Electronic Arts ran a week-long promotion in May that gave The Sims 4 away for free on its digital game store Origin. Now, EA says that the promotion led to 7 million downloads of the base Sims 4 game, a push that comes in the same quarter as a 55 percent year-over-year jump in add-on purchases.
The Sims 4 was, alongside Apex Legends, one of the notable earners called out in Electronic Arts' most recent financial reports.
Put in context, EA expects The Sims 4 to bring in net bookings on the same level as its battle royale game Apex Legends moving forward, saying that it expects both games to “each deliver net bookings in the $300 million to $400 million range” in the future.
While the May promotion saw the base game given away for free, it’s likely the arrangement sought to create more potential buyers for the troves of paid add-on content EA-owned Maxis has released for the game in the 5 years since its first release.
Those add on packs, broken down into $40, $20, and $10 tiers based on the amount of in-game content offered, require the base game to use and, though optional, amount to about a $560 purchase for those who pick up the current library at full price.
"I think we're doing really, really well attracting Sims players," notes EA CEO Andrew Wilson in the Q&A. "As we said, we did the promotion in the last couple of months and brought in 7 million new Sims players that we expect will engage in that community on a platform that is really tailored to user-generated content, creativity and customization."