It has been eight years since EA released The Sims 4. While it seems there’s still plenty of life left yet in the game as it goes free-to-play, many fans have been wondering about the future of the series. During a showcase on Tuesday, the publisher and developer Maxis announced the next entry in the franchise, and offered a sneak peek into what’s ahead.
The next-gen Sims game is currently dubbed Project Rene. Maxis opted for that working title “to be reminiscent of words like renewal, renaissance and rebirth to represent the developer’s renewed commitment for The Sims’ bright future,” EA said in a press release.
Maxis is in the very early stages of building Project Rene, which probably won’t arrive for another few years. However, it did offer some details during the Behind the Sims Summit, including a look at more in-depth customization. You’ll be able to change the patterns, colors and shapes of objects, including various elements of each item. For instance, you could adjust the shape and size of a bed’s footboard or tweak the cushion layout and pattern on a couch. It seems that you’ll have more freedom over how to place objects without having to rely on the grid system that The Sims has long employed.
You’ll be able to play Project Rene by yourself or with your friends (there’s the option to share furniture sets, for instance). What’s more, it will be a cross-platform game with cross-progression, so you’ll be able to continue playing when you move to a different device. That’s also a possible hint that Project Rene is being eyed as a free-to-play-title.
EA said it was providing its earliest-ever look at a Sims game. As such, some of these planned features may change in the coming years, and there’s still a lot more to come. Maxis wants input from players as it develops Project Rene. As such, it’s taking a similar approach to sibling studio Full Circle, which has invited fans to try very early versions of the new Skate and offer feedback to help guide its work.
Elsewhere, the stream offered some details on updates for the current games. Maxis is working with Overwolf, which is behind mod repository CurseForge, to build a destination that The Sims 4 fans can visit to find trusted mods and player-created content for the game. More details on that will be revealed later this year.
Meanwhile, the next wave of expansion packs is coming in 2023. The showcase included a teaser related to infants, who may no longer be confined to cribs. One was shown crawling around before an adult picked them up.
Starting Tuesday, The Sims FreePlay will allow players to use all hairstyles, earrings and glasses on Sims of any gender. Maxis is upgrading characters’ faces as well as part of a drive to make the franchise more inclusive. The Sims FreePlay will also gain a superyacht that your Sims can live in early next year. As for The Sims Mobile, balconies will be available in the build and buy catalog sometime this holiday season.