Abigail Arcilla worked on a website design for TheSims.com that was unveiled during the E3 season of June 2014. Down below you’ll see some of her work, and if you look closely, you can even find one of the early versions of the current The Sims 4 box art!
Enjoyed by gamers for sixteen years, The Sims is a life simulation video game series which features open-ended simulation of the daily goings-on of its quirky, engaging characters, the Sims. It is one of the most successful and longest-running franchises at Electronic Arts (EA). I was tasked to revamp the Sims brand and generate pre-launch interest in The Sims 4, the newest and most exciting addition to the franchise. This involved partnering with the Maxis Marketing and web development team to design, test and optimize the thesims.com website. I was the online Visual Design Lead throughout the go-to-market cycle and helped map multiple site iterations to a comprehensive digital marketing campaign.
• Brand Development: The critical challenge I faced was to create a new destination to combine The Sims 3 and The Sims 4 products into one common space that would delight loyal fans while attracting new players. The task involved overseeing the new brand identity, creating new fonts, localizing logo variations & other visual assets, and making sure that all components conformed to web standards. I collaborated with an external agency to carry out a consistent look-and-feel across all channels, and thus thesims.com was born: a fully responsive site optimized for both desktop and mobile that captured the brand identity for The Sims overall franchise and each individual iteration.
• e-commerce: The Sims 4 website was hard-hitting from the start, as it was the first EA studio to feature an e-commerce presence. It allowed for more organic search and eliminated protracted clicks, which created a friendly, on-brand and easy-to-use experience for players and a smooth path to purchase that drove increased revenue. Standardizing the games catalog was also key, as for the first time all The Sims games were easily presented at a glance. Each product had its own product detail page which displayed unique, curated content such as in-game screenshots and gameplay videos. Additionally, customized hero images were included to highlight promotional content.
While introducing the shopping cart on the site was unique for its time, it soon proved to be very successful. The e-commerce presence made shopping much easier and also allowed us to gather player shopping behavioral data to optimize targeting for our audience and enabling curated player-specific messaging.
The Academy campaign was a digital curriculum within thesims.com that uses “edutainment” to showcase how the new, smarter Sims lead the user to more fun, quirky stories. To meet the goal of creating heightened user engagement and increase the potential for shared content, I collaborated with an external partner to design an interactive campaign called What Kind of Sim are You? for both desktop and mobile platforms. Asking entertaining questions which highlighted the new Sims allowed gamers to learn more about the features of The Sims 4. Answers could then are shared via Facebook posts, strengthening the reach and amplifying the sense of community.
The Academy was carefully and successfully positioned to drive pre-orders of The Sims 4. It also won an award for Best Digital Marketing Campaign at the 2015 Game Marketing Awards.
The Sims 4 Rewards
The Sims 4 Rewards campaign was a loyalty program designed to encourage gamers to engage with The Sims 3 suite of products leading up to the launch of The Sims 4. Purchase data showed that the more players are engaged with the past iterations of a franchise, the more likely they are to convert to the new iteration. Through these learnings, we developed a virtual “thank-you” for playing The Sims 3 by rewarding the user with in-game digital content in The Sims 4 based on ownership of The Sims 3 expansion packs. The main incentives were colorful plumbob trophies for their home in The Sims 4 upon completing their suite of The Sims 3 expansions. The campaign helped in promoting a seamless transition from The Sims 3 to The Sims 4 among users, and heightened their curiosity and excitement over The Sims’ next adventure.
The Sims 4 Gallery
The Gallery is a companion app to The Sims 4 which facilitates the sharing of user-generated content and encourages community interaction. I assisted in the development of online and mobile companion versions of the in-game community gallery.