Speculation: The Sims 5 in Development?

The Sims 5! It’s… where is it?! It’s no secret that The Sims 4 is getting up there in age. The historical average has been 4-5 years between releases, but we are now roughly 7 years into The Sims 4!

  • The Sims: 2000-2004 
  • The Sims 2: 2004-2009
  • The Sims 3: 2009 – 2014
  • The Sims 4: 2014 – 

Mum’s The Word

There has been very little official commentary on anything relating to The Sims 5. In an interview at the end of 2020, CEO Andrew Wilson had some rather cryptic comments:

Typically, what The Sims has done is really focus on fulfilling the motivations of inspiration, escape, creation, self-improvement, and not necessarily focus as much on social interaction and competition.

As Maxis continues to think about The Sims for a new generation across platforms and a cloud-enabled world, you should imagine that while we will always stay true to our inspiration, escape, creation, self-improvement motivation, that this notion of social interaction and competition – like the kind of things that were actually present in The Sims Online many years ago – will start to become part of the ongoing The Sims experience in the years to come.

This sounded like The Sims 5 was at least on the radar, if not already in some sort of pre-production or planning stages.

Please note that, as of the writing of this article, there has been no official information released specifically regarding The Sims 5. There is no official release date, nor are there any official trailers. 

Looking Towards The Future of The Sims

Corkboard IconThere are a few curious job postings that have appeared at EA recently. Some of these seem to indicate that something big is in the works!

There are some standard, run-of-the-mill postings that could turn up at any point. These would include interface designers, animators, 3D modelers, and the like. These could easily be related to any new pack for The Sims 4. 

This listing for a “Senior VFX Artist” cites The Sims 4 popularity as a grounding point, but says “we are gearing up for our next big production” – is this a reference to the next iteration of the series? 

Unreal x The Sims?

There are a few more exotic descriptions, such as this “Core UI/UX Software Engineer,” which, interestingly, specifically states “prototyping and production development” with “most of the work being done in Unreal Engine, both in C++ and Blueprints.”

Unreal Engine is a very powerful, widely used game engine all throughout the industry. Stunning visuals, ease of use, multi-platform deployment, and multi-player online capabilities are all there right from the get-go.

Having all of this in place could save a lot of time and effort in early development, leaving more resources to create gameplay content itself.

They also don’t specifically mention which version of Unreal is being used. Unreal Engine 5 is currently in development – the use of which could result in a level of visual fidelity that The Sims games have never seen!

Frostbite x The Sims?

Let’s also consider that EA has its own in-house game engine, called Frostbite, that has been around since 2008. Although, it would seem that Frostbite and The Sims have never crossed paths. It’s a very interesting thought that EA would skip over making a custom engine/platform, then also skip over their already-existing engine, in favor of using yet a different 3rd-party solution…

With the combination of the use of a new engine, the mention of “new IPs,” and engineers for “the next wave of simulation features,” it certainly seems like EA is up to something out there in Redwood City!

Not so fast…

That all being said, we don’t want to be so quick to write off The Sims 4! There are also listings for far less interesting things, such as 3D modelers and animators. 

One requisition for a Cinematic Artist (now taken down) explicitly stated “to help capture The Sims 4 gameplay content for marketing, social, internal, and occasionally in-game use.” – so it would seem there are certainly still things in works for The Sims 4. One particular listing for a 3D modeler mentioned the creation of vehicles, something that – thus far – are woefully missing from The Sims 4.

33 Million Players and counting!

While The Sims 4 is the longest-lived of the series, it certainly doesn’t seem to be slowing down! The Sims 4 has experienced year-over-year growth every year since it’s release. As of December 2020, the average daily, weekly, and monthly players was at an all-time-high of 33 million total players. Whew!

The Sims 4 has really turned out to be quite robust, despite the rocky beginning. The Sims 1 only had 8 expansions. The Sims 2 had 9. The Sims 3 had 12 expansions, plus 9 “Stuff Packs” for 21 total. The Sims 4 lies at 10 expansion packs, 18 Stuff Packs, and 9 Game Packs – a whopping total of 37! 

There are so many new players, and so many new ideas flowing into the community daily! We can’t wait to see what surprises are in store for the next version of the game!

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