Electronic Arts (EA) has officially confirmed that the next game in the Sims series, known by its working title Project Rene, will be free-to-play. The announcement was part of EA’s recent online showcase, Behind the Sims.
In a decisive move away from traditional gaming monetization methods, EA clarified that Project Rene will not require an initial game purchase, subscription, or any form of ‘energy mechanics’. “It’s a little early to know exactly where we’ll draw the lines,” said EA, “but it’s important for us to lower those barriers to play and give everyone the broadest shared systems because that feels like the best foundation to grow from.”
The company has also shared its plans for an in-game marketplace that will include both original and community-created content, with options for both free and paid items. According to EA, Project Rene will be launched with a smaller feature set than its predecessor, The Sims 4, but will gradually introduce new experiences and paid content packs. One such hypothetical content pack mentioned was a Winter Sports Pack, offering themed activities like snowman building and ice dancing.
While many fans are excited about this new approach, EA assured that The Sims 4 will continue to be updated and will coexist with Project Rene for the foreseeable future. To reinforce this commitment, EA also announced the first Stuff Pack for The Sims 4 in over two years, titled Home Chef Hustle. This upcoming pack promises to bring new ways to cook, new ways to make money, and new buy/build and create-a-sim items.
Fans of The Sims 4 can look forward to several new additions, such as a waffle maker, new clothing and accessories, and updated UI recipe filter options. For those eager to get their hands on this new content, EA plans to release more details about Home Chef Hustle this Thursday, September 14th.
With these multiple updates and projects, EA seems committed to keeping both new and existing Sims fans engaged for years to come.