There was some discussion about the popularity of The Sims with regards to Maxis making goobers of cash from the billions of copies of the game(s) sold last year. Of course, Don “Transmogrifier” Hopkins had his points to make so I just clipped them here for you.
The way the number of males and females registering The Sims changed over time was interesting.
First mostly males were registering The Sims, as with most computer games. Then after a little while, there was a sudden jump in the number of females registering, which steadily grew more steeply than the number of males, for a long time.
One theory is that males are the early adoptors, who go out and buy games based on commercial advertising. The females see the males playing it, and try it themselves. Then they spread the word about it by recommendation person to person, instead of instantly responding to mass media advertising like the males.
The legal issues worked out nicely about the character skins like Justin Timberlake and Spiderman. It turns out that Maxis is not legally responsible for any of the fans making and distributing their own images of celebrities and copyrighted characters. Maxis keeps their hands clean by creating their own original characters (which is much healthier for the franchise anyway, than shilling out product placements), and they always get permission for everything they distribute with the game.
The “celebrity visitor” skin in House Party was made with Drew Carey’s permission and cooperation, but you have to go to the fan sites to find Justin Timberlake or Spider Man.
If you really want to know the underlying hidden agenda of The Sims, read Philip K Dick’s short story “The Life and Times of Perky Pat”, and novel “The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch”.