As the Sims 4 approaches its 9th birthday, players are curious about what’s next. Here’s what we know so far about the Sims 5, and what players are expecting for the future of the franchise.
Project Rene: The Sims 5 Announcement & Leaks
In October 2022 Maxis announced that they were working on the next step in the Sims franchise, codenamed Project Rene. This was shared toward the end of the Sims Summit Stream Event and gave viewers a sneak-peek of very early Buy Mode gameplay.
The brief clip gave players a look at a Buy Mode that takes The Sims 3’s Create-A-Style to entirely new levels, with things like resizable furniture with customizable features and the ability to adjust decorative items like pillows at all sorts of angles.
There was also what appeared to be integration for use on a tablet, as we saw footage of a person furnishing a space with both a computer and tablet device, each reflecting the same room in realtime. Some viewers noticed that the build space looks like an apartment which is something we’ve never seen as a base game concept before. We got less than a minute of footage, but in that time we were able to observe several objects and options, causing a lot of frenzy in the community.
After the announcement Twitter erupted with “leaks,” many of which were fakes made by AI or clips from other non-Sims games. A helpful Redditor made a post with what seems to be real leaked images and footage, with links in the comments to some extended video clips.
Unlike what we saw in the Sims Summit Stream Event, this post includes shots of what appear to be Sims, though I was unable to verify the validity of these images (the only search results I found were other sites reporting on the same pictures, nothing official).
Initial Fan Reaction: The Good, The Bad, and The Suspicious
Well known simmers and players alike shared their reactions to the announcement in places like YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, and Twitter:
Unsurprisingly most viewers were excited, but not everybody felt that way. Many players are burned out on the Sims 4’s model of releasing content piecemeal by way of the various DLC packs, and fear that The Sims 5 will end up being worse.
Those who keep up with other games in the community noticed how similar the Buy Mode behavior is to another simulator game in the works called Paralives, which was announced in 2019.
And players who have enjoyed the single-player franchise so far are pessimistic about the Sims 5’s plan to have multiplayer functionality. One of the biggest fears is that the game will have to be scaled-back in quality to accommodate online gameplay, similar to how the Sims 4 was at release (it was originally planned to be a multiplayer game).
Not to mention, the question of how mods & CC will work in a game designed to play online with others. Typically for games like this mods are merely cosmetic, which is the complete opposite of the variety of mods players have grown accustomed to in the Sims games so far.
Admittedly, we don’t have a lot of facts about the game so far so it’s easy to speculate and fear the worst. Having so much fake content floating around that claims to be official doesn’t help either, as it’s easy to get things distorted over what’s true and what’s just made up.
Expectations are high, especially considering how much time EA/Maxis has had to work on the upcoming Sims 5 so far. All previous mainline iterations of The Sims series released within 4-5 years of their predecessors and yet we’re approaching year 9 for The Sims 4.
As mentioned in one of the tweets above, a lot of content that’s been released for The Sims 4 through DLC packs were concepts that most fans believe should have been base game. We also have 4 other games’ worth of content over 23 years to look back on, and precedents that have been set by those prior games.
As for this author personally, I’d love to see The Sims 5 take all the best features of the previous games and roll them into a robust, immersive game experience:
- The Sims 1: The original Sims game was a bit unhinged and had some truly zany things in it, and I miss the ridiculousness of the early days. Dancers popping out of cakes, celebrities showing up at your house parties, and a giant stonehenge-like sculpture of original creator Will Wright are just some of the bizarre things you’d expect to see.
- The Sims 2: Sims 2 brought so many cool things to sims to make them seem like individuals, such as a variety of turn ons/turn offs, hobbies (with associated idle animations), social groups, and better options for sims to act as part of a community (like asking your apartment neighbor to babysit for you). The game also made clothing different for teens & adults, so they really felt like 2 distinct life stages.
- The Sims 3: Having an open world makes the game feel so much more alive, and less like your sim is the only sentient being within it. Though I was personally not a fan of Create-A-Style because it made my old computer run very slowly, it’s generally a very popular concept and we’ve already seen that it looks like it will be returning. There was also a big variety of activities and events in the game along with strong theming between DLC packs.
- The Sims 4: The Sims 4 in my opinion has the best building tools to date. I was rubbish at building in older games and the user-friendly nature of building now has made it so much easier to create the builds I imagine in my head. I’m also personally a huge fan of the “cartoony” style of the Sims 4 characters and don’t want generic looking or hyper-realistic sims.
I understand that the game needs to make money via DLC after launch, but I expect things like weather, pets, and ALL life stages to be base game content as those are all things you encounter by default in day-to-day living. I wouldn’t mind the return of The Sims Store where you could buy individual objects if you didn’t want an entire pack or kit; many of the packs I own I only bought for 1 or 2 things and would much rather have been able to just buy those items individually as I never use the pack content otherwise.
As a fan of the lore in the games, especially the lore surrounding Bella Goth and her family, I hope to see more of their stories and the stories or other notorious families from the franchise.
Overall, players are expecting a game that feels full and complete on release. Games should feel whole at launch, and not like you need to get DLC in order to make them playable and enjoyable.
The Sims 5 Launch Date
As of now, there’s no set release date for the Sims 5. During the Sims Summit Stream, VP of Franchise Creative Lyndsay Pearson said, “today marks the start of our journey over the next few years,” which suggests that we are looking at at least 2 more years of waiting before the game launches. By that point The Sims 4 will be approaching a decade in age, twice as long as previous Sims games waited between launches.
Upcoming Sims Summit Stream On June 27th 2023
A new Sims Summit Stream will be happening on June 27th and it sounds like they will once again be touching on Project Rene, so we will hopefully have more concrete information about The Sims 5 in a matter of days.
Click this link to be sent to the YouTube page where you can set up a notification reminder for the day of the stream so you don’t miss anything! We hope to see you there!
With the release of the latest Behind The Sims stream, we’ve gotten a much bigger look at what’s being worked on for the upcoming Sims 5 and there’s a lot to take in!
- Lighting Tech: The team is working on new ways to add more dynamic lighting to scenes, which can totally change the emotion impact of gameplay. With shaders being popular for The Sims 4 as well as other games, it’s obvious that players are into the idea of better lighting effects.
- In this scene we also saw some neat details like ceiling pipes and a slanted wall that looks to be the backside of a staircase.
- PC and Phone Cross-Gameplay: It was mentioned during the stream that the game was being designed to work on PC and mobile phones.
- Animation Testing: Emotions are a big part of every sim, and the team is working on ways to animate those emotions properly while also being as simple as possible. This includes varying postures to indicate the overall way a sim is feeling.
- Current character models look similar to The Sims 4‘s sims though we have no indication whether or not this is going to be the finalized art style.
- Open World?: An animation mockup of non-played characters going about their day seems to suggest that the game will be at least somewhat open, as these characters aren’t spawning in specifically to be available for your sims to interact with.
- Hair Customization: The team is currently exploring ways to further customize sims’ hairstyles, and the prototype footage reminds me of The Sims 3‘s Create-A-Style hair system.
Check in with us here at SnootySims to get the most up-to-date information about upcoming The Sims 5 news!