In a blog post, EA has announced that it will be closing its virtual world EA-Land, formerly known as The Sims Online.
The game will shut down on 1st August. Subscription billing ends now, so the final 60 days of play will be free to all. PayPal cash-in for the game's currency is also cancelled with immediate effect.
EA-Land subscribers are offered a USD 15 dollar rebate on any game at the EA Store, or three months of Club Pogo subscription time, to help them get over their disappointment. Going by the comments threads, it won't go far.
The Sims Online launched in 2002, but never achieved the popularity expected of the Sims name. The EA-Land "experiment" in rebranding and re-designing it was only recently announced. Clearly, it hasn't been judged a success.
"Decisions such as these are never easy and the rationale for closing EA-Land is particularly complex," said Maxis' Luc Barthelet, the man behind the game's relaunch, before going on to thank players for their support. "It is hard to see the end of the collective investment of emotion, time and friendship."