EA is continuing to slowly reveal details about its next-gen The Sims game, codenamed Project Rene. This time, during a Behind The Sims presentation, the company announced some key features — notably how the game will be priced and how it will exist alongside existing titles in The Sims franchise.
In terms of price, EA says that Project Rene will be free to download, which shouldn’t be too surprising given that The Sims 4 went free-to-play last year. “This means that when Project Rene is ready and fully open to players, you will be able to join, play, and explore it without a subscription, core game purchase, or energy mechanics,” the company explained in a blog post. “We want playing to be super easy for you to invite or join friends and experience new features, stories, and challenges.”
As for what you’ll actually pay for, EA explains that “we will sell content and packs” much like in The Sims 4. But it sounds like the overall structure of the game and how things will be sold will be different in The Sims 4. Here’s how EA explains it:
For example, basic weather may be added to the core game for free, for everybody. And in the future, a pack for purchase may be focused on winter sports with activities like ice dancing or a snowman building competition. It’s important that with Project Rene we lower barriers to play and give all players the broadest shared systems because that feels like the strongest foundation for us to grow from.
Speaking of The Sims 4, EA also says that the existence of Project Rene won’t be the end for its current Sims game. “We will continue to support both at the same time and will plan to bring more exciting content to The Sims 4 community for the foreseeable future,” EA says.
There’s still no word on when Project Rene might launch — the developer says that it is “still in the early stages of development” — but EA has been making good on its promise of having a more open development process. Previously, we learned that the next Sims game will have a focus on both solo and multiplayer experiences, and EA says that more details on the multiplayer component will be available later this year.