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Highly anticipated indie Sims 4 rival Paralives sets early access release window for 2025

The Patreon-funded competition to EA's life sim giant will finally be out on Steam next year.

A trio of Parafolk stand in a living room space, with one Para seeming to exclaim at the décor to the others.
Image credit: Alex Massé and team / Paralives Studio

Paralives, the independently-developed life simulation game suspected to be coming for The Sims 4's crown, has received a long-awaited news update on when we might really get to play it. The development team led by Alex Massé released a seven-minute gameplay video and accompanying blog post last night, which also addressed their plans for DLC (the elephant in the simulated living room), and ended with the announcement that an early access release is planned for an as-yet-unspecified date in 2025.

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Paralives was announced back in 2019 and currently pulls in £27.5K/$33K monthly via Massé's Patreon, which is amazing when you consider that these seven minutes are the most footage we've ever seen in one go of the game's all-important Live Mode; to say nothing of the fact that this is the first time the team have let slip a hint of a release window for the game. Clearly there's plenty of appetite among players for a serious challenger to go toe-to-toe with EA's behemoth Sims franchise.

In case there was any doubt remaining, Paralives is clearly squaring up to The Sims with yesterday's announcement that all updates and expansions will be free, including those released after the game's eventual V1.0 launch out of early access, and that the game will never branch out into paid DLC. (Quick reminder that a full complement of The Sims 4's DLC would currently set you back over a grand, with no signs of new content releases slowing down; while collecting every little add-on available for The Sims 3 honest-to-goodness costs as much as outright purchasing a family home in some parts of Wales.)

Some fans have already expressed concerns about how the Paralives team will be able to fund their ongoing work on the game if they abandon the time-honoured tradition of life sims receiving regular paid expansions. Given the project's healthy Patreon numbers, some kind of timed exclusive access for Patrons before an update is released to all players seems like a smart bet. However, the team have elected not to go into their financial plans in further detail, focusing instead on their socially-conscious reasons for wanting to continue developing the game without charging players more for additional content. All I can say is that I wish them all the best in this noble endeavour, especially since such good intentions so often don't get you very far in the games industry, sadly.

The next couple of years are shaping up to be rather exciting for life sim fans. The Sims series recently celebrated its 24th anniversary, and with The Sims 4 still in active development alongside its long-awaited successor, it's hard not to get excited about what next year's milestone birthday might bring with it. Meanwhile, Life by You — Paradox's upcoming life sim helmed by a Sims franchise veteran — has caught its second delay but is still expected to launch into early access this year, with a revised release date of June 4th.

Add in the ongoing early access period of last year's lo-fi indie Sims-like Tiny Life, rumblings around Krafton's recently-demoed Sims rival InZOI, and now this highly anticipated Paralives news, and fans of puppeteering the lives of little computer people have got themselves quite the feast to look forward to.

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