10:00am PT by Trilby Beresford
'The Sims' Players Take Center Stage in TBS Reality Competition Show
Life simulation video game The Sims is at the center of a new reality competition series for TBS called The Sims Spark'd.
The four-episode series from Electronic Arts, Turner Sports gaming brand Eleague and Buzzfeed Multiplayer, will showcase voices from The Sims community, with top players — who are used to creating stories in the game — competing in timed challenges to win the title of most creative storyteller and a cash prize of up to $100,000.
Hosted by American Idol finalist Rayvon Owen, the show will feature YouTube personality Kelsey Impicciche, singer Tayla Parx and game developer Dave Miotke as the panel of judges.
In addition, players watching from home can participate in a different set of challenges for a chance at being featured on The Sims Spark'd in the future.
"Since its inception, The Sims has been a groundbreaking experience, allowing players to create and virtually live out the stories they create in-game. That’s what makes it so special," said Lyndsay Pearson, GM of The Sims franchise, in a statement. "That’s also why this show is so exciting. We’re continuing that innovative spirit, bringing our community together to compete and showcase their in-game storytelling on a reality show in an entirely new way."
In the game, which simulates daily activities, the Sims refer to virtual characters with different personalities, wants and needs. In 2016, The Sims received an update so that players could choose gender customization options and further enhance their personal experience.
From publisher Electronic Arts and developer Maxis, The Sims has gone on to become one of the best-selling global franchises with over 200 million copies sold since its first release in 2000.
Video games have provided the source material for many films and TV shows in recent memory, leading with tentpole titles Sonic the Hedgehog and Detective Pikachu. In the last month alone, indie games My Friend Pedro and Disco Elysium were revealed as getting the TV series treatment, while an adaptation of the best-selling video game franchise Fallout is also in the works from Westworld creators Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan.
The Sims Spark'd will join another recent greenlit series on TBS' unscripted slate; Celebrity Show-Off, hosted by Mayim Bialik and based on the Korean show My Little Television. Elsewhere on the cable channel, Jason Sudeikis is hosting the remotely-shot reality competition series Tournament of Laughs, featuring comics going head-to-head for bragging rights.
Of all the major video game titles, The Sims continues to attract new players due to its accessibility and focus on the major stepping stones of life; family, relationships and career.
The Sims Spark'd debuts on TBS on July 17. Buzzfeed Multiplayer will stream each episode on the Monday after it is televised. View the trailer below.