EA trying China again with The Sims Social on Tencent

By Kathleen De Vere Comment

Electronic Arts is bringing the Sims Social to China on Tencent’s QZone network. The Chinese version of the game, which will be called Mo Ni Shi Guang, is being localized by Playfish’s Beijing studio and is currently in closed beta. EA did not reveal when the game would be going live, but did say the open beta will begin in the next few months.

The Sims Social is EA’s largest social game on Facebook, with 20.9 million monthly active users and 3.7 million daily active users, but the game has been shedding users after hitting its peak of 66.5 million MAU in October. Since Jan. 1 alone, the title has lost 4.9 million MAU according to our traffic tracking service AppData.

Turning a hit western game into a hit game in China can be extremely challenging, even with a well known IP like The Sims — something EA has already experienced first hand. Despite being localized by a Chinese studio and being rebuilt from the ground up, EA Popcap’s  version of Plants vs. Zombies on Renren has so far failed to find traction in the country.

Zynga launched a Chinese version of CityVille called Zynga City on Tencent last July, but Zynga has not revealed any information on how the title is doing so far. QZone is the largest part of the Tencent platform — the virtual identity avatar network had 530 million MAU as of September 2011.