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The Sims gets social with new Facebook game

Plugged In

FarmVille just got a nosy neighbor.

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The Sims Social (EA)

The Sims Social has officially gone live on Facebook, marking EA's biggest push to date into the lucrative social games world. And thanks to a robust beta period and that dependable brand name, its town is already 7 million users strong.

Unlike past games, however, The Sims Social is entirely free. It plays out much as you'd expect: you create a Sim and manage his or her life, from preparing meals and designing rooms to mowing the lawn and, of course, interacting with friends. Thankfully, it's less about managing 'hunger' and 'bathroom' meters and more about leveling up by completing activities, achieving lifetime goals, and mercilessly flirting with your pals.

EA is hoping that the game, which was jointly developed between the Sims team and recent EA acquisition Playfish, manages to steal a few Simoleans from Zynga's coffers. It's part of EA's renewed efforts to compete in the social games space, a desire that led the company to acquire casual game kingpin PopCap for nearly $1 billion back in July.

EA is also hoping that The Sims Social will erase bad memories of the aptly-named but poorly-received 2002 effort, The Sims Online. Initially pegged as a potential game-changer, the virtual world game was hampered by performance issues and was officially shut down in 2008.

-- Play Bricks Breaking on Yahoo! Games --

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