In some big Sims news today, EA has confirmed that The Sims 5, codenamed Project Rene, will be “free to download when it’s ready.”
“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,” EA elaborated in a blog post today during a new Behind the Sims presentation. “We want playing to be super easy for you to invite or join friends and experience new features, stories and challenges.”
The blog post went on to say that the next Sims game won’t replace The Sims 4, but that the two will exist “side by side”: “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,” it added.
EA further clarified that Project Rene “won’t begin with everything you have in The Sims 4,” but they “plan to add new experiences and content to Project Rene over time.” Unsurprisingly, EA still plans to sell DLC for Project Rene, but promises to switch it up a bit.
“For example, basic weather may be added to the core game for free, for everybody,” EA continued. “And in the future, a pack for purchase may be focused on winter sports with activities like ice dancing or a snowman building competition.”
The news doesn’t come as a huge shocker, as EA previously posted a job listing that called Project Rene “free-to-enter.” Still, it is the company’s first official confirmation that it’ll be free at launch, along with the fact that it won’t replace The Sims 4. And while The Sims 4 wasn’t free to play at its 2014 launch, it has been since October 2022, which is also when EA first teased the next generation of Sims.
We still don’t have a release date for The Sims 5 – or Project Rene, whichever you prefer – but EA said today it’s still in the “early stages” of development.
Alex Stedman is a Senior News Editor with IGN, overseeing entertainment reporting. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her reading fantasy novels or playing Dungeons & Dragons.
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