EA Announces Major Expansion For The Sims Franchise

Electronic Arts announced a major update for The Sims, titled Project Rene, which will offer more customization options to Sims 4.

By Jason Collins | Published

EA has been the subject of many headlines in media outlets recently, as the company made some major changes following its breakup with FIFA. Apart from shutting down online support for some of its titles, EA just recently announced a new trans character for Apex Legends and a new project titled Project Rene, which is tied to The Sims franchise and offers more customization.

According to The Verge, Project Rene isn’t quite the next installment in the iconic sim franchise, but it’s shaping up to be the next major entry. The previous entry in the franchise, The Sims 4, was released eight years ago, and fans have started to wonder when will the expansions and DLCs stop — though some introduced more horrific monsters to the game — and the next installment arrives. Luckily, the franchise’s long-time developer Maxis unveiled Project Rene, the codename that the fans hope would eventually become The Sims 5.

Project Rene was officially announced by Lyndsay Pearson — Maxis’ VP of the franchise — who also shared future plans for the upcoming The Sims content during Behind the Sims Summit. The preview of the Project focused more on technical in-game systems, like building and customization, which is perhaps the most exciting thing about The Sims. It showcased a player customizing a room using a system that looks vastly different from the current buy-and-build mode present since the dawn of The Sims.

The level of customization is unprecedented; it’s like nothing previously seen not only in The Sims but also in other Sims-like life sim games. The players were shown customizing the shape and details of bed headboards, as well as the texture of the blankets and the throw and pillows of a couch. All of that was placed in an asymmetrical room layout, so it would seem that the players of the upcoming The Sims release will be able to create unique environments for their in-game personas.

Furthermore, the Buy-and-Build mode in Project Rene makes buying and customizing furniture akin to a real-life experience by introducing a multiplayer component, allowing players to share their builds among themselves. What’s more interesting, friends can decorate their rooms together in Project Rene instead of having to share their screens. They can do so in the cross-platform gaming environment, including smartphone gaming crossing with the PC version of the upcoming The Sims.

Pearson stated that Maxis doesn’t usually share insights into in-development titles, at least not so early in the development cycle. However, the company is just following the trends of the gaming industry, which is becoming more interactive with its consumers — EA actually listened to fan feedback for the recently released remake of Dead Space. This also means that the next The Sims will spend a considerable time in development before early access or a full-blown release.

the sims

As for The Sims 4, the developer will continue to support the title for the foreseeable future, announcing a planned collaboration with CurseForge, a massive modding community that offers legal add-ons for MMO and online gaming titles. Additionally, The Sims 4, which recently added more personal pronouns to the game, became a free-to-play gaming title two days ago.