EA is scrapping their online version of their Sims franchise and is launching a similar, but free, version called EA Land. Frankly they could have come up with a better name, but then we’re not the ones with a massive gaming empire.
CNet’s Daniel Terdiman gave his take on the service: “This is a rather momentous move by EA, since it means it is bringing back from the dead…a game that, while it never really got off the ground, was extremely important in the overall development curve of 3D social virtual worlds with economies.”
The site’s already up at ea-land.ea.com and its mix of colours and the questionable font choice could easily be taken for a joke site. To register, you either signup on the site or re-use your EA membership login if you have it. Then EA gives you the option of ponying up cash for a DVD to be sent to you or you could download the 1.5GBs of application for free.
One big draw of EA Land would be with The Sims Online didn’t have – user created custom content. In TSO, there was precious little space for original user content unlike The Sims or The Sims 2, which led to the game itself being unable to sustain user interest for long. Second Life, There.com and other similar ‘worlds’ have learned from TSO’s failures and given users far more control over their environments, avatars as well as gameplay.
Fans of The Sims 2 might be disappointed with the dated avatars that are the same original Sims models from the first game, but essentially EA Land is, after all, TSO revamped. Whether EA manages to learn lessons from its previous TSO failings or ends up being poor carbon copies of the competition remains to be seen. Though seriously, they really should look into getting a better name.