise still remains popular to this day with The Sims 4 going strong. It changed the face of gaming – and was one of the first video games to attract more female gamers than male – and has changed so many peoples lives. Mine included. Through The Sims I have been able to express my interest in the franchise through this website and meet so many other like-minded, created individuals through the internet and at events.
As always, I’m looking forward to the future of this franchise and would love to hear any memories you have about The Sims games! If you’re feeling nostalgic, you may enjoy this recent video I created where we re-explore The Sims 1!