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EA Announces The URBZ

by Lasse Pallesen - April 21, 2004, 7:31 am PDT
Total comments: 9 Source: Press Release

The Sims franchise takes on a new direction with the introduction of The URBZ.

EA ANNOUNCES PLANS FOR THE URBZ

Sims In The City!

Chertsey, UK. April 21, 2004 - Electronic Arts today announced that The URBZ (*working title) is in development for the

PlayStation®2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox® video game system

from Microsoft, the Nintendo GameCubeTM, and the Nintendo Game Boy® Advance.

For the first time, Sims are living in the city where reputation (rep) is

everything. Players will custom-create these new Sims, called Urbz, by

customizing their unique style and building their status to become the

biggest "player" in the city.

The URBZ will be unveiled to industry insiders on May 12-14 at the

Electronic Entertainment Exposition in Los Angeles. The URBZ is scheduled to

be released simultaneously on all platforms in late 2004.

"We're taking The Sims on console franchise in a dramatic new direction. Now

that Sims are in the city they are now known as Urbz, they have a bold new

look and style," said Sinjin Bain, Vice President and Executive Producer of

the game at EA's Maxis studio. "For the first time, players will control

Urbz at every moment of gameplay, while they are on the job, earning their

street rep, or exploring a city that is alive 24/7."

About the console versions

Players will take their Urbz to work and be challenged by bosses at

locations like the Sushi Bar, Chop Shop, or Bootleg Fireworks, Inc. Success

brings the player well-earned promotions and gets them access to power

socials to help them influence other Urbz. The fast-paced lifestyles in The

URBZ is evident in gameplay including job challenges based on a

direct-control mechanic for job objects, skill-building objects, and power

social interactions.

The URBZ is built on an all-new graphics engine that recreates the essence

of living in a vibrant city with distinct districts inhabited by Urbz with

unique lifestyles. The game's style captures the pulse of the action-packed

downtown, ritzy shopping districts, Bohemian artist workshops, and a gritty

subway station. Players create their Urbz using a new character

customisation engine to show off attitude and unique style, as well as

signature "bling" such as tattoos and nose rings.

Players build relationships to increase their rep, influence other Urbz, and

gain access to city districts, jobs, and lifestyles. Gaining access to all

districts in the city, being able to live in any district, live any

lifestyle, and become the biggest "player" in the city is the ultimate goal.

The URBZ will support the Sony EyeToyTM. Players will download their image

into the game with the Sony EyeToy and as their rep grows; their image or

their Urbz image will begin to be reflected in the game.

About the Game Boy® Advance version

The Game Boy Advance version of The URBZ is the sequel to EA's #1 GameBoy

Advance game of 2003 and is being developed by EA's MaxisTM studio in

conjunction with Griptonite Games, an Amaze Entertainment Studio. Players

will hit the big city and work to increase the reputation of their Urbz to

gain access to the hottest spots in town. Players start out in a city on the

brink of ruin. After getting fired from their job, they'll stumble upon

Daddy BigBucks' devious plot to take over the city. Players are challenged

to thwart his evil schemes, while building their rep to become the biggest

"player" in the city.

Players gain access to new vehicles like a hover craft to explore 25 brand

new locations including Urbania, Sim Quarter, and the Bayou where they will

interact with residents, master eight lively mini-games such as Moogoo

Monkey Madness and Motocross Mayhem, unlock new Xizzle motive power ups, and

collect over 120 new objects. Players will link two GameBoy Advance systems

together in the Multiplayer Café and play head-to-head mini-games, unlock

new features, and trade rare items.

Talkback

KDR_11kApril 21, 2004

Sounds like another cheap cash in on pop ("gangsta") culture.

nitsu niflheimApril 21, 2004

I hope it's just a working title, could they have possibly come up with a more stupid name? What is with the stupid fad of using "Z" instead of "S", to me that is just stupid, and well I just think the title not only looks stupid, but sounds stupid too.

chlupeApril 21, 2004

This is disgusting. Along with using "blingin' ice" (read: overly gaudy jewelry) to increase the respect you get in Def Jam Vendetta 2 (as if jewelry is ALL that warrants respect among young black males), I hope EA rots in hell.

chlupeApril 21, 2004

Something a friend of mine wanted me to post about this "game":

"As a person, I see it as a poor attempt at entertainment. As a black man I'm just saddened by the misrepresentation of the race and our generation. Such is life, the worst stereotypes are the ones that make it onto the biggest media and cultural outlets. In the end, I personally choose not to get terribly angry because I feel that by working on being a better individual I'll do my best to refute the steroetype and break out of the box these corporate think tanks want to put me in. "

Ian SaneApril 21, 2004

"What is with the stupid fad of using 'Z' instead of 'S', to me that is just stupid"

Don't you mean it's ztupid? face-icon-small-smile.gif

Infernal MonkeyApril 21, 2004

Another excuse for EA to load in more licensed hip hop/whatever music into a game and market it on that alone. I wonder if this game will need four memory card 251's screwed together to save one file?

nickmitchApril 21, 2004

Only cracka-assed honkies who want to be black, call themselves wiggas, and try to imitate the black culture by reflecing stereotypes are gonna play this game. But maybe we real black people can convince them not to.

kovu_brApril 21, 2004

If the game is good I don't care if it's title sounds retarded (C´mon, "Mega Man" and "Super Mario Bros" aren't the coolest names around). And seeing how Maxis is developing it I'm gonna give the game the benefit of doubt for now.

But still, URBZ is one of the dumbest names I heard in this generation of consoles.

ThePermApril 21, 2004

ed ez furly zdubet

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