Game has bestselling launch in company's history

Consumers were clearly craving another installment of “The Sims.”

“The Sims 3″ has turned in the bestselling launch for a PC game in Electronic Arts’ history, selling more than 1.4 million units since its bow June 2. Game retails for $50.

A $10 version of the game has also topped the charts of Apple’s App Store for the iPhone and iPod touch. Apple doesn’t disclose sales figures.

First week of sales for the game has resulted in more than 7 million downloads of consumer-created characters, houses, stories and other merchandise related to the game, which enables player to create and control their own lifelike characters and build their virtual worlds.

It’s a big win for EA, which spent considerable coin to market the third edition of the franchise.

The videogame publisher has banked heavily on franchises over the years and was looking for ways to keep “The Sims” fresh with gamers. New title generated mostly critical praise.

“The Sims” franchise has sold more than 100 million units since the games and its expansion packs were introduced in 2000, making it the most popular series of PC games in history.

A movie version of the franchise has been in development at Fox.

“Early sales indicate that we have another hit on our hands,” said Rod Humble, head of the EA Play label, through which “The Sims 3″ was published. “The volume of items created with ‘The Sims 3′ and downloaded online is a testament to how passionate ‘The Sims’ players are.”

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