Electronic Arts have today announced that The Sims 2 is in development, and is due for release on the PC in early 2004.

A number of improvements are planned for the game, including more life-like Sims, improved gameplay, and the addition of genetics allowing for your Sims to develop as they pass DNA down through the generations as they live, and meaning your virtual children will gain physical characteristics and traits, and develop in to a real Sims family over the years.

"The Sims, themselves, always have been the most interesting part of the game experience for me. Giving them DNA makes them even more life-like and increases the personal connection between players and their Sims," said The Sims' cheif game designer Will Wright.

An all new 3D graphics engine will also feature in the game, providing for a range of new viewpoints on your Sims ideal home, which feature new furniture, lighting and objects. Houses can also be built over two levels high, and can also co-ordinate their whole house room by room in an almost TV make-over show style way.

More details about the game are due to be announced at E3 next week, and we'll bring you the full details as soon as they've unpacked the furniture from the removals lorry.

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