EA and Gracie Films have been working on a freemium title based on Fox’s The Simpsons annimated series called The Simpsons: Tapped Out, and it will be the first free-to-play title released based on the franchise.
According to EA’s senior vice president of social and mobile games, Bernard Kim, the firm collaborated with the creators of The Simpsons in order to build a game “from the ground up that would cater to fans of the show.”
“Consumers are looking for not only a freemium title, but one that’s filled with licensed properties and characters they care about,” Kim told Gamasutra in an interview. “Our goal is to have an evergreen title that makes consumers and users laugh and enjoy themselves. And we’d love to have that same kind of lifeline [as Capcom's Smurfs' Village].”
The development team, according to Kim, is well aware that the majority of the free-to-play audience won’t drop any coin in order to continue playing, but those who do not feel the need to speed head in the title can sustain themselves with its in-game currency – doughnuts – in order to expand playtime.
“We see this product as having a tremendously long tail,” said Kim. “The key to a product like this is to continue to generate new content. Just as the writers are creating new content for the program, that’s our goal with this as well… I personally believe it’s going to be one of our biggest release of 2012.
“The Simpsons really is the prefect property because we have such a tight relationship with the [production] company and the writers.”
In the game, Springfield has been destroyed due to a nuclear meltdown at the plant caused by Homer and the player’s main task in the game will be to rebuild the town however they see fit.
The story and dialogue was written by the TV show’s staff and contains plenty of subtle pokes and jabs at the show and the “free-to-play app genre” as a whole. Players can also expect regular, new content such as additional characters and mini-quests.
The Simpsons: Tapped out doesn’t have a release date at present but is slated for a release in the next few weeks on iOS and Android. Origin is not required to play, but those who use the service will be able to share their vision of Springfield with other friends on the service.