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The Sims: Spark’d ends with its first winners and an uncertain future

Electronic Arts

Note: This story includes major spoilers for The Sims: Spark’d, including the winners of the show.

Gaming competition show The Sims: Spark’d has crowned its inaugural winners, cementing an incredible comeback story for Team Llama. Digital Trends spoke with winners, DrGluon, SimLicy, and xMiraMira, who go by their gamertags, about the show and all things Sims.

While many fans weren’t sure what to expect before tuning in, the competitors were just as in the dark heading into things.

“We knew it would be some kind of competition involving The Sims, obviously, but we had no idea what the outcome would be,” said DrGluon.

While most, if not all, of the competitors had already been to EA’s headquarters and knew each other, other details, including the show’s structure, were mysteries. An intentional move on EA’s part.

“We want to make an entertaining show first,” Spark’d commissioner Evan Denbaum explained.

The Sims™ Spark’d | Official Trailer

The three winners explained that they were given their pre-assigned roles (builder, stylist, and storyteller) at the start as they were put into teams. From there, Team Llama struggled and found itself at the bottom for the first two episodes of Spark’d. Each of the contestants is an experienced Simmer, who have already amassed significant following online for their Sims content. So the show creators knew they had to explore new ways to trip the teams up.

Suddenly, the single player-only experience became a group activity. A game where you play God left elements out of individuals controls.

“This is a game typically played in isolation, so we wanted to see if the players would become better than the sum of their parts,” Denbaum said.

Some teams handled the new reality better than others, but Team Llama wasn’t slow to admit its faults.

“We all took our roles a little too seriously,” xMiraMira said. “And I’m saying that also like about myself.”

DrGluon, xMiraMira, and SimLicy said breaking out of that mindset led them to victory in the end.

After failing to make it to the top once again, Team Llama mixed it up, letting stylist xMiraMira chime in on the story. SimLicy worked with xMiraMira to create Sims, and DrGluon offered building input.

Spark'd television show screengrab
Photo courtesy of Electronic Arts

“I think we just decided to go for it. We hadn’t been doing so well. And I think even though nobody said it necessarily just kind of happened naturally,” SimLicy said.

Team Llama’s ability to come together before it was too late resemble what set Spark’d apart throughout its short run. The reality TV machine has conditioned many viewers to expect backstabbing, ruthless ambition, and cattiness. In short: Ddrama. But Spark’d, much like the Sims community at large, was almost entirely drama-free.

In one instance, the winning team gets to choose the resources their competitors get. Rather than playing into the ability to make things harder for their opponents, they select packs that they thought each group would work well with.

“Honestly, if they re-create another season with a group of people that don’t know each other, you might actually get some drama,” xMiraMira said.

Of course, the question of more seasons loomed heavily as the first came to a close. This season was shot in late 2019 before COVID-19 shut down group gatherings.

Electronic Arts

Denbaum seems optimistic about the show’s future, as did The Sims General Manager and Executive Producer Lyndsay Pearson when she previously spoke to Digital Trends. Still, there do not seem to be concrete plans for the next entry in the show. Should one come later, however, fans can expect some changes.

“I have to sort of apologize to the contestants because they really were the guinea pigs of this,” Denbaum said.

He notes that not everyone the team agrees on what to change, but that doesn’t mean that the show’s winners don’t have ideas of their own. Team Llama suggested switching between the individual and team challenges or forcing competitors to complete challenges for different roles, meaning the builder might make a Sim or the storyteller might create a build.

Still, and it may just be the prize money talking, the members of Team Llama said they would easily do it all over again.

“If we had to do it again, I would definitely do it with this team because these guys are amazing,” DrGluon said. “I was so happy and proud to be part of this team because Mira and Dawn are so talented. So I’m definitely back on Team Llama if you’ll have me, of course.

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Lisa Marie Segarra
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Lisa Marie Segarra is the Gaming Section at Digital Trends. She's previously covered tech and gaming at Fortune Magazine and…
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