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A look back at The Sims Online

What a sad fate for such an amazing property

 The Sims Online is one of those things I forget about for years at a time before an article like this one at SimsVIP reminds me. I was in the beta test program for The Sims Online, way back when (this would have been 2001-2002, before the game launched).

I was skeptical about The Sims Online even then. Having spent the previous year playing The Sims like a second job, I was looking forward to a sequel. And The Sims Online very much was... not that.

I remember I logged on and did a few basic introductory tasks. And then I looked around and realized... all those other Sims were real people like me. It was, as one critic remarked, "more of a chat program than a game."

I never went back. I kept playing The Sims until The Sims 2 finally rolled around, in 2004. 

The Sims Online remains, for me, an object lesson in not chasing current trends. EA developed it because MMOs were extremely hot at the time. World of Warcraft wouldn't launch until 2004, and Second Life was still several years away in 2003. But the early success of MMOs like Everquest (1999) and Neverwinter Nights (2002) showed that massively multiplayer games were the hot new thing. Much like VR is considered the hot new thing today. But not every game can or should be shoehorned into the same niche, as the failure of The Sims Online certainly proves.  


Image copyright EA/Maxis