For the past couple of years, rumors of The Sims 5 being in production have been circulating all over social media. It hasn’t been officially confirmed, but franchise producers have started discussing The Sims’ next game in a number of interviews and social media posts. The last Sims title that was published was The Sims 4 in 2015, and since then, EA has released more than 40 packs of extra game content, including Game Packs and Expansions as well as Kits and Stuff Packs, which generally contain new furniture objects and outfits to customize players’ homes and push the limits of their creativity.
Back in September, EA shared a content roadmap with the community that showcased the developers’ plans for The Sims 4 for the remaining months of 2021. This roadmap, for the first time in three years, showed no new game packs or expansions, and instead only a couple of smaller kits. After receiving the Realm of Magic expansion in 2019 and Star Wars: Journey To Batuu in 2020, this was expectedly disappointing to most fans, who were expecting a new expansion to come before the end of the year. This, along with occasional speculative comments from producers on several dedicated interviews, has led fans to believe that the team has started to slow down on The Sims 4 to head into heavy production for The Sims 5.
The release date for The Sims 5 is still unknown as the team hasn’t come forward to confirm it is officially in production. However, players do know that one of the features currently being considered to incorporate into the franchise’s next installment is a multiplayer mode. This has likely worried some fans, perhaps imagining the creative single-player experience of The Sims become a massively-online experience bound to be populated by constant bugs, errors, and an absolute shift of what the core of The Sims has always been: Creativity.
It was during EA’s Q3 FY20 earnings call that EA CEO Andrew Wilson answered some questions on the future of the franchise, as reported by CCN. As he hinted the possibility of a multiplayer competitive feature being a part of the upcoming game, he sought to clarify that he wasn’t referring to competition in the traditional sense of the word, and pointed instead towards the world of community creation that players have built on The Sims 4 over the last few years.
As Maxis continues to think about The Sims for a new generation across platforms and a cloud-enabled world, you should imagine that while we will always stay true to our inspiration, escape, creation, self-improvement motivation, that this notion of social interaction and competition – like the kind of things that were actually present in The Sims Online many years ago – will start to become part of the ongoing The Sims experience in the years to come.
Wilson’s mention of The Sims Online has made some players worried of what will actually come in The Sims 5, as it could potentially change the very nature of the game. The Sims Online was released in December 2002 and was shut down six years later, shortly after announcing a rebrand to EA-Land and the announcement of some major enhancements that never actually took place. This title was the franchise’s attempt to make an MMO variation of The Sims – with a subscription fee of $9.99/month, and complete with its own economic system that was run by players and which, as in other MMOs, quickly escalated to ridiculous values.
The Sims Online was a bold and risky move on EA’s part, but the reason why it failed is the reason why The Sims 5 will as well if they turn it into an MMO: The Sims is best as a single-player experience. The “inspiration, escape, creation, and self-improvement motivation” that Wilson refers to is precisely what makes The Sims a game so many people enjoy, and by incorporating an MMO dynamic into The Sims 5, with all the development resources an endeavor like this would need, the single-player experience would hardly be able to receive the same love and attention Sims fans have gotten used to over the last few years.
When Wilson referred to incorporating a competitive side to the game, he specifically mentioned the troves of content Sims players have contributed to The Sims 4 over the last few years: house builds, interior design, outfits, gameplay mods, and more. Players have come up with their own challenges to take part in, such as the School Bus Challenge on one subreddit, which offers players an old bus file to download into the game and challenges players to renovate it completely, or the Apocalypse Challenge, which asks players to bulldoze an entire town and to rebuild it from scratch.
Back in June, EA released a Game Pack steered in this direction, too, called Dream Home Decorator, where players are prompted to build and decorate their client’s dream homes. It is quite possible that the multiplayer feature in The Sims 5, which will likely be a reality in one way or another, will be more steered towards bringing that community creation to the next level rather than turning The Sims 5 into a kind of game The Sims never was. It is highly unlikely, given the lack of excitement from the community for a Sims Online remake attempt, that EA will go down this route again. Wilson’s insistence on staying true to the nature of the game should be a reassuring nod to fans that incorporating The Sims 5’s multiplayer feature won’t completely take over the game. They might decide to have a separate world created for a multiplayer mode, or specific events which players can participate in and compete with other players around the world.
There is still a long way to go before players can see the release of The Sims 5. Aside from its multiplayer mode, there is a myriad of features that are dearly missed in The Sims 4 which fans all over the world are hoping will make a comeback in The Sims 5. A multiplayer feature on the franchise’s next instalment, if done right, could bring the game’s creative and community-led efforts to a whole new level. While disappointing that expansions won’t be released for The Sims 4 in what remains of 2021, it is likely that more content will be produced for the game in 2022 as players wait for more news on the development of The Sims 5.
Read more: screenrant.com