Ahead of The Sims 3's launch next week, Electronic Arts released several online activities designed to offer a taste of the game. One of those simple web games is SimSocial, a "bite-size version of The Sims 3" with a turn-based system enabling players to create a Sim, make friends and enemies, and control their character's life day-to-day.

Gamers who'd previously played Kudos 2 for PC/Mac -- also a turn-based life simulation title from British indie Positech Games -- noticed a lot of similarities in SimSocial, so much so that it seemed as if EA lifted Positech's gameplay and ideas.

Positech's studio head Cliff Harris, formerly a programmer at Lionhead Studios, explained that there's a reason why the two games are so alike -- he helped design SimSocial.

"I worked with EA years ago doing some contract work, and recently they contacted me about working with me to do a version of The Sims that would be based on the gameplay of Kudos 2," he says "That game is SimSocial. If you look in the about box for the game, you will see the credit and link back here."

Harris continues, "I’m happy about the deal I did with EA, and think that the games complement each other well. Obviously they have major differences and I’m sure there will be some Kudos 2 players who will play SimSocial, and maybe some SimSocial players will be tempted to come try Kudos 2. It’s great to see a game idea re-implemented in another way, and I hope it’s a great success."

Glad that's cleared up!