Signs Point to Big Things for "The Sims 4" in 2020 and Beyond
I recently wrote that The Sims franchise could be facing its biggest competition yet with the upcoming release of Paralives, a brand new life simulation game that looks very promising. Still, I wouldn't count The Sims 4 out just yet—there is some evidence to suggest that the game is about to go off the hook in 2020.
Could "The Sims 4" Get Better Than Ever in 2020?
Great Sales in 2019
The Sims has been around a long time, but the game's popularity does not seem to be slowing down. According to EA's summary of financial results for their last quarter, last year was one of the game's best years yet.
Overall, The Sims 4 had a 55% increase in downloads in 2019. In May, EA held a promotion offering the base game for free. More than 7 million people downloaded The Sims 4—that is a lot of potential new Sims fans they're going to want to hook!
20th Anniversary in 2020
This year will mark the 20th anniversary of The Sims, and it would not at all be surprising for game developer Maxis and publisher Electronic Arts to plan something very special. In fact, it would be more shocking if they didn't do something exciting that would blow away their fans.
The Sims was released in February of 2000, so it's safe to say fans can expect the announcement of something spectacular at some point over the next few weeks.
What Do You Mean You Haven't Played "The Sims 4" Yet?
Promise of New, Unexpected Content
In December, producers Dave Miotke and Michael Duke explained on the Maxis Monthly stream that game developers had "run the gauntlet" of old favorites. Up until now, additional content published for The Sims 4 has been based on the most popular things in previous versions of the game. Now, game developers are moving into uncharted territory and they are looking to throw fans a few curveballs.
"I'm really excited for next year," Miotke proclaimed. "2020 is going to be a huge year for The Sims... We definitely have some surprises up our sleeve. I think it's going to be a very interesting upcoming year full of unexpected turns and twists, and it's going to be a lot of fun."
"We're finally at that place where I'm not convinced they can guess our next couple of packs anymore," added Duke.
Dec Maxis Monthly: Updates on The Sims 4, The Sims Mobile and The Sims FreePlay!
New Survey Hints at New Relationship Dynamics
This month, game developers put out a new survey. Some questions show that developers are listening to complaints from fans and are seeking to make some big improvements on The Sims 4.
One page of questions on the survey asks fans how they want Sims to relate to each other. Players are asked to rate their interest on a scale of 1-10. Questions revolve around Sims having more nuanced relationships. Some examples they give is whether present relationships should be impacted by past events, whether a Sim's personality will determine how they get along with others, and if NPCs should be given the ability to initiate relationship changes, such as romances, marriages, break-ups.
Right now, fans tend to rely on unauthorized game modifications (mods) to help create more in-depth relationships and to encourage story progression for non-played Sims. These kinds of changes could give Sims more depth and flesh them out more as characters.
Romance Could Be So Much Better
Survey Also Hints at Content to Come
Other questions asked in the current survey point to possible new content. A new Tiny Living stuff pack has been announced and will be released later this week. We also know there is an arts and crafts-themed stuff pack in the works because the Sims community has been voting on the content. But could a new winter-themed resort pack be in the works as well?
One page of questions asks fans to rate their interest in future gameplay features. You can sound off on whether you'd like your Sims to be able to vacation in a hotel, run a resort, or own a vacation home (a second lot).
The next page of questions asks fans to rate their interest in several winter sports, such as ice fishing, snowboarding or cross-country skiing.
I can't help but wonder if these two pages in the survey go together and hint at an upcoming expansion pack with a new wintery world. The Sims 4 has worlds set in temperate regions, the tropics, the desert, a rainforest, a magical realm, and an alien planet. The one thing the universe in The Sims 4 does not have is a winter wonderland.
Could a Winter Wonderland Be Coming to "The Sims 4?"
What the Future Holds
The past publishing pattern showed that a new version of The Sims came out every four to five years. The Sims 4 has been out for six years now, and given how much game technology has advanced since 2014, some feel a new version is overdue. The twentieth anniversary of the game would be the perfect time to announce a new version.
Others feel that Maxis has been putting too much effort into improving The Sims 4 and adding extra content. After what developers said about new surprises in the Maxis Monthly stream, it probably means that they're not ready to give up on the fourth version—which has soared in popularity over the last year—just yet. If they are thinking about The Sims 5, it's probably still at least a couple of years down the road.
The new survey seems to confirm that Maxis and EA are working on making The Sims 4 a better gaming experience for fans. Other questions on the survey involve where fans want to see new additional content, what improvements and expansions they'd like to see in the Create-a-Sim mode, and which previous packs fans would like to see given a "polish."
I don't know what the future holds for The Sims 4, but I do have a great feeling about it, and I'm excited!
What About You?
Are you excited about "The Sims 4" in 2020?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Kenzie Cartwright