A new rumor is circulating that the forthcoming game from Maxis, The Sims 5, might adopt a free-to-play model at its release.
This speculation comes after The Sims 4 transitioned to a free-to-play model last year, a move that has seemingly been successful enough to influence the business strategy for the next installment.
The Sims 5 Rumors
Details about The Sims 5 are currently sparse, with the game known only by its codename: Project Rene. Maxis has been subtly hinting about the sequel in a series of videos, typically alongside expansion packs for The Sims 4. The first mention of Project Rene came in late 2022, around the same time The Sims 4 became free-to-play. Since then, updates have been infrequent.
Maxis has offered players a fleeting glimpse of the new game’s gameplay, but it appears to be in the early stages of development.
The Free-to-Play Hint
As reported by PCGamesN, a job listing posted online seems to suggest that The Sims 5 could be a free-to-play title. The job, titled Head of Monetization and Marketplace on Project Rene, describes the game as “free-to-enter,” which could imply the inclusion of expansion packs.
This wouldn’t be surprising, as The Sims games have a long history of expansion packs dating back to the original game, and they remain a crucial part of the business model. However, a free-to-play launch for The Sims 5 would be a first for the franchise, and it will be intriguing to see if this rumor materializes.
The Live Service Model and The Sims
In the current gaming landscape, live service titles are becoming increasingly prevalent. Fans of The Sims franchise may be concerned that many high-profile live service games have often shut down shortly after launch.
However, The Sims is a unique case, and this is why players shouldn’t worry. With the constant DLC for every game in the franchise, The Sims titles essentially wrote the blueprint for the live service business model. In a way, it has already been doing live service for years, but that hasn’t stopped Maxis from supporting each title for many years.
There shouldn’t be any deviation from that with The Sims 5. On the surface, the only difference for players will be the price at launch, and that’s a good thing.
While every piece of news about The Sims 5 is exciting, it’s important to remember that The Sims 4 is not entirely done yet. Just recently, The Sims 4 revealed the Horse Ranch expansion pack, bringing one of the most-requested features by fans into the game.
Maxis hasn’t confirmed when development on The Sims 4 content will finally wind down, but with a sequel still seemingly some way away and the DLC continuing to sell well, it almost certainly won’t be any time soon.
Players on the fence about trying The Sims 4 should certainly pick it up, given it’s free-to-play and has plenty of gas left in the tank yet. Here’s our ultimate guide for The Sims 4 that you should try immediately!