It has been 17 years since The Sims first launched what would later become a world famous franchise that would have sold over 200 million copies worldwide. However, The Sims wasn’t always destined for success as the series initially underwent multiple prototypes. At one point even the series' creator, Will Wright, wasn’t happy with the game’s final version.
After another round of changes, Wright had finally hit the nail on its head, and his team quickly began development on what would later be known as The Sims. Who would have thought that after all of those changes, Will and his team were well on their way to creating one of the biggest and best-selling video game franchises of all time – it just goes to show that you should never give up on your ideas.
Although the series may rank in at number eight on the list for bestselling franchises, The Sims series still holds many facts that most of its player base don’t even know about. From bringing The Sims to real-life, to the secrets behind the game's voice acting — here are fifteen crazy things you may have never known about the series. If you believe we have missed any facts about the series, be sure to share your own interesting facts in the comments section!
15 Simlish Was Inspired By Real Languages
Will Wright – the game's developer – feared that certain phrases of English dialog would become very robotic and present a rather challenging task to market and translate into several different languages when disrupted worldwide. In an attempt to avoid these issues, Wright decided that a unique language that would only be suited to The Sims would be the best idea.
Simlish – the official language of The Sims – draws from fractured Ukrainian, French, Latin, Finnish, English, Fijian, Cebuano, and Tagalog.
If you’ve turned on the radio when playing The Sims you would have heard some songs that sound very familiar, well that’s because they actually are! The developers even went to the extent of sourcing the real artists to replica their songs in the Simlish language – that’s some true dedication on the developer’s part.
14 The Sims Is Inspired By Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs
If you’ve played The Sims, you will have noticed just how closely they resemble real life people – from needs, emotions and even aspirations. This is because Will Wright had taken close inspiration from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which showcases how people are motivated by needs. However, once the basic needs have been satisfied, a person will then become motivated by less urgent requirements. Maslow’s Hierarchy includes the likes of Self-Actualization, Esteem, Love/Belonging, Safety, and Physiological.
The next time that someone tries to argue with you that The Sims is just another pointless, unrealistic video game, simply let them know that the series is actually based off of real research of human emotions and needs - watch their expression drop as they realize just how wrong they are.
13 Real EA Videogames Make An Appearance In Game
It is not uncommon for a video game to hide hidden Easter Eggs throughout their game for players to find and The Sims is no exception as EA has hidden a number of hidden references to their previous video games throughout the series. These video games references have been hidden throughout the series in the television, gaming consoles, and even the PC. The most notable game in the series featuring these Easter Eggs is The Sims 4. It features at least eight different references to other video games – in which most are usually developed by EA.
Throughout The Sims 4 players will find references to Tetris, The Sims (which also features gameplay of numerous expansion packs), The Elder Scrolls, SimCity, Spore, and even Mass Effect.
There’s nothing quite like making your Sim play The Sims while playing The Sims 4 – inception much.
12 A Server Fire Caused Features To Be Removed The Sims 2
We have all lost important files before – whether it was from a program crashing, or simply not saving something that you were told to save multiple times before. Whatever the case may be, we all know the feeling that occurs when it happens – simply put, it sucks.
However, could you imagine what it would be like to lose a significantly large chunk of your company’s project that took not only took years to create, but also a significantly large team that dedicated their time and effort? Well, this is exactly what happened to Maxis when they worked on The Sims 2 as a small server room fire destroyed a very large amount of work. This required a large portion of The Sims 2 to be recreated from the ground up which not only set them back, but also resulted in a downgrade for their E3 trailer. Many ideas were even cut from the base game – such as weather.
11 The Sims Originally Had Several Different Names
Let’s be honest, as much as we want to deny it, we always judge a book by its cover - and unfortunately, games are no different. As you search the aisles of your local GameStop, you search for the covers and titles that grab your attention. But judging from the previous titles that The Sims had in mind, it would be safe to say the series wouldn’t be jumping out at you anytime soon.
Will Wright – the Game Designer of The Sims – had originally had plans to name The Sims, Dollhouse as he believed the game was essentially a high-tech animated doll house that featured AI. However – as expected – the game was knocked back as the marketers found that the game did not appeal to young male gamers.
10 The Sims Featured A Mysterious Virus
The mysterious virus was one of the most interesting things to have ever been added to The Sims series. This mysterious virus was introduced into the game by its creator – Will Wright – which saw many of the players Sims fall mysteriously ill for no reason at all. As expected, this mysterious illness quickly became a talking point among many of the players in the community.
As the virus began to spread, it sparked many debates within the community boards and forums where many argued what the true cause of the illness may be. In true internet fashion, people were quick to band together and narrow down what the cause of the illness was. After countless days of searching, people were able to narrow down and relate the illness to the guinea pigs that players were able to purchase.
9 The Series Has Sold Enough Copies To Fill An Entire Country
Being successful in today’s gaming industry is no easy feat as games are constantly being developed and are fighting for the consumer’s attention. Fortunately, that’s not the case for The Sims, as the series has continued to thrive over the years as Maxis provides new content in the form of Expansion Packs and Stuff Packs on a very regular basis.
Since The Sims first launched in the year 2000, the series has skyrocketed in popularity and currently sits at number eight on the list of highest-selling videogame franchises of all time with just over 200,000,000 copies sold.
That would be almost the equivalent of having every single person in the country of Pakistan or Brazil purchase just one game in The Sims series. It’s crazy to think that 200 million people have purchased a game that had previously been rejected and almost canceled.
8 The Sims Was Initially A Building Game
Little do people know that The Sims was originally intended to be completely different. Originally, The Sims —according to its creator, Will Wright— was going to be an architecture simulator that allowed players the ability to build houses. The ‘Sims’ were later added into the game so they could interact and respond to the objects that were created for the game – such as toilets, kitchens, and bedrooms.
However, shortly after developing prototypes, it became very clear to Wright that the ‘Sims’ themselves were a far more interesting aspect of the game, rather than the building itself. After pitching the games new changes to EA, Wright and his team quickly began work on the simulator that everyone now knows as The Sims.
7 The First Object Ever Implemented Was A Toilet
You would be surprised to know that the first object ever implemented into The Sims was a toilet. When developing the first prototype in 1993, the game's creator – Will Wright – only included one single object for his Sim to interact with. The toilet was programmed in such a way that it could be cleaned, used, and even given the option to leave the seat up or down.
Wright decided that the toilet was the best option to create first as it was the single item of furniture that offered many different potential interactions and possible variables. It does make sense that the toilet was the first item implemented, as every house you furnish needs a bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom first.
Thankfully though, Wright decided to add more than just a toilet into the final version of the game.
6 The Sims 2 Was Supposed To Feature Rain In The Base Game
The Sims 2 made its first appearance at 2003’s E3 conference, where they showcased that weather would debut in the base game. However, after several issues with games code – rain would frequently appear indoors – it was decided that the weather feature would be pushed back to later date – three years to be exact.
This was the beginning of what seems like a never-ending cycle of expansion packs. EA finally realized that only the bare essentials were required for the initial launch of the Sims series as everything else can be saved for later expansion packs. The Sims 3 is a prime example of this decision as the game featured eleven Expansion Packs and nine Stuff Packs – which only feature new items like furniture, clothing, and hairstyles.
5 There Was A Sims Spin-off Game In The Works
The spin-off series – SimsVille – was canceled in 2001 and was based very heavily around The Sims. The gameplay allowed the user to control a multitude of different houses in a neighborhood, which was very similar to the gameplay of the original Sims. The reason behind why Maxis decided to cancel the project was simply due to the fact that they wanted to apply more staff to the development of The Sims series as its success was not expected.
Thankfully, Maxis didn’t completely scrap everything they had developed for SimsVille, as the communal Downtown area was incorporated into the third Expansion Pack for The Sims – Hot Date. Among the list of reused features is a feedback system that was later utilized in SimCity 4 and they also reused their feature of a 3D neighborhood in The Sims 2.
The trailer for SimsVille can be found on both the SimCity 3000 and The Sims: Livin’ Large installation CD.
4 EA Brought The Sims To Life
This crazy fact may very well be one of the weirdest things that EA has ever done! After the very successful launch of The Sims franchise in the year of 2000, the publisher, just like any other company saw the possibilities – or as some like to call it, the money – that the franchise could generate.
Although the series was a mega hit, the studio went to some rather extreme levels in order to market their latest sequel to the series, The Sims 2. However, things got a little weird when EA’s European Division, EA Benelux decided to market the sequel by creating a real 'Sim' family. The marketing team created a glass house where people could live in typical Sims fashion. Ordinary everyday people were able to visit this house and watch the family as they conducted their day-to-day life over the course of four days – weird, we know!
3 The Sims Got Its Own Postage Stamp
It isn’t every day that a video game gets the honor of receiving their very own postage stamp.
In 2005, the French postal service – La Poste – printed three million postage stamps for a limited edition collection that was dubbed the “Heroes of Videogames.” The collection featured ten different available stamps, with The Sims claiming a spot in the collection among some of the most popular series ever created such as Mario and Link. The Sims was portrayed on the stamp by two Sims fighting over the game's iconic green plum bob.
At the time of the stamps being released, The Sims had sold over 58 million copies and ranked number 8 in the list of top entertainment products in France. That’s quite the achievement for a game that could have possibly been something very different.
2 Pets Are Voiced By Humans
If you’ve ever played The Sims and thought the animal noises sounded a little odd, it may be because they are actually voiced by real people - instead of the animals themselves. While only very few picked up that the animal’s voices were a little off, many had initially thought that their voices were actually created by its real life counterpart or simply mixed and created in a sound studio.
In The Sims Unleashed and The Sims 2 Pets, the developers used only humans to voice the animals. However, in The Sims 3 Pets many of the animals voices were created in a sound studio by mixing both the sounds of the real animals and humans together to help better convey the animal’s emotions to the player. This method of better conveying the animal’s emotions was firstly used in the SimAnimals Africa.
1 Bella Goth Is The Sims Biggest Mystery
If you are just the average Sims player, you will most likely not know that The Sims series is actually full of hidden mysteries. But out of all of the mysteries throughout the series, nothing quite stands out like the disappearance of Bella Goth.
If you have played the original Sims game, you will be quite familiar with the name of Bella Goth as she was one of the few playable characters with the original game -The Sims. Bella’s disappearance occurred sometime during the 25 years between The Sims and The Sims 2 – where she was last seen at Don Lothario’s home.
While her disappearance has never been truly solved, many believe that – after reading several books that reference Bella’s disappearance in The Sims 3 – that she may have been murder or even kidnapped. Some even believe that she may have been abducted but aliens and taken to Strangetown.