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EA confirms The Sims 5 will be free-to-play and co-exist alongside The Sims 4

Plus first new Stuff Pack in 2.5 years.

EA has launched another of its Behind the Sims showcases at the internet, this one bringing confirmation that The Sims 5 - or codename Project Rene as it's officially known at present - will indeed be a free-to-play game, as previously leaked, and will coexist alongside The Sims 4. Oh, and there was also some news on The Sims 4's first Stuff Pack in over two-and-a-half years.

First, though, Project Rene and the news it'll definitely be free-to-play - or as EA is more insistently phrasing it, "free-to-download". Either way, the important thing here is that no core game purchase will be required, and EA is also keen to add there'll be no subscription and no "energy mechanics" - so that's at least one predatory mobile monetisation tactic off the table.

As to what a new mainline Sims game designed from the ground-up to be free-to-play might look like, a Project Rene job listing hastily removed from EA's website earlier this year pointed to an in-game marketplace featuring official and user-generated content (both free and paid) - something else EA has now more or less confirmed.

Behind The Sims - 12th Septmber 2023.Watch on YouTube

According to EA, Project Rene "definitely won't start with everything you have in The Sims 4", but will "add new experiences and content over time". The idea here is that foundational features, such as weather, will be free to everyone in the base game, and then those will be built upon with paid content packs. The hypothetical given during Behind the Sims was a Winter Sports Pack, featuring activities themed around snow - think ice dancing and snowman building - leaving room for similar packs inspired by rain or wind or clouds in the future.

"It's a little early to know exactly where we'll draw the lines," EA explained, "but it's important for us to lower those barriers to play and give everyone the broadest shared systems because that feels like the best foundation to grow from." And regardless of Project Rene's approach, EA says The Sims 4 and its various Sims mobile titles will continue to co-exist alongside the new game, receiving new content for the "foreseeable future".

In The Sims 4's case, we've got the upcoming poolside fashion and luxurious living Kit Packs, as well as the newly announced Stuff Pack - somewhat remarkably, the first one in two-and-a-half years. Home Chef Hustle, as it's known, promises to bring new ways to cook, new ways to make money, new buy/build and create-a-sim items, plus new small appliances.

Full details will be shared later this week but for now we know there'll be a waffle maker - which can splutter out a variety of different waffles - plus new accessories and clothing, the ability to cook cupcakes in the oven rather in The Sims 4's ludicrously over-sized cupcake maker, plus some new UI recipe filter options which sound like they'll be part of the base game. Expect more to be revealed this Thursday, 14th September.

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