The Sims was a juggernaut hit. As with many video game successes, several spinoffs began development afterwards. In December of 2001, The Sims series took its first steps into the newly budding world of MMORPGs.
The Sims Online was the first Sims game that could be played online with people across the world. Despite looking and playing much like the first Sims title, The Sims Online wasn't just an online port of the game.
Your Sim could live in any of twelve cities. You started off with four available careers that would help your Sim get off their feet. Your Sim must then enhance their six skills in order to go up the career ladder and gain more money from their job. Like most Sims titles and MMOs, The Sims Online was open-ended. You could do, more-or-less, whatever you want no matter the intended story of the game.
In 2007, EA rebranded The Sims Online as EA Land with new enhancements to come. Despite this, a few months later the team disassembled and it was revealed that the game was to be shut down. On August 21, 2008 The Sims Online closed. Attempts by fans have been made to remake the game, with varying success. In 2011, a Facebook Spiritual Successor called The Sims Social came out, but it too was short-lived due to popularity issues and was closed in 2013.
However on January 6, 2017 there is now a fan-made game called FreeSO that aims to revive the game as "Open-source" and aims to improve on the TSO formula and as well as add some events (such as Halloween). By May 1 2017, the game engine was adjusted to accomodate 3D functions, and as of 2022 the game is going strong.
The Sims Online/FreeSO contains examples of:
- And Show It to You: One of the "Rip out heart" interaction involves ripping out a target Sim's heart, display it to them, and then stomp on it (though strangely enough this doesn't kill them). This is jarringly more graphic compared to the relatively tame "Pile Driver" interaction.
- Dem Bones: Some Halloween events has a skeleton NPC who will run around and cause mischief towards other sims.
- Drop the Hammer: During FreeSO's 2019 Halloween event, this is Sims deal with a Frankenstein/Zombie, it has to be in the groups 2 or more to gang up on him and whack him away with hammers until he goes down.
- Level Grinding: During its heyday, it wasn't uncommon to see people grinding their skills so that they could make more money.
- No Stat Atrophy: Averted. Your underused stats decrease the more you increase other stats.
- Retool: Two of them.
- There was a short-lived one to EA Land shortly before the game became defunct. This change caused all the cities to merge into one big city.
- After EA Land became defunct there was a group of dedicated fans who resurrected the game now known as FreeSO as an open-source online simulation game.
- Simulation Game: A life sim to be more exact. You, however, can't raise kids or get married so The Sims Online is more limited than the main series.
- Synthetic Voice Actor: FreeSO has an option for chatrooms to enable text-to-speech Microsoft voice that is gender dependent.
- Wimp Fight: Like in the base game, sims can engage in this. However the name "Slap Fight" is now shortened to simply "Slap".
- Wrestler in All of Us: The aptly named "Pile Driver" interaction. It has the aggresor grapple a Sim, and the success depends on the former's "Body" skill level. If successful, the attacker will perform a Piledriver on the poor sap, otherwise the Sim will counter with a Body Slam.