NEW YORK — There are no scary monsters to slay, no enemies to shoot and no cars to hijack. But The Sims video and computer game has sold 100-million units since its launch in 2000.
Long the world's top-selling game for computers, The Sims is also available on Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 2, the Nintendo Co. Wii and other platforms — but it remains most popular on PCs.
The 100-million mark, which publisher Electronic Arts Inc. announced Wednesday, puts The Sims in the ranks of blockbuster franchises such as Nintendo's Mario and Pokemon video games, which have sold more than 201-million and 175-million units, respectively, as well as Take-Two Interactive Software Inc.'s Grand Theft Auto series, which has sold more than 65-million copies.
In The Sims, which can be played online or not, players create homes and businesses for Sims characters and guide their day-to-day lives. It has been published in 60 countries and 22 languages. Its creator, Will Wright, is one of the video game industry's best regarded brains — though he's no longer involved with the title.
Following the game's launch eight years ago, it quickly crossed over from core gamers to a wide audience. Today, 60 percent of the game's players are women, still a rarity among video games, which are dominated by first-person shooters and titles aimed at 20-something men and teenage boys.
"It's appealing to a large market that core video games have traditionally ignored," said Colin Sebastian, an analyst with Lazard Capital Markets.
Nancy Smith, who leads EA's Sims Label, said players find a welcome release in creating a world for their characters. She called it a "very creative sandbox" with a quirky humor that shines through when players can't always make their characters do what they should.