It might seem strange that a particular series – especially one now half a decade old – rules the roost to quite the degree that The Sims does, but EA is hoping to replicate the same success with the newest entry,The Sims 4, when it lands on shelves in a matter of weeks.
PC games have moved primarily to a digitally-delivered model. Yet EA believes The Sims’ younger and broader audience has kept the brand successful on the High Street.
“Physical products are still very important to our consumers and are to us too – a majority of The Sims consumers still purchase physical items due to their age,” explains Jacqui Ashworth, senior product manager for The Sims.
“Our core fans still like to own physical products, and The Sims is great for gifting, which makes grocery a good channel of distribution. Also, the current average age of the standard The Sims 3 player means they don’t have access to credit cards or online accounts so a physical purchase is preferred.
“We’ve always worked hard to maintain our presence at retail and we do not see this changing anytime in the near future.”
And – strange as it might seem – Ashworth believes that owning a boxed copy of a The Sims title
is actually a highly desirable pursuit for some fans.
“Our players like to own physical content – especially our core fans,” Ashworth says. “They see their boxes as badges of honour in the Sims community and often will share pictures of the games they own across our community channels.”