The Sims 5: Everything We Know
Longtime fans of the series know that EA’s Sims games are always released after extended hiatuses between titles. But even accounting for the habitual delays, the time for a new installment is ripe by now. The much-awaited sequel to The Sims 4 is getting very little attention from developers, and EA has been tight-lipped as well.
This isn’t to say that things aren’t happening behind the scenes, but there’s very little reason to believe that The Sims 5 is going to be released this year. All we have is speculation. Much to the fans’ dismay, Maxis still seems to be working on other projects. So, let’s go over what is happening and what it indicates.
The Right Time for the Next Sims
E3 2019 recently concluded amid much excitement and some disappointment. Fans expected new information to be revealed about The Sims 5, and there was a great deal of speculation about it. But few could have predicted what actually happened – which was nothing, not even a casual mention or a throwaway line. Neither Maxis nor EA had anything to say about the next installment of the Sims games. To be fair, the same took place at last year’s E3, so perhaps we should have been expecting it after all.
What does this mean? It could be a solid sign that there’s really nothing to say, or it could mean that developers just don’t want to go public with any information just yet.
In a (since deleted) tweet, an EA executive mentioned that the feasibility of another Sims game would be significantly tied to how well The Sims 4 performs throughout its lifespan. The good news is that The Sims 4 has actually done very well. Though it had a rough start because it lacked certain features from previous installments, it has since done very well and initial sales were good. In fact, The Sims 4 has done so well that the franchise may be suffering from success.
How Much Is Too Much?
The Sims 4 has had seven expansion packs so far, each with a significant amount of content, and the team has indicated in interviews that 12 EPs is the eventual goal. Along with expansions, Maxis has been releasing game packs, “stuff” packs, and additional DLC all on a steady schedule. Many of the key developers have been moved to such projects. All this implies that The Sims 4 remains their main focus for now.
There are good indications that the added content for The Sims 4 will continue well into 2020. This may be clogging up the pipe for other development opportunities, namely The Sims 5. While Maxis has expressed unreserved interest in continuing the series, they may have to get through The Sims 4 before a new game is considered.
Another Casualty of the Console Wars
The release of The Sims 4 on Xbox One and PS4 was an important factor in its success. There’s every reason to believe that The Sims 5 will also enjoy a console release. However, that may mean waiting for the next gen to come around.
Microsoft and Sony have already unveiled plans for their next generation of consoles and they are, for better or for worse, coming very soon. With a planned 2020 release date, it makes sense for game developers to be cautiously patient about the games that will be released in the interim. While many players won’t upgrade immediately, there will be a massive number of early adopters who will eagerly snatch up whatever games are available.
This ultimately has a potential impact on the release date for The Sims 5 release. If Maxis isn’t in a rush, there’s no reason to release the game until they can launch it on the next generation of consoles.
So What Do We Know?
The answer is… precious little. The developers definitely want to release the game, but The Sims 4 (along with its additional content) is doing so well that they aren’t incentivized to rush it. EA wants to publish a new game, but again, it makes little financial sense to cannibalize its own product.
New features have been discussed across many platforms, such as aging systems and an open world. The truth is there’s no official statement about any feature that will definitely make it into the next Sims, and this is completely speculative.
The best guess for the release of The Sims 5 is that it will be on the 20th anniversary of the series, which just happens to be in 2020. There isn’t an official statement about it yet, but everything seems to line up, and it’s a great opportunity that would probably have a big impact on fans.
That About Sims It Up
So as you can see, Sim gurus are not saying much. Nor is anyone on the publishing end. There’s interest on both sides to get this done and it would definitely be profitable, but the time just isn’t right yet. For now, the best guess is a 2020 release date. The good news is that The Sims 4 is alive and kicking, and you can expect the steady stream of Sims content to continue flowing unabated.
Do you have a favorite expansion for The Sims 4? Where do you stand on the debate of more content versus an entirely new game?