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.
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.
|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|
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|
|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 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|
The Sims 3
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.