A third sequel to EA’s Dwarf-Fortress-for-the-anti-ASCII is due for release on PC and Mac next year. The Sims 4 is currently in development at The Sims Studio - the in-house outfit who’ve been responsible for the series since Maxis relinquished control in 2007.
An EA clearly spooked by the launch of Maxis’ SimCity promised a “single-player offline experience” in a blog post yesterday.
The Sims 4 reportedly “celebrates the heart and soul of the Sims themselves”, and offers players deeper connections with “the most expressive, surprising and charming Sims ever”.
The sequel will build on the series’ already-extensive Build Mode with “new and intuitive” tools, say EA. It’ll also enable players to “effortlessly share their creativity with friends and fans” - presumably through Origin rather than the separate Sims Store that ran alongside The Sims 3.
“The Sims franchise is fueled by the passion and creativity of its millions of fans around the world,” said EA. “Your continued devotion to the franchise ignites the fire of creativity of the team at The Sims Studio, driving them to continually improve and innovate on one of the world’s most successful simulation game that has sold more than 150 million copies worldwide.”
In a conference call for 'VIP' fans yesterday morning, EA said that a team of over 100 is working on The Sims 4. The team includes some notable series veterans, including longtime producer Lindsay Pearson and Robbie Crocker, one of the audio men responsible for the series' compelling gibberish, Simlish.
"For The Sims 4, we took a look at the history of the series, and we pinpointed what we believe is the core of the experience," said an EA Maxis spokesperson. "At the very center of every game are the sims. And that's what our fans love, and we know that because you tell us that, every day. So we're listening to our fans like you, and we're going back to our roots - the sims themselves.
"We felt it was important to unlock new ways for your sims to interact with one another, so we're focusing on the complexity of sim-to-sim interactions, and the way your sims behave. New breakthroughs in technology are letting us give you the coolest sims ever."
Moreover, EA are making some big improvements to Create-a-Sim and Buy modes.
And that’s the entirety of the news. Unless you count these eyes:
The Sims 3 saw the series’ neighbourhood lots linked up via freely-explorable towns for the first time. Combined with character traits which included Evil, Paranoid and Kleptomaniac, they created plenty of delicious potential for street-sleeping and nefarious night time antics. Sadly the expansions to date have failed to iterate on its network of systems in a meaningful way, instead plumping for RPG-lite questing.
Hopefully The Sims 4 will be a step forward in that regard - though they’ve had to make do without former Sims Label head and professional genius Rod Humble, who left for Second Life a couple of years ago. Here’s why that’s a terrible shame:
A more comprehensive Sims 4 reveal is coming in the third week of August. What would you like to see in it?