Blog Post

Updated: Can Sims Carnival Compete?

thesimscarnival.jpgOm just passed me word that The Sims Carnival, yet another spinoff of the long-running franchise from Electronic Arts, is now selecting users for its closed beta period — to apply, just create an account at the site.

Like “EA Land,” the free, web-based revival of The Sims Online we blogged about last week, this is another property full of Web 2.0 flavor –and from such a mammoth publisher like EA, surprisingly so. The site describes a platform that “Empowers you to create games from scratch,” and one on which where you can “Build a community around your own game creations!”

By description and development schedule, it’ll be competing with platforms like Raph Koster’s Metaplace or Three Ring’s Whirled; to really compete, however, EA will have to let Sims Carnival users retain the underlying IP rights to their projects and/or share revenue with them, like Metaplace and Whirled are billed as doing. Right now, however, there’s no word about either value proposition on the Sims Carnival site, and an EA rep didn’t reply to that question by publication time.

Update: EA Spokesperson emailed us with this additional information.

“[W]e will be rolling out incentives for developers as we move out of private beta….no details to provide now but our goal is to create a developer-friendly community… A player owns whatever original content he or she contributes.  EA owns
what it contributes. Other players own what they contribute. When you upload your game onto the site, you give EA the right to distribute it, publish it, etc.  You also give EA and other players the right to modify it (if it’s a game created using the Carnival Game Creation Suite), and upload it again using all the tools we provide.”