After the latest release of “Behind The Sims”, the world now has a lot to say about the series. Not only is The Sims 4 base game available for free for everyone, but fans have also discovered tons of updates and expansions for the eight-year-old game. And of course, we finally got a glimpse of things to come with “Project Rene,” something that definitely indicates this is the fifth official installment in the franchise.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Lindasy Pearson, Vice President of Creative for The Sims Franchise, and chat with her about how the games have evolved, their ever-growing community, and what we can expect. to see in the future. And what we’ve found is that all of the studio’s decisions seem to come from very careful observation of their fans.
Regarding the switch to a F2P model for one of the series’ most successful entries, Pearson revealed that they felt it was the right time to switch. “There are so many experiences, so much content to play with, it felt like the perfect time to say ‘Come join us. Come be a part of this game with us. Invite your friends, now they have no excuse not to to play with you! Come and join the world of The Sims. »
Constant development, driven by fans
According to her, the development of games and their expansions is directly related to the people who play them. Pearson went on to explain how the community has helped guide the development of the franchise over the years, in a sort of celebration of everything the community has created: be it stories, designs, buildings, or any kind of creation. And of course that includes modders and more recently The Sims streamers and YouTubers.
“I think what continues to evolve is that we now have many more platforms to connect with,” Lyndsay said. “So the whole development of streamers and YouTubers was like something completely new for The Sims, obviously compared to where we were in the early years, and it created this whole new way to share your experience with The Sims. And it’s like , that even if you’re still playing it alone, you feel more connected because you can be part of a stream or you can play a challenge or follow someone’s story.”
It is all this together that inspires the creative process that leads to the creation of new expansions and game ideas. Pearson admitted that “Those who enjoy building sims or houses obviously have a very different wish list than what they expect to see in the game. Modders and users of custom content have their own wish list. [de cosas que quieren ver en el juego]. So we know there are different flavors, but everyone is part of the Sims community and everyone has a role to play. This in turn presents developers with the challenge of figuring out how to distill hundreds of different ideas into a cohesive product, one that fans can enjoy and create.
But it’s not just the fans that dictate the development of the franchise. Talking about the same creative process, Pearson revealed that they are working really hard to update and modernize the ideas they have previously created for new releases of the old expansions. Using the University Pack as an example, he said that since the original The Sims 2 game was already 10-15 years old, they had to look for new inspiration. After all, the school has changed considerably since then. It is in this modernization, but also in the search for greater representativeness, that its ideas have been successfully renewed without having the impression of always treading the same ground.
The René project and the many questions that come with it
Eventually, the conversation turned to the future of the franchise and Project Rene. Although they revealed that the game will have cross-platform connectivity, a focus on multiplayer, and highly detailed customization, there are still many unanswered questions. One of them is whether it’s an actual sequel or some kind of spin-off.
“Well, we’re giving ourselves the title ‘Project René’ right now to have the freedom to explore some of these spaces, right? Lyndsay said, assuring us that the game is still ‘The Sims’. “It IS an evolution of The Sims. This IS the future of innovation with The Sims. Which indicates that the core DNA of the franchise will still be there. But we are looking to expand and push the boundaries to bring it to life through different tools and ideas. What they seem to be looking for is an expansion of the shared capabilities of the game, built into their systems.
An online world, but far from the metaverse
This indicates that what they are trying to do is create new ways for players to experience the game. That’s more devices you can play on, new ways to create with your friends (even in real-time), and maybe new kinds of gameplay options. We even asked if it would be anything like The Sims Online, the old Sims MMO released in 2002. And it looks like they’ve rethought it for Project Rene, but quickly realized there were plenty of ways to improve this old Sims on. experience.
“The Sims Online at the time was a really exciting game because it was way ahead of how people play games now,” Pearson said. “I think multiplayer has evolved a lot since then because it can now take so many different forms. And what’s more inspiring for us than looking at how it was back then is seeing what the different reasons was that I got in touch with a friend He noted that it’s all about figuring out what you want to do with your friends (or alone) whether it’s building, designing, decorating a house or just play with your Sims.
Of course, given this huge expansion to a more “online” approach, we couldn’t help but wonder if current developments in the “Metaverse” would have an impact on this. Fortunately, the answer is no. More or less.
“For us, when we think about The Sims, we try not to think about ‘how can we try to make The Sims a metaverse,’ because that’s not what our players want or need. But it’s a question about how we continue to serve our players and what they expect from us. How can we connect them and help them share more effectively? To be even more clear, he admitted that they recognize that “The Metaverse” is something that can be adapted to the nature of their game, but it’s not just about getting Sims to have that kind of experience.. Project Rene “is always about the Sims: it’s my stuff, my Sims, my space, my friends .And everything we do there must start from that point.
This next Sims experience may not be complete for a few years, but EA and the developers are confident that more information will be coming soon. “I know we’ve grown a lot in 20 years,” Lyndsay said. “But it’s still about little people walking around and doing things, and it always has been that way. And we’ll reveal more as time goes on.