As promised back last month, The Sims 4 has officially gone free-to-play. However, that's not all that EA and Maxis had lined up for its long-running life simulation franchise. Tuesday's Behind The Sims Summit event had some exciting announcements, including one in which the next chapter of The Sims appears to be in development.
"We are building the next generation Sims game and platform, reimagining the Sims you know and love with new ways to play," VP of Franchise Creative Lyndsay Pearson said during Tuesday's stream. "This is the future of The Sims built on a foundation of charming Sims, powerful tools, and meaningful stories. This future requires us to stay true to what The Sims has always been while pushing to evolve how those Sims think and behave, to push tools even further when creating and customizing, and to explore innovative ways to not only tell stories, but to collaborate on those stories or creations with your closest friends across your favorite devices."
The next Sims title is coined Project Rene and Pearson stopped short of calling it The Sims 5. She also notes that it is extremely early in development and is likely years away from release. She did show off some early tools that allowed players to change furniture colors, shapes, and patterns. Interestingly, it was a demonstration that appeared to work simultaneously on PC and mobile devices. Pearson expects that when the time comes, early access to aspects of the Project Rene software will be offered to small groups of Sims players.
That's far from the only announcement to come out of Tuesday's presentation. As noted, The Sims 4 is now free-to-play and Maxis has confirmed that the content train for the game isn't stopping for the foreseeable future. Expect to see two new expansion packs in 2023 along with several other content drops. The Sims 4 will also add infants in early 2023.
More interestingly, The Sims 4 is opening itself up to mod support. Overwolf will host community mods for The Sims 4 and allow players to use the CurseForge platform to create and host various user creations. There's no word on when Overwolf will begin hosting Sims 4 mods, but expect it to happen before the end of 2022.
There's also a lot to say about The Sims FreePlay and The Sims Mobile. Those updates, as well as everything else announced today, can be found over on The Sims website. We'll continue watching the development of Project Rene and offer any updates here at Shacknews.