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The Sims 4 Goes Free-to-Play, New Project Rene Title Teased

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the sims 4 project rene

The Sims developer Maxis is working on what it’s calling “the next-generation Sims game and creative platform”. Its working title is Project Rene. Based on the details released during EA’s “Behind the Sims Summit” stream event on October 18, 2022, the game is likely to be the next entry in the mainline Sims series. However, rather than being called The Sims 5 (or something similar), it being in the early stages of development precludes official confirmation beyond “Project Rene”. It’s a similar situation to when The Sims 4 was first being teased. At the time, EA only referred to that game as Project Olympus before formally confirming that it was The Sims 4 later on.

Speaking of The Sims 4, that game is now officially a free-to-play title. Players can download the base game free of charge on Windows PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Mac. Expansions and DLC are still sold separately, though. Members of the EA Play and EA Play Pro subscription services are entitled to special members-only bundles of the game. The EA Play Edition of The Sims 4 includes the Get To Work expansion pack, while the EA Play Pro Edition includes that and the Toddler Stuff pack. Players who previously bought the base game receive the Desert Luxe Kit DLC as a gift. Maxis assured fans that while the game is going free-to-play, it is not the end of further content plans for The Sims 4. Further additions will debut in the future.

For more on Project Rene, check out Vice-President of Franchise Creative for The Sims Lyndsay Pearson’s presentation on the stream archive below. It kicks off at about the 26-minute mark.

The name Project Rene is said to represent Maxis’ renewed commitment to The Sims. Showing off some in-development footage, Pearson demonstrated some detailed furniture placement and modification tools. Players can, for example, change the shapes of in-game objects, deciding the placement of individual pillows on a couch. Players can also group together items and designs and publish them as a set for sharing. Cross-device functionality was also teased, with a player decorating the same room in real-time across both a PC and a smartphone. Pearson called the experience “Same Experience, Different Screen”. Pearson said that Project Rene is “years away” from release and cautioned fans not to hold their breath, as the game is still very early in development. However, she promised more updates over time, along with behind-the-scenes looks as development progressed.

Maxis closed out the presentation by teasing the implementation of infant sims in the game, coming in a The Sims 4 expansion slated for release in 2023.

The Sims 4 is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Mac. Project Rene is in development.

Josh Tolentino
Josh Tolentino is Senior Staff Writer at Siliconera. He previously helped run Japanator, prior to its merger with Siliconera. He's also got bylines at Destructoid, GameCritics, The Escapist, and far too many posts on Twitter.