Electronic Arts has confirmed that The Sims 5 will be free-to-play at launch like The Sims 4, only it won’t be as feature-complete as its predecessor as EA plans on adding more content to the game over time. Still codenamed Project Rene, The Sims 5 doesn’t have a release date yet but players won’t have to worry about paying up for the game as it will be a free download.
EA released a new behind-the-scenes look at Project Rene aka The Sims 5, confirming that it plans to make the title free-to-play at launch. However, additional content will likely be paid if it aims to follow a similar strategy to The Sims 4, which went free-to-play last year (the base game, at least).
Lyndsay Pearson, VP of franchise creative for The Sims at developer Maxis Studios, revealed:
“We intend for Project Rene to be free to download, and that means that when it’s ready and fully open to our players, you’ll be able to join and play and explore Project Rene without a subscription, without core game purchase or energy mechanics. We want it to be easy for you to invite or join with a friend, and that means extending an open invitation for everyone to play.”
Pearson added that The Sims 5 won’t have as many features as The Sims 4 in its current state but the developer plans to introduce new updates and additional content after launch that will gradually improve the game over time. However, it will take a decidedly different approach to its paid and free content drops:
“We want to focus on building something strong and cohesive from the start, so it definitely won’t start with everything you have in The Sims 4, but we’re going to add new experiences and content to Project Rene over time. Well, beyond regular updates to the core game, we will sell content and packs, but we want to change that mix a little bit. So, let me give you a theoretical example. In The Sims 4, the only way to experience any weather was if you purchased seasons. Now, in Project Rene, we might introduce basic weather to the core game for free for everybody. And then a pack for purchase might be focused on winter sports and could include activities like ice dancing or a snowman-building competition.”
Those fearful that The Sims 5 will completely replace The Sims 4 when it launches won’t need to worry as EA also confirmed that the games will continue to co-exist alongside each other. Pearson added, “Project Rene and The Sims 4 are going to continue to exist side by side. We plan to support both at the same time, and we’re going to continue to bring even more exciting content to The Sims 4 for the foreseeable future.”
Considering that The Sims 4 managed to reach over 70 million players, an achievement partially owed to the game going free-to-play, it’s no surprise that EA wants to replicate that success with the next entry.
Check out the latest behind-the-scenes video for Project Rene below:
Source: Electronic Arts