EA have issued the following press release today:

Electronic Arts has announced an invitation to participate in a special closed beta at The Sims Carnival™, a new online community and gaming experience from The Sims™ studio An innovative online destination, TheSimsCarnival.com empowers members to play, create and share casual games within an online community. This announcement comes out of today’s Game Developers Conference (GDC) in a speech presented by the Head of The Sims Studio, Rod Humble.

With the launch of TheSimsCarnival.com, hundreds of games will be available to play and as members create and contribute games this number will grow. The online community is made to be collaborative, so that designing games becomes a fun and shared creative process. To design games, TheSimsCarnival.com provides game creation tools for a range of user skill sets so that millions of players can become game designers with no prior programming abilities necessary. TheSimsCarnival.com will be available to the public online in autumn 2008.

“We’re very excited to launch TheSimsCarnival.com, a new and accessible gaming experience that gives players all the tools they need to play, create and share games online with friends,” said Rod Humble, Head of The Sims Studio. “Whether you’re a new player who wants to simply customize a game with a family photo, a gamer who always wanted to make the best platformer or a seasoned expert ready to create the next big game, TheSimsCarnival.com makes game creation and publication easier than ever before.”

To potentially be selected for participation in a closed Beta for TheSimsCarnival.com, create a new account at TheSimsCarnival.com.