As one of EA's most successful franchises, it's not surprising when news of a new The Sims game emerges. Today EA has revealed a slightly different offering, abandoning the usual expansion releases and opting for a series of story-driven standalone titles.

The first of these releases will be The Sims Life Stories, and as you might expect introduces a story mode. Players will be able to follow the lives of Riley Harlow and Vincent Moore, two characters who have reached a crossroads in their love lives. Each character provides a unique story, with the player able to experience romance, intrigue and dramatic twists alongside their Sim.

"Everyone loves a good story. The Sims Life Stories gives players two wonderful romantic comedies to enjoy," declared Rod Humble, VP Head of Studio for The Sims Division. "For those who are interested in The Sims, The Sims Stories are accessible and fun for everyone."

What's more, the new story-based The Sims titles have been designed to be laptop-friendly, which we assume means they don't require much in the way of PC graphics power.

The Sims Life Stories is scheduled to ship across Europe on February 2, 2007, followed a few days later on February 6 in North America. In the summer The Sims fans can expect to see The Sims Pets Stories, with The Sims Castaway Stories pencilled in for Winter 2008.