Gaming has seen some long-running franchises make the jump from premium to free-to-play over the years, but they've usually been MMORPGs. Electronic Arts is instead looking at another one of its staples and deciding that its time as a premium game has passed. On Wednesday, EA and Maxis announced that The Sims 4 base game will officially become a free download starting in October.
Here's the announcement from the Sims 4 website:
We’ve welcomed millions of players to The Sims and watched in awe as they unleashed their imaginations, discovered and connected with ideas, experiences and versions of themselves, both in-game and real life. Our community has continued to inspire us with the billions of unique Sims they’ve created, the countless stories they’ve told, and the remarkable builds they've designed.
We're excited to continue to welcome in more players than ever to create new stories, and explore without boundaries. The Sims has always been about celebrating new ways to play and offers so many possibilities to discover. Beginning on October 18, 2022, The Sims 4 base game will be available to all new players to download for free on PC via EA app or Origin, Mac via Origin, Steam, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One systems.
As one may have guessed after reading that, the premium expansions, add-ons, and bundles will continue to be sold at their current price points. The main change is that any non-Sims fans who may be curious about the series or who want to determine if a new expansion (like the recent High School Years expansion pack) is right for them can now give the game a try without spending any money. EA Play members, in particular, who would like to try out the Maxis hit for the first time will be eligible for a special bundle that includes the Get To Work expansion, while EA Play Pro members can grab a bundle that includes Get To Work and the Toddler Stuff Pack.
Some long-time Sims 4 players may be wondering if they'll get anything for having stuck with the game since before this change to free-to-play. Those users will get a Desert Luxe Kit, which gives them a batch of indoor and outdoor oasis-themed furniture. Those players simply need to log in to The Sims 4 between now and October 17.
A special Behind The Sims Summit is scheduled to air on Tuesday, October 18, which will coincide with The Sims 4's move to free-to-play. It's unknown what EA and Maxis will have to show the Sims player base, but we'll be watching at Shacknews, so keep it here for any major updates.