EA's John Riccitiello speaks out on The Sims Social Facebook launch date... or doesn't

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In EA's most recent earnings / conference call, CEO John Riccitiello was questioned about the expected popularity of EA's upcoming (and highly anticipated) Facebook game, The Sims Social. While the game's Facebook fan page already has 868,000 Likes, Riccitiello still wouldn't reveal just what percentage of the franchise's user-base are predicted to make the transition to this new social version.

That's not all Riccitiello held back though, as a launch date will likely never be released before the game suddenly appears on the platform. Why? Competitive advertising. As reported by Gamasutra, Riccitiello explained the company's decision, both on the lack of an announced release date, and on withholding any predictions as to traffic:

"We aren't going to put out the stats. They're highly sensitive competitive comparisons, which is one of the reasons we're also not giving you a launch date. It's relatively easy for a competitor to buy all the relevant advertising, say 24, 36, 48 hours prior to a release."

This, says Riccitiello, would greatly impact (and not in a good way) EA's chances of marketing the game itself, as its competitors will have beaten EA to the proverbial punch. Alas, for now, that seems to be all we'll be told about the game's launch date beforehand, but you can be sure that we'll let you know when the Sims Social finally goes live. We can't wait!

Do you have a prediction for when the Sims Social will launch? How many of the franchise's established fans do you think will immediately jump on board with this Facebook version? Speculate with us in the comments!
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