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The Sims 5 Release Date and What Features Should Be In It?

How I Want Sims 5 to Look Like Plus Other Features

EA needs to either convince old time players that the upcoming Sims 5 is the best in the Sims franchise and totally worth spending money on (and starting over with) through nostalgia or some wonderful surprise, or tap a new market.

No pressure.

As of today, no official statement has been released yet regarding Sims 5 and when it's coming out-- (I'll update this once there's an official announcement already from EA).

The Sims gurus are doing their best to keep things under wraps.

 Or are they?

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. What We Know About Sims 5 So Far
A. Is Sims 5 Cancelled?
B. When is Sims 5 Gonna Be Released?

II. What Key Features Should Be in Sims 5
A. The Safe Bet
B. Make or Break

III. What Should Never Be in Sims 5?

IV. Alternate Business Models for Sims 5


One member in the Sims forums named lilleefs found a clue:

Arch E Sims 5 Clue or Gurus Just Trolling

I did notice this odd arch after the September update but I initially assumed that it's Arch E, with E the 5th letter of the alphabet, and also to celebrate the 5th year of Sims 4. On the other hand, I thought the prototypes being mentioned were the devs way of subtly narrating the struggles they went through in the Sims 4 with its new engine:

First prototype didn't open - Sims 4 didn't get a warm welcome on its launch, and was criticized left and right for not being an open world like Sims 3, and even lacking toddlers and swimming pools --all that for $60 in Origin.

Second prototype refined the concept and removed defect by making a hole - they finally added pools and also released the first expansion pack, Get to Work, followed by Get Together, which somehow helped refine the concept of life simulation in this game and also added rabbit hole events in the process.

Third prototype increased the size of the hole - they added City Living w/ more rabbit hole scenarios. Also added Cats and Dogs, both of which uhmm... dig holes. Just kidding. They also added lot traits which is one of the best selling point in this game.

Fourth prototype removed the sharp edges - fixed more bugs through patch updates, and gave away freebie CAS and build items. Also finally released Seasons which the Sims community has been asking for ages. This contributed to better publicity in Sims 4 and somehow pacified the jaded Simmers.

Firth, Arch E, should be great - created new intro screen and changed branding for Sims 4 (hence, new look in that arch) in preparation for removing support to 32-bit PCs (and creating a new one for that named Legacy Edition). Released more patches and also surprised the community with customizable stairs and hella more packs: Island Living, Get Famous, Strangerville, Realm of Magic, and the most awaited expansion pack, University Life.

The Sims 5 Release Date and What Features Should Be In It


The Simmers in the forums have a totally different theory though about this cryptic message and claim that it's actually about the Sims iterations, with Arch E being an actual clue of the Sims 5-- the way the gurus did before the launch of Cats and Dogs pack:

First prototype didn't open - lack of customization features in the first Sims

Second prototype refined the concept - added customization features in Sims 2 that are slightly similar to Sim City

Third prototype increased the size of the hole - even more customization plus they made Sims 3 open world

Fourth prototype removed the sharp edges - removed old features like open world to reduce bugs and increase playability, and also made Sims 4 family-friendly unlike its older versions with very adult themes.

Firth, Arch E, should be great - Maxis has come a long way in the Sims franchise and definitely has a good idea now what works and what doesn't. Since they call the previous 4 mere prototypes, they were never meant to be "finished" because they will be overriden by a new one.

The Sims timeline


This probably means that Sims 5 is the actual finished game and they won't be releasing any Sims game after that unless there's a strong need to use a whole new engine, or they need to clean up some game-breaking mess, and start again from scratch.


I. What We Know So Far

A. Is Sims 5 Cancelled?


No.

On the contrary, Maxis had these particular job openings last time, giving us confirmation that they have started developing Sims 5 already. There were some internal role changes as well in early 2019 hinting the same.

I do understand the sentiment of those who want Sims 4 to be the end game of the franchise, considering it's the most expensive during its launch (even if we take inflation out of the equation, they gotta hire more people, use a new engine better than Sims 3, do graphics overhaul, scrap the original online Sims 4 idea dubbed Olympus and start all over).

The Sims 5 Release Date and What Features Should Be In It

There's a claim that EA appropriated the earnings from the Sims franchise to fund the development of  Titanfall and another Battlefield game. Whether that's true or not, I just want them to give us Sims players better immersion and enjoyment in the franchise for many more years to come.

OG Simmers

That or some other dev create a new game that will compete head to head with the Sims franchise (so far, there's none 😾 Paralives can challenge this notion, but it hasn't been actually released yet so we'll see about that).


B. When is Sims 5 Gonna Be Released Then?


With EA making Sims 4 available on Steam soon (and even making its base game free last May), expect Sims 5 to make its existence known real soon.

But again, no official announcements yet.




I do agree with the current majority in the poll below that they're gonna announce Sims 5 around mid-to-late 2020: most likely during E3 2020, but who knows. It can be as early as end of January 2020, the exact 20th year anniversary of The Sims franchise!

Sims 5 Release Date Poll

The official release might be during the later part of 2021, just in time before the holiday season begins.

But if they don't make it by then, I personally don't mind Sims 5 being delayed to 2022 or beyond, especially I'm still catching up playing other games now lol. At least simmers can get to enjoy their chosen Sims version longer, and Sims 4 will get fresh updates for more than the 3 years initially planned, without us feeling FOMO --IF Sims 5 indeed happens to be the best game in the franchise.
Sims 5 In Development
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II. What Key Features Should Be in Sims 5?

Different simmers are in a heated debate about what should and shouldn't be in the upcoming Sims 5. Despite having varied play styles, most simmers fall in the following main categories (in different degrees):
Main Types of Simmers

 If this were a chart, mine would look like this:
Main Types of Simmers

With these categories, come different priorities:

Simulation players - those who play either a version of themselves, someone they know, or some other made up character and treat Sims as a virtual dollhouse (the way it was originally intended by its founder, Will Wright). The main focus of these players is immersion.

Fashionista - either a simple as dressing up their Sims or designing their own clothes through the help of whatever modding tool available (i.e. Sims 4 Studio, Marvelous Designer, Blender), the main goal of this group is for Sims to look gorgeous AF.

Architects - this group treats Sims as another 3D rendering software like Viz Render or Lumion to either design their dream house or some other building type. Make sure to give them flexible build tools and matching swatches so they can happily design to their heart's content.

Storyteller - self-explanatory. The more compelling the drama is or the funnier the shots in their machinima, the better.

The Challenger - they're usually the most active Simmer (usually active in the forums as well) because they'll never stop until they finish the Rags to Riches, 100 Baby Challenge, Ugly to Beauty, and other Legacies. In theory, they're the least demanding because technically EA can throw anything in a Sims game and they'll make a challenge out of it. But in reality, they're the most vocal (because they're most likely the ones who discover bugs first, or get bored after spending inane hours in-game), and also most influential out of the other categories mentioned above.


There are 2 main ways the Sims gurus can tackle these varied tastes and priorities-- and I bet they already did a combination of these 2 right as soon as Sims 4 took off.

But it's nice to speculate nonetheless. 😺



A. The Safe Bet


The first one would be simply making some sort of remaster of older Sims (either Sims 2 or 3, or combination of them) as a fan service to please the majority of its players which are the simulation players mentioned above, while meeting the minimum requirements of other types of players.

Basically EA will do their best to bring the beloved features in older Sims to Sims 5. This includes:

  • open world (never mind if players run a potato)
  • cars
  • horses
  • more life states and life stages from the get go
  • existing build tools in Sims 4
  • curved stairs
  • ability to customize neighborhood
  • matching swatches of build items
  • ability to upload own texture and cloth patterns
  • ability to be a landlord and rent out apartment units to tenants
  • Pixar-like cartoony art style


However, realistically-speaking, if they had a hard time figuring out how to fix the lag in Sims 3 because of its open world feature and the extreme level of customization tools it has, while at the same time also struggling to patch up the bugs and optimize Sims 4 despite already removing the main features that caused performance issues in Sims 3, I don't think EA is going this fan service route at all to the T.

Another case in point is why waste time and resources creating something like a Sims 4 2.0 with added features from 2 and 3, when they can just simply improve Sims 4 itself instead and add those missing features through future patches?


B. Make or Break


So here comes a more plausible option: EA might surprise us with something totally different -- which is risky but can either make or break the Sims franchise, but guaranteed to catch everyone's attention, including those who have never played Sims yet, and most likely convince OG simmers to actually play Sims 5.

Either they will focus on one or more types of player above (the way they did with Sims 4 which mainly focuses on Storytellers because of the new multi-tasking AI and emotions/quirks feature that they added).

I have actually made a video about these new possible (risky) features:



But I'm gonna mention here some things I forgot to talk about:

1. Realistic Graphics

Probably the least likely to be implemented in my Sims 5 wish list considering how Sims franchise capitalized on cartoony graphics from the get go-- but we never know!

How I Want Sims 5 To Look Like Plus Other Features

If ever they do implement this, it will raise Sims 5's immersion to new heights and will not only highly appeal to Simulation Players above, but also mainly to Fashionistas and Architects (the latter 2 might use Sims 5 as their 3D rendering program of choice, depending on its depth, and if not compete, at least complement professional programs like Marvelous Designer and Lumion).

With Nvidia's new RTX graphic cards, and Playstation 5 coming out soon, not going the realistic route will be a missed opportunity especially with Minecraft looking this gorgeous as soon as they officially release support to RTX by 2020:


Minecraft Before and After Fancy RTX Enhancement


More people claim that cartoony art style aged better though. But looking at Minecraft and Skyrim as an example, they aged better the more players made them look as realistic as possible instead of sticking to being cartoonish.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Wish Sims 5 can look this good like Skyrim or even Left 4 Dead 2, but I understand both these games are way outside Sims core branding lol.


How I Want Sims 5 To Look Like Plus Other Features

Maybe just make it as gorgeous as Final Fantasy or Black Desert Online then-- something like a cross between realistic and cartoony, with more emphasis on the former this time.


How I Want Sims 5 To Look Like Plus Other Features

How I Want Sims 5 To Look Like Plus Other Features

Yes and YES!

Even if Sims 5 turns out to be like Sims 4 2.0, if it has realistic graphics, I'm down!

shut up and take my money meme


Those against realistic graphics say that players can just use CC to prettify their game. But no matter how many alpha CCs, filters, lighting we download, it's still never gonna achieve something like the Black Desert Online look.

Others argue that realistic graphics will cause performance issues. But I do believe the engine and how the game is coded will cause more performance hit than the type of graphics especially if there's an option to choose low-res texture, or get away with lower polygons.

I want Sims 5 to look like Black Desert Online or Black Desert Mobile

I want Sims 5 to look like Black Desert Online or Black Desert Mobile

And if other games with realistic graphics can run smoothly even on mobile like Black Desert Mobile or Life After, then why wouldn't that be the same case with Sims 5 with PC and console surpassing most mobile phones in CPU, GPU and RAM?

It's really just a matter of optimization.



2. VR Support or AR Feature or Cross-Platform Playability 

VR is most likely a feature to be implemented soon considering how they made Sims 4 available to consoles that are VR-ready. Another thing I forgot to mention in the video is how they also added the first person POV camera in Sims 4 last time. So probably that's them partly exploring how Sims is like on VR.

They can then create an expansion in the future where simmers can hang out similar to VR chat, or have that VR-ready common areas where some notable players' builds can get featured like the ones they have in Sansar.

Sims 5 Possible AR Feature

Another alternate feature Sims 5 can explore on is AR and the ability for its mobile version to be a tool when decorating real life homes -- something like what the Design Home app does.

Design Home App

That or give an online version of Sims another shot (as an expansion though, many will hate it--including me-- if this is the core gameplay of Sims 5) with cross-platform compatibility as a fun way for Simmers to get together, the same way they do with Second Life -- but sanitized version lol.


3. Lively Townies or More Randomized Events

As mentioned in the video, I want a more robust neighborhood with NPCs who have their own drama and what not, like a built-in Sacrificial Mods that players can turn on or off in-game (just hire its creator already!).


4. Single-player Storylines

Since Sims is essentially an open sandbox life simulation game, one can argue that this isn't how Sims should be and it will become a new game entirely if the focus on Sims 5 is storylines. I haven't played Sims Stories and the Strangerville pack yet, but considering their positive reviews, this is a great main feature that can add depth in Sims 5 (along with realistic graphics, without getting any performance hit unlike #3 above), especially if it won't feature fetch quests (or at least lessen them) and focus on actual stories instead.

What Features Should be in Sims 5
Random events like this meteor rocks landing in my University Dorm are always welcome though.

It will be a good fan service too if the lore behind The Sims' NPCs like the Goth Family, Pancakes couple and Agatha Crumplebottom are explored further through actual single-player quests that require players to explore the world and interact with NPCs like in Strangerville, instead of on-screen storytelling like the ones we have in Parenthood and Get to Work.


5. Actual Books

Ok. I know. Nerd. But if #4 above is too "controlling" and against the open sandbox-ness of Sims, the NPCs lore can be explored instead through actual books that can be read by players in-game-- similar to the ones they have in Skyrim. They can be originally written in Simlish and players have to do something to translate them in English.

Plus points if EA partners with and supports some authors, and feature actual books in-game that are about home improvement, or something related to improving Sims skills like a written version of Charisma on Command's videos lol, or partnering up with some psychologists to add some mental health aid books in-game which appeal to a wider audience, especially most players play Sims to just chill and relax-- a temporary respite from real-life grind.


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III. What Should Never Be in Sims 5?

Microtransactions.

Unless it's a free mobile game, or if they surprisingly make Sims 5 free for all (I don't think so lol), microtransactions are never welcome considering how pricey the base game is often right at launch, plus additional packs being released afterwards. It's not a good way to monetize Sims 5 considering the Sims have young impressionable players.

Also landlines. Who uses that these days? Seriously.


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IV. Alternate Business Models for Sims 5

Assuming Sims 5 is the last one in the franchise, to extend financial viability for this game, aside from sticking to selling different packs and merch, and generally being too dependent on its players' pockets, EA can continue exploring other commercial partnerships like the one they did with the Moschino stuff pack.

Sims 5 Alternate Business Model and Long-term Financial Viability
My sim creating an imaginary feasibility study of The Sims 5 lol.

If they're going the VR route, they can also explore the possibility of featuring VR ads like a virtual tour with different products in it, or offer space for sale or rent (something like a domain but in VR) for actual companies or schools or event organizers to rent and hold virtual meetings in, or for players to be able to buy like a virtual property and sell to other players at a higher price in the future.

They can also add a virtual marketplace where modders especially fashion designers and architects can sell their clothes and blueprints or builds repectively, and EA earns a certain fair and reasonable percentage from those sales. Doing so will help regulate the CC market better and help players avoid sites featuring annoying AF adfly links and other dodgy downloads.


The Sims 5 Release Date and What Features Should Be In It | lifeaftergrind.com


*Feature photo from Lumion.

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