EA has confirmed that The Sims 5, currently under development at Maxis as Project Rene, will be “free to download” in the newest Behind The Sims video released for the game. Essentially, this means that players will be able to jump into the game and play around without having to make any purchases or pay for any subscriptions. This confirms an earlier job listing that suggested that the game would be “free to join”.
“We intend for Project Rene to be free to download, and that means that when it’s ready and fully open to our players, you’ll be able to join and play and explore Project Rene without a subscription, without core game purchase or energy mechanics,” said vice president of franchise creative at Maxis Lyndsay Pearson.
“We want it to be easy for you to invite or join with a friend, and that means extending an open invitation for everyone to play.”
Pearson goes on to warn players that, at launch, Project Rene won’t be as feature rich as The Sims 4 eventually became thanks to the release of several updates and expansions since the title’s original release. However, Pearson reaffirms that the game will be worked on, and over time, will also get new content and experiences. Project Rene will also make features that older games in the franchise have featured as expansions as core features of the game.
“Well, beyond regular updates to the core game, we will sell content and packs, but we want to change that mix a little bit,” says Pearson. “So, let me give you a theoretical example. In The Sims 4, the only way to experience any weather was if you purchased seasons. Now, in Project Rene, we might introduce basic weather to the core game for free for everybody. And then a pack for purchase might be focused on winter sports and could include activities like ice dancing or a snowman-building competition.”
Pearson also goes on to reveal that Project Rene and The Sims 4 will exist side by side even once the in-development project is released as The Sims 5.
“Project Rene and The Sims 4 are going to continue to exist side by side,” explains Pearson. “We plan to support both at the same time, and we’re going to continue to bring even more exciting content to The Sims 4 for the foreseeable future.”
The Sims 5 doesn’t yet have a solid release date, but more details for the game are slated to be revealed in 2024. EA and Maxis have also previously stated that they want to release The Sims 5 on as many platforms as possible.