Excited for The Sims 5? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. While we haven’t had a formal reveal from EA Maxis, the company has at least started to acknowledge that the next generation of The Sims is in development.
Unfortunately, we still don’t have any idea when The Sims 5 might release. The Sims 4 is, of course, still going strong. There are expansions, Stuff Packs and mods keeping things interesting for the current player base. But it’s coming up for eight years since The Sims 4 base game was released, so naturally there’s some fan curiosity around what Maxis and EA could have planned for the future.
Recently, however, EA did mention Project Rene, which is a codename related to the next game in The Sims series. It looks to be targeting some of the features that were missing in the last game, as well as taking a renewed focus on multiplayer functionality. It’s also being described as a ‘creative platform,’ suggesting a shift in the way The Sims is presented to players. Here’s everything we know about The Sims 5, and Project Rene, so far.
The Sims 5: cut to the chase
- What is it: The next mainline The Sims game
- When is it released: TBC
- Which platform will it be on: TBC, though we’d expect PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S
The Sims 5 release date and platform
As it stands, The Sims 5 apparently isn’t far along at all, with EA having recently confirmed it to be in ‘early stages of development,’ during a recent Behind The Sims Summit. (opens in new tab)
Bear in mind that the gap between past The Sims iterations has been typically long as well. The Sims 3 came out in 2009, after which The Sims 4 was released in 2014. This means this is the longest we’ve ever gone without a brand-new mainline Sims game. However, it stands to reason that The Sims 4 is still going through its lifecycle and EA isn’t finished with it yet.
High School Years is the latest expansion pack for The Sims 4, released in July 2022. As for the smaller game packs, Werewolves, arrived in June 2022. It’s possible EA and Maxis could release further content packs for the game, though it does feel like there’s fewer places to go.
It’s worth noting that EA continued releasing expansions for The Sims 3 until October 2013, even after it announced The Sims 4 in May 2013 for a September 2014 release. Curiously, EA is now offering The Sims 4’s base game as a free download for all new players, starting on October 18, 2022. You can now pick it up for free. Speaking on the official blog (opens in new tab):
“With The Sims 4 going free to play, our team is more dedicated than ever to developing new and meaningful The Sims 4 experiences for our players and we will continue to develop and release packs, kits and Sims Delivery Express drops into the foreseeable future,” EA stated.
So, while the continued release of expansions shows that EA isn’t done with the The Sims 4 just yet, it doesn’t mean it isn’t thinking about The Sims 5 at all. In fact, EA’s recent announcement also states that “We’ll be sharing more about what’s in the works during a special-edition stream, Behind The Sims Summit on October 18.” Potentially, this could offer our first look at The Sims 5, too.
As for what platforms we’d expect to see The Sims 5 on, historically, main entries have always released on PC first. Given this will be a “next-generation” experience, that effectively rules out the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. Instead, we’d imagine it’ll come to PS5 and Xbox Series X|S.
The Sims 5: Project Rene reveal
The aforementioned Behind The Sims Summit showed us what could end up being The Sims 5. Project Rene is the next-generation of The Sims, with EA showing off a very brief glimpse as to what we can expect. A focus on shared gameplay, and some returning features from The Sims 3 were the headlines. No release windows were given, and the project was said to be ‘in early develoment.’ You can check out reveal below (at 27-minute mark).
The Sims 5 gameplay: how will it play?
Other than the brief Project Rene tease mentioned previously, there are currently no official The Sims 5 trailers, so we can only speculate as to what the next generation of The Sims holds for us.
With gameplay, we can probably expect that The Sims 5 will play similarly to previous iterations, no matter what it ends up looking like. You have daily needs and shifting emotions to take care of, which you complete and keep in check by doing certain actions, such as eating. There’s also socializing with people as soon as they happen to pass by your home.
Sims gameplay has remained relatively unchanged through its lifetime, with some new additions and quality of life updates thrown in from time to time. It’ll be interesting to see whether The Sims 5 adds a new dimension to the game. Perhaps we could even take direct, third-person control of your Sim, instead of the overhead view of clicking and moving.
It’s possible that if the game does go down an online multiplayer route, as reports have suggested, we could see more significant gameplay changes than previous releases.
Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson said in January 2020 that the next game in The Sims series could feature single-player and multiplayer elements. He went on to say that there might be elements of The Sims Online added to the next title.
“As Maxis continues to think about The Sims for a new generation – across platforms in a cloud-enabled world – you should imagine that, while we will always stay true to our inspiration, escape, creation, and self-improvement motivations, that this notion of social interactions and competition – like the kind of things that were actually present in The Sims Online many, many years ago – that they will start to become part of the ongoing Sims experience in the years to come,” Wilson said on the Sims Community website.
He went on to say: “We are very excited. This is a game that really doesn’t have any competition in its category for delivering and fulfilling these motivations for players, and we think it’s a tremendous growth opportunity for us for many, many years to come.”
In addition to this EA recently help a Behind The Sims Summit (opens in new tab) which showed an extremely brief glimpse at Project Rene. In it, the company revealed that one of the main design focuses is to “make it easier to work together and share.”
The Sims having multiplayer components could be a huge selling point for fans of the series. There have been many occasions when playing The Sims that we have wished to start up a new household in a game and have friends join to take on their respective characters and all play together, simultaneously living out the virtual experience in co-op.
This feature was used in The Sims 2 on PS2 consoles to great effect, allowing two players to create a character each and live together in the same house, sharing the same screen; it was excellent.
The Sims 5 news and rumors
Behind The Sims Summit confirmed for October
During EA’s announcement about The Sims 4 going free-to-play, the publisher revealed plans for a Sims livestream this October. “We’ll be sharing more about what’s in the works during a special-edition stream, Behind The Sims Summit on October 18, 2022 at 10 am PDT via The Sims YouTube and Twitch channels, also available on demand,” the publisher confirmed.
Potentially, this could offer our first look at The Sims 5, something backed up by journalist and industry insider Jeff Grubb. Speaking in a Giant Bomb (opens in new tab) video, he stated: “The Sims 5 is also coming. The announcement is coming soon, and I’ve heard it’s likely next month.” Either way, it sounds like this stream will be one to look out for.
Will it make use of AI technology?
A patent filed by EA back in April 2020 and approved in October 2021 reveals AI technology could be used in The Sims to turn pictures of people into in-game characters.
Reported by Sims Community (opens in new tab), the patent discusses the AI technology, explaining that it will allow players to upload photographs of themselves or characters, which can then be converted into an accurate Sim.
While the first Sims game allowed you to place an image of a face onto a character model in Sims Creator, the results often left something to be desired. This AI tech could prove to be a more effective way of actually creating your likeness within the game, though there are no examples available right now to show off its capabilities.
EA owns the patent outright, so we’ll have to wait and see how and if they’ll implement the tech. It also isn’t clear if this will be implemented in The Sims 4, which is expected to have fresh content churned out for a few years yet, or if development is far enough away for The Sims 5 to be where it makes its debut.
EA continuing to improve The Sims 4
Following the release of The Sims 4: Cottage Living expansion, EA Maxis hasn’t revealed exactly what its future plans for The Sims 4 look like but the developer stated in a March 2021 blog post (opens in new tab) that its roadmap “continues to be focused on improving content that is in the game”. It didn’t entirely dismiss the idea of future expansions that could involve “werewolves, faeries, and zombies”.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t bode particularly well for a Sims 5 release any time soon, and we’ll probably be lucky to get our hands on it before 2024. The Sims 4 was in development for over three years, so it makes sense that EA Maxis is continuing to maintain The Sims 4 in the meantime. It’s been making improvements to the base game for those who have already spent their hard-earned cash on it, kits, game packs and expansions.
Sims Sessions – a sign of things to come?
Over the months of May, June and July in 2021, EA hosted a Summer of Sims, providing updates, events and a new expansion, Cottage Life, for The Sims 4. There was even an in-game music festival as a part of this summer of events called Sims Sessions, where owning The Sims 4 was all that was required to join in the fun. Though the event was something of a mixed bag, we can’t help but wonder if it’s a sign of things to come for The Sims franchise.
It was in 2020 that Andrew Wilson mentioned elements of “social interaction and competition” becoming “part of the ongoing Sims experience in the years to come” and more recently EA’s Laura Miele said EA wanted to “build on the tools for people to play with life…together”. This communal event, with its real-life artists and out-of-game TikTok hashtag, did certainly have elements of the social connection component that EA seems keen to lean into.
Teasing the future?
It looks like EA has been teasing The Sims 5. While speaking with Geoff Keighley at VentureBeat’s GamesBeat Summit 2021 (opens in new tab) , Chief Studios Officer at EA, Laura Miele, gave a roundabout confirmation that the “next generation” of the Sims franchise is in the works, with a seeming focus on the “fertile ground” of social and online elements.
“We will build on the tools for people to play with life – that’s our brand, simulation – and the idea for people to be able to play with life together,” she said.
“We had The Sims Online that came out in 2002, which I can’t believe, and I think certainly we were ahead of our time.
“And I think 20 years later, we learned a lot about how players interact, what motivates players, and how players can come together co-operatively, and so as you would imagine, as we think about the next generation of The Sims, it’s super important for us to have the best tools, the most flexibility, and for players to really expand on their creativity [and] remix items and objects in the world.
“And then to do that together. I think that’s one of our biggest opportunities with The Sims– the social connection component that we need to bring to this brand and this franchise. The team is hard at work on the next generation of that experience.”
Will The Sims 5 come to console?
As it stands, there’s no concrete information about The Sims 5, but we can probably expect that it will come to the PS5 and Xbox Series X during its lifetime – which is typically long if previous Sims games are anything to go by.
Historically, Sims games become available on PC and then are re-worked slightly for consoles and other systems. We would expect this to be the case for The Sims 5. The Sims 4 was released on PC in 2014, only becoming available for consoles in 2017, so be prepared for a significant gap when it comes to porting the PC version to console.