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Who is the Owner of The Sims FreePlay?

The popular free-to-play mobile life simulation game The Sims FreePlay is owned by the major video game publisher Electronic Arts (EA). While development is handled by EA‘s studio Firemonkeys, the intellectual property rights and profits from The Sims FreePlay ultimately belong to EA.

The Wildly Successful Sims Franchise

Hey there! As a fellow tech and gaming enthusiast, I thought I’d provide some deeper insight into the incredible success of The Sims franchise, and specifically the FreePlay mobile game.

The Sims series has been a landmark in simulation gaming since its initial launch back in 2000. Originally conceived by the visionary developers at Maxis, the open-ended gameplay and character customization made it an instant hit beyond just hardcore gamers.

Just look at some of these mind-blowing statistics about the franchise success:

  • Over 200 million copies of Sims games sold worldwide
  • $5 billion total franchise revenue as of 2014
  • Available in 22 languages across 60 countries
  • Over 15 years of consecutive growth and popularity

With amazing financial results like that, it‘s no wonder that gaming giant EA snatched up the rights early on!

EA Acquired The Sims and Maxis

Electronic Arts recognized the appeal of The Sims very quickly. In fact, they acquired the original Maxis studio and rights to the franchise back in 1997, just a few years after the first Sims game concept was conceived.

That means EA has owned all of the intellectual property for The Sims brand for over 20 years now. They wasted no time turning The Sims into a household name in the gaming world.

After the acquisition, Maxis continued to develop The Sims series under EA‘s leadership. But EA also expanded the franchise to consoles, online platforms, YouTube tie-ins and more.

It‘s still the creative vision of Maxis that laid the groundwork though. Unfortunately, amid restructuring in 2015, EA closed down the legacy Maxis studio.

How The Sims FreePlay Fits In

When EA wanted to expand The Sims brand into mobile gaming, they tasked one of their internal studios with the project. The chosen studio was Firemonkeys – formed after EA acquired Firemint in 2011 and merged them with another EA studio IronMonkey.

Firemonkeys leveraged Firemint‘s experience developing smash hit mobile games like Flight Control and SPYmouse. The result was The Sims FreePlay – launched in 2011 on iOS and 2012 on Android.

As an EA property, FreePlay took the classic Sims formula and modified it for a freemium, touch-based experience. The app has been downloaded over 140 million times and still receives updates years later!

In-App Purchases Drive Massive Profits

Now you might be wondering, how exactly does EA make big money off a free-to-download app like The Sims FreePlay? The answer is in-app purchases.

Despite being "free-to-play," The Sims FreePlay generates an incredible amount of revenue from in-app purchases for items such as:

  • SimCash currency
  • Exclusive furniture and clothing
  • Fully furnished mansions
  • Career and hobby boosts

Analysts estimate since launch, in-app purchases have exceeded $700 million! For EA, FreePlay has proven to be a cash cow thanks to this smart monetization model.

The Sims FreePlay Revenue Breakdown

Year Estimated Revenue
2012 $25 million
2013 $75 million
2014 $100 million
2015 $120 million
2016 $130 million
2017 $135 million
2018 $140 million

With numbers like these, The Sims FreePlay has been a tremendous mobile success story for EA!

The Future Looks Bright

Even a decade after launch, The Sims FreePlay remains popular and financially successful for Electronic Arts. It still receives regular game updates and new content years later.

Meanwhile, The Sims 5 is in early development which will continue EA‘s ownership of the franchise into the future across platforms old and new.

So while brought to life by talented developers, the full rights and revenue for The Sims FreePlay belong to the suits at EA. And with the franchise stronger than ever, don‘t expect that to change anytime soon!

Let me know if you want me to expand on any other aspects of this phenomenally successful franchise. This was fun research for a fellow gamer!