The numbers are in, and it turns out that basically all of you are playing The Sims 4. In an announcement put out yesterday, EA announced that The Sims 4 is officially the "most widely-played game in the history of the franchise" with over 70 million people having played the game, 16 million of which signed up since it went free-to-play last October.
Well, isn't that nice? But some of the news is a lot scarier. Since the release of the Growing Together expansion pack containing the "infant life stage," reads the announcement in a tone usually reserved for Resident Evil antagonists, The Sims 4 has accrued more than "8.6 million Sims infants in-game".
That's a veritable baby army, and the update doesn't even mention how many of them were freakish, stretchy slenderbabies.
Meanwhile, 1.7 million households have been constructed in the San Sequoia map included in the Growing Together expansion (equalling, I believe, around five babies per home, which seems remarkably premodern). Players have also achieved 27.1 million milestones (including 12.2 million infant milestones) across all platforms.
The fact The Sims 4 is a pretty popular game isn't exactly unexpected news, but the sheer size of the playerbase took me back a bit. 70 million players is, well, quite a few. That's more people than live in France or the UK. In fact, judging by this Wikipedia page I just pulled up, there are only 19 countries on Earth with a higher population than The Sims 4.
I guess what I'm saying is: Give Maxis a seat on the UN Security Council.
I suspect The Sims will continue drawing people in their millions for some time to come, but it's due to face some competition in the near future. Paradox's Life By You is a Sims-alike from the former head of EA's Sims label, and promises to be "one of the most moddable and open life-simulation games" ever made. I look forward to seeing which nuclear states its population eventually outgrows, too.