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Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Discussing EA's New Play Label
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GamesIndustry.biz has release an interview with Electronic Arts' VP of marketing Russell Arons about the company's new Play label, a combination of the previous Casual and Sims labels. Arons discusses a variety of topics including release date decisions and sales hopes for The Sims 3.

Q: How's business been for EA Play? How happy are you with the way things are going?
Russell Arons: We're about to have our most important month, because we've got three major launches - The Sims 3, Harry Potter and MySims Racing. What's interesting is that each one of those is aimed at a slightly different consumer audience. The Sims 3 is looking at 16-24 year-old PC players, Harry Potter is certainly focused on the Wii platform, and then MySims Racing is an extension of the franchise.

Q: Is it intentional to have those three come out now? Wasn't The Sims 3 pushed back from its original launch date?
Russell Arons: In terms of The Sims 3, the timing was in part driven to allow us to truly develop the marketing. Because we really want to be the number one PC launch of the year, it's not just about appealing to the current Sims fans - they're critically important, but we know we have to bring new consumers in too.

Also people who have lapsed - they tend to be males between 15-17 who used to play, but aren't so sure now. A lot of what we've put significant effort into since we moved from February into June was creating trial experiences for new and lapsed players, to say that it's a whole new Sims.

Everything from leveraging social networking heavily - our Sims Sidekick is something that launches, depending on what country you're in, from Facebook or Bebo, that gives people a way to take Sims characters, send them around the internet and see how they react.

And for the first time ever we basically have a Sims 'lite' online game, called Sims Social. The consumer insight pointed to... let's say you're a hardcore Sims player, and I'm your girlfriend. You love the game, and try to get me to play, but I think it takes too long to play, and just want to try it out.

We never offered that before - but Sims Social is basically a way for you to play multi-player online in a trial experience. It's a demonstration that the way we're approaching The Sims is new in the marketing, as much as it is in the game itself.

It wasn't enough to simply create the best Sims game ever - we had to come up with a marketing plan that brought a whole new franchise of people into it.
Check out the rest of the Q&A at the web page listed below.

GamesIndustry.biz: The Art Of Play
Electronic Arts
The Sims 3
Buy The Sims 3

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