Maxis’ next-generation The Sims will feature enhanced creation tools
The next entry in Maxis’ The Sims franchise will feature direct access to creation tools for players to use to customize objects and homes in the game. During the developer’s livestream for the future of the simulation series, franchise creative VP Lyndsay Pearson revealed a brief look at the next entry in the franchise, codenamed Project Rene and billed as “the future of The Sims.“
Like many PC games, The Sims player community has kept the franchise’s various entries alive and thriving through mods (unofficially supported by Maxis) and user-uploaded creation libraries. Notably, Project Rene sounds as though it’ll be a full embrace of what players have spent years doing.
“The Sims has always evolved to reflect you, our players, and our experiences,” said Pearson. “We’re building the next-generation Sims game and creative platform.”
Rene’s footage shows that players will be able to make changes to furniture such as overall shape, pattern design, and positioning. Players will also be able to create on their own or with other players, and can similarly choose to share creations with just their friends or the wider The Sims community.
“For years, we’ve seen the power of the community coming together,” she continued. “Being able to celebrate each other’s work has been a longstanding tradition. With Project Rene, we want to make it easier to work together and share.”
Additionally, players will be able to have the same experience of Project Rene on various supported devices, meaning you can play the game on PC and have the same experience on mobile.
Pearson repeatedly stressed that Project Rene was still early in development and would be some ways out before release. Even so, she hinted that it would eventually open up Early Access to its software to “small groups” over time.
Mods are the new name of The Sims’ game
In addition to Project Rene, Maxis also announced that it was collaborating with Overwolf. Its mod managing platform CurseForge will be coming to The Sims 4 and let players download curated mods and custom content.
Even though mods can keep a game’s community thriving for years, developers aren’t always able to give their official support.
Some developers have gone in on official support, though. Bethesda launched mod support for PC and console versions of Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, though it took some time for that feature to come to the PlayStation 4 versions.
In 2017, Bethesda launched the Creation Club, which collected mods from Fallout 4 and Skyrim that was made by community members and third-party partners.
In the case of some games, official mod support has become a booming economy for communities. In 2021, Microsoft rather proudly announced that the modding community for Minecraft earned a combined $350 million in revenue through the official mod marketplace.