The newest upcoming Sims game, codenamed Project Rene but more generally referred to as Sims 5, is looking for a way to implement multiplayer, a new interview with VP Lindsay Pearson suggests. The Sims team is looking at different examples of multiplayer gaming styles to figure out how Sims fans can enjoy the next game with friends.
Interview with Vice President Lyndsay Pearson
Speaking on the One More Life podcast, Sims vice president of franchise creative Lyndsay Pearson was asked about rumors that The Sims 5 would be integrating multiplayer for the first time in franchise history. “We definitely want to introduce multiplayer,” Pearson answered. “Not multiplayer in the big, scary ‘jump into a world full of strangers’ kind of way, but literally how do you and your friends want to play together? There’s a lot of different flavors that could take, so we’re exploring a lot of different spaces there, because playing together can look like so many different things.”
Throughout the conversation, Pearson had referred to an in-house practice of making sure new features feel appropriately “Simsy,” and any implementation of multiplayer is no different. “How do we figure out how to make a little bit of that chaos, a little bit of that fun, and a little bit of that positivity come together in a way that feels ‘Simsy’?”
Exploring Multiplayer Inspiration
The team working on Project Rene is having a lot of these discussions, Pearson says, including looking to other multiplayer games for inspiration. Animal Crossing is one that comes up a lot, she says. “We talk about Animal Crossing all the time, because it is such a good example of my little space, my little island–but I can invite you over,” Pearson explained. “We’ve seen throughout the last few years of Animal Crossing, people inventing ways to play together that the game doesn’t specifically support, but they’ve made up scavenger hunts, or … people who hosted talk shows in Animal Crossing, I think is incredible.”
Another potential inspiration mentioned by Pearson is Among Us, which she described as “this sort of mystery thing but you have to talk about it or solve it,” then asking, “what is the Simsy version of that?”
Pearson finished by saying that the Project Rene team will have more concrete details in future announcements, but it is exploring many different ways multiplayer could be implemented into the upcoming Sims sequel.
Refreshing the Classic Sims Formula
In general, Project Rene is intended to be a refresh of the classic Sims formula. “We’re really keeping the heart of The Sims intact but trying to think of new ways to bring it to players, to offer things you havent seen before in the Sims,” Pearson explained. “How do we rethink some of the core foundation of what it means to play The Sims?”
So far, early gameplay tests have shown experimentations with in-depth furniture customization, as well as giving a sneak peek at new interactions and animations. The Sims 5 will be the first main Sims title to launch as a free-to-play game, with EA saying it intends to monetize the title through selling content and packs–similar to the model The Sims 4 recently moved to.