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EA address fan upset over The Sims 4’s missing pools and toddlers

The Sims 4: child-heavy, but toddler-free.

Pools and toddlers don’t mix well, but they’ve been inextricably paired by one common factor: they’re both longstanding features that’ll be missing from The Sims 4.

The community has been in slow-burn uproar for the past week – over 16,000 have signed a petition calling for their inclusion. EA have addressed their concerns in a new blog post – but its rationale is unlikely to satisfy many.

“The fact is, we owe you a clearer explanation for why pools and toddlers will not be in The Sims 4 at launch,” blogged executive producer Rachel Franklin.

It’s not water or children the Sims Studio have a problem with, it seems, but workload. The newest Sims iteration represents a “major upgrade” in tech: incorporating a new AI system, animation, audio positioning tools, “locomotion logic” and “routing intelligence”.

“So the bottom line is that when we sat down and looked at everything we wanted to do for this game, all the new tech we wanted to build into it, the fact was that there would be trade-offs, and these would disappoint some of our fans,” said Franklin. “Hard pill to swallow, believe me, but delivering on the vision set out for The Sims 4 required focus.”

That focus was trained on the “features that make Sims come alive” instead – emotions, interactions, behaviour and customisation – as well as new tools for Build Mode.

Which is all for the good. But every new Sims game has represented a major upgrade to its background simulation and creative tools, and none have shaved quite this close to the bone before.

It might sound silly, that thousands are upset over swimming pools. But they’re an important part of the Sims dream – both as a flexible design tool and an emblem of the game’s picket fence ideals. If the Sims team needed to make a trade-off, it seems they’ve picked the wrong one.

Do you think Franklin’s explanation will appease would-be players?