The Sims 5 AKA Project Rene will be free-to-play when it releases, it would seem. The Sims is one of the most beloved casual franchises out there, having spun off from the beloved city builder SimCity. The Sims lets players take control of their own created character and even the family members they live with and live out their lives. You can build and furnish houses, get a job, and much more. The series has had extremely long legs and been very successful for EA as the franchise is very monetizable. On top of being able to sell all kinds of expansion packs for high prices, they can also push smaller DLCs that allow players to own more in-game items. It appeals to a very casual audience especially as it is on a wide variety of platforms and isn't a demanding title. After the better part of a decade, The Sims 4 went free-to-play, allowing EA to get more people on the hook and push the aforementioned expansions to people.
Now, with The Sims 5 on the way, fans are wondering what the model will look like for that title. Unlike The Sims 4, The Sims 5 will be available as a free-to-play game on day one, something that previously leaked. In a new behind the scenes video, EA called it "free-to-download", but the crux of the idea is that you will be able to get in on the ground floor without paying any extra money. However, it sounds like this may pave way for even more monetization in the future with more expansions, DLC packs, and more. EA is still figuring out the specifics, but it's easy to see how this could get a little annoying especially since The Sims 4 launched without some key features and saved them for expansions later.
EA did note that things like weather had previously been a premium expansion, but would introduce them for free to The Sims 5 and expand on them with things like winter sports as paid add-ons. Either way, the free-to-play idea stems partially from the fact that the game will be multiplayer. EA wants people to be able to play together and enjoy the game with their friends and making it free is an easy way to do that. It was also clarified that The Sims 5 will not replace The Sims 4, they are meant to co-exist, so players can play whichever they want. We'll have to see if EA can stick the landing on this as it's a tricky balancing act that can get out of hand, but hopefully, it all feels fair. As of right now, The Sims 5 has no release date.
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