The Sims 5 is born as Project Rene, and EA wants your help to raise it

The Sims 5 is being developed under the working title Project Rene and EA wants the community to be part of the life sim game’s creation in an early access form

The Sims: Project Rene - a lady in a floral dress at the roller skating rink in Sims 4

The Sims 5 is currently under development at EA – but it’s not called that right now. The Sims: Project Rene is the working title for “the next generation Sims game and creative platform,” according to the life game’s VP of franchise creative, Lyndsay Pearson. EA says that in order to reflect a changing market, it’s sharing development of its next sandbox game “earlier than ever before because we want you to be a part of our development journey.”

Wrapping up the Behind The Sims livestream with ‘one final thing,’ Pearson – who began working on the series twenty years ago as a game tester – says that it’s a “privilege to help usher the franchise into the next generation and beyond.” She explains that there is a “growing team” focused on the development of Project Rene alongside ongoing development of future The Sims 4 and Sims Mobile content, both of which teased new updates during the showcase.

“Exploring different ways to play The Sims requires us to commit to different ways of building it,” Pearson explains. She says that the name Project Rene reflects “words like renewal, renaissance, rebirth, and it represents our renewed commitment to The Sims.” We get a brief glimpse of some in-development gameplay footage, mostly showing off the deep item customisation and some simple building sequences.

The customisation shown is pleasingly reminiscent of Create-a-Style, the beloved custom content creation toolset from The Sims 3. The video shows off the player customising beds and couches down to the tiniest details – adjusting the style, fabric type, pattern, colour, and even position of individual components, from headboard variants to precise cushion placement. There’s even parts that suggest full 360 rotation on objects could be available out the gate, though some items are also shown being rotated in the classic 8-way fashion.

Also emphasised is an increased focus on both collaborative play and also a play-anywhere style. “With Project Rene, we want to make it easier to work together and share,” says Pearson, explaining that “you can choose to play or create by yourself, or with your close friends – it’s entirely your choice.” There’s also a brief demonstration of the same game seemingly being run simultaneously on both PC and a mobile device, with changes able to be made on either system.

While there’s not much more information for now, Pearson promises that “over the next couple of years we’ll continue sharing updates with all of you on Project Rene.” This will include behind-the-scenes looks and in-progress sneak peeks, with early access to the game being opened up to small groups over time. In closing, Pearson reiterates that “this is super early for us, but we’re so excited to take you on this journey with us. Fans wanting to follow the project are urged to sign up via the game’s official website.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on how Project Rene rolls out – in the meantime, The Sims 4 player count is likely about to leap in size with its transition to become a free PC game. If you’re one of those newcomers – or a returning player – we’ve got everything you need to know about The Sims 4 system requirements, as well as the best Sims 4 custom content creators, all of The Sims 4 cheats you could want, and last but not least, yes, the best Sims 4 sex mods for all you saucy Simmers out there.