The next Sims game, currently codenamed Project René, although we all know it will almost definitely be called The Sims 5, will “definitely” have a multiplayer element of some kind, according to its developers. As a guide to what that might be, his team is, unsurprisingly, looking to the success of fellow cozy life simulation game Animal Crossing, as well as perhaps less obvious inspiration in the murder mystery plot Among Us.
This all comes from Sims franchise creative vice president Lyndsay Pearson, who told the Radio Times’ One More Life podcast that the game’s developers “definitely want to introduce multiplayer.”
That multiplayer won’t be a sprawling MMO-style world full of random players, Pearson clarified, but rather a way to join a smaller group of friends and coexist in their virtual worlds while doing a variety of different activities.
“It’s not multiplayer in the big, scary ‘jump into a world full of strangers’ kind of way,” Pearson said of the multiplayer. “(But) literally: how do you and your friends want to play together? And there are a lot of different flavors that could be adopted, so we’re exploring a lot of different spaces there. Because playing together can look like a lot of different things.”
While those different flavors are unlikely to suddenly turn The Sims 5 into a battle royale or shooter, Pearson indicated that the team was looking for some more whimsical ideas that could then make it “Sims-y.” Among the suggested ideas were trivia games, fighting games, racing games, and even a mystery mode similar to Among Us in which players would have to work together and talk in a group to solve.
“We’re having a lot of fun exploring all of those different opportunities, particularly within the context of The Sims, because it’s still about these little characters, their little lives, and you helping to guide them. So what does that mean if you and I do that together?” Pearson said of the way multiplayer was being approached. “How do we figure out how to make a little bit of that chaos, a little bit of that fun and a little bit of fun? A little bit of that positivity comes together in a way that feels ‘Sims-y?’
Pearson pointed to the success of Animal Crossing as a guiding light for The Sims 5’s multiplayer, both in its smaller shared spaces between players and in the way its customizable world was used simply as an environment, particularly the program of Animal Talking interviews, presented by film screenwriter and former PC gaming journalist Gary Whitta in a virtual setting built into the Switch game Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
“We talk about Animal Crossing all the time, because it’s a really good example of my little space, my little island, but I can invite you,” Pearson said. “We’ve seen over the last few years of Animal Crossing people inventing ways to play together that the game doesn’t specifically support, but they’ve invented scavenger hunts or whatever. Which is amazing. Or people who hosted game shows. interviews in Animal Crossing, I think it’s amazing.”
EA Maxis previously confirmed that Project Rene will be free-to-play (with paid DLC; it’s still a Sims game, after all) and will “coexist” with other Sims games, including its recent predecessor, The Sims 4, which in turn it became free. play last year. There’s also new behind-the-scenes technology, including more sophisticated lighting, more advanced simulation of the world at large, and more visual cues for Sims’ moods, such as flames erupting from angry Sims’ heads. Be prepared to use that a lot while playing. stabbed in the back in his Among Us mode.