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EA'S push to sell more stuff

How many expansion packs and stand-alone towns will the market bear?

It's not your imagination, Sims players: EA has pushed out more stuff for players to buy than ever before. Many players feel like EA is trying to milk the franchise for all it's worth. Personally I suspect that the more stuff they put out there, the less anyone will end up buying.

The latest release is Sunlit Tides. I follow Sims news pretty closely, and even I didn't understand that this was a standalone town (world) until today. Like Lucky Palms (released June 2012), Lunar Lakes (released February 2012), and Barnacle Bay (September 2010) Sunlit Tides is a stand-alone live-in world (i.e. not a vacation world) that you can buy for your Sims to move to, if you have grown tired of the towns that ship with the game.
It's difficult to figure out how the EA producers are justifying these stand-alone worlds. After all, if you buy an expansion pack, it comes with a new world. Pets came with Appaloosa Plains, Supernatural will come with Moonlight Falls (September 2012), and Seasons will surely include a town as well.

The real issue is that the stand-alone towns cost about $25, while the expansion packs cost about $40. Why pay so much for a stand-alone town, when you can buy an expansion pack for just a little bit more? And Lucky Palms raised the bar in terms of pricing: it comes in two levels, Basic and Gold. Gold level includes many premium items, but costs a staggering $38. 
The same dual-level pricing holds for Sunlit Tides, as well. The Standard version costs "only" $24.50. But the Gold version costs $43.50 - although it is currently on sale for "only" $37.00.
To make it worse, these prices are all in SimPoints. You can't just buy Sunlit Tides for $37, you have to buy $40 worth of SimPoints and then you end up with $3 in change - in SimPoints.
I don't mind supporting the development of a game I know and love. I certainly don't begrudge EA the ability to make money off the game. But considering it is one of the world's bestselling game titles, how much do they really have to milk that cow in order to be able to make ends meet? Barnacle Bay cost around $12 when it was first released, if memory serves, and that felt about right. But these Gold level towns actually cost more than a full-on expansion pack, but without all the cool additional gameplay. When will players decide that "enough is enough" and stop buying all the extra content?

Image copyright EA/The Sims 3


swinegrl's picture


Sunlit Tides looks beautiful and I probably will buy it but it is crazy that they have come out with this right before the Supernatural EP and knowing I will also want Seasons. Its getting expensive!

JackMaxwell's picture


I've had it with EA. I know they're aim is to sell products that make a profit, but you can clearly tell they cut corners in the base game and expansion back to entice you to want the nicer items in the store; a prime example of this is the poor range of choice in hair styles in the base game.

Not only this, but there are just too many expansion packs for me to even want to buy! My computer is hardly a top of the range brand, but it runs Sims 3 and two expansion packs just about fine. I dread to think what another FIFTEEN expansion and stuff packs would do to my computer, let alone my bank balance. I just think it's beyond ridiculous and much preferred it when Maxis was more in the driving seat - which you can tell they're clearly not anymore.

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