- The Sims franchise is one of EA’s most successful video game series, spanning a multitude of different games, and selling millions of copies to date. Initially, The Sims—the first game in the series—traces its release back to 2000.
- As per a new report, the next installment in The Sims franchise could be going free to play, similar to the current state of The Sims 4, which also adopted this business model back in 2022.
- The developers currently call the next The Sims game Project Rene, thereby fueling the future of the franchise for fans and followers across the spectrum.
Fanatics of The Sims series of simulation-based video games might be interested to know what developer Maxis has been brewing behind the scenes for the next titular installment in the franchise. According to a new job listing in the Careers section for Maxis Studios on EA’s official website, hirings for the “free-to-enter” Project Rene are underway.
Unfortunately, the listing has been pulled from the website recently, but Sims Community was able to procure a screenshot of the job advert. One of the responsibilities of potential candidates for the Head of Monetization and Marketplace vacancy would be to “own pricing of all content in this free-to-enter game, ensuring we have an optimal pricing and content architecture,” easily hinting that The Sims 5 would be free-to-play on launch.
However, that doesn’t mean you won’t be spending any money on this title. As EA is most notorious for its microtransactions-based business models across its different games along with the existing stature of The Sims 4, The Sims 5—or Project Rene—is expected to be loaded to the brim with DLCs. The latter is anticipated to be both free and paid, with a stronger emphasis on the latter, of course.
To put things into perspective, take a look at how much The Sims 4 costs with all its expansion packs, kits, game packs, and other paid DLC items at the moment. An in-depth analysis by GameRant reveals that the simulation-centric title will take about $1000 off of you if you intend to go all out with its DLC. That’s not a modest figure, and it has you paying for things that technically should be part of the free base game.
Oh, and in case you missed it though, EA has stated that Project Rene currently resides in early development and that a small-scale private playtest was held late last year. Since then, more details about the next The Sims title have surfaced, including that this is going to be the first title in the franchise to feature a mobile version with cross-play support. Not sure what direction are the developers trying to head with Project Rene here.
That said, the free-to-play strategy of Maxis Studios and EA collectively is bound to turn heads for The Sims 5 as soon as it makes landfall. What happens afterward in terms of microtransaction expenditure is anyone’s guess. When The Sims 4 was made free to play back in October 2022, it enjoyed a massive surge in player count according to stats retrieved from its SteamDB page.
At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see how the developer handles DLCs with Project Rene. Though, if you’d like to take a deep dive into the overall concept of microtransactions and how they came to be, we suggest checking out the following video for a quick rundown.
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