The first The Sims: Project Rene playtest is now underway for a select few players, allowing some fans the chance to get their hands on the work-in-progress life game expected to become The Sims 5. It was revealed at a Behind The Sims summit on October 18 that The Sims 5 is now Project Rene and, while it’s still likely several years until the full Sims 5 release date, an EA community manager confirmed reports that closed playtesting has begun for some players, with the focus expected to be squarely on the building game side of things.
Initial reports came out via Insider Gaming saying that players signed up for EA playtesting had received emails inviting them to take part in an initial playtest for Project Rene beginning on October 25. This date has been confirmed by EA community manager Cade, who says that the pre-alpha has been provided to some players who had previously registered for playtesting. The email detailed by Insider Gaming says that “This playtest will focus primarily on our new object customisation tool currently called ‘Workshop,’” and further explains that “This tool is meant to help you customise objects to decorate an apartment.”
This likely refers to the toolset shown during the EA presentation which resembles a new spin on the popular Create-a-Style tools from The Sims 3. In the brief demo, footage is shown of furniture and other objects being customised from top to bottom, with individual component parts such as the arms, back, and cushions on a sofa all being independently modified into different styles, materials, colours, and patterns. This allows players to create some truly unique looking objects, although it’s unclear yet quite how deep this system will go.
The reported email also encourages players to “join sessions with your friends and/or join the private playtest Discord to find new friends to play with.” It adds that playtesters will be eligible to invite up to three friends to sign up to join them, which lines up with Project Rene’s seemingly increased focus on collaborative building.
However, some players on the EA forum are reporting that despite receiving the email invitation, filling out the survey, and being approved, the playtesting option appears to have disappeared from their accounts. It’s likely that this is just a hiccup in the approval process, but EA will likely be looking to keep a fairly tight restriction on who has access to this very early version of their next big Sims project.
Our The Sims: Project Rene interview digs into how the history of the series has influenced its future, and what the team hopes to achieve with regards to collaborative storytelling and representation. However, EA recently apologised for poor Sims creator representation in its Summit presentation. If you’re checking out The Sims 4 for free, be sure to look into our guide to Sims 4 CC for all the best custom content, our pick of the best Sims 4 mods to tweak your game, and all the Sims 4 cheats for unlimited money, full needs, and much more.