The Sims is celebrating ten years since the first instalment in the series was released.
Yeah, I was sceptical too. I mean, I realise that it's been on the wish list of many Sims fans ever since Will Wright's little computer people first wandered onto our monitors, but I just couldn't get my head around the idea of paying for an expansion pack just so you could see some virtual snow.
University gave them ambition and options for improvement beyond the slender bookcases of their homes. Nightlife gave them an actual social life that didn't revolve around endless house parties. Open for Business made them self-sufficient, and freed them from rigidly defined career paths. And Pets? Well, pets at least introduced living additions to each household.
So, for this fifth update to the globe-conquering Sims 2, the prospect of making it rain didn't quite jump out as an essential evolution of the ever-expanding Sim suburbs. It's impact on the Sims themselves seemed too intangible - sure, they might get wet or cold but so what? Surely it's only ever going to be a background effect, not a major gameplay development.
Electronic Arts is working on another expansion pack for the PC version of The Sims 2. "Seasons" will introduce all forms of weather, and lots of new contextual items and activities for your little virtual people.
Listed as "coming soon" on the EA website, Seasons sounds very outdoorsy - with snowball fights, chasing fireflies, jumping in leaf piles, going ice-skating, harvesting fruit and veg and gardening listed among the things you'll be able to get up to.
You'll have to beware though, because the conditions can change in an instant, with inclement alternatives to happy summer/winter/autumn/spring days including those racked with every-flavour storms - snowy, thunderous, and peppered with hailstones.