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This article is a review of the history of the game The Sims 2.


EA Games announced on May 5, 2003 that the Maxis studio had begun development on The Sims 2. The game was first shown at E³ in Los Angeles, California on May 13, 2004. Will Wright admits that while most of the content of The Sims 2 are original ideas, inspiration for its own expansions and constituents spawned from the successes of the first game. The community interest in the antecedent The Sims: Unleashed expansion, for example, ensured the creation of The Sims 2: Pets expansion.

After development concluded, designers from Maxis regarded The Sims 2 as very capricious during creation. Bugs would appear apparently spontaneously, and Sims would be "tweaked", or have anomalies not present in a previous run.


The game's highly malleable content and open-ended customization have led to controversy on the subject of paysites and sexual modifications. Custom content is distributed through independent websites, some of which charge for downloading materials. Some modifications, purportedly revealing sexual anatomy, sparked legal controversy.

On July 22, 2005, Florida attorney Jack Thompson alleged that Electronic Arts and The Sims 2 promoted nudity through use of a mod or a cheat code. The claim was made that pubic hair, labia and other genital details were visible once the "blur" (the pixelation that occurs when a sim is using the toilet or is naked in the game) was removed. Electronic Arts issued a statement saying that when the blur was removed, Sims lack such anatomical definition, similar to Barbie and Ken dolls. Electronic Arts executive Jeff Brown said in an interview with GameSpot: "This is nonsense. We've reviewed 100 percent of the content. There is no content inappropriate for a teen audience. Players never see a nude sim. If someone with an extreme amount of expertise and time were to remove the pixels, they would see that the sims have no genitals. They appear like Ken and Barbie."


The Sims 2 had a successful E³ showing in 2004. In all, it garnered four awards based on that exhibit alone, and two more upon further review. The Game Critics awarded the game Best Simulation Game at E³ 2004. GameSpot, GameSpy, and IGN also awarded The Sims 2 their Best of Show at E³ 2004 designation. The game also received the Editor's Choice Award from IGN and GameSpy upon final review of the finished product. From 71 online reviews, the average score was 90 out of 100. Seven of those sources awarded the game a 100 out of 100 score. In addition to its awards, the Sims 2 creator, Will Wright was recognized by being nominated at the Billboard Digital Entertainment Awards for Visionary and Game Developer. The game was also nominated for two international awards, Best PC Game, 2005 from BAFTA, and the International Press Academy Satellite Award for Best Puzzle/Strategy Game, 2005.

Subsequent Releases[edit]

For the PC, there have been six released editions of the core game, six released expansion packs and six released stuff packs. There has also been another stuff pack and expansion announced. Many of these have been ported to Mac OS X by Aspyr. The Sims 2 has also been released for a number of game consoles.

Core game[edit]

Name Windows release date (USA) Mac OS X release date Features
The Sims 2 September 14, 2004 June 13, 2005 First release of the core game
The Sims 2: Special DVD Edition September 17, 2004 N/A Core game, Bonus DVD content
The Sims 2: Holiday Edition (2005) November 17, 2005 N/A Core game, content from The Sims 2: Holiday Party Pack
The Sims 2: Holiday Edition (2006) November, 2006 N/A Core game, content from The Sims 2: Happy Holiday Stuff
The Sims 2: Deluxe May 8, 2007 N/A Core game, The Sims 2: Nightlife, Bonus DVD

Expansion packs[edit]

The Sims 2 expansion packs provide additional game features and items. Generally, expansion packs add one central gameplay element, several peripheral elements, a new type of "expansion neighborhood", a new mythical creature (e.g. zombies in University and vampires in Nightlife), and over 100 new objects. Six expansion packs have been released so far, with the seventh expansion pack to be released in early February 2008.

Name Windows release date (USA) Mac OS X release date Major additions Neighborhood expansions New NPCs Creature
North America Europe
University March 1, 2005 March 2, 2005 December 12, 2005 Colleges, Secret Societies, Dorms, Fraternaties and Soroties, Young Adult life stage (only accessible in college), lifetime wants, Influence, new careers only available to graduates 3 premade College Towns, Sim State University, La Fiesta Tech, Academie Le Tour Baristas, mascots, students, cheerleaders, streakers, bartenders, cafeteria workers, professors, Zombies
Nightlife September 13, 2005 September 13, 2005 March 27, 2006 Dates, Groups, Attraction and Chemistry, Inventory, Furious State, Restaurants Downtown Gypsy Matchmaker, Host, Waitor, Chefs, Grand Vampires, Downtownies, DJs, Slobs, Divas, Mr Bigs Vampires
Open for Business March 2, 2006 March 2, 2006 September 4, 2006 Ownable shops, Talent Badges, Business Perks, Customers and Employees Shopping districts (Bluewater Village) Reporters, barbers Robots
Pets October 17, 2006 October 20, 2006 November 6, 2006 Dogs, Cats, Small Pets, Pet Careers and Tricks, Game Encyclopedia, Pet Genetics, Build Mode Enhancements None Animal Control Officers, Obedience Trainer, Wolves, Skunks Werewolves
Seasons March 1, 2007 March 2, 2007 June 11, 2007 Seasons, Weather, Outerwear, Gardening, Fishing, New Careers Riverblossom Hills Garden Club Members, Penguins Plantsims
Bon Voyage September 4, 2007 September 7, 2007 December 23, 2007 Hotels, Vacations in Tropical, Mountain and Far Easten themes, Vacation mementoes panel, Beaches, Tours Vacation Neighborhoods (Twikki Island - Beach, Three Lakes - Mountain and Takemizu Village - Far East) Fire Dancers, Housekeepers, Bellhops, Wise Old Man, Pirate Ghosts, Pickpockets, Tourguides and Ninjas Bigfoot (Only Male)
FreeTime February 26, 2008 February 26, 2008 February 22, 2008 Hobbies, sports, ballet, activities, restoring cars, pottery, additional careers, crafting club Desiderata Valley Hobby Members Genie

Stuff packs[edit]

Stuff packs are add-ons to the base game that add only new objects. There are currently seven released. Stuff packs were originally called booster packs, as seen in the release of The Sims 2: Holiday Party Pack. Current releases are called "Stuff Packs" and include certain gameplay elements introduced in previous expansion packs (as opposed to Holiday Party Pack, which only added a package file containing object data). Stuff packs typically add around 60 new items.

Name Windows release date (USA) Mac OS X release date Major components
Holiday Party Pack November 17, 2005 N/A Christmas, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Years
Family Fun Stuff April 13, 2006 April 30, 2007 Fairy tale, Nautical
Glamour Life Stuff August 31, 2006 June 2007 Luxury, Couture
Happy Holiday Stuff November 7, 2006 September 2007 Includes Holiday Party Pack, with Asian and European holiday elements
Celebration! Stuff April 3, 2007 N/A Celebrations, Fiestas (Weddings & Birthdays)
H&M Fashion Stuff June 5, 2007 N/A Latest fashion collections from H&M
Teen Style Stuff November 5, 2007 N/A New bedroom décor themes ('Goth,' 'Thrashers,' and 'Socialite'), teen outfits and hairstyles.
Kitchen & Bath Interior Design Stuff April 8, 2008 N/A New kitchen and bathroom objects, kitchen clothing & 'homey' hairstyles
IKEA Home Stuff June 24, 2008 N/A New IKEA objects for Sim homes
Mansion & Garden Stuff November 17, 2008 N/A Objects like ceiling fans and eco-energy stuff for mansions, new architecture menu in build mode

The Sims 3[edit]

The Sims 3 was announced by EA in November of 2006. The production of The Sims 3 started after the release of The Sims 2. It was then released on June 2, 2009.