EA ships The Sims online

Electronic Arts Inc. (EA) announced the release of The Sims Online on Tuesday.

The Sims Online is an Internet-based, multiplayer version of The Sims, the biggest-selling PC game of all time, according to EA's release.

In the game, players create and control a character, known as a Sim. Starting out with a small amount of money, each Sim can buy land, build houses or host events, EA said.

Characters can communicate with other Sims through live text chat, which appears in a bubble above their own Sim's head. Animated actions also help Sims to communicate.

The game has been translated into 16 languages.

The Sims Online software will cost US$49.99, with a monthly subscription fee of US$9.99.