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GDC + VRDC 2019 Session Scheduler

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Defying Expectations: 7 Lessons from 'The Sims FreePlay'

Mavis Chan  (Lead Product Manager, Electronic Arts)

Location: Room 2016, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 20

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access, GDC Conference + Summits, GDC Conference - Get your pass now!

Topic: Business & Marketing, Design

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: All

'The Sims FreePlay' is a F2P mobile simulation sandbox game that continues to defy expectations in its 7th year. From the last minute pivot to move from premium to F2P, to the ever-changing trends in mobile F2P, TSFP has weathered multiple landscape changes. Defying prevailing F2P design wisdom and trends, TSFP manages to offer a unique sandbox environment for players to tell their own stories. This talk condenses TSFP's 7 years into 7 key lessons that have shaped EA's thinking and led to their resilient success. Through multiple examples, Mavis will illustrate the failures and difficulties that TSFP faced and how they eventually resulted in insightful lessons that now heavily influence TSFP in live service.


Through TSFP's journey, attendees will understand how to forge a path that's less trodden in F2P Mobile, i.e. the Simulation Sandbox. Attendees will also take away 7 key lessons essential to running a successful long-term live service.

Intended Audience

This talk is targeted at product managers, designers, producers, leads, and devs in the F2P mobile space, particularly those in casual and simulation genres.