The Sims is big business, we spoke about this recently when we looked at the possibility of The Sims 4 coming to Nintendo Switch. In that article, we covered how the current game in the series had been played by over 70 million people worldwide. That’s a lot of folks.
With those kinds of player numbers, it is important to get the next generation of The Sims right. Now, in 2024 Electronic Arts and Maxis are beginning to speak more openly about what is planned for The Sims 5 – or Project Rene as it is currently known (don’t ask us why it’s not just The Sims 5, it’s not like it’s not going to be that is it? Still, codenames are always cool.)
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What is Project Rene?
Having first heard about Project Rene towards the end of 2022 it was obvious Maxis was already tinkering with The Sims 5 follow-up – now a developer update on The Sims site gives us a quick update on what’s been going on.
The update tells us: “We’ve just completed our first playtest for Project Rene, the next evolution of The Sims. This means we exposed a tiny slice of the game to a small number of players to gather valuable feedback that we’ll use to refine the feature sets, art, and more. This isn’t the full game and not a single thing is final.”
It goes on to say, “The playtest focused on furniture customization, which gives players more control over the pattern, colors, materials, parts, shape, and size of the furniture in their apartment. We piloted a very early version of buy mode that looked into how people can copy styles quickly from their couch to their chair, or move and rotate an entire living room set at once.”
The Sims 5 will be cross-platform but what does that mean?
The idea is simple, but rarely has it been pulled off well. You can play Protect Rene on pretty much anything and anywhere and your game will sync seamlessly between platforms. The dev update tells us, “With Project Rene, you’ll be able to play on a PC, put it down, and pick up right where you left off on a mobile device. The team is still developing ways in which we can tailor the experiences per platform, but we’re so excited about what’s to come”
Will The Sims 5 be multiplayer?
It seems as though Maxis again will be leaving that up to you, the player. If you want to play with friends, sure why not, but if you prefer it that whatever happens in The Sims, stays in The Sims and nobody need ever know, that’s cool too.
Again, from the blog, “Project Rene is a place for you to explore life with The Sims and also share a wide variety of experiences with trusted friends if you want when you want. We fully recognize and embrace the fact that The Sims can be a very private, intimate escape for some people to explore things on their own. It will always be your choice whether to play on your own or with others.”
For more information on the first playtest of Project Rene, you can check out this excellent page on the Electronic Arts site.
When will The Sims 5 be out?
We would not hold our breath here. If we had to guess we think it will be at the earliest 2026, maybe even later (you may be able to play it on your iPhone 18 if we are correct). Maxis and Electronic Arts will take their collective time here, and while it is encouraging they are playtesting aspects already, as it says above, nothing is final and anything can change. Generally, when a game goes into full-blown development, features get locked down so as to avoid bloat and creep. You have to draw the line somewhere and start finishing things, and the fact that Project Rene is not there yet hints that it is still a long way off.
Featured Image: EA / Maxis