EA announces new series of casual Sims games

Posted by Mark raby

Redwood City (CA) - The PC game that became a household name is trying to expand its audience even more. A new series of The Sims heading out this year, aimed at the casual gaming crowd.

The "Stories" line of games will reportedly have a scaled-down life simulation system and control scheme, and will have only basic PC requirements, making them accessible for owners of laptops and those who don't have a top-of-the-line graphics card. While there will be an open-ended style of game play, the backbone of the new games will be in their story-driven mission modes, like what EA offered in the console versions of the original The Sims game.

The first of the new series to be released is The Sims Life Stories, slated for a US release in the first week of February. Following that will be The Sims Pet Stories, with a mid-year release, and 2008 entrant The Sims Castaway Stories.

The Sims is one of the top digital media franchises of all time, selling over 70 million copies in just six years. However, sales grew slowly for the console versions of the series and for the heralded sequel The Sims 2. The Stories games are attempting to grow the franchise by reaching out to a completely new audience. Each of the games will have a retail price of $40 and a tentatively planned "T" rating for each installment.