24 years later, no-one can quite agree on when exactly The Sims actually came out

The Sims franchise celebrates its 24th anniversary this weekend, which is a much-needed reminder for me that as your resident Sims fanatic, I’ve got exactly a year to plan some fun coverage for its 25th (and that I should probably use some of that time to come to terms with the formal departure of the last vestiges of my youth, as someone who’s been playing since practically the very start).

A 24th birthday is surely a milestone but feels less monumental than the big quarter-century, after all; or maybe that’s just my own advanced age talking. But it did occur to me that we could mark this minor prelude to the big celebration by putting one question to bed once and for all: when, exactly, was The Sims first released?

Back in the year 2000 we weren’t nearly as online as we are now, but it wasn’t exactly the Dark Ages, and it’s not usually too difficult to pin down cultural events with a high degree of accuracy using the documentation that survives from the time. Which is why it’s weird that there are two competing release dates for the 2000’s original launch of The Sims: January 31st and February 4th.

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