Project Rene: The Future of The Sims
The third episode of Behind the Sims came out today and unveiled additional details about “Project Rene” which is the codename for the next Sims project that EA and Maxis have planned. This secret-not-so-secret project is widely predicted to be The Sims 5 but has not officially been announced as such. The project may not yet have an official name, but it has been slated to be the "next generation of Sims game and creative platform." There’s been a few updates before this, let’s quickly recap before diving into the most recent news.
The journey was reported in the first episode to have kicked off in the fall of ‘22 when Maxis released a “small private playtest that evaluated interior design, furniture customization, and collaborative interior design on mobile and PC” to an audience of a few hundred. The playtest focused on a specific section of the game focusing on “Apartment Customization” which included highly customizable interior design and furniture. This was reportedly only a “tiny slice” of what’s to come, but helped the team adjust their UX and UI plans and choices for future development.
The second update gave us broader insight into the updates that are happening within Project Rene. A new lighting system was said to be under development to no doubt highlight our incredible (or tragic) design choices. Attitudes, emotions, and postures are to be animated to give us an indication of how our Sims are feeling. The concept of routines both inside and outside the house is being explored. Customizable hairstyles are a work in progress to suit every player and their vision. And finally, the way Sims socialize and think is being analyzed to include the right information in the right quantities. All exciting and interesting additions seem to be pacing the new project in an innovative but realistic direction.
The most recent update addresses the very important question of price and the flow of development. Following in the footsteps of The Sims 4, Project Rene will be free! “[...] you will be able to join, play and explore it without a subscription, core game purchase or energy mechanics.” Great news! But, how will it profit? Outside of these “Behind the Sims” updates it has been rumored that EA and Maxis will rely on DLC to drive sales as many other FTP games do. It has also been suggested that they might also follow the release pattern of “Seasons” as they have hinted at the inclusion of seasonal weather, but neither prediction has been officially confirmed. What we do know is that the base game will be accessible for everyone. As far as the process is concerned, the studio is focused on launching Project Rene alongside Sims 4 and continuing support for each. They emphasize that they will launch a working game, but that it will very much be a work in progress as they add additional content. The final intention is to keep the community up to date with the process and informed. This seems like the more favorable approach to developing new games as it seems harder and harder to keep things under wraps in this day and age.
Each episode gives valuable community updates within the entire world of Sims, including some fantastic new additions to Sims 4, so be sure to give those a click if you're interested in additional news and content!
That’s what we know so far! What do you think of Project Rene? Do you have a favorite Sims memory? I would love to hear them!