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EA Details Online Features For Sims 3

Electronic Arts has revealed The Sims 3's online features, which will play a major role in the game's community and digital distribution components.
The Sims 3 will be taking the multi-million-selling franchise further into the realm of digital distribution and user-generated content, moreso than any previous entry. For starters, publisher Electronic Arts said today each copy of the game will include a virtual town on-disc, but a second town, dubbed "Riverview," will be available to download from The Sims 3 product website at the game's launch on June 2. TheSims3.com will serve as an online digital distribution storefront, as well as a community where users can produce and share their own Sims 3 movies using the Create a Movie tool. To initially coax gamers onto the game's digital storefront, EA is including $10 worth of SimPoints with each game, obtainable by registering the product. Each SimPoint is worth one cent USD. The online store, which will peddle virtual items, supports all major international currencies. The Sims 3 will also implement a "Game Launcher" that serves as an entry point and hub page that keeps players connected with the store, the community and game content. The Game Launcher also connects with The Sims 3 Exchange, a community service that hosts downloads and user recommendations. This isn't The Sims' first foray into online communities and digital distribution. In 2002, EA's Maxis studio released The Sims Online, which closed down in 2008. EA also launched The Sims 2 Store last year. The publisher said users have downloaded over 100 million items from The Sims 2 Exchange. Since its 2000 debut, The Sims franchise has sold over 100 million units globally. The Sims 3 will debut in June on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPod Touch and mobiles.

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