The Sims 3 Arrives in 2009, First Screens Released

The third entry in Electronic Arts' lifestyle simulation series The Sims will be released on PC worldwide in 2009, the company, as promised, revealed today.

Running on a new engine that is said to have been in development for almost three years, the sequel is being developed at EA Redwood Shores. A set of nine screenshots accompanied the announcement. nope

Described as a "next-generation flagship PC game," The Sims 3 features a new seamless open neighborhood along with expanded options and a more realistic aesthetic for both character and home customization. Characters can now be assigned up to five personality traits, which EA claims allows allows over 700 million possible personality combinations.

"The new engine and technologies in The Sims 3 are designed to unleash the player's imagination with realistic looking Sims who have distinct personalities and a seamless living neighborhood for them to discover," said executive producer Ben Bell.

"It is this type of open-ended gameplay that inspires endless creative possibilities," added The Sims Studio head Rod Humble. "The new goals and rewards systems will give players of all kinds from core gamers to storytellers the ability to enjoy long-term gameplay."