Intel, McDonald’s integrate ‘Sims’

Cyberbiz Brief

Vidgame giant Electronic Arts has signed multimillion-dollar placement deals with Intel and McDonald’s to integrate their products into its upcoming massively multiplayer title “The Sims Online.”

The original Sims single-player version and its expansion packs comprise the bestselling PC franchise ever, with more than 17 million units sold. The massively multiplayer version of the game will allow players — they will pay $9.99 for a monthly subscription — to set up a simulated household in cyberspace and interact with characters created by other players.

The deal is unique in many ways because of the game’s unique structure, where Sims — simulated humans — interact with each other and with various objects and consumer products that affect their health and other ratings. Players will be able to install McDonald’s kiosks on their virtual properties, to feed themselves and visitors, and to buy Intel-powered computers that will help their “fun” and “logic” levels under the deal. Game debuts in November, and the company is still seeking corporate partners.

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