Sims 5 will be “free to download”

The next The Sims game will be monetized in other ways.
The Sims logo with pink background.
Image via EA.

The Sims 4 has had an unusually long lifespan, though EA and Maxis have been working on the next entry in the popular life simulation franchise. In 2022, developers confirmed that they are busy with Project Rene, which will be The Sims 4‘s successor. A few things have already been confirmed about the upcoming game, including the fact that it’ll feature collaborative play and cross-play.

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It was suspected that the game would adopt some kind of free-to-play model, as this is the form The Sims 4 has taken. Furthermore, a Maxis job posting was found which was looking for a Head of Marketplace and Monetization for an upcoming free-to-enter game.

These suspicions have been confirmed, as a recent blog post by EA states that Project Rene will be free to download when it’s ready. The carefully worded blog goes on to explain that you’ll be able to “join, play and explore it without a subscription, core game purchase or energy mechanics.”

There are big plans for Project Rene

Though Project Rene will be free to download, there will be some monetized aspects of it. EA will sell content and packs, but there are also plans for free updates to the core game. For instance, basic weather may be added to the core game, but other purchases may be focused on winter sports and snowman-building competitions.

EA claims that it aims to “lower barriers to play and give all players the broadest shared systems.” This sounds good, but it is worth remembering that EA doesn’t have the best history when it comes to microtransactions and in-game monetization strategies. It has led to a harsh backlash, so only time will tell whether Project Rene can balance the company’s financial needs with player expectations.

We’ll get to find out more about Project Rene soon, as developers intend to keep us in the loop throughout the development cycle. This will come in various forms, including Early Access options and small public playtests. Through these events, we may discover exactly how the next The Sims game will be monetized.

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Author
Smangaliso Simelane
Staff Writer - Smangaliso Simelane is a writer with a passion for all things related to video games. He has been writing about video games since 2020.
Author
Smangaliso Simelane
Staff Writer - Smangaliso Simelane is a writer with a passion for all things related to video games. He has been writing about video games since 2020.