The next generation of The Sims games may incorporate online social features originally seen in EA’s doomed MMO The Sims Online, according to EA head Andrew Wilson.
If you’re a Sims fiend such as myself, you’ll probably remember an online version of The Sims did exist at one point. The Sims Online ran from 2002 until 2008 when it was shut down.
Wilson offers an intriguing answer in response, stating that features from The Sims Online will be a part of The Sims experience “in the years to come”.
“The Sims will be 20 next week,” said Wilson during the call. “That Maxis team and the team that’s been a part of Maxis over the years continue to deliver unbelieavably innovative and creative content for a constantly growing Sims community globally. As we think about The Sims – again, I reference the motivations of why we play the games – inspiration, escape, social interaction, creation, self improvement, competition. Typically what The Sims has done is really focus on fulfilling the motivations and inspiration, escape, creation, self-improvement and not necessarily focus as much as on social interaction and competition.
“But a few things are in fact true over the years. One is that the Sims community continues to grow and with the broad of social platforms continue to connect with each other and share what they do – in and around the game they play. And we’ve seen that manifest in The Sims Online which was a more social experience for us. And we’re also seeing that the competition nature of The Sims is also rising and we’re seeing people compare and contrast. Not competition in an original sport sense but how they create and what they create and how they use their imaginations and what they’re able to build inside of these Sims universes.”
So what exactly does a new generation of The Sims look like? According to Wilson, the answer is cross-patform with a cloud of neighborhoods to visit, and the introduction of more in-game competition. Elements that “were actually present in The Sims Online many, many years ago.”
“As Maxis continues to think about The Sims for a new generation – cross-platforms and a cloud of a neighborhood world, you should imagine while we will always stay true to our inspiration, escape, creation, self-improvement, motivations – that this notion of social interactions and competition like the kind of things that were actually present in The Sims Online many many years ago – that they will start to become a part of The Sims experience in the years to come.
“We are very excited. This is a game that really doesn’t have any competition in its category for delivering and fulfilling these motivations for players and we think of the tremendous growth opportunities for us for many many years to come.”
Alas, we’re still stuck waiting for even the smallest scrap of information about the future of the franchise. The Sims 4 was launched all the way back in 2014 and has since received eight expansion packs worth of content, but there is still no word on when we might see The Sims 5.