Electronic Arts has confirmed more details around The Sims 5, which is in development under the working title Project Rene, including confirmation that it will be free to start. In a blog post, EA said the game will be “free to download,” though there will be stuff to buy as well, of course.
“This means that when Project Rene is ready and fully open to players, you will be able to join, play and explore it without a subscription, core game purchase, or energy mechanics,” EA said.
EA also confirmed that The Sims 5 will exist “side by side” with The Sims 4, which adopted a free model in 2022. Job listings at EA suggested The Sims 5 would be free, but this is now confirmed.
As for the “energy mechanics,” some believed The Sims 5 would adopt a model whereby players could begin for free and then need to pay more over time to keep playing through the type of business model most associated with mobile games.
EA will, of course, be looking to make money with The Sims 5, and monetization to come in the way of “content and packs,” EA said in the new blog post.
“Basic weather may be added to the core game for free, for everybody. And in the future, a pack for purchase may be focused on winter sports with activities like ice dancing or a snowman building competition,” EA said. “It’s important that with Project Rene we lower barriers to play and give all players the broadest shared systems because that feels like the strongest foundation for us to grow from.”
Additionally, EA confirmed that The Sims 5 will be a “new way to play The Sims.” It will still have a “Simsy” feel, EA said, as players will manage their sims throughout their days, but the game will present gameplay choices “differently.”
“With Project Rene, we want to do things from the start that The Sims hasn’t ever done or try to do familiar things in a new way,” EA said.
Finally, EA said The Sims 5 is still in the “early stages” of development. While the full release might still be some time off, EA said it might invite players in early for testing purposes, with more details to come on any pre-release testing phases.
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