It's rumored that Playfish Beijing has been working on a SimCity Facebook game, but it's a fact that the studio has a Chinese version of The Sims Social in the works. EA and Chinese Internet company Tencent announced that The Sims Social has entered a "no data wipe" open beta on its Qzone social gaming platform as "Mo Ni Shi Guang" (模拟时光).
As far as we're concerned, "open beta" is synonymous with "live", but Playfish makes a point of the fact that this open beta test will save players' data for when Mo Ni Shi Guang actually launches later this year. (It's unknown whether Mo Ni Shi Guang allows players to purchase in-game items for real money just yet, which is the ultimate difference between "open beta" and "live.")
According to a release, Mo Ni Shi Guang offers new social play hooks designed specifically for Chinese audiences. Of course, much of the aesthetics in The Sims Social have been redesigned in Mo Ni Shi Guang to appeal to the new crop of social gamers, like "localized images, furniture, clothing and skills," the release reads. Luckily, it looks like much the core themes in The Sims Social will carry over to Mo Ni Shi Guang, like the ability to build friendships and relationships with players.
Big time social game makers like Zynga and EA's own PopCap have made similar moves to appeal Eastern audiences, just short of rewriting their games entirely. So far, Mo Ni Shi Guang has received ratings as a high as 8.9 points out of 10 on Tencent, so it looks like Littlehaven in Little China could be a hit.
Are you a Chinese social gamer that's been waiting for this? Where else do you think The Sims Social should go? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.