The future of The Sims is far from the Metaverse

After the recent broadcast 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 to everyone, but fans have also discovered numerous updates and expansions for the eight-year-old game. And, of course, we finally got a glimpse of what’s to come with “Project Rene,” something that definitely indicates that 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 talk to her about how the games have evolved, their expanding community, and what we can expect in the future. And what we’ve found is that all of the studio’s decisions seem to come from very careful observation by their fans.

As for the switch to an F2P model for one of the series’ most successful entries, Pearson revealed that they believe it was the right time to make the switch. “There are so many experiences, so much content to play with, it felt like the perfect time to say, join us. Come join us in this game. Invite your friends, now they have no excuse not to hang out with you. Enter the world of The Sims. »

Constantly evolving, powered by fans

According to her, the development of games and their expansions is directly linked to the people who play them. Pearson went on to explain how the community has contributed to the development of the franchise over the years, in a sort of celebration of everything the community has created: whether it’s stories, designs, buildings, or any 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 a lot more platforms to connect to,” Lyndsay said. “So the whole evolution of streamers and YouTubers was like something totally new to The Sims, obviously compared to where we were in those early years and that created this whole new way to share your experience with The Sims. And it’s like, even though 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. »

All this together inspires the creative process that leads to the creation of new expansions and game ideas. Pearson admitted: “Those who enjoy building sims or houses will of course have a very different wish list than they expect 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 tastes, but everyone is part of the Sims community and everyone has a role to play. This 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 who dictate the evolution of the franchise. Speaking of the same creative process, Pearson revealed that they are working very hard to update and modernize the ideas they’ve done in the past for new releases of those 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 needed to look for new inspiration. The school has changed a lot since then. It is in this modernization, but also in the search for more representativeness, that her ideas have been successfully renewed without giving the impression that they are always walking on the same terrain.

The René Project and the many questions that come with it

Finally, the talk turned to the future of the franchise and Project Rene. While they revealed that the game will have cross-platform connectivity, a focus on multiplayer, and highly detailed customizations, there are still many unanswered questions. One is whether it’s an actual sequel or some sort of spin-off.

“Well, we’re giving ourselves the title ‘Project René’ 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 trying to push the boundaries and push it to bring it to life through various tools and ideas What they seem to be looking for is an extension of the game’s shared capabilities built into their systems.

The future of The Sims is far from the Metaverse

An online world, but far from the metaverse

This indicates that they are trying to create new ways for gamers to experience the game: more devices to play on, new ways to create with your friends (even in real time), and perhaps new types of gameplay options. We even asked if it would be something like The Sims Online, the old Sims MMO released in 2002. And it looks like they reimagined it for Project Rene, but soon realized there were plenty of ways to improve these old Sims. experience.

“The Sims Online was a very intriguing game back then because it was a long time ago 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 what it was like back then is seeing the different reasons for me to connect with a friend. He noted that it’s about thinking about what you want to do with your friends (or alone), whether that’s building, designing, decorating a house, or just playing with your Sims.

Of course, given this massive expansion to a more “online” approach, we couldn’t help but wonder if the current developments in the “Metaverse” would have an impact on this. Fortunately, the answer is no. More or less.

The future of The Sims is far from the Metaverse

“For us, when we think about The Sims, we try not to think ‘how can we try to make The Sims a metaverse’, because that’s not what our players want or need. But it’s a matter of 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 clearer, he admitted that they recognize that “The Metaverse” is something that can be aligned with the nature of their games, but it’s not just about Sims having 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, should start from that point.

This next Sims experience may not be complete in a few years, but EA and the developers are confident that more information will be coming very soon. “I know we’ve grown a lot in 20 years,” Lyndsay said. “But it’s still about little people walking around, doing things, and always have been. And we will reveal more as time goes on.

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